Is there any food where store bought is ever as good as homemade?
I love to cook and I do a lot of things from absolute scratch and they are the best, but always time consuming and let's face it, sometimes I'm a busy gal lol. Are there any foods you've found to be as good as (or even very close) to homemade?
Hubby brought home a Rotisserie chicken the other night from a store and I was actually very impressed by how moist and juicy it was. Sams also has excellent potato salad we had at a picnic the other night. Much easier than making a whole batch from scratch. For the most part though, I am very fond of doing things homemade.
One thing I have noticed is that frozen biscuits are just as good as made from scratch biscuits. I am not talking about the ones in the rolls that one might find in the cooler section. I mean a bag of frozen pre-made biscuits. I guess it is because something like rolled doe is pretty much the same no matter who makes it.
My mom realized this and now she saves time by buying the frozen ones.
I buy a lot of things from the store-even meals that I can plop into the crockpot. I too am busy and never have the time to make a lot of meals and baked items from scratch. The only thing I really don't care for are the cakes from my local grocery store because the buttercream frosting is so sweet. When I make a cake, I usually use the Betty Crocker frosting.
There are a few things that will stand the commercial processes. Jamie Oliver frozen foods in Canada for example. I find that essentially they have to be made fresh and frozen, with no preservatives and of course that means they tend to be locally produced.
Some salad dressings Renees for example are almost as good as home made, but in general fresh made at home is best!
Definitely, you can find some store brands that are just as good as homemade. I don't bake so I find good cakes and pies at Save-A-Lot, Safeway, and Shoppers. Shoppers also has the best rotisserie chicken, cooked thoroughly but still moist. COSTO has the best macaroni and cheese and the tastiest stuffed peppers. All of these make easy dinners in my busy life when I don't have time to cook.
I love to cook from scratch when I have time, but many days (especially week nights) I am in a time crunch and rely on quick dinners. I agree with your assessment of rotisserie chickens from the grocery store -- they are delicious and in fact my son's favorite meal. I usually serve them with mashed potatoes made from scratch and fresh veggies, so at least I feel I have cooked a portion of the meal. I will often make a double batch of mashed potatoes on the weekend, so I have mashed potatoes ready-made during the week. I just add a little cream and butter and reheat them, so it is really a quick dinner. But I digress. Sorry!
Something else my family finds perfectly wonderful is Stouffer's frozen lasagna. I'm sure true Italians would disagree, but for me the Stouffer's lasagnas are far better than anything I could make myself, so-so much easier, and not really any more expensive once I have purchased all the ingredients to make a lasagna from scratch. I like to get the huge party-size lasagnas because they are less expensive per serving, plus there are plenty of leftovers for my husband's lunch or quick dinners for the kids when they get home from evening activities.
I never make fried chicken -- just too much mess and not healthy -- but for a treat we sometimes buy it from Albertson's grocery store. We usually get this when we go visit my father-in-law. He loves Albertson's chicken. He is a true old-school Southerner so he knows good fried chicken. I'm not the best judge of fried chicken, but will take his word that Albertson's chicken is as good as homemade.
Frozen lasagna. I've made it from scratch, and the recipe tasted no better than the frozen and. frankly, wasn't worth the trouble. Nowadays, I have to buy the gluten-free kind , so in order to get the non-vegeterian kind, I may make it from scratch again. My husband makes the world's best biscuits, but he prefers to buy the canned ones because by the time he pours gravy over them, he says he can't tell much difference.
I think it depends on where you're coming from. My old roommate grew up on a dairy farm, and her mom made macaroni and cheese with fresh milk, and fresh cheese. Whenever the kids had a birthday, and could choose what they wanted for dinner, they chose macaroni and cheese---from a box.
Whole Foods, it's definitely pricey (and depending on where you're located you may not even have one), but they use only wholesome ingredients and usually have a hot meal bar to pack your dinner and go. If you're looking for something on the cusp of 1-2x a week, I'd definitely recommend them--they make an amazing glazed sweet potato, and even have specialty sandwiches such as curry chicken salad that is just amazing.
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