I don’t really like cooking. I’m no good at it. It’s no secret. Cooking from scratch, however, is so much cheaper than buying the high priced ultra processed versions at the supermarket. So, I’ve been trying to figure out why I don’t like it and how I can make it easier on myself.
Today I had an “Ah Hah!” moment.
In general I don’t like box brownie mixes because whenever I make them they end up being gooey and gross. Nothing at all like the lovely yummies you can buy in the bakery at the grocery store. As a result we don’t eat many brownies at our house.
A couple of months ago there was an awesome sale on box brownie mixes. You could get them for $.19 after coupon. I couldn’t help myself. That is too great of a deal. So I bought a bunch.
Since then I have been trying to figure out how to make my boxed brownies turn out better. I’ve added chocolate chips. I’ve cooked them longer. I’ve tried other bar recipes. (this one turned out really good actually…) But, nothing made them *perfect*.
Most Friday’s, in the past, I would take the Fisherman to work then stop at a gas station picking up a Dr. Pepper and the 3 year old would get a donut. Me and the two littles would then head off to the girl’s school to help out in the Take Home Reading library.
Since I gave up all soda this week I couldn’t very well stop at the gas station to get the 3 year old a donut. Too much of a temptation!
He was mad. So I promised him brownies. I’m a good mom after all. (ha!)
While making the brownies I noticed the “High Altitude” directions on the back. “Hmm” I said to myself. I talk to myself a lot, it helps. “I wonder what my altitude is.” So, I googled it. My city is roughly 4500 ft. The high altitude directions on the box were for over 3000 ft.
I have never actually considered following the “High Altitude” directions.
So I made the adjustments. I added 1/2 c. flour and increased the water. The brownies turned out great. (Not perfect, but much better.)
This got me wondering. So I headed back to google and did a little research on high altitude cooking adjustments. No wonder all the recipes I try from the blogosphere and the internet turn out different than written! *Most Recipes are created at SEA LEVEL!* Adjustments need to be made for those of us above the 3000 ft. level. It all has to do with atmospheric pressure and junk.
Maybe I’m not a terrible cook after all…
That’s my “Ah Hah!” moment of the day. Hopefully I can use the information I learned to improve my recipes and have success in the kitchen. Then maybe I’ll consider myself a *good* cook and like being in the kitchen more.
My County Extension’s website had the best information. I am printing out this pdf and putting it in my recipe binder. Allrecipes.com also had a great article on High Altitude Cake Baking.