Most of the time I have a pretty masochistic cooking ethic. I always say, why let someone else do it for you when you can spend a whole lot of time doing it yourself? This is why Ryan and I eat out all the time.
There is one instant indulgence I permit: Ryan's beloved Kodiak Cakes brand Big Bear Brownies. I remember clearly the day he spied the boxed mix with its rustic packaging, the picture of the Kodiak bear threatening anyone who dared add eggs and oil. I remember his excitement. He thought they were really, really cool. Made with ever-trusty whole wheat flour and sporting a picture of a vicious bear, Ryan decided that these brownies were somehow different from the varieties enjoyed by freshman fifteen bound college girls. No, these were no treat for fat kids, they were for the truly hardcore.
So we bought the brownies. He loved them. As far as I was concerned, they were identical to all the other not-from-scratch brownies I have eaten over the years, but Ryan, blinded by love for the brown box with the mad bear, claimed they were truly special.
Sometimes when I go shopping by myself I will pick up a box to have on hand should a special occasion (or a tragedy) require we have a treat at the ready. I made them the normal way the first time, but the second time I used applesauce in place of half the butter. Because I hate fun.
Today Ryan spied me back at my old tricks, trying to spoil his delicious cakes again. He saw the applesauce.
"They taste better the regular way," he informed me.
Oh, weird. They taste better with a stick of butter than they do with applesauce? WEIRD.
So I made them with butter. Now they are in the freezer, because he is sure they taste better frozen. The man is strange.
I wish I could find someone who sells spinach with a picture of an angry bear prominently displayed on the label. We'd have a Popeye on our hands.