NOPE! I don't. Not a penny. It's shameful really (j/k). I usually use what my mom uses and she uses what my grandma uses... this goes all the way back to prehistoric times. If you like another brand name, by all means, use it! It won't affect the recipe. If another brand is on sale - DEFINITELY buy it, there is no shame in saving money, and even I will vary on brands from time to time if I get a good deal.
Don't a lot of these packets have recipes already on them? Or even on the brand website?
They sure do. Most packets contain a recipe on the back and you can also visit their website for even more variations. If you want to use those, feel free, but I typically always tweak and add in order to please myself and my family.
Do you really think it is easy, or even cost-efficient, to use packets instead of using your own mix of seasonings?
Easy? Yes, very easy. Think of the time you spend looking through your spice drawer/cabinet/rack, then digging around looking for your measuring spoons, dirtying them up and then putting everything away, when instead you could just rip open a packet and throw it away. Of course, if you are a super organized person this may not be an issue for you, but we can't all be perfect.
As for cost-efficient? I'm going to go with probably not. But we aren't talking millions of dollars here - packets cost anywhere from 50 cents to 2 dollars and if you stock up when they are on sale you really aren't losing that much. Plus some recipes call for some crazy spice you only need once and then you have more clutter you don't need!
One final note on this issue - I used to always buy taco packets. BUT, I just recently got my hands on an excellent recipe for taco seasoning that is almost identical to the packet. So now I mix up a big batch of that, seal it in Tupperware and store it in my pantry, taking out what I need as I go through the month. I will post this recipe eventually, when I run out of the massive supply I currently have.
Will you only post recipes that use packets?
Originally I had planned to do only recipes that involved packets, but then I wouldn't be able to keep this blog going for very long. So instead, I decided that really when people think of cooking with packets they think of easy meals they can throw together quick, sticking with that I will post recipes along those lines. Word of warning though, sometimes I might feel dangerous and throw in something complicated, but only if it is REALLY worth the time and trouble.
Has anyone ever told you that your pictures need a little work?
Shockingly enough, I am not a photographer, if the pictures hurt your eyes, scroll down and just read the recipe!