Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This'n That

What a Good Idea Instead of opening a can of cream of mushroom/chicken soup that so many recipes call for (well, they do around here) make your own white sauce. It's nearly as quick as opening a can and laboriously scraping out the contents. And with less salt, always a good thing.

4 T butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of white pepper
1 cup milk OR chicken OR beef bouillon

Melt butter, stir in flour, add pepper, pour in liquid and stir until smooth.

Variations - saute 1 cup sliced mushrooms in butter, add the flour and use beef bouillon instead of milk.

From The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever" by Beatrice Ojakangas Chronicle Books 640 pages $24.95

New and Good at Trader Joe's Disclaimer: I am not a professional shill for Trader Joe's. I go in one, select items, take them to the cash register and pay in full for them.

Sweet Chili Sauce -- it's a thick, viscous blend of chilies and garlic. It's sweet rather than hot and you can pour it directly over a bar of cream cheese for "Instant Delilah Sauce."

Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies. These are sandwich style- like Oreos - but much bigger and thicker. Dense with raisins, carrot shreds and rolled oats (they had to be to hold together) they have a faint, flour-y back taste. They're also a whopping 290 calories per cookie! Still, that beats what? 1,200 calories for a slice of carrot cake?

Trader Giotto's Fettucine Alfredo The bag felt lumpy when I took it out of the freezer, but I just figured the pasta had frozen in clumps. Not so! The "clumps" were little nests of pasta; the sauce looked like pats of pale butter. Easy to make -- put 2 T water in a skillet, add the pasta and the sauce pats and cook for four or five minutes.

Figuring you could take out the amount you needed and put the bag back for next time, I removed three nests and three pats and cooked them. Last night I decided to polish it off and you wouldn't believe the number of pats that were left over! (Talk about creamy!) Best to cook it all and just stow the leftovers in the refrigerator.

Sunderland Follies I'm glad, of course, that young Abby was rescued, but she never should have been there in the first place. Dad -- the Great Sailor -- sends her off, knowing that by the time she gets there, it'll be bad weather in the Indian Ocean. Mom cries, "We're broke!" and yet, she's days away from giving birth to the couple's eighth (8th) child. Calling Child Protection Services! Paging Planned Parenthood!

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