You probably know I generally have the time and inclination to take the long slow path toward dinner. I will spend all day making stock for sauce and soup. I don't mind making a thing to make another thing. Sometimes I roast heads of garlic, separate them, and put them in a jar with oil to use later. Etcetera.
Also, I have cookbooks from several eras, and I like to try the baking recipes. But that doesn't mean I don't buy Duncan Hines cake mixes several at a time when they're on sale, to use once in a while when I'm in the mood.
I don't like making cake with them just straight according to the recipe on the back. The cake is fluffy, but doesn't have much depth. You can do all sorts of things to them, though, and the company which produces them knows that, always offering new recipes to encourage people to buy them.
Mom, who cooked from scratch more than most moms in the 70s, sometimes made cookies with them, and this is a week I'm thinking about Mom, so I did, too.
But before I did that, I pounded some roasted garlic cloves in the mortar with oregano and thyme I picked a few weeks ago, and some sea salt, and smeared it over split chicken breasts to cook for dinner later on. After several hours, I roasted them at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes. We ate those with roasted (15 minutes at 400) zucchini and yellow squash, and then also strawberries and raw baby carrots because my son finished dinner for me. He will steam a vegetable, but not if it doesn't have to be.
I keep the herbs in a bag like this, then just shake some out or crumble a bit of stem to get what I want.
These chilled in the refrigerator all afternoon, then I took them out to start warming while I preheated the oven.
I buy big packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips at Costco, but stock up on these other varieties, plus nuts and coconut when they're on sale before and after holidays. I just keep them all together in a big storage container. I put 1/2 cup of each of these chips in with the cake mix.
The cake mixes generally want two eggs and 1/2 cup melted butter or oil to make cookies, and you can add a little flavoring. Some come out sweeter than others. They take a little longer to bake than most cookie recipes, at 350º.
The garlic mush, with the addition of a little olive oil before roasting, made a nice bit of crust over the chicken.
There is a little chicken left. One of my sons and I both cut a portion from our chicken breasts before eating, then he bagged the remainder for me to use for soup stock. This, and also cost per portion, and also better flavor, is why I buy chicken parts that have not had their bones removed.
PS: When I roast a whole chicken, I freeze the neck to use later. There is my special tip for you; chicken stock or soup tastes better if you simmer it with the neck.