How to Improve Recipes from a Box
Do you want to mix things up, take some risks, and make some changes to the same old boxed recipes you have prepared so many times? Would you like to improve your slightly blah, ho-hum boxed goods? I will provide useful tips that will energize and improve the box recipes you have in your pantry.
Turn theses everyday dry goods into something really delicious. Maybe you’re like me, you love to make it special, and want to make it your own. Do you like the convenience of prepared items, yet not crazy about the end results with the taste especially?Here are simple changes that you can do to your boxed recipes, to turn them into all-time family favorites.
Did you ever consider changing the process, or ingredients on the back of the box? One of the main methods I use is to substitute ingredients. For instance, a boxed brownie recipe calls for oil, as the fat. Try using margarine! Use the same quantity the recipe calls for. Margarine is a much better item with baked goods. You will also melt the margarine in the microwave. Let for at least 5 minutes before adding. These two little steps will make a gigantic difference in the end results. If you make this substitution with boxed brownies, the end result will go from plain and dry, to moist and chewy! Also, to make a really thick brownie, make a double batch! They will be thick and delicious!
Not sure they are done? There is nothing worse than improperly baked brownies. Underdone; and it is a gooey, inedible mess, Overdone; and they are dry, the edges are hard, and they taste burned! I have a fool proof method for checking doneness. Slightly tilt pan back and forth and when center does not move, they are done. When brownies are uncooked the center will make a noticeable shift when tilted. Also, remember to add extra time if adding ingredients such as chocolate chips to brownie batter. They will take substantially longer and may require you to turn temperature down 20 degrees,. This will keep the brownies chewy and moist.
If you want to be adventurous, make your own frosting. It produces a product far superior than that stuff in a can. Who doesn’t love home made frosting? How about some of that caramel, or Irish cream coffee flavoring in your pantry? Wow, now that’s it, be creative! Use the basic frosting recipe on the powdered sugar label, and then add your touch! I like to include a dash of salt. It makes a huge difference and brings out to flavors. If you make a vanilla frosting, add extra extract, to dramatize the flavor. Cocoa powder is essential for making chocolate frosting, and salt brings out the deep rich flavor of the chocolate. Sometimes, I add raisinettes, or other chocolate covered fruit into the frosting. They are amazing especially cold! Also, try using buttermilk, or cream cheese to your frosting, and you will be amazed at the delicious flavors based off the base recipe.
Another change I like to make is to the boxed cheesecakes you find at in the baking goods aisle. I will cut the milk called for in half, and replace with sour cream. I then follow recipe as directed. The end product will be a much creamier, and have a more cheesecake like consistency. I also sometimes add golden raisin to the crust.
If your choosing to improve a boxed meal like macaroni and cheese, or hamburger helper, great ways to improve these meals is to add as m any of fresh foods as possible. I love adding chopped ham, and low fat shredded cheddar, with one or two percent milk, and mix in some veggies, like broccoli or asparagus. This not only bulks up the meal, it makes it more nutritious, and gives you a whole new menu choice for your repertoire.
If you want to improve you ho- hum, lack luster recipes, try making a few simple changes like these and taste the difference for yourself!