In my family we try to make things from scratch as much as possible so we know what's going into our food. This is an excellent cookbook for learning to make things from scratch that are easy on your food budget. The author, Doris Longacre, tried to create a book to help women cook nutritious meals with less money. There are lots of good tips for how to do just that. The recipes were submitted by many different women giving this cookbook an almost "community cookbook" feel. I also really like the spiral binding which makes it easy to lay flat when cooking from it.
This really is not "health" food, but in an age where convenience food is so pumped full of chemicals this could be thought of as healthiER food. Even though you are cooking from scratch you can still have some shortcuts. You can make a large batch of this sauce, add cheese and then freeze it. I freeze it in portions large enough for macaroni and cheese and then it's almost a convenience food. You can also add some salsa to it when you reheat it and have a great nacho cheese dip. Or of course over broccoli which makes it even healthier! Right??
Basic White Sauce
More With Less Cookbook
Joanne Lehman and Roberta Kreider
Melt in heavy saucepan:
2 Tablespoons butter
Blend in, cooking and stirring until bubbly:
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (I don't add this)
Using wire whisk to prevent lumps, stir in:
1 cup whole milk (or cream if your feeling really indulgent)
Cook just until smooth and thickened. Makes slightly over 1 cup. Compares to undiluted condensed soups, and makes approximately the same amount contained in one 10 oz. can.
For cheese sauce the recipe calls for adding 1/2 cup grated "nippy" cheese. I use American and probably more than 1/2 cup. Probably more like 1 cup! You can make other variations of this with stock to replicate other condensed soups. Add 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms and 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion before adding flour for mushroom soup. Add 1/2 cup chopped celery and 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion for celery soup and use chicken broth and 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning for chicken soup.
I'd love to hear your comments for other shortcuts for cooking meals from "scratch."