Cooking can be a challenge and definitely overwhelming no matter how much experience you have. My daughters and I usually find ourselves in these two lines of thought:
- How are we going to recreate our favorite dish, but where did you put that recipe?
- How can we make something new… but what?
From this last question, we realized we had to find new ideas. Our next step was where to look. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources:
- Food blogs
- Recipes from friends and family
Cookbooks and magazines can be expensive, but so worth it. I have built up a library of cookbooks and I LOVE every single one of them. Some of my favorites are from our travels around the world. Having my go-to cookbooks at home is great. I use them weekly and I enjoy sharing the books and memories with my daughters. My daughters love being in the kitchen with me or even flying solo. So, I am always on the lookout to keep the process SIMPLE.
Never look for a scrumptious recipe again. It’s right there in the cupboard
Imagine never having to dig out recipes from a cookbook. I’m sure you have noticed the recipes that companies print on the back of their packages. A few years ago, I gave it a whirl, and it was such a delicious success with the ones I made. My girls are becoming quite accomplished cooks on their own. They understand the importance of ingredients in the food we buy. They noticed those recipes on the ingredients we buy and wanted to start using them in their cooking and baking.
I could quote a few:
“Mom, why is there a recipe on the back of this box?”
“Do you think it is good?”
“Why does the company do that?”
“Mom, why are you looking for a recipe in a cookbook, there’s one right here on the box?”
My response to the girls… Well! What do you think? Should we try them?
The best way to answer these questions is to start testing them out.
Imagine never having to look for the recipe! Ever Again! It’s on the box or bag in the pantry!
Yummiest treasure hunt ever!
The girls and I have been cooking for some time now and we love it. Cooking has created a connection between us beyond my wildness expectations. So, with their curiosity perked on discovering these little secret recipes right under our nose, a challenge formed in my head.
Watching the Great British Baking Show is a staple in our TV diet. We love how the contestants go through their challenges. I then challenged the girls and myself to push our baking and cooking experiences to discover new recipes.
Our mission: to discover and test the recipes behind the box, which each has turned out to be a little gem. It is by far the yummiest treasure hunt ever.
A trip to the grocery store has turned into a quest for new ingredients. Once we found one, then the question: What can we make today!
For many years, we have been making two recipes from the back of the box. The first is good old pancakes. It was one of our first recipes to make with the girls. They loved it. They always knew where the recipe was, and it gave them a tasty success at the beginning of their cooking journey.
The second recipe was and still is to this day our favorite chocolate cake ever. Yes! You can find the recipe for a yummy chocolate cake on the back of the box as well.
Time to have a brainstorming session with my daughters. We needed to figure out which ingredients have recipes on the package. And most importantly, which ones do the girls and I want to do?
With the girl’s curiosity in high gear, I asked them to write a journal. They need to keep track of our tests and a list of the recipes from the back of the packages they want to do.
I am very excited about this as it has made the girls curious about trying out new recipes and developing new tastes. It is always so much better when they ask to taste something new.
What we have made so far
Our first back of the box recipe challenge: PANCAKES
One of the first recipes I made with the girls. The box is very appealing if they want pancakes the recipe is there on the “pancake box”. They enjoy having this early morning treat, as they can get all ingredients out. The directions are easy, and the result is so delicious. To simplify the steps and keep them in control of the recipe, we literally make “A PANCAKE”. Yup just one BIG one, we make ours in an oven-safe pan ( I use a 12-inch circular pan, oven-safe) at 350 for 15 minutes. It comes out perfect every time. They are so proud that they get to make it. My oldest daughter has a plastic child’s cutlery-cooking utensil set. It is perfect because she gets to cut the Big Pancake like a pizza pie for us to share.
You can find the recipe here https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/pancakes/7b1b2ca4-2ce0-4d3c-932b-6855257e6e87
Our favorite Back-Of-The-Box recipe: Chocolate cupcake
Cocoa powder is a staple ingredient in our house, so when I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe why not see what’s on the box.
We took a look and there it was on the back of the box.
“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate cake
You can find the recipe here https://www.hersheys.com/kitchens/en_us/recipes/hersheys-perfectly-chocolate-chocolate-cake.html
But we like to have fun, so we made cupcakes.
Cooking and baking can be as simple or complicated as you wish.
For me, there are 2 hard parts in my cooking.
#1 Wanting to make recipe “X”, but where did I put it or see that recipe in which book, blog, video…?
#2 The Waiting until it is done before you can taste the fruits of your labor.
These first 2 recipes are excellent, simple and loved by us and our friends.
We will not stop there. With our new challenge, we are now on the hunt for and finding more recipes that everyone will love. The best part of it is you won’t have to look for the recipe anymore. It is right here, conveniently located in your pantry.
We won’t stop here
For the longest time, I almost convinced myself that cooking is hard and complicated. I should only stick with those recipes I had mastered and just repeat. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to live and work in Italy. This was such a great experience, not to mention the food. I learned from my adopted Italian Mama and friends that cooking is fun and beautifully simple. Thankfully, I have applied this same line of cooking with the girls and I strive to make cooking and baking as fun as possible.
Back-Of-The-Box recipe challenge is now part of our weekly cooking-baking routine. It has changed our view of grocery shopping, or should I say treasure hunting. We are finding a new recipe and look forward to sharing them with you.
Who is in with us to find these gems?