I'm either going to have to start measuring things into pretty little containers, which I don't own, and thinking things out before I start, or take my husband's advice and videotape myself cooking, which is just weird, or stage photos AFTER I GET DONE.
Three words. Double the dishes. As it is, I pray to God every night for world peace and a house elf. Not necessarily in that order. I think the house elf may, in fact, help me achieve world peace.
But on to tonight's dinner, which was fabulous, and involved my soon-to-famous replacement for cream-of-whatever soup, the cornstarch based white sauce. I know I've talked about this before, but canned cream soups freak me out. They are just...weird. Chemical based badness. And of course, they are delicious, simple, and go on sale with big coupons all. the. time, so the temptation to load up my basement with several hundred of them is kind of strong. The force is strong with that one...but I am stronger...
So what you want to come up with, any time you've got a recipe that calls for a can of creamed soup, is about ten ounces of white sauce. There are actually some good recipes out there, but I just take about 1 1/4 Cup of milk, shake the bejesus out of it with three teaspoons of cornstarch, and heat it to a boil while whisking. Then I season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and whatever flavor I'm after-some diced mushrooms, some diced onions, some finely chopped broccoli, some chicken bullion. Probably about a half a cup of "flavor" And that's your cream soup. You'll have a little extra. It's okay.
So tonight's dinner was almost entirely assembled out of leftovers, and the kiddos loved it.
1 recipe cream soup (see above)
1 onion, diced,
1 clove garlic, minced,
2 T butter (wouldn't be a recipe of mine if it didn't have butter)
2 C leftover meat, in this case, ham, diced
1 sack frozen broccoli
6 ounces pre-cooked, whole grain pasta
1 C shredded cheese
1/4 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (Wegmans has a store brand whole grain that I like.)
Saute the onion in the butter lightly, until translucent, with garlic. Add the cream sauce.
Butter a baking dish. Layer the ingredients: Pasta, then ham, then broccoli, then cream sauce. Cover and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and spread cheese on top, then sprinkle with bread crumbs. No need to add more butter, but it would be yummy if you did.
Bake another fifteen to twenty minutes, or until cheese has brown bits all over and breadcrumbs are crisped. The original recipe called for cream of mushroom soup and nixed the noodles.
Next time I promise to take a picture of the sack of broccoli before I dump it. Or not.