Thursday, January 20, 2011

Family Feasts for $75 a week-Book Review- Part Dos

Yesterday, I talked about the book Family Feasts by Mary Ostyn. The first section was all about tips on saving money. This section is all about the recipes that I've tried.

Homemade Cocoa Mix
3 1/2 cups powdered milk
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup powdered coffee creamer
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Place ingredients in a bowl and stir together. Stir in air tight container at room temperature for up to a year. Makes 24 servings. To use, place 1/3 cup of mix in a mug and add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve.

How did it go: Tastes just like the store bought version. One small problem though, it does require a few more scoops than the store bought. Not sure why. And dissolve well because the cocoa powder does taste bitter.

Really Big Biscuits
Makes 16 prep time: 40 minutes
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup cold butter
2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Use a box grater shred cold butter into mixture and stir to distribute it evenly through dry mixture. Add milk gradually, stirring just until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 15 times. Pat or roll dough out to a 1-inch thickness. Cut biscuits using a large glass dipped in flour. Keep patting remnant of dough together and cutting biscuits until all dough is used.
4. Brush excess flour off biscuit and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until edges begin to brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Alternatively, you can just plop out dough rounds onto a baking sheet and bake them. This is the method that I used (she recommended it too). How did they turn out? Well. They're not the same as store bought canned variety which are fluffier and more buttery. But I'm thinking it's my ingredients. A different type of flour or perhaps substituting butter milk for the milk might make a difference. Although, please keep in mind, baking is not my strong suit.

Better-than-boxed Macaroni and Cheese
serves 6 prep time: 25 minutes
12 to 16 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard, like Colman's
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (Monte Jack or Colby is fine too)
4 ounces cream cheese (optional
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
sweet paprika (optional)

1. Cook macaroni according to directions. Drain and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, whisking as you pour it in to smooth incorporate it into flour mixture. Heat until mixture thickens, stirring frequently. (For those of you who don't cook a lot, what you have at this point is a basic white sauce. If you add celery, you could turn it into cream of celery soup.....)
3. Add mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to white sauce. Let simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Gradually add Cheddar, cream cheese, and 1/2 cup Parmesan. The sauce is done when cheeses are well combined, smooth and melted.
4. Add macaroni to sauce and stir until well mixed with sauce. Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan and a bit of paprika for color.

The verdict? My favorite mac n' cheese thus far. Hubby suggests adding tuna for pizazz and I would also put bread crumbs as a topping.

She also includes Ethiopian and Korean recipes because she has adopted children from both those countries.

Hope that you enjoyed the series. Next up is a discussion about the Sabbath as it relates to some of our fellow Christians and Catholics and since there was some interest, I will follow that post with a Sleep devotional.

Topics I'm contemplating on setting a poll about:
1) "And you think your preacher talks you to death" a meditation on Eutychus's fall
2) Capital Punishment, Race, and the Catholic Church
3) The Adventures of Senior Tush Tush and the Lost Shirt: a blog comic
4) Healthy Meals for Less, great-tasting simple recipes under $1 a serving- a book review

But I won't set it up until I finish the other ones.

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