So since we have been pinching pennies and doing whatever it takes for me to stay home with the Little Angel (LA) I have been trying to cut down on food costs. It is one of those things that can easily get out of control in a household that likes to cook and eat.
I really hate the idea of having to keep track of which store has chicken at what price… but to save money I think it’s going to come to that. And I suppose it’s worth it. To be home with LA it’s definitely worth it… just so tedious.
However, I can embrace the idea of making things at home or trying lower cost recipes. My mother got me this great book for my birthday called Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy and The Tight Budget Cookbook. They are both really good but I found a lot more useful ideas in the first book. I’ve tried some of the recipes in the second which are great… just need to use it more I think. The first book though is a lifesaver.
One of her suggestions is to make some things yourself that you’d otherwise buy. She has recipes in there for cereal, granola bars, sauces, bisquick type mix, biscuits and all kinds of things. She talks about how kids love McDonalds fries so she tried to make them herself and gives the recipe.
Now, we don’t really eat McDonalds. I stopped eating there when I was about 13 and was made aware of how gross it really is. Steve just isn’t into it. We are planning on keeping LA away from it as long as we can. I know all fast food is bad and we are definitely guilty of Wendy’s and BK but McDonalds just seems the worst.
But I thought I’d give it a try. Who doesn’t love french fries!
So you start by mixing a third of a cup of sugar with two cups of warm water. Then you drop two thinly sliced up potatoes into the mix and let it soak 15-30 minutes.
Next you heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Here I had a problem. We do not fry enough to have a fryer so I just put the oil in the pan and heated it on high.
The potatoes have to be completely dried off before dropping it in the oil.
Here I had a problem…. the oil was too hot. I knew the oil was too hot because at this stage it is simply supposed to stay in the oil for a minute to cook the inside of the potatoe. But it immediatley starting browning.
So I turned the heat down to medium and tried again. This time was good… they did not brown and I left them in about a minute before scooping them out.
So they looked like this….
Then you let the oil heat back up to 350 and drop them back in. This time you leave them in until they turn golden brown.
Then I dropped them on a paper towel to get off the grease. Salt heavily. And voila!!
My verdict- they were good. I haven’t had McDonalds fries in about 18 years so I don’t know. But they did taste like fast food fries. I liked them… I’d do it again. It was a little extra work but if you are craving fries and want them on your own it’s good.
Steve’s verdict- almost like McDonalds. He said they were good… a bit greasy (which is probably bc I had to stop cooking midway through for a call so they were paused). He was impressed.
Honestly I don’t know what made them more like Mickey D fries. Maybe the soaking. Maybe the two process cooking. I don’t know if it saves that much money. Perhaps if you have fries several times a week or are just craving fries it’s good.
For me, I think it will be worth the fact that I know when I make them they are made with real potatoes vs whatever they make theirs with!!!
Next I make cereal!
Here is the offical recipe:
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 large potatoes (sliced thinly)
1. Mix sugar into water and dissolve.
2. Soak sliced potatoes in water for 15-30 minutes.
3. Dry off potatoes completely. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Drop potatoes in for about a minute to cook the inside. Remove potatoes.
4. Reheat oil to 350. Drop potatoes in and fry until golden brown.
5. Remove and place on paper towels. Salt. Enjoy!