Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Homemade Mac & Cheese

We really love this macaroni and cheese. It takes a little more time than the boxed stuff, but it is a million times better!

8 oz elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour (I use wheat)
2 cups milk (I use whole)
8 oz shredded cheddar (I like the Cheddar Jack preshredded mix)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (I use just a tiny dash of cayenne pepper)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to the package (usually about 8-10 minutes depending on if you get the regular or the large).

I use my big pot for making the sauce too, less to clean up and it actually cooks the sauce faster than a smaller sauce pan.  I usually wipe out the dried pasta water residue, then add the butter and melt on medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk for about 2-3 minutes.

This is the tricky part, slowly add the milk while whisking.  I usually add about 1/4 cup and whisk until smooth.  Then another 1/4 cup and whisk.  By about 3/4 to 1 cup of milk you can add the rest more quickly while you are still whisking.  The smoother you make it in the beginning, the better it will turn out.  Cook on medium to medium high for about 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken.

Remove from heat and stir in the spices then most of the cheese (save a little for on top-I usually forget and just get a little more to go on top).  Stir until cheese is melted.  Then add the pasta (most bags of pasta are bigger than 8 oz, don't add too much or your mac & cheese won't be very saucy).  Put in a lightly greased pan or several small ones.  Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbly and the cheese on top begins to brown a bit. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes after pulling it out of the oven or it will be too hot to eat.

Monday, January 12, 2015

World's Best Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c.white sugar
1 c brown  sugar
1 egg
1 c.oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. crushed cornflakes
1 c.coconut
1 c. chopped nuts
3 1/2 c.flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp.salt
cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg ,oil and vanilla.
Add oats,cornflakes,coconut and nuts,mix well.Add flour,soda and salt,mix well
and form into small  balls,about the size of walnuts.Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Press down with fork.Bake at 350* for 12 to 15 min.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

English Nut Bars

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter. Gradually add sugar. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.  Add flour and salt. Pat evenly into a 13"x 9" baking pan. Brush lightly with egg white. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly, cut into one inch bars.  Cool completely.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Easy & Delicious Frosting

I adapted this from the birthday cake Matt made me. You might have to play around with it a little to make it what you like. 

1 cup heavy whipping cream (very cold)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, put the bowl in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes (I also put the cream in there).  Whip the cream with a hand or stand mixer until peaks form.  I aimed for somewhere between soft and stiff because you mix it a little bit after.  Add the sugar, cocoa, and vanilla and mix until blended.  Scrape the sides of the bowl, and you are ready to go.

I used this to frost 2 dozen cupcakes.  But we prefer to have a lighter coating of frosting.  You might want to double the recipe if you like extra frosting.  I also lightly dusted them with cocoa powder for decoration (on a side note:  do not put the cocoa powder in the sieve while it is above the cupcakes or it will be a heavy coating not a light dusting).

Matt's recipe called for cream cheese and instant coffee (it was a tiramisu cake).

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter's White Chicken Chili

Easy and super tasty!
1 medium onion, diced
1 TB olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 chicken breasts, grilled and diced
2 cans garbanzo beans
1 can white northern bean
1 can creamed corn
5 cups chicken stock
8 oz chopped green chilies
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup half and half mixed with 1 cup sour cream

Serve hot w/ crackers or crusty bread of choice.  Can top w/ cheese or avocado.