For most of us the dream of homesteading and sustainable living is overshadowed by the practicalities of our daily lives - needing a job to provide income and health insurance coupled with needing to live in a more urban/suburban area to access said job. As a lover of magazines (the library has most for free that you can check out!) on the subjects of sustainability, gardening, crafting, cooking, etc. I think a magazine tailored to the urban homesteader has been long overdue. Most people I know live in suburbs and need to try and navigate HOA's, neighbors, and most importantly to figure out how to use the time they do have for sustainable practices wisely. I've learned that you can't do everything. Sometimes you simply aren't allowed to based on HOA, city or county ordinances or neighbors who are aggravated by anything less than a perfectly groomed jade green lawn. Sometimes after working a job all day long, making dinner and dealing with children, homework, baths, and general household chores there isn't time to do much at all.
I bought the premier issue of Urban Farm magazine with low expectations but it was really packed with all sorts of useful ideas. It is worth a look for anyone interested in making some changes while also adhering to a suburban/urban standard of living. Unlike magazines like Grit and Mother Earth News, every article inside is applicable for us urbanites. Very cool!
|Bread Crumb Topping|
|6||slices white sandwich bread (good-quality, about 6 ounces), torn into rough pieces|
|3||tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 6 pieces|
Pasta and Cheese
|1||pound elbow macaroni|
|1||tablespoon table salt|
|5||tablespoons unsalted butter|
|6||tablespoons all-purpose flour|
|1 1/2||teaspoons powdered mustard|
|1/4||teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)|
|5||cups milk (see note)|
|8||ounces Monterey Jack cheese , shredded (2 cups)|
|8||ounces sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (2 cups)|
|1||teaspoon table salt|
1. For the bread crumbs: Pulse bread and butter in food processor until crumbs are no larger than 1/8 inch, ten to fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.
2. For the pasta and cheese: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
3. In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
4. Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9-by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.
I did not make the bread topping and therefore bypassed the heating in the 9"x13" pan. It was still divine.
This is a VERY simple recipe that is pulled together and cooked up in about 30-45 minutes.
1 box jumbo shells
1 jar marinara
1 large carton ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375.
While shells are cooking, mix together ricotta, egg, salt and pepper, 2 cups mozzarella. Drain shells and cool enough to handle. Fill shells (this recipe will fill about 20 shells) and nestle together in a greased 9"x13" pan. Cover in marinara and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top. Top that with the shredded Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling hot.