Sunday, May 31, 2015

What she's cooking now

Ok fast forward cause I'm a shitty blogger.  I know this.  Lately I'd rather do than write about doing, I should do a vlog.... but then I have been breaking out like a 15 year old and while I don't make a fuss about my looks on a day to day basis, photos and videos freeze me in time, and nobody wants that.

So I have added a few things to my cooking rotation that I'm pretty excited about.

Mac and Cheese.  The first and most exciting is this mac and cheese.  I have finally found THE recipe.  It's easy as sin and pretty delicious.  I'm still looking for the right combination of cheese.  I think using 100% sharp cheddar will be the winner.  But I've tried pepperjack, mild cheddar and parmesan.  Cheddar and mozzarella.  and cheddarjack, which I think is nild cheddar and jack cheese.  I have not tried 100% sharp cheddar yet.   Come to think of it, I have no idea why.

Anyway- this is the recipe, and I haven't used the buttery crackers, but last night I used some panko bread crumbs and that gave it a nice texture.  Next time I'll buy seasoned breadcrumbs.  I followed the directions exactly, except I didn't measure the noodles.  2 1/2 cups of pasta is not enough for how much sauce is made starting with 4 cups of milk.  I use a whole bag, I think that is 16 oz.  You want it to be a little saucy before you put it in the oven, but you don't want it to be soup.  Well, maybe it makes it even more cheesy if you do- but I have a lot of people to feed.  The recipe calls for 2 and 1/2 cups by volume, but the pasta is 16oz by weight.  So maybe it all works in the end.  I use a 16 box of pasta if it comes in a box.  The big bags are usually 32 oz so half of that.  whatever.  All I know is that 2 1/2 cups is not enough pasta.

Cinnamon Rolls.  1 hour Cinnamon Rolls to be precise and it does take about that long.  Which is awesome.  I have no idea how long it takes to make other cinnamon rolls, but the fact that they added how long they will take right in the name- makes it "Julie Friendly."  I'm not always a busy girl, but I am definitely a lazy girl and a fat girl, so I can take an hour to indulge myself.  I mean, my kids.   These are easy and tasty and my kids absolutely devour them.

Swedish Meatballs.  Look there's only so much I can do with ground beef.  The fact that you can make the meatballs in the microwave is great, but you can also make them on the stove or put them in the oven and you really can't tell the difference when they are buried in the sauce and pasta.  The oven baked meatballs seem to be the best, visually.  However, with the summer months coming up, maybe you don't want to turn on the oven.  The sauce is easy although I suggest your start with 1/16 tsp of nutmeg if at all, and go up from there.  I did the 1/4 tsp and it was too much so I added some white pepper to balance that out.  ProTip: do NOT sniff into a bag of white pepper.  My nose was burning for almost an hour.  

Hamburger buns.  40 minute buns.  These are delicious.  They are dense and taste spectacular.  I have not yet, but I plan to use this recipe to make dinner buns as well.    I have done it exactly as said in the recipe but I've also let them rise for 45 minutes.  I think they were a little lighter.  Either way, they are delicious and any leftovers we just eat with butter.  No South Beach Diet happening here.

I even made burgers the other night mixing just ground beef and cheese as a binder.  They were tasty, except the patties were round and flat when I put them on the bbq, but when they were done they were no longer flat, and no longer round.  My kid told me they looked like oversized and oddly shaped meatballs.  They were tasty though, but I will have to work on a better burger.

Lastly, Bread Machine Pizza dough.  One of the things I realized is that we were spending $100 a month on take out pizza.  There's 4-5 of us so we always have to order at LEAST two pizzas, then add delivery cost and tip.  Times at least once a week.  This recipe makes a fantastic dough.  I even pulled out my own pizza spinning tricks (I was never very good at that) but it was fun to reminisce.  You can make the sauce using tomato paste and tomato sauce and add seasoning, or even use spaghetti sauce, and add some more spices to cut the sweetness.  I added a dash of cayenne pepper as well.  Top with cheese and whatever else.  The best thing to do is put the crust in the oven for a few minutes before you add your toppings.  Makes for a more firm bottom and having stoneware in the house comes in handy!!!

The first time I made the homemade pizza I didn't have pepperoni, so I spiced up some ground beef with cayenne pepper, garlic and salt and pepper.  It was a nice substitute and I didn't have to go to the store.

So those are my newest cooking adventures.  Added to the tacos and meatball rotation.  I've been barbecuing again lately.  I have some ribs I was planning to make today, but I forgot to take them out of the freezer- soooooo maybe pizza tonight???

The Pinterest links are on my Food I've Made board.


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