Haldechick’s Chex Mix

Once upon a time I didn’t know @Haldechick. Denise read her blog. They had figured out we lived in the same town and commented on each others blogs. Nothing compelling I thought-kind of a hippy/hipster geek knitter Unitarian book lover. I read a post here and there. I didn’t pay attention.

Then came the fateful day I came upon a pair of socks.(Follow with me-it does get back to food) That day was March 8, 2007. How do I know what day I came upon a pair of socks? I saved it to the Extravagant Gift List that year. Look! Space Invaders Socks.

So gifted-Denise said something along the lines of “Hey, those are cool.” At which point I was struck by that madness that periodically strikes me and I decide that I can knit them. I declare such. Denise looked at me skeptically, no doubt. You see. I didn’t know how to knit.

My love wants socks. I shall make her socks! In time for sock day! Oh wait-sock day is April 12. I have just over a month to learn to knit and knit a pair of socks-not just any socks but Space Invaders socks. No problem. I can be dense sometimes about how good I am at learning stuff.

Denise suggested I ask her mother about making them. Her mother didn’t know about sock knitting and doubted my ability to pick up knitting that fast and suggested I give Denise a scarf. No. I want to make socks. Denise suggested I talk to Lorena about it. Lorena WHO? Haldechick. Or Sharon. Who?

We went to Michael’s. I bought some aluminum needles and sport weight blue yarn as well as the Stitch and Bitch book to learn with. The next day we went to my first stitch-y bitchy meeting at the used book store. People were nice. Really nice. I made a lot of rat hammocks. We had a rat at the time-Elvis. I eventually made a pair of socks-still haven’t learned how to make space invader socks though. More importantly we made friends.

One of those was Haldechick. Lorena. She is a sucker for my shortbread. She also rescued my knitting more times than you can imagine. We were pretty heartbroken when we moved-and even now-about leaving the “LYS ladies” in Gainesville. Really. It ranks up there above weather and below missing the big kids. She came and intro’d me to a new yarn store up here after we moved. (and to alpaca…)

Then last Christmas, we got a box. Yay! Yarn store box. Yay! Soap! (Lorena makes fab soap. Like snickerdoodle, fresh baked bread, and just for me sandalwood vanilla-though I am still after her for a sandalwood cedar juniper type soap)

And…Chex Mix. Hmmm. Ok. I had heard whispers about it. But…how good could a Chex Mix be? And nuts! Nuts are on my owie tummy list. Um yeah, well, about that. Denise however is a Chex Mix fan of sorts. And really, any food we don’t have to make and can eat immediately gets consumed. This is why every year after BlogHer our diet relies heavily on that year’s swag. (Yes, I am a food blogger but uh there are days and even weeks where I don’t actually cook-especially before my mother moved in) It was really prettily packaged Chex Mix and so FRIENDLY to send Chex Mix. We were sort of excited in spite of ourselves. (and really downright touched and giddy) But we put it down and I stuck the extra bars of soap in my drawer and one in the shower. Some time later it was opened. And fought over and eaten.

This was THE BEST CHEX MIX EVER. How could that be? Were we that homesick? (maybe but no) It just IS the best Chex Mix ever. Really. Even if you don’t do nuts. Or Chex Mix. Or you believe Chex Mix is that weird stuff that comes prepacked in shiny plastic bags in the store. (That in hardly any way resembles this)

Ok…so @haldechick has posted the recipe (and apparently did before) for Lorena’s Chex Mix. Make it. Really. Yes, I see. 10 Sticks of Real Butter. It is worth it.

Fabulous 50s Cereal

In case you were in a news free box yesterday, you probably heard that Kellogg’s is scaling back their advertising to children under age 12. While I have strong feelings about children eating a healthy diet, I also appreciate the joys of Saturday morning cereal commercials. Ok, so I know that kids these days don’t just watch a couple hours of cartoons on Saturday morning and so the exposure to the kid targeted toys and cereal is much greater. On the other hand, it seems sad that Toucan Sam and Apple Jacks will be off tv until they get reformulated. So in honor of kid’s marketing and cereal…Space Cow

Rivers of Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is what we we had for dinner last night:
macaronincheese

It got a thumbs up all the way around. I think the 17-year old may have drooled when I pulled it out of the oven. The non-seconds ever eater had seconds.

Don’t let the square pan fool you. It is more than enough for an entire family of hungry people. Super rich and good.

It is based on the recipe below for baked macaroni and cheese #2 from The Modern Family Cookbook. However…I substituted 2 cups milk for the cup of evaporated milk and cup of water. We were out of Pet Milk. I also used more cheese than was called for in the recipe. I also added a “au gratin” topping of 3 tablespoons melted butter, about 1/3 cup of bread crumbs and a handful of shredded cheese. I also tipped about a ½ teaspoon of dry mustard in the sauce with the flour. (That was the end of that bottle of dry mustard and I didn’t dig around for more…though it might have been good.)

It plated up very homely looking. Probably because I didn’t let it set for 10 minutes or so after pulling from the oven. The leftovers will probably be quite attractive plated up, though folks around here are likely to eat it before I get home from work. On the other hand…it really was rivers of cheese, very rich and yummy…more important than a pretty plate in my book.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese #2

7 or 8 ounces elbow macaroni
3 quarts boiling water
3 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ pound sharp cheese grated

Drop macaroni into the rapidly boiling water, add the 3 teaspoons salt, and cook rapidly from 8 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Turn into colander to drain. Run hot water through to rinse well. Melt butter, blend in flour, and add milk and water. Stir over direct heat until sauce boils and thickens. Then stir in egg, salt and grated cheese, and stir until cheese is melted. Arrange macaroni and cheese sauce in layers in a buttered casserole, and bake in a moderate oven (400° F.) until toasted on top, 10 to 15 minutes. 5 servings.

Brown Rice Deluxe

This recipe comes from the 1964 cookbooklet Make It Now, Bake it Later #3 by Barbara Goodfellow. I adore this little cookbooklet, almost as much for the handwritten look to it as for the comments in the recipes.

I am trying to picture this as a “West Coast Recipe” but failing. I am thinking the west coast is not really the bastion of mushroom soup usage that it is touted to be. Maybe brown rice in the 60s is like avocado and sprouts were in the 70s…anything containing them MUST be West Coast.

I do have to agree that you will like it. Cheese! French Fried Onions! Olives! Mushrooms and mushroom soup! Creamy, delicious, retro funky food here.

I spray the casserole with some nonstick spray first and of course, I throw a bit of extra cheese on top. (but then again, I would go with one not two cans of soup as well) It is a nice easy one to put together the night before with leftover rice or in the morning.

Brown Rice Deluxe

And you’ll like it! A West Coast recipe.

1 cup quick cooking brown rice
1 can (3½ oz.) French Fried Onions
2 cans mushroom soup
¼ cup stuffed green olives, sliced
1 can (2 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces
½ cup milk
¼ teasp. pepper
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese

Cook brown rice according to directions on box. Drain and place in 2 qt casserole.
Add the onions, mushrooms, and olives-but save the juice from the mushrooms. Mix all gently.

In another bowl put the soup, milk, pepper, and juice from mushrooms. Set all aside.

When ready to bake, pour the mushroom soup mixture into rice mixture and mix all gently. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake for 10 more minutes.

Serves 6