Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Am I frugal or just being cheap?

This is a question I have had to ask myself on more than one occasion, "Am I being frugal or am I just being cheap?"  The other day as I was cleaning out my cabinets, I noticed that I had several bags of "bulk" items that should be in canisters or tubs.  My first thought was that I needed to run to the Dollar Store and get some more knock-off Rubbermaid containers, buying store brand is frugal right, but then I remembered that hubby had several plastic coffee cans in the garage that he wasn't using.  So being of the mindset to re-use or re-purpose if possible, I snatched several from the garage and used them to make my bulk containers.  Now according to Pinterest, I can get spray paint and decorate them to match my kitchen, but I don't see the need to do that.  They are doing their job.  So tonight I dragged down my "new" canisters and pulled out my elbow macaroni to make this dish.

Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 lg. crown broccoli
  • ½ med onion
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • to taste salt and pepper 

Directions

  1. Get a large pot of salted water on to boil. Rinse the broccoli well and cut it into small florets.
  2. The pasta and broccoli will be cooked in the same pot to save on dishes and time. When the water comes to a full boil, add the pasta. Set a timer for 8 minutes then add the broccoli. Cook the pasta and broccoli for two minutes more and then pour everything into a colander to drain. Set them aside until ready to add to the cheese sauce.
  3. While the pasta and broccoli are doing their thing, you can begin the cheese sauce. Finely dice the onion and cook with butter over medium heat until softened (about 2-3 minutes).
  4. Add the flour to the butter and onion. The flour and butter will form a paste like mixture (roux). Using a whisk, stir and cook the roux for 1-2 minutes more taking care not to let it scorch. This slightly cooks the flour preventing the cheese sauce from having an overly flour or paste like flavor.
  5. Add the milk and whisk well to dissolve all of the flour clumps. Add freshly cracked black pepper at this point. Bring the mixture up to a simmer (you may need to raise the heat just slightly). When the sauce reaches a simmer, it will begin to thicken. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s time to add the cheese.
  6. Turn the burner off and whisk in the shredded cheese (and parmesan if using) until it is fully melted in. Give the cheese sauce a taste and add salt, pepper to taste.
  7. Once you have the cheese sauce seasoned to your liking, stir in the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli.
As written it was very bland, however after tasting this I added some garlic powder and seasoned salt.

Adapted from Stunning corner