Dec 30, 2010

Low carb snackin' for my sista's afflicted with type G diabetes

I have this friend, a pregnant one. She can't eat much for carbs right now because she has type G diabetes ( gestational). I thought it would be nice to post a tasty snack that I love that is also low in carbs and high in yum!
This can't really be filed under "Reasons Why I am Fat" because this snack is actually pretty good for you. This can, however, be filed under " Knock Off" because I had something similar at a joint called " Bar Abilene" in Uptown. Mine is better. True story.
This isn't the most inexpensive snack ever but it is so good, it is worth the splurge. And all that good fat in the avocado? So great for a fetus' brain development.
And this is easy!!
With out further ado, Guac and low carb chips.

Buy a bag of "Mission low carb tortilla chips". They exist, are about $3.00 a bag and are really, really good. I can't really figure out what makes them low carb except they seem thinner than a regular tortilla chip. But hey, low carb is low carb.
Buy 4 avocado, Hass avocado- they have a sticker on them that says "Hass" . I swear all other avocados are no good. You want the avocado to be firm but soft. It should have a little give when you squeeze it but NOT be rock hard. If you buy rock hard avocado, give them a few days and they will squish up a bit.
Buy a jar of salsa, whatever heat level you like.
Buy a bulb of garlic. Or the pre-chopped packed in oil garlic in a jar.

Things you should already have on hand:
Worcestershire sauce
Green Tabasco sauce

To prepare:

If you are working with raw cloves of garlic (fresh) peel out 4 cloves of garlic, on low heat in a tbsp. of olive oil, cook the garlic till it is a little brown and very soft. I chop the cloves to a small dice to ensure they mesh well in the guac.
If you are using jarred garlic, open your jar now.

1. Cut each of the avocado in half. Scoop out the pit. The easiest way is to take a spoon, whack the pit hard with the spoon and then pop it out with the spoon. I think whacking it with the spoon loosens it. But maybe I am wrong.
2. scoop the insides of the avocado out and dump them in a bowl.
3. Smash the avocado up in the bowl with a fork, but just to chunk it, not totally mashed.
4. Put about one cup of salsa in a colander and drain off the liquid.
5. Dump the drained salsa into the avocado.
6. Dump the garlic into the mix. If you use jarred garlic then dump about 1 teaspoon worth in.
7. Add a shake or two of Worcestershire sauce.
8. Add a shake or 3 of green Tabasco.
9. Using 2 forks, smash the crap out of the whole mix.
10. Dunk a chip in and enjoy.

This sounds like it takes a lot of energy but really? It doesn't. It costs about$10 including the chips assuming you have to buy everything on the list and you don't already have salsa in your fridge. Really though? Who doesn't have salsa in their fridge. Dunking veggies in the guac is also tasty. Thinly sliced cucumber has a pleasing chip like crunch.
I hope all my girlies with Type G diabetes enjoy a low carb treat. But most importantly, I hope you all feel better real real soon. I am pretty sure your kids will be even cuter because of how you suffer extra for them.

Dec 14, 2010

Reasons Why I am Fat: OREO TRUFFLES

Honestly, we could file Oreo truffles into the SOLE REASON I am a chubette.
So I hate Oreo cookies. Deal with it. I am still an American, I just hate them. Gross.
But when you pulverize a whole package of them to crumbs and add in a block of cream cheese? Well, you get the most delicious treat I have ever tasted. Excluding Mike and Ikes and banana taffy of course. But we all know fake banana flavoring is the best invention ever.
Here is the tastiest recipe ever. Ever. Seriously.

Oreo Truffles
One package regular oreos. No store brands, no double stuff, no low fat. Regular oreos.
One package Philly cream cheese. Or a store brand. But not any thing other than fully loaded.And not whipped either. Just a block of Philly.
Some white chocolate chips. Like a bagful.

Set the Philly out to get soft/ room tempature. You need it soft for mixing, it will not work well cold.
Crush the Oreo cookies to crumbs. Seriously, take some aggression out on them. They need to be pulverized. There are two good ways I have found. One is AWESOME and the other is o.k.
The awesome way: Put a bunch of cookies, about 1/3 the package in at a time, into a food processor. Pulse and chop them till they are crumbed. Dump into large mixing bowl and repeat till all are mashed.
The o.k. way: Stick cookies in Ziploc bag. Crush with rolling pin.

Combine the crushed oreos with the cream cheese. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer and it works great. If you have a mixer you will use, use the paddle attachment. It is the best one for the job. If you do this by hand, well, just make sure it is thoroughly combined.

Roll the Oreo dough into small balls. Maybe 1-2 inches in diameter. Place each ball on a parchment or wax paper lined sheet. This will make about 30 truffles.
Set the tray outside to get cold. Not frozen but definitely firm.

While your balls are firming up,(heh), melt the white chocolate chips. Get a second cookie sheet and a wire rack out, you will want to drip the truffles on the rack after you have coated them in chocolate.
Take each cold ball and dunk it in the melted chocolate. I use two forks to make a basket to transfer each truffle to the wire rack. Let the chocolate harden. Put the truffles in an airtight container. But first eat 7 of them. I know I did.
Share them with people you really love.
Seriously. Delish, and this is coming from a lady who HATES chocolate and oreos.

* I would just like to say that I made mine with a cute little red or green dot on top thinking it would be festive and Christmasy. Nope. I made tiny, truffle, Christmas boobs. Feel free to not decorate them. Or decorate them with a non nipple-esque decoration.

A post about fattness. Mine, specifically.

I love sweets. It is no secret I can generally be found with some kind of treat in my hand. Preferably of the fruity variety. Mike and Ike's make my heart soar. Banana Laffy Taffy? I drool just thinking about it. But the holiday season isn't much for Mike and Ikes, the holiday season and its requisite baking tend to involved heavy things, like chocolate and peanut butter. ( I intend some day to invent a cookie made with Mike and Ikes. And world peace will be achieved.) While I mourn the Mike and Ikes free holiday season, I thought I would share with you some recipes. This series of recipes is titled "Reasons Why I am Fat". And while I realize I am not actually fat, I eat a lot of sweets and reckon I could drop at least 15 pounds if I just stopped eating sweets. But what sort of life is that, I wonder?
And also, can some one please tell me how it is possible I still weigh 10-15 pounds more than my pre-baby weight but yet fit into all my pre-baby clothes/ sizes. Am I squishing out and I don't realize it? If I look a fool, you'd tell me right?

Kicking off "Reasons Why I am Fat. The Recipe Extravaganza" is a personal favorite. And also the easiest thing in the world to make. Butterscotch Haystacks.

Take one bag of butterscotch chips and melt. Preferably over a double boiler. I use a metal bowl place over a pot of simmering water. Who needs a double boiler when that method works just as well? Better, even. Maybe?
Dump one bag of chow mein noodles into the scotch chips. Give it a stir. Plop small piles onto wax paper or parchment paper to harden and cool.
Eat them for they are yummy.
Feel free to sub out the scotch chips for something you like better. White chocolate? Chocolate? And also, broken up pieces of pretzel work great in this instead of chow mein noodles.
So really, friends, I in essence gave you a recipe for melting something and then putting other stuff into it. Am I creative or what? Hahaha. Enjoy.

A post full of excuses for my absence.

I have been an absent blogger lately.There are tons of reasons. Chiefly, I am lazy. Secondly, I have transitioned from working to being a FT stay at home mother. While one would think this frees up crazy amounts of times for blogging, one would, in fact, be wrong.
I dreamed of lazy afternoon naps with my child in my arms. Sleeping late, lounging about in pajamas and maybe, if we felt like it, watching Disney movies while snuggled up in a blanket. And wouldn't you know it? Staying home as a full time mother is actually super challenging, hectic and exhausting. My sweet Lucia quit napping regularly right about the time I started staying home. And she also discovered she has a brain and likes to learn. No. LOVES to learn. She always wants to be in the world doing things and exploring and just figuring this whole LIFE thing out for herself. And I could be blogging about each and every adventure we take but honestly? I would much rather not have my camera or computer in my hands. I want to be with her, getting my hands dirty, laughing, running, getting grass stains from rolling down hills, covered in finger paint, exhausted from playing.
It has been a time of great stretching. Of great growth in my heart and in my soul and I get a fulfillment out of being with her I never thought was possible. While I will go back to work ,hopefully back into the field that I love, right now? I just want to be present and fully immersed in my daughter and our family. Because truthfully? It all goes by And I want to soak up this magical time of mommyhood. And Lucy is the coolest kid on the planet, who wouldn't want to spend all their time with her?

Apr 26, 2010

Vegetarian: On The Cheap

Sorry I have been gone for so incredibly long.
There are no excuses just blatant blog neglect. I am contrite to your outrage and bring you a humble, healthy apology.
The cost for this meal is a lot up front when we talk about supplies if you don't keep Olive Oil on hand or vodka or wine. It is about $25-$30 if you do not already have this stuff on hand. If you do, it is about $11.00 for the whole shebang. This recipe feeds 4-6 people. Double down and you get 8-12 servings for about $15.00 total. Or roughly $1.25 per serving. Please make this food and feed a bunch of people a really healthy meal. Think of the children!!!

Vegetarian Pasta ( PS...must love tomatoes)

Shopping list:
Tomatoes- any kind will do, about 1.5- 2 pounds worth. To make this super special grab heirloom tomatoes cause holy pretty purple and green tomatoes! ( roughly $6 total depending where you buy them. farmers markets or co-ops have the least expensive highest quality 'maters)
Olive Oil- but you already have this on hand right? The green kind, not the yellow kind. This is important. ( you already have this so it is free. Or about $10 for a really good bottle.)
Penne- about a pound, maybe you want to grab the whole wheat kind? Nummers. ( $3.00 for the whole wheat, less for white flour)
Garlic- fresh. Make sure that bulb is good and tight before you buy it. ($.50)
Vodka- if you are adventurous, white wine if you are Lutheran, nothing at all if you prefer.
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. ( what ever you have is fine, if you are not a sloppy drunk like me, buy a bottle of Vodka for about $15.00 or wine for about $3.00- the 3 buck chuck chard from Trader Joe's is REALLY good)
Heavy cream, NOT half and half or similar. ($1.49, I <3 Market Pantry)
Fresh basil if you feel like it ( free from your herb garden, about $1.00 to buy the plant from a green house or about $3.00 if you buy fresh herbs at the grocery store. Grow your own already)
Parmesan cheese if you want it ( we call this shakey cheese in our house) ( $2.50)

So now we advance to cooking.
Grab a big old skillet/ saucier/ sauce pan
grab a jumbo pot for boiling your pasta
a sharp sharp sharp knife

1. Start large pot of water on to boil.
2. In saucier add about 1/4 + a smidge of olive oil
3. with sharp knife sliver or mince ( whatever you prefer) the garlic, about 4 cloves should do.
4. add to the olive oil on low heat.
5. cook garlic until aromatic ( it smells like garlic). Just about 1-2 minutes. Do not over cook the garlic. yuck.
6. While the garlic cooks cube and seed your tomatoes. This is gross. Do it any way. ( Note.... to seed a tomato, cut in half and either squeeze the seeds out or scoop with a spoon.)
7. when the garlic is done take your wine/ vodka and add to the mix. You want about 1/4 cup of either. Don't do both, sheesh.
8. let the boozey garlic mess simmer a bit till it reduces by half.
9.Toss your 'maters in with the garlic/ booze mix and let cook about 15 minutes. Maybe 20 if you use heirlooms since they are beefier.
10. Is your pasta boiled? Good.
11. add a splash of heavy cream to the tomato slop, heat through.
12. Toss the strained pasta into the sauce and coat.
13. Toss the pasta con sauce into a large bowl.
14. Sprinkle fresh basil on top.
15. Maybe a dash of shakey cheese to the top? Real parm works great too.

I hope you like this. It is a variant to vodka pasta from Williams Sonoma. This nukes really well and is delicioso. Enjoy this fresh, delicious, hearty and inexpensive dish.

Apr 5, 2010

Lemony Caper Pasta: On The Cheap

Here is a fantastic, inexpensive, mostly vegeterian dish that makes my heart sing, my tummy rejoice and my budget stay in tact. I use chicken stock in mine but you can surely use veggie stock if you prefer. I won't lie, chicken stock is way better flavor wise in this dish so think hard about if you are a vegetarian or a sometimes omnivore and plan this recipe accordingly. Did I just cause you to question your every food related conviction? That is what I am all about, making you think the hard thoughts. And cooking food. I am also about that.

I have never had leftovers of this dish because the recipe is for 2 big bowls of pasta. Plan accordingly if you need to feed a larger crowd or like to nuke pasta for lunch. Not sure on its nuking abilities, I have a hunch it gets really dry...let me know your results if you try to nuke yours.
To double this recipe you only need one extra lemon and one extra cup of stock. The rest of the ingredients call for 1/2 or less of the container so you would just use what ever extras you have.
This recipe for 2 huge bowls of pasta is not super cheap, I'll be honest. About $6.50 but I think it is an indulgence worth taking. To double it, add about $2.50 to the bill. So for $9.00 you can feed 4 very happy people.

Shopping List:
One cup of chicken stock ( comes in a small box in the soup aisle)
One small jar of capers in brine ( non flavored and non vinegar packed)
One large lemon
2 shallots ( not two cloves if you are thinking of shallots being like garlic, two full shallots. Think of them like onions even though they have cloves in side. You need two full purple shallot bulbs)
About 1/4 to 1/2 box of thin spaghetti ( not angel hair, it won't hold the sauce as well as a thicker noodle)
Some thyme ( fresh or dried or not at all)
1/4 cup olive oil
2tbsp butter ( I just grab a hunk out of the dish, there is no exact science when it comes to butter)

To cook:

Boil a mondo pot of water for your pasta. This is a very quick sauce so you want to toss your noodles in as soon as the water boils. The pasta should be al dente- set the timer to whatever the box says and ignore your noodles till it beeps.

Grab a large pan ( sauce pan or saucier if you have one) You will need a fair amount of room because the noodles will join your sauce for a few minutes at the end and you need to have about 4-6 inches of depth and preferably about 12- 14 inches of diameter. A pan that meets these criteria is a fantastic investment. I bought mine 2 years ago on Mother's day special at Macy's for about $15. I use it is a wok and all sorts of other things.
Moving on....

1.In this pan over medium heat add 1/4 cup of olive oil.
2.Chop your shallots up finely.
3.Before you toss the shallots in your oil add your butter. You don't want to add it too soon because butter burns super easy. The olive oil helps prevent the burn so wait till the last second to add it.
4.Once your butter is melty toss the shallots in and saute for about 2 minutes until they are tender. ( Note: If your oil is spattering you need to turn down your heat, it is too hot to cook the shallots properly and they will burn).

5.To the butter/ shallot/ Oil mix, add in your cup of stock. Give it a stir and then let it simmer and burble until it thickens up, about 3 minutes. Maybe a smidge more.

6.While this is burbling, grab your lemon and a micro plane ( teeny bladed cheese grater) or zester or your regular old cheese grater ( use the fine blades) and zest up that lemon. You can skip the lemon zest if you want, I just think it adds more flavor.
7.After you have zested your lemon, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into your sauce. Careful to not get any seeds in there, it makes for a nasty surprise. Give your sauce a good stir.
8. Drain your perfectly cooked pasta, toss it into the pan with your sauce.
9. Toss the pasta with the sauce and let simmer in the sauce for about a minute.
10. While the sauce is simmering, drain and rinse 1/4 cup of capers. This is about 1/2 the small bottle.
11. Toss the capers and a pinch of thyme into the mix and toss it all around.
12. Serve immediately.
13. Enjoy the very satisfying yet light and delicious pasta.

ps....if you like meat with your pasta, a grilled fish seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice would go awesome with this dish... just saying...

Did you like it? Let me know!!
Got a good idea for a meal on the cheap? Shoot me a message and I'll tell you how to be a guest cheap skate. I don't just do entrees and the like, if you have any good food ideas for deserts, side dishes etc...I want to hear them and the internets want to read them!

Mar 31, 2010

Calzone: On The Cheap

The Jackson home is usually bustling with activity around 5:00 p.m. A squawking Lucy wants her dinner, some juice, a banana, a Popsicle, PICKLES ( oh how she screeches for pickles at decibels I can not fathom), Saint Michael is home from work and wanting to catch up on our days, change out of his monkey suit( he works at a business professional joint and not as a birthday party mascot for the record.) and play with our squawk box of a toddler. Where am I? Happily in the kitchen prepping some sort of easy wonderment for my family to eat. I am not a fussy eater, nor is my family. We know what we like and we try to incorporate goodness and flavor in all the food we feast on. Usually this involves orange cheddar cheese. I have a theory family happiness is proportional to the amount of processed orange cheese you consume. Maybe the NIH will fund me some research grants to figure it out.

Last night I made calzone. Nummers. This is one of the easiest, cheapest, tastiest, most satisfyingly gooey meals I make. I like to make this when we are in a hurry to get outside and enjoy the rest of the evening. I make this meal when we want something tasty the whole family loves and no one will complain about. I also make this meal because it is all about easy prep and for just over $3.00, this meal requires no cutting, chopping, shredding or kneading. Simply thawing, sprinkling and baking. Oh and jar opening.
This recipe requires ZERO slaving, kids can even help it is so easy. It also has little for nutritional value, but eat it and have a happy belly because it is a fun treat for the wee ones. And me...

Quick and easy family sized Calzone

your shopping list:

Frozen bread dough- Reeds is great and is about $.60 a loaf. You need one loaf white or wheat (white tastes better I think). Don't make your own, that would take a long time and be lame.

1 jar pizza sauce- We use Ragu traditional and you only need about 1/8 of the jar so you can pop it in the fridge for future use. It costs about $.17 worth of pizza sauce to make one huge calzone.

Shredded Mozzarella cheese- how ever much you like I use about 1/2 cup or $.50 worth

Shredded Cheddar cheese- ORANGE and how ever much you like, again about 1/2 cup or $.50 worth.

One small can sliced black olives- $.69 and it saves you the work of slicing. My scarred up fingers are grateful.
One sack o' peperoni- we use the Hormel ones. Full fat, not turkey based. You only need about 20 peperoni so you can certainly get a smaller pack if you want. It is about $.70 worth of peperoni because we get about 5 calzone out of a sack.

To make:

Take your frozen bread dough out 6 hours before you want to use it in warm weather, 8+ in cold weather. You do not want your dough super huge and puffy, just risen. Place the dough in a greased ( with shortening) pan of some sort, grease the loaf with shortening too as it will dry out a little as it rises. Leave uncovered. Don't poke at it. Go by the clock not by how it looks, this method has never failed me.

1.Once dough is thawed, heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Spread dough out, work with hands into a rectangle about 14 inches long and 6 or so inches wide. Toss the dough onto a cookie sheet.
3. Spread pizza sauce on the dough, I take it to the edge but you don't have to if you like less sauce. Spread out the peperoni as generously as you like. Eat a couple while you do this- it just feels right.
4. Sprinkle cheeses on top, as much as you like.
5.Sprinkle olives on top of this mess- omit if you are weird.
6. Grab the long side of the calzone dough closest to you and try to roll it, think jelly donut, over so you make a big, long log of dough and goodness. You don't really need to roll it multiple times, basically just make a log.
7. I like to sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and done. You should see cheese and what not burbling out the ends, this is a good thing.

9. Remove from oven, slice with pizza cutter and enjoy.

This recipe is really similar to a Stromboli, except not as fancy and super quick. I like that it is more substantial and bready than your average Stromboli, it makes it easier to enjoy on the quick.
You can stuff these bad boys with whatever pizza toppings you like. I make it this way cause, well, we know what we like.
If you try it, tell me what you stuffed it with. Please, nothing healthy, o.k.?

Eat this meal on paper plates and clean up is a cinch, and it gets you outside into the fresh air to work off all the cheddar cheese fat. Serve it with a salad if you must, but try not to ruin the unhealthy perfection, please?

Mar 24, 2010

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches: On the Cheap

Some where out there you have a sandwich soul mate. I bet you didn't know that?
True story. I have found my favorite sandwich in the entire world. The best part is, aside from the sodium in them, they are really healthy and low calorie. Oh, and you cook them in a slow cooker. Hello, delicious, cheap, easy meal. If you do not have a slow cooker ( and why wouldn't you?!) you can toss these in a casserole and simmer in the oven for many hours on low.

Total cost:
About $7.00 for 4 chicken breasts, stock, soup and buns.

This chicken dish is cheep cheep cheep ( that is a barnyard pun...please forgive me)

Your shopping list:
Chicken breasts of the bones less skinless variety. 1 per person. My recipe assumes 4 people, obviously double as you increase your group.
1 box of Lipton Onion soup mix. The Market Pantry brand is just as awesome and way cheaper.
1 4-6ounce can/ box of chicken stock

Cooking Instructions:

Dump the container of broth into the crock pot, if you bought it in one of those little cardboard containers it makes a very satisfying sound if you dump it over and squeeze the box. Try it, I dare you not to love it.

Add in 1 packet of onion soup mix. Stir in. I like to let the broth warm up with the mix in it before I add the chicken because I like it to be soupy. But you don't have to, you can totally just dump it all together.

Add in chicken. Raw chicken is a color I can only describe as pale, try not to look at it.

Cover the pot and simmer on low for about 6 hours. Or high for about 2.5 hours. Low lets you leave your chicken babies in the crock pot while you are at work. Trust me, 8 hours in the pot will do no harm. It will only make your chicken juicier and more delicious. If you are leaving for 8 hours, add in a couple extra ounces of stock to compensate.

Open up the top and take two forks and drag them through the chicken to shred it. This should take about 4 seconds because the chicken is so tender.

Pile a big blob of chicken on a whole wheat bun ( I prefer mine toasty in the broiler) and enjoy the crumbs out of it. This chicken nukes up amazingly.

Guess what guys? This chicken dish is actually really good over rice with fresh veggies on top- think Curie.
Try a few different mediums but try this chicken. I swear you will like it! And your kids will like it, even your " I hate everything that isn't white or blu-razzberrie flavored" kids will like this.

For a super decadent sammie add a dollop of sour cream on top. It tastes like french onion chip dip.

Mar 23, 2010

Mac and Cheese: On the cheap

I am a connoisseur of all things cheddar, the oranger the cheese, the happier the Sarah.
I prefer my cheese to have zero nutritional value and I like it to have at least 150 grams of fat. In fact, if the serving size on the bag is less than 1/4 cup, I guarantee that is a cheese I would eat.Something about the way melted orange cheddar gets that orange grease on it just makes me swoon. Why am I still sporting an inner tube around my midsection? Now you know. Now you know.

This Christmas my big brother's beautiful wife Rachel made a feast for our massive gang to enjoy. Any time Rachel cooks, find a way to invite yourself as I guarantee you will never eat better. My job was a side dish, easy right? I decided that a holiday where a whole pile of people would be eating together was a great time to get creative and challenge myself. I made a faboosh truffled mac and cheese.This mac and cheese was so special, it was made with aged white cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, truffle butter,garlic and shitake mushrooms. Divine. Every one liked it but I got a resounding chorus of "Gosh darn it send me the recipe, omit the mushrooms. Thanks." Well this was an eye opener. I had made a $40 mac and cheese and every one much preferred the regular old kind, cheddar, mac and done. Inneresting....

Something about that orange cheddar is magic, MAGIC I tell you.

Well I have since perfected my mac, sans shrooms and cut it down to a very budget happy, not at all healthy, $6 to make an entire 9X13 pan of home made mac. Oh, and read the bottom of the recipe for the best nuker version for leftovers.

Your shopping list:
4 cups of cheese- cheddar of the orange kind is the bulk of it, 3 cups or so, maybe toss in a cup of Monty jack or white cheddar too.
1 box of shells.( medium sized shells work GREAT as they hold the cheese in their pocket, like a cheesy kangaroo. Would you eat cheesy kangaroo? I would.)
1 & 1/4 cups milk. NOT SKIM.
A couple squirts of mustard- yellow of course.
Salt, pepper
1/2 stick butter

With out further ado:

Sarah's Mac and Orange Cheese casserole:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Boil pan of water- a big one.

1.Dump the pasta into the boiled, salty water
2. While those little babies are are cooking to al dente, grab a sauce pan and put in a 1/2 stick of butter, slowly melt it.
3. Once butter is melted add in a couple tea spoons of flour. Do not use the tsp. measuring spoon. Grab your regular old spoon from the drawer and shake a couple of tea spoons of flour in the butter. You are making a rue, this is a thickening agent for a sauce. Whisk this mess all together till it is blended and a pasty yellow color. Don't try to eat this, I know you will want to, it tastes like it looks, I have done it and just saved you a really weird experience. Although isn't learning I ate melted butter and flour a really weird experience for you?
4. To this mix of pasty rue ( my stripper name) a cup to a cup and a quarter of milk and whisk together till it is well blended. Let it start burbling on the stove, you'll need to turn the heat up a bit to achieve this. See if your sauce is starting to thicken, if it gets too thick, add a dash more milk. Do not use skim, you will regret it.
5. To the milky rue add in a couple squirts of yellow mustard, you can get fancy and try a Dijon or something but I promise, people much prefer things that taste like the color they are ( purple Popsicles and green jello any one?).
6. Whisk in the mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
7. Let burble till your noodle babies are done boiling. Whisk occasionally, cream sauces break really easily and separate if they stand too long or get skin on top. You don't want a broken, skinned sauce. It will make you sad.
8. If you haven't already done so, shred your cheese. You need 4 cups of orange cheddar. If you were smart you bought the already shredded kind. We call that the Sarah Special. Cause I am lazy, obviously. A tasty mix of cheese is 3 cups Orange and 1 cup white cheddar or Monty Jack. Or 5 cups of cheese if you are adventurous....And want to die young of cholesterol clots in your brain.I admit, sometimes I tempt fate and toss in 5 or so cups.
9. Drain your noodle babies and add in the sauce, stir it up add in the cheese, stir again.
10. Dump in a greased casserole, cake pan, whatever will hold that mess.
11. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. You want every thing melty and burbly.
12. Enjoy. Holy yum.

Nuker instructions in case you don't kill it the night before:

1.Grab your leftover mac, nuke it for about 1 minute.
2. Remove from nuker, sprinkle some more cheese on top to freshen it up. ( Any time I sneak away to "freshen up" at a party, you better believe I sneak away to eat cheddar.)
3. Nuke again for about 45 seconds.
4. When your mac is delicious and melty, put some awesome fresh tomato on top. I tell you, nothing will taste better coming out of a microwave than that. Wow.

My recipes are how I think them out in my head. If you need a more scientific explanation of any thing just let me know. I made this one up on my own and am darned proud of it. I hope you like it!

Mar 8, 2010

Terriyaki Chicken: On the Cheap!

Recently a friend lamented about her bill after she bought some chicken terriyaki from a large chain Asian restaurant. While I detest this restaurant for their bland, flavorless food and absurd prices, I thought I'd share a better way to get this dish. The following recipe is both tastier, better for you and cheaper.
I am not a nutritionist or anything so no suing me over the following recipe. I am not paid to endorse any of the following brand names, they just taste good and work for the "Explains It All" family. So buy whatever you want and take the following recipe for cheap-o chicken terriyaki with a grain of rice.

To do this up easy peezy and on the cheap:

Go to the store and buy:
One back of Bridseye "Steam Fresh" white rice with vegetables
One poundish of raw chicken- the Gold'n'Plump tenders kind of rock.
One bottle of your favorite Terriyaki sauce from a big box chain Asian type restaurant ( they all sell their sauces, it is darned right predatory if you ask me!!)
-or, you could stick it to the proverbial man and just buy some terriyaki at the grocery store.

Grab your self a pan you can brown up some chick'n' tenders in, some oil of the flavorless variety ( canola is a good choice) and a spoon/ spatula/ kitchen implement that can get raw chicken and hot fat on it- I highly recommend a wooden spoon and here is why:

Pop those chicken tenders into oil that has been heated to the point where when you put the end of the wooden spoon into the oil you see bubbles. This means it is frying temp.
Brown that chicken up for about brownish minutes. Seriously, when it is golden brown on all sides you should be ready to safely consume the chicken. Or get fancy and use a meat thermometer- whatevs.

Once your chicken is brown and beautiful, lay it to drip dry on some paper towels.
While your chicken is getting a spa treatment on some Bounty, you pop that bag of rice into the nuker and cook it up per the package instructions.
When it dings, carefully dump the rice into two portions/ bowls/ plates.
Toss that chicken on top and pour your terriyaki sauce down on top of the whole mess. Enjoy your sloppy, cheap Terriyaki. Take THAT big chain blandness and your steep price tags too.

I have done this meal a couple of times. The price tag for this meal with the sauce from a restaurant chain- $9 for two portions. Keep in mind there is enough sauce in that bottle to make this meal 4 or so times. If you buy 2 bags of rice, this meal will feed 4 people for about $10.50 total. It really is inexpensive and tasty. The price tag for this meal if you buy terriyaki from the grocery store? About $7.00 for 2 portions, $8.50 for 4. That totally beats $18.00 for two portions at that other crap place or $36.00 for 4 portions just for the pleasure of them doing this same basic thing and bringing it to you on a plate instead of doing it at home.
We tend to eat out when I am too lazy to wash dishes. After doing the math, $9.50 is worth it to me in savings to just wash some dishes and eat at home.

So next time you think of take out to feed your sloppy, starved, out of energy face, think cheap, fast and easy.
Stick it to the man, save your money, eat at home!