Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feeding the Fam

My standards for feeding my family have changed over the passed few months. I used to be all about easy and fast and healthy and delicious. I think I still hold those same standards but in a different order. And the new top standard on my list now is "filling." And usually filling means home-made, because the stuff in a box is cheap and easy, but NOT filling. And homemade usually means complicated, not easy. Right? Sometimes. Unless I plan really well. Yesterday I made 22 quarts of chili. I used my turkey roaster and gigantic cans of kidney beans and tomato sauce that I bought at Sam's. We had that for dinner, the children ate as much as they could handle and I still got 4 more dinners out of it. Beans...the glory of a cook with no money!

I found a homemade "easy" macaroni and cheese recipe on another blog and we tried it. My idea has been to get away from buying boxed macaroni, everyone loves it, but I have to make 4-5 boxes each time and everybody is hungry an hour later! So I tried her recipe and it was pretty good, but a little gritty. I think from using whole wheat flour as a thickener. That day I made it when the "men" weren't home, I knew my girls would like it. :o) So today I tried again and gave it my own twist. I think it turned out really yummy. I kept telling the children to compare it to itself and NOT to the boxed kind. There was not a noodle left. That to me says it all. Here's what I did. I boiled about 4 and half cups elbow macaroni. Cooked it to our preference.

While that was boiling I melted half a stick of butter in a pan and added 1/2 cup of unhealthy white flour, to make a paste. Then I added milk, and honestly I didn't measure this, but started pouring it in slowly to mix in the paste and get all the lumps out, like you do when you make a milk based soup. I probably used 4-6 cups milk. Once the milk sauce thickened I added 6 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and stirred it in until melted. Over in the sink was sitting my colander with chopped raw broccoli in it, that I washed and let sit there. When the noodles were done boiling, I poured them on top of the broccoli. That cooked the broccoli slightly and drained the noodles without using another pot. Then I just added the noodles and broccoli to the cheese mixture and stirred in some turkey ham until everything was nice and cheesy. We added salt at the table and had sliced apples on the side. This was Laffy Taffy's portion.
I think next time I will try extra sharp cheddar cheese. This really was yummy and not too much trouble. Nobodies asked for a snack yet...but I will probably have to give my little ones a snack before dinner anyway. I think hot-chocolate is on the menu for today!

I would love to know what you filling food you feed your growing children for lunch!


Mrs. Taffy


  1. That looks delicious! My kids like mac and cheese, but we don't have boxed mixes in England, and I've always wanted to try a homemade recipe.

    By the way, I just wanted to let you know I have an award for you on my blog. I noticed that you've already received this award, but I just wanted to give it to you to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog!

    The award is mentioned on my blog here:


    Debbie from Our Cup of Tea

  2. That mac n' cheese looks yummy. I have a recipe you might like, though it's a little less homemade and creative. It is cheap and easy though! Below is what I do, though you would probably want to double or triple it.

    Boil 2 cups of macaroni noodles. In a 2 qt casserole dish, mix 1 1/2 or 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, undiluted, with cubes of cheese. I take a 6-8 oz brick of cheese and just break it into chunks. Add the noodles and any veggies or meat that you want and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes covered. Uncover and sprinkle an additional handful of cheese on top and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

    We usually put tuna and a bag of frozen mixed veggies in ours. My mom always made this when I was growing up because it's cheap and pretty easy.

    We also make chili and goolash a lot, again because both are cheap. If you want recipes for either, let me know. :o) One idea with chili that H1 does to make it last longer is to dish it over noodles or rice. It's more filling that way too.

  3. That mac and cheese was SO GOOD!! I would've had seconds if there was more!! Love ya mom!!

  4. Looks great! I like to add nuts to their lunch and it seems to help keep them full!

  5. I nominated you for a blog award here:

  6. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.


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