Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Macaroni & Cheese

I'm working on a food storage plan called "Not Your Mother's Food Storage." The idea is to make a list of meals you can make quickly and easily (and that your family will eat) and have those foods readily available in your food storage, whether that is in your pantry, cold storage, freezer, or fridge. This is one of the recipes I wanted to try to see if we liked it before going out and buying a lot of processed cheese to keep in storage. Good news is it is one of the best Mac & Cheese recipes I've ever tried. It's TONS better than that stuff in the blue box.

Macaroni & Cheese
6 T. butter
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. onion powder
2 cups milk (or use reconstituted powdered milk or 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup water)
8 oz. processed American cheese
2 cups dry elbow macaroni, boiled until just tender and drained
Grated cheddar cheese, optional
1 cup saltine or Ritz crackers, crushed, optional
2 T. butter, melted, optional

Melt 6 T. butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt, and onion powder until smooth and bubbly. Slowly add milk while whisking. Simmer until mixture thickens. Cut the processed cheese into cubes and add to the white sauce. Stir until melted and smooth.

Pour sauce over macaroni and mix through. You can serve it this way, or make it into a casserole by placing the macaroni and cheese in a greased 8x11” casserole pan. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Combine crushed crackers with 2 T. melted butter and put on top of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cinnamon Chip Loaf

Cinnamon Chip Loaf
from King Arthur Flour

I made this a couple days ago when I was trying to decide what to take to my Relief Society Get-to-know-you Social.  You can go to the website listed above to get the exact recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I'll summarize what I did in the instructions below.  I doubled the recipe and made 6 of my small loaves.  Then I doubled it again and made three large loaves (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") I think.  My kids thought this bread was "delicious, very good, delectable, insanely amazing, 'twas yummy, 'truly scrumptious.'"  (That last description was vocalized in song.  We watched Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang a couple weeks ago.)  Next time I make the bread I'll try to take a picture.  My little loaves were beautiful.

1 1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup cinnamon chips

Place half of the flour in your mixing bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Stir with a spoon to make sure it is all mixed together well.  Cut butter into little pieces and put in mixing bowl.  Add warm water and mix well.  After mixing a little bit, go ahead and add the egg and vanilla.  Gradually add the rest of the flour until a soft dough forms.  (For a double batch I used about 7 1/2 cups of flour).  Let the dough knead for 5 to 6 minutes, adding the cinnamon chips after 3 minutes of kneading.  (I used the cinnamon chips Valerie gave me to try.  She purchased them at The Prepared Pantry.  Today we are going to Idaho Falls and will extend the trip to purchase some more cinnamon chips in Rigby.)  Let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately an hour.  Form into loaves.  (King Arthur says this should make one 2-pound loaf).  Let rise in greased loaf pans until doubled.  While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil about halfway through baking. The bread's crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on a digital thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven, gently loosen the edges, and turn it out of the pan. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.  I can't remember how long I baked the bread, but it didn't take the full 40 minutes.