Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheese Sauce, and Many Ways to Use it!!!

Ok so in case you didn't know... We recently found out that I am pregnant!!!!!!

Well so far this baby has been very... hmmm... let's just say picky. Very, very picky.... And by picky I mean that if this baby doesn't get exactly what he or she wants, mama gets very VERY sick... Needless to say, this is a hard task to accomplish, so I am sick a lot...

But there has been one thing that I have been craving nonstop, and that I have managed to keep down about 50% of the time (that is actually a really big deal right now, believe it or not!).

Cheese sauce... Yes, you read right: cheese sauce.... on EVERYTHING!!!!

The first time I made the sauce it was to make a homemade au gratin potatoes for my husband's birthday dinner... It was so tasty and I liked it so much I made it again a few nights later and steamed some broccoli and some rice and then mixed it all together to make homemade cheesy broccoli rice (I used to love the stuff in a bag, but that is sooooo not good for you... so this is a good alternative).

Then I made pasta the next night, steamed some more broccoli, and cut up some cooked chicken into chunks and tossed it all in cheese sauce...

Oh and if those three ideas weren't enough, I made another recipe involving crescent roll dough stuffed with chicken and cheese, topped with a cheese sauce (to which I added a can of cream of chicken and mushroom soup) then baked in the oven... super yum...

Okay so anyway... Cheese sauce...

Start with 1/4 c butter and a few tablespoons flour. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then stir in the flour and mix well. Add about a cup and a half of milk, stirring well. After the mixture bubbles, add 1 cup of cheese into the pot and stir well. Once the sauce slightly bubbles and thickens it is finished...

The type of cheese can be changed for the recipe... I have used sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, and a four cheese mixture... All of them were good, though the sharp cheddar is my personal favorite...

A few ideas for using it:

Fondue!!! Cube a loaf of french bread and dip in the cheese sauce (you can use a fancier cheese for this, or just plain old cheddar).

Broccoli Chicken Cheesy Mac: Cook pasta according to package. Meanwhile make the cheese sauce, when adding the cheese also add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or chili powder. Steam broccoli florets and cut cooked chicken into cubes. Toss with pasta and sauce and serve. If you use already cooked chicken this recipe takes 15 minutes to make, start to finish!

Cheddar Broccoli Rice: Steam 1-2 cups of rice. Steam 1 cup of broccoli. Make cheese sauce and toss with rice and broccoli. This recipe only takes about 15 minutes to make if you use minute rice.

Cheddar Broccoli Rice Bake: Make cheddar broccoli rice. Layer a casserole dish with thinly sliced chicken tenders. Top with cheddar broccoli rice and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, then top with cheese (and French Fried Onions if you want some fun texture!!!) and bake for 5-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Au Gratin Potatoes: Thinly slice four to six large potatoes. Layer potatoes in a casserole dish, pouring half of the sauce over the first layer, followed by another layer of potatoes, and topped with the rest of the sauce and grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees for an hour and a half.


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