The continuing adventures of my cooking fun, again lacking pictures: today's first project was Ghirardelli brownies. Someone gave my sister a fancy brownie mix and she was never going to bake it herself. (And truth be told, she isn't wild about fudge topping on her brownies.) So I baked it up today as part of my quest to actually use some of the stuff in the pantry, since a lot of it has been sitting there for a while and most of it hasn't been used in ages. My mother had a hissy fit at me for tossing some of the stuff I found in the pantry, which expired in 2006! She says Bisquick and fajita helper kits don't go bad. Well, that's why they have expiration dates that go for a few years, so if it's a few years past date you know it's close to a decade old. The fajita helper kits, as I recall, have been sitting up there unused since the early nineties. So A) it's expired and B) if it's been up there that long she was never going to use it anyway.
The brownies came out really well, though since they're from a mix I can't take that much credit. It's an uber-rich gooey brownie with fudge topping that I had to warm up by putting the pouch in a bowl of hot tap water so it would be nice and gooey when I put it on top. Turned out pretty tasty. And let me tell you, all that baking from scratch I've been doing has left me with an appreciation for how easy it is if you use a mix! My mix cooking probably won't be over for a bit; there are a lot more mixes in the pantry.
Since I'd been rummaging through pantries, I pulled out a tin of anchovies, some olive oil, a can of green chiles, and a jar of red peppers, with the intention of mixing up spaghetti with peppers and anchovies for dinner. (What can I say, I'm Italian, and in terms of cooking that blood is strong-- so strong that the equally pervasive Jewish food culture from my father's side shows up in my cooking a lot less. But then, both Italians and Jews are matriarchal, and the Italian comes from my mother.) Turned out the anchovies had gone bad and the chiles were another one of those things things past their expiry date that my mother insists are still keepable, so I rummaged a little in the fridge and turned up some jalapeño chicken sausage. I had originally planned to whip up some crescent rolls out of a can to go with it but I realized that I don't yet have enough multitask to manage even that much separately. I fried the sausage and peppers together while I cooked the spaghetti, then drained the spaghetti, mixed, and added tomato sauce.
My mother pulled out a prebagged salad to go with it, and it was yummy dinner!
My column is "Cries of the Vintage Warrior"... my name is Kira Schiavone... and I am proud to be a member of this forum!