Friday, October 18, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits

These are super yummy.  I make them so often, the ingredients are on the sticky note inside my cabinet with the tortilla recipe. They're from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. However, I disobey him. He says not to bother souring milk, but I find the soured milk version to be super fantastic, and so so much better than spending money on buttermilk that I'm not going to use all of it anyway. But anyhow, here's how much it costs. 


2 Cups Flour - $0.26
1 tsp salt - $0.01
3 tsp Baking Powder - $0.12
1 tsp Baking Soda -  $0.03
5 T Butter, cold, chopped into bits - $0.31
(nota bene - Mark says use 2-5, more being better,
 I'm with him. More. Also, BJ's is awesome - 
I got salted butter for $1.95/pound) 
A jot less than 7/8 Cup of Milk (I use whole) - $0.19 (my gal was 3.18)
1 T Lemon Juice - $0.06

First make the buttermilk by pouring the milk into a liquid measuring cup. Eyeball it, so it's about halfway between 3/4 and 7/8 of a cup. Add the lemon juice and stir. Set aside. Don't take too long moving on, here.

Look, you can see it souring. Cool, huh?

Mix together dry ingredients. Toss in butter pieces and rub between your fingers to mix. Speedy like, cause your hands will melt the butter. Then add in the buttermilk and stir nice and juicy like. 
Pour some flour on a countertop. Wipe the batter onto the flour. Add some more flour to the top, and pat down. Give a cute little girl a glass, and let her shape the biscuits.

Place on non-stick cookie sheets, bake in pre-heated oven at 450 for around 7 minutes. Judge your oven for yourself. Mine has some hotspots, a tendency not to be hot enough, and is gas. So that's mine.

Sorry no picture of done-ones. They get eaten too fast. I like to double the recipe and freeze half. If you do this, make sure to defrost your dough or you get uncooked middles.

Total Cost for 12 Biscuits (1 recipe): $0.98

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pasta Challenge - Week 2 - Shanghai Noodles

Week 2 brings us Shanghai Noodles. This recipe is fantastic, and the leftovers are just as good. We had a ton leftover, and all was gone in two days. We're giving it a 5 out of 5 stars. I also will be adding this recipe to my store of staples, as the price is good as well as the flavor.


6 T oil - $0.18
2-4 T sesame oil - $0.40 (I used 4T)
4 C shredded cabbage (I used a head) - $2.29
1 C chopped green onion - $1.99
16 ounces angel hair pasta - $1.29
4-8 T soy sauce (I used 6 and more at table) - $0.64
8 ounces sliced cooked chicken breasts - $2.46
2 cans bean sprouts - $2.49 (I used only 1 can, as I was running out of space in my wok).
 1 yellow onion - $0.45

This meal is really easy, too, but you have to have a huge pan or a wok if you want to make as much as I did all at once, and if you do, still expect a mess. I made quite a mess on the stovetop. 
First, grab a few chicken breasts and steam them in your rice cooker. If you can't steam 'em, you can saute', broil, or boil them. As you wish. I like the rice steamin' idea, though, as they end up moist and delish if you toss in an onion.

ewww, raw stuff
Cook that angel hair pasta, but not too long at all. Boil the water and stir the pasta about for maybe four minutes. Remember it's going to cook again in the wok.

I liked this brand of pasta. yum

boiley, boiley
For the rest of my cooking experience this meal, I was holding my cute lil yum-tastic baby, so I didn't get any more cooking shots.

Would you deny him mama-time? Super cuteness.
Heat the oils in the wok/super big pan. Add the cabbage and chopped green onion and saute for about 10 minutes. Yes, the recipe on says 5, but it's not possible to do so. I'm telling you. There's way too much cabbage to move it all around that fast. Add pasta, soy sauce, chicken, and bean sprouts. (PS - you can totally go sans chicken on a meal-less Friday or just for money saving spectacularness). Stir it about for what feel like you've just done some serious lat-pulling. Then do it some more, so it's all mixed up and even-like. Here's what you get. It'll be sticky and delicious. Sriracha is a fantastic addition if you like spicy. 

oh yes. yum.
Here's what happens if you serve this.

Total Cost for 2 Adults, 2 Children, and 4 leftover lunches and 1 more leftover dinner: $12.19. Imagine no chicken: It moves down to: $9.73.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pasta Challenge! Week 1 - Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus

I have received a challenge from my husband to make a new kind of pasta - one I've never made before - every Sunday. Today I begin with something simple, having had to do the shopping and cooking today. This meal is great to make fast, though it has ingredients you probably don't already have stocked, so you have to go to the store. It's also a little pricy, but pretty tasty. Definitely don't use a pound of asparagus. It cost too much, and it was too much asparagus. Oh, and I shopped at Safeway this time, just so you know where my costs come from. Overall, we give it a 3 out of 5 stars. The recipe I used is from Food & Wine


I didn't mention the chocolate in the ingredients, as I ate that separately.
 1 pound Asparagus - $9.08 (yikes!)
3/4 pound Fettuccine - $1.13
1  Cup Heavy Cream - $1.60
pinch nutmeg - $0.02
3/4 tsp salt - $0.01
1/8 tsp ground black pepper - $0.03
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan + more for serving - $2.33 
(We used about a third of a wedge).
Just now I realize I should have tossed some of my fresh
parsley from my window box on to make it extra pretty.
But I didn't.

Everyone waiting for the yum.

This meal is just about the simplest one to make of all meals ever. No, really. First, put some water on to boil your fettuccine in. Then you tear off the bottoms of the asparagus. If you've never cooked with asparagus, it's really easy, you hold the stalk in one hand and with the other, grab the bottom and just snap it off. It snaps off right where it needs to. Then chop them into 1" pieces. Or so. Whatever you like, really.

Go ahead and chop your butter into bits and grate your cheese and have your milk ready. I usually like to use the big grate on my cheese, but since this cheese is part of a sauce, I went for the thin grate.

Look at that lovely mound of cheese and butter. Mmmhmm.

Cook the pasta for 8 minutes. Then add the asparagus straight into the pasta. Real gentle-like.

Be sure to have Darius Rucker singing "Wagon Wheel" stuck in your head the whole time, too. Good song. Drain. Toss in the rest of the ingredients and serve. Ta-Da. Yum. I served mine with bread and olive oil with salt & pepper upon a lovely navy gingham tablecloth. You can use whatever tablecloth you have available, of course.


Total Cost 2 Adults, 2 kids (2 & 6), one lunch serving left over:  $14.20
If I'd gone with half the asparagus, it would have run at a much more reasonable $9.66.