Monthly Archives: May 2012

$0.55 a week to have someone plan your meals and write out your grocery list for you? Yep.

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I love to cook – but I don’t open my Julia Child cookbook every night!

I like to use e-Mealz to help out with my mealplanning – especially if I’m in a rut. Sometimes I don’t totally love the recipes as written and change them up a bit, but most of the time I appreciate the legwork someone else has already done to give me a meal plan for the week, within a $75 budget or so, and organized grocery lists to go with it!

There’s also different menu choices for special diets like gluten-free lovers, low-carbers, and those who try to avoid fats and sugars.

And you even pick the store you like to shop at. :)

So, here you go – for around $0.55 a week, you can have someone do all that work for you – that’s a good deal to me.

I appreciate you. So, who wants a Starbucks Gift Card?

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So the Starbucks Happy Hour is pretty much over. And I hated to see so much sadness enter the world.

And enter my own house.

*Sigh.

But during that week, I posted this photo from my blog stats page.

Seriously? Almost a quarter of a million page views? For this little girl from the middle of Twiggs County, GA…this is practically Hollywood Stardom Level!!

(ok, so maybe not really…but stick with me here.)

So, I thought, how about a contest? One that would tell all my readers – most of whom go to this post first before seeing anything else on my blog -

Thanks.

Thanks for making me wanna keep cooking and teaching and learning and writing.

So, here we go. One contest. Two prizes. Three ways to Enter.

Prizes?

How about a $25 Starbucks Gift Card?

And the other one?

How about 2 dozen of those Starbucks Cupcake Holders?  That’s right – how about enough handmade cupcake holders for your awesome cupcakes? Handmade by me, no less. What could be better? I guess I could send the holders with cupcakes in them…. Hee-hee.

Ways to Enter?

You can earn 3 entries in the drawing:

#1 – Comment on this post with a recipe you’d love to see featured here on KimzKitchen. (If any of my friends put something on here like any of these…forget it. Actually, don’t. I’ll make it. And then you can eat it.)

#2 – Sign up to get my posts by email – so you never miss out on something good! (Hint: Do that up at the top right over there ——–>

#3 – Like my Facebook page.

That’s it! The Winner will be randomly drawn by a really cool random generator site in one week – entries are open until midnight EST, Tuesday, May 22.

The first drawn winner gets to choose their prize. The second winner gets the leftovers. I’ll ship ‘em right out! The winners will be notified by email and announced on here next Wednesday!

Good Luck to ya!

BTW – those who are already signed up for email and my facebook pals will automatically be entered  - no need to try to do those things again.

Basics for Beginners: Homemade Alfredo Sauce

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…or if you wanna be technical, it’s called a roux. (pronounced, “rooooooo”) 

You can also call it a bechamel sauce. (If you’re into Julia Child and wanna feel French-ish.)

P.S. – this post is lovingly dedicated to my sister-married-to-an-italian-who-is-still-learning-how-to-cook-but-is-an-amazing-photographer, Rebecca Cerasani, and my other friend-who-is-always-craving-this-but-lives-so-far-away-I-can’t-get-it-to-her-fresh, Sabra Kennedy.

I just love this “white sauce” – it’s so versatile for whatever you might want….

….a cream sauce to cover up some grilled asparagus.

….a rich, sharp cheesy sauce for homemade mac n cheese.

….a mellow light colored gravy for biscuits in the mornin’.

….an herb sauce for drizzling on some roasted salmon.

….a base for your own cream soups – cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chocolate…(oh wait, sorry.)

….or my favorite, a homemade alfredo sauce.  You won’t buy another jar of stuff again.

To make the basic roux (pronounced “roooooooo”), you only  need 3 ingredients…and I’d almost bet all of you have them right now:

  • Butter (or some sort of whole fat – I’ve used olive oil and coconut oil before!)
  • Flour
  • Hot Liquid (typically, this is milk, but the science is just a liquid – so you can use a broth, a wine, cream, or any sort of combinations.)

You’ll only need about 5 minutes or so…and a hungry tummy.

Start with 2 Tbsp butter. Melt it slowly over low heat in a saucepan.

Add 3 Tbsp of flour. Blend it in – I like using a nylon whisk or a wooden spoon – until the butter and flour are well mixed.

Let the butter and flour play together for a couple of minutes. Don’t let it start getting brown though – that low heat is your friend – you just want lots of bubbles. Your kids will like watching this. Cooking it for a bit gets the raw, flour-y taste out of your sauce.  And it activates the thickening agents in the flour.

Remove your roux from the heat.

Then grab your 2 cups of hot liquid. For this recipe I’m using milk.

Once your  your roux stops bubbling, pour in all the hot milk (or liquid) at once. I use a whisk to blend it altogether, making sure I grab all the little bits of flour and butter from the sides of the pan. By the way, don’t pour in cold milk. Unless you like lumpy sauces. Then, by all means, go for it.

Then, put your pan on the heat again. Medium high heat is best for this step. Keep stirring with your whisk until you see bubbles again. This is when the thickening magic really begins. Boil for about a minute, always stirring, and your sauce is done!

At this point, add in your flavorings:

….salt and pepper for your simple cream sauce for that asparagus.

…..1 cup of sharp grated cheddar for that mac n cheese.

….salt, pepper, and some cooked ground sausage for that gravy.

….salt, pepper, and a few fresh herbs from the garden for drizzling on that roasted salmon.

….salt, pepper, 3/4 cup of cooked, diced chicken, sauteed mushrooms, or sauteed celery for your homemade cream soups (without MSG or any other chemical nasties!)

….or, for my favorite, light salt, pepper, a clove of pressed garlic, a pinch of nutmeg, <—– this is so very important!!, and a good handful or two of parmesan cheese for a quick homemade alfredo sauce.

Who needs Olive Garden?

oh wait…I do need their breadsticks and salad…huh….