Another Thrive Cookbook Recipe Trial (& error!)

Well, it’s20121210_175737 been quite awhile since I posted an actual Thrive cookbook recipe challenge, so I thought it was time to get back into the test kitchen (which is actually my home kitchen, just with pictures & commentary).

For our upcoming HCS Co-op meeting (& my dinner), I decided to try out the Macaroni & Cheese recipe.  When I began this recipe, I fully expected that the final product would be somewhat close to boxed macaroni & cheese (we all know the brand I had in mind).

20121210_175855It started simple enough, I mean, this was not a hard recipe.  The only difference between boxed Mac & Cheese and this recipe was that I had to measure out my ingredients.  It called for 3 cups of Thrive Macaroni Noodles, 1 1/2 cups of prepared Thrive Instant Milk (which was super easy since I already had some made), 1/8 cup Thrive Butter Powder & 3/4 cup of Thrive Cheese Blend.

Starting out like any other Mac & Cheese, I boiled the noodles.  Easy enough.  As I was reading the recipe, I saw that it called for a cup and a half of milk.  My first thought was, that’s alot of milk.  Then I thought, they must know what they are doing, so in went the milk (from past experience20121210_182409 I should have known better, alas, I have no excuse).

After adding the cheese blend & butter powder to the noodles & milk, I had, well….Mac & Cheese Soup.  “Yuck” immediately sprang to mind.  Not willing to give up (I was hungry), I decided that adding more cheese blend powder might help.  It began to thicken after adding about another 1/2 cup of cheese blend powder but it was not enough to combat the soupy mixture.  A taste test quickly told me that adding even more cheese blend would be a mistake.

In order to salvage the meal (and actually eat dinner before 10 p.m.), I decided to add in some Thrive Cheddar Cheese and bake it at 425 for about 20 minutes.  20121210_184947It actually turned out pretty good but still way too buttery for my taste.
After overnight in the fridge, it turned out just like baked Mac & Cheese.  I received many compliments on it at the HCS Co-op meeting the next day, so I guess my recipe triage worked… either that or they were just being nice 🙂

The moral of this story is two fold: Don’t wait until an emergency to learn to cook with your food storage; you might not have the luxury to “fix” a recipe or start over.  And second, use common sense when following a recipe; if it sounds wrong, proceed with caution.  It’s always easy to add more, but you can’t undo what’s already been done.

Here is what I would have done differently:
Start with only 1/3 cup of milk and add more as needed
Use only 2 teaspoons of butter powder (then taste, add more if needed)
Use 1/2 cup more cheese blend powder (taste test first to see if it is needed)

I still love my Thrive Cookbook and it was worth the purchase price, even if it becomes just a loose guideline as I continue to experiment with my food storage.

I’ll try again soon using the above modifications and hopefully, I’ll end up with something closer to that famous boxed Mac & Cheese that I love!

Until next time,
Happy Prepping!


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