Pet Peeve

I try not to let too many things get to me… really I don’t, but sometimes people just push a button one too many times and I get annoyed enough to say something.

I will probably get reamed for this, and that is fine, but if I see one more person flaming someone else about their choice to use convenience foods in their cooking, I am going to lose it. Why does it matter what someone uses when they are cooking for their OWN family in their OWN kitchen? Why do some people take that so personally?? Really? In my opinion, everyone has to start somewhere in the kitchen, and if people aspire to go beyond the Bisquick and Cream of Mushroom Soup, then that is their perogotive. The point is, they are cooking. They are trying to learn a new skill and are attempting to create meals at home for their family to enjoy. If it takes a short-cut for them to be able to do that, then fantastic. At least they are doing that and are forgoing the trip through the drive through. By spending time in the kitchen they are gaining the confidence to step out of that “box mixed mentality” and will someday, if they desire, move beyond. If not? Who cares??

OK – I feel better now… thanks for letting me vent.

For those of you who do want to go beyond the box cake mix to something that is seriously just as easy, put this recipe in your repertoire. Requiring no eggs or milk, this is one of those easy pantry cakes that tastes fantastic. You will be hard pressed to find a cake out there that is as moist and delicious.

One Pan Fudge Cake (from Recipezaar)

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an ungreased 9 x 13 pan- yes UNgreased, sift all dry ingredients.
  3. Add the liquids and stir just until blended.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Frost with your favorite frosting, cake is extremely moist so care must be taken that you don’t tear up the top of the cake.

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  1. says

    Ahh! Thank you for posting that. I cannot agree with you more. It irks me so much when cooks take on a snobbish attitude like that. While I’ve moved away from using convenience foods (canned soup, etc.) its definitely how I started cooking. I don’t think I could have jumped from being a novice to where I am now (novice plus, hehe) without a transition period.

    PS Your brownies look great!

  2. says

    Whether you use convenience foods or foods from the fanciest gourmet store, the point is that you are putting your energy into feeding the people you love. Whatever gets you in the kitchen is good, and if you have fun in the kitchen, eventually you’ll want to try cooking more from-scratch things.

  3. says

    I totally agree with you on convenience foods. We all have to start somewhere, and on a busy night I have a few things in my pantry to keep things simple.

    Love the look of those brownies – I’ll be marking this to try!

  4. says

    You are so right! I want to know what set you off! But I see it all the time too and people have done it to me! The heck with them!

    Great recipe by the way.

  5. says

    I am NOT opposed to using convenience foods…except when it comes to one thing…pancakes! Sorry! My dad always made homemade version for us and whenever I go somewhere and have the “convenience” version, it just doesn’t quite work for me. I figure those are pretty easy as it goes to do homemade. All that said to say that I AGREE with you! :-)

    This cake looks great and goes to prove that if you have time for homemade, it doesn’t even have to be hard.

  6. says

    Don’t let anyone get into you. All of us have to start somewhere. I still used cake mix now and then when I am too busy to bake from scratch. I still used cream of mushroom soup for my stew and there is nothing wrong with that. By the way, thanks for stopping by at my blog.

  7. says

    I usually follow you on flickr, but this photo looked too good to pass up. That cake looks like it’s from chocolate heaven! I can honestly say that the only ingredient I would have to go out for is cocoa. I like that!

    I completely agree with you about getting convenience help. During the week, it’s what keeps me out of the drive thru. Knowing that I can get some help from the pantry keeps me from blowing my budget on quick spending in the drive thru.

  8. says

    No eggs? That is so cool, I’m usually one to start baking and then realize I used the last of the eggs for dinner last night, or something!

    I think we all need to start somewhere with this cooking business, and since I grew up on my Mom’s Betty Crocker recipes (you know, the olive green box with all the recipe cards?), I don’t mind a shortcut or 2 once in a while. 😉

  9. says

    Kristen, sometimes I wonder why people care so much about other people’s lives. I mean, are you financially supporting them? No. Are they asking you for anything? Nope. So, let them do whatever they want, and get a life!

    That is a wonderful cake, btw. :)

  10. says

    Amen and amen. For the most part, I try to cook from scratch, but you’ll find many premade items on my shelves. I usually incorporate what I need into what I’m making. It’s what works for us, especially since I’m a full-time working mom.

    And really, when brownies are calling me, I’d rather rip open a box and add eggs, oil and water to answer that call in a jif!

  11. says

    Amen sister! I use cream of mushroom soup on occasion, and I’m proud of it! There is nothing wrong with using a little help now and then. It’s great to try things from scratch, but let’s face it, we don’t always have a million minutes to spend in the kitchen! The brownies look delicious!

  12. says

    You are so right. Ingredients do not the cook make! It is the love of preparing the foods for the ones we love that really matters. Love (and maybe a prayer) should always be the secret ingredient.

  13. says

    This post touches a nerve for many cooks and I echo the sentiments of all the commentors here.

    How people prepare food in their own kitchen is strictly their business. Even in the finest restaurants, not everything (typically) is made from scratch each day. And while it’s great to encourage people to become better cooks, how they go about that is solely up to them.

    In my opinion, as long as someone is eating and cooking to the best of their abilities, that is all that matters…effort is what counts. Whether at home or out and about, it’s about feeding ourselves and our loved ones in the best way we can, and approaching all food with respect and reverence for how it nourishes our bodies.

    For what it’s worth, I think most people who criticize the products or ingredients one chooses to cook with aren’t just complaining about using prepackaged or convenience foods for the sake of convenience. In truth, I think they are aggravated by the healthful (or more appropriately, the lack of healthful) repercussions of cooking with convenience foods, as often prepackaged foods aren’t the healthiest choices. That, or they truly are obnoxious, outspoken food snobs of the most impinging variety impinging on other people’s freedoms and happiness).

    But again, what people choose to eat and cook for themselves and their families is strictly their business. Even though health concerns and opposing opinions can be valid, I say, “To each their own.”

    Eat and let eat, cook and let cook. It really is that simple, and people should be allowed to make their own food choices – good or bad – without hearing someone else’s opinion in the process.

  14. Lisa says

    You go girl. I think some people are so persnickety they cannot stand the idea that someone else may have a better idea that people like. You hang in there and give em what ya got!!!!

  15. says

    Oh, just what my son wants!! Looks delcious, thank you for posting!:))
    Vent away, we are here to listen. You are right! Don’t give a damn what others say, do what you want. That’s my philosophy!:))

  16. says

    I always laugh when someone complains about Sandra Lee’s semi-homemade and then praises Paula Deen who uses lots of pre-made stuff in her recipes. It tastes good, I don’t care what’s in it! (with reason of course :)

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