Declaring My Independence: 3 Things

Today, Gentle Readers, the Practical Cook is declaring independence from a few kitchen crutches. Ironically, I almost landed on actual crutches thanks to the over-exuberance of my faithful hound. Those frozen baby peas do make an excellent ice pack. But I digress, here are 3 things from which I’m attempting to declare my kitchen independence.

The Practical Cook's July 4th Plate (eaten, not made, by me)

The Practical Cook's July 4th Plate (eaten, not made, by me)

1. Boxed Cake Mix. I will admit that I’ve leaned on these too heavily over the years. Inspired by my baking friends, I’m going to try to wean myself. However, in a pinch this July 4th, I would totally throw some Sara Lee on the grill, top it with grilled peaches, and smile a big Southern smile while doing it. (Confession within a confession.)

July 4th Cupcakes (not made by me, definitely from a box)

July 4th Cupcakes (not made by me, definitely from a box)

2. Bottled Salad Dressing. Again, I’m not proud. Though I choose olive oil and balsamic vinegar for my daily work salad, my fridge contains at least 4 flavors of the bottled stuff due to family demand. It’s cheap, and it gets the salads eaten, but dressings are pretty easy to whip up. So there, I’m going to start trying to make only fresh.

The Practical Salad

The Practical Salad

3. Boxed Macaroni and Cheese. Truthfully, though I’ve eaten my share of this stuff, I don’t love it. I prefer the baked custardy style, or the super-creamy style. (For a serious picnic/potluck punt, add some extra cheese to the frozen Stouffer’s. It’s delish.) Again, I am guilty while confessing. Hmmmm. You can see why this is a work in progress. And a cheesy sauce is easy to make, as witnessed below.

Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic

Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic

Hope everyone is having/had a happy and safe Fourth of July! Send your declarations of independence into the comments box, or on Twitter.

Private confessions may be mailed to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading the Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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On deck tomorrow, Golden Sherry Squash, Mushrooms, and Onions.



Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table

2 responses to “Declaring My Independence: 3 Things

  1. I use oilve oil and a wonderful white balsamic from Capri Flavors in Morrisville. The vingear is good enough to drink. I put it on everything and haven’t bought a bottled dressing in years. It’s inexpensive too.

    Also–you must dress your salads with ingredients in the right order–oil, salt, vinegar, pepper. You’ll never turn back.

    • The Practical Cook

      Good tips on the order of dressing, and I will definitely check out that vinegar. Sounds amazing.

      But we may have to have a blind tasting for tomato sammies (referencing your post today)! 🙂

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