Search results for 'mac and'

Mac and Cheese

28 Jun

This is a staple at my house. Way better than the boxed stuff, and just as easy to make – my picky eaters snarf it down and it is fast for those summer nights when you suddenly realize its 8:00 and you haven’t fed your kids (this has never happened to me…ever). The recipe calls for more pepper than I like to use – the first time I made it fir my kids, they said it was too spicy, and the next ten times I tried to feed it to them they wouldn’t eat ‘the spicy noodles!’ They came around eventually. Now I just pepper to taste. I made this last night – on top of having a 2 week old baby, I had the brilliant idea to potty train my two year old. Not sure what possessed me. But, yesterday was day three and going pretty well, considering the fact that it is potty training and that’s really all you can ask for. But, after cleaning up a million and a half pee accidents, I needed something fast and easy for dinner – something that no one could call ‘yucky’ and push away. Mac and cheese to the rescue! It’s a good thing too…while it was baking, I caught said two year old doodling on the couch and throw pillows with a pen! So, since dinner was already worked out, I could dish up plates and feed their little faces while I wiped the tears from mine and scrubbed the couch.

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Preheat oven to 350^F

Prepare elbow macaroni (can use any kind of noodles – this is a grab and dump what you have kind of recipe!) – enough to fill a 9×13 baking dish – in boiling water until soft.

White Sauce:

4 Tbsp butter

4 Tbsp flour

2 cups milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper (or to taste)

Melt butter in medium sized sauce pan. Add flour and cook over medium heat until light brown in color (a couple of minutes). Slowly add milk. Add salt and pepper and stir constantly until thickened. Add to noodles and place in 9×13 baking dish. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Candied Carrots

6 Nov

My two sisters had a carrot battle a few years ago. They both said that their carrots were the very best, which lead to the ultimate carrot smack down. In all honestly, there wasn’t a clear winner – both carrots were very tasty – however, in our family cookbook, there was one recipe strategically titled, “Better Than Haley’s Carrots.” Cheap shot? Maybe. 🙂 But these girls take their carrots seriously! To be fair, I’ve kind of combined the 2 recipes. I don’t want to be accused of playing favorites.

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Ingredients:

1 lb peeled baby carrots

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup chicken broth

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Stir in brown sugar. Cook, stirring continually until sugar dissolves. Add carrots to brown sugar mixture, turning to coat. Saute for 2 min. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until carrots are crisp-tender.

*Substitute carrots for asparagus – also very tasty!!!

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Apple Crisp

6 Jul

I am so behind on posting, these days. I’m in a production of Les Miserables this summer, so I’m not cooking new things as frequently (it’s a good thing my kids never get sick of mac and cheese), and when I do, I let them sit forever in my draft box because I can’t manage to upload the picture and write down the recipe in one sitting. So today I’m playing catch up! Hopefully I’ll get to the point that I can post more than one recipe a month. 🙂

This Apple Crisp is another one from my ‘there’s no way you can mess this up’ recipe collection. I like it because there is a single serving version, as well as a feed-the-crowd version.

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Apple Crisp For One:

Filling

1 medium cooking apple

2-3 drops lemon juice

1 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Crumb Topping

2 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp rolled oats

2 Tbsp brown sugar

dash of cinnamon

1 Tbsp softened butter

Peel and core apple and cut into 1/4″ slices. Place in 4″ round casserole dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Add to apples and toss to coat. Combine dry ingredients for crumb topping. Cut in butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.

Method 1:

Cover prepared filling (no topping) loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir gently, then sprinkle with crumb topping mixture and bake, uncovered, at 375^F for 15-20 minutes.

Method 2:

Sprinkle crumb topping over apple/cinnamon sugar mixture and bake at 375^F for 30-40 minutes.

Apple Crisp for 6-8

Follow directions above for filling, using 6 medium cooking apples, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Make the crumb topping as directed using 3/4 cup flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup softened butter.

Sprinkle topping over filling and bake at 375^F for 40-45 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve with ice cream.

 

Cheeseburger Casserole

17 Sep

Sometimes, you just need a no-brainer recipe. I actually had to think hard about this one, because I don’t usually use a recipe! I’m not a dumper, typically – I like to be told exactly what to put in and when – but this one is really hard to mess up and it turns out pretty much the same every time, even if I don’t do it the same every time. This is second only to my Mac and Cheese when it comes to my kids’ favorite meals. Funny how they love the things that take no time and no effort, but if you spend hours and hours making the most fantabulous meal ever…no one will touch it. Alas.

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Ingredients:

Prepared elbow noodles

1 lb hamburger

1 can tomato soup (or equivalent measure of Roasted Tomato Soup)

1/4 cup milk

2 cups corn (frozen or 1 small can of corn)

1/4 lb grated cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix together tomato soup and milk and combine with hamburger, noodles, and corn. Pour into 9×13 baking dish. Top with cheese and bake at 350^F for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

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Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

4 Mar

This morning, I was was pretty darn sure that my daughter had appendicitis. Google has made me an excellent judge of medical conditions. Her symptoms matched everything – pain in the abdomen in a specific local – typically starting at the belly-button, decreased appetite, fever, increased pain when walking. Appendicitis! Turns out…she has strep. Yes, of course. Strep…which involves the throat…not the abdomen. I still have no idea how this happened. The one thing that made me feel like a not-quite-so-crazy-mommy was that the doctor did test her for appendicitis. Everything pointed to that!!! Everything, except the fact that she could jump. That was the deal breaker. The funny thing is that he checked her throat and said it was a little red then asked her if it hurt. “No.” No? How does your belly button hurt but not your throat when you have strep? I am at a loss. But a grateful loss. I’d much rather go pick up an antibiotic at the local pharmacy than run my seven year old down to the hospital for surgery. The only downside of the situation is that I have to come to terms with the fact that I do not have a future diagnosing ailments with my degree from Google and WebMD.

Here’s something useful I got from the internet: Talk about fancy lasagna! This was really tasty and very simple to put together…and it has sun-dried tomatoes!!! Anything with sun-dried tomatoes is a winner in my book. Except maybe sun-dried tomato ice cream (you laugh, but I bet someone out there has tried to pull that off). Although I really like it a lot, it was a little heavy on the cream cheese for me. Next time, I think I’ll try it with my Lower-Fat Alfredo sauce and see which one I like better.

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Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked

Directions:

HEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.
SPREAD half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

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Sweet Corn Puffs

17 Dec

Remember me? It’s ok…I don’t either. I’ve been MIA for the last little bit – hubby sent me on an awesome, sun-filled visit to FL to spend time with my sister and her family. The 7 hour flight down there, by myself, baby in tow, was even worth it. 🙂 He actually flew very well, but I’ve learned something about planes now that the novelty of flying from my youth has worn off…there is no privacy in planes. The only respite is in the bathroom. I was almost grateful to make my neighbor move three times (yes…I was in a middle seat! yikes) with the excuse to go feed the baby or change him. But I’d do it again. Next time I think I’ll bring my husband with me though. 😉

Following my return, I had a special presentation to do in my daughter’s school class, and then a company Christmas party to go to the same night. Where I proceeded to get food poisoning. Needless to say, writing about food was not on my list of priorities as I hurled all night and lay limp in bed the entire next day. Lucky for me, my mom loves me…a lot. She had already spent tons of times at my house taking care of my kiddos while I was away and my husband was at work. And then, the day after I get back…”Mom! I’m soooo sick.” She’s an angel. I ate two whole pieces of toast this morning and half a pot pie (the latter only because I’m nursing and I decided that, no matter how much my stomach cramped up, I had to eat something for his sake). I’m still alive, but not quite all the way there.

Recipe for today is the easiest thing alive. My husband calls them the most addicting packaging peanuts around.  photo-186

Ingredients:

8 ounces puffed corn puffs (not the cereal Corn Pops)
1 C butter
3 T water
2 T corn syrup
1 C sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt butter then add water, corn syrup, and sugar. Mix well and cook for 8-10 minutes until the mixture reaches a golden brown color. Pour mixture over corn puffs and stir until evenly coated. Cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

25 Nov

My parents and my husband’s parents both live nearby; this means two Thanksgiving dinners. No complaining here! We had our first one last night, and I ate myself sick. So many good things to eat, not enough room for it all! But I did my best to fill every crevice of my stomach…over-flowing, I’m sure, into other organs as well. All in the name of good food.

This chicken wasn’t on the menu for our Thanksgiving feast, but it might make it next year! Who knew ridiculously tender chicken only required 4 ingredients?

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Ingredients

1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 chicken breast

4 tsp seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven 425^ F. Place mayo and cheese in a small bowl and mix. Lay chicken breasts in baking dish and spread mayo mixture evenly atop each. Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs atop each. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear.

*Original recipe found here: http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/60027340/parmesan-crusted-chicken-hellmanns-mayo-recipe/

Homemade Oreos

4 Nov

Every ‘homemade’ Oreo recipe I’ve seen is actually made from a boxed cake mix. I never have boxed cake mixes – it’s just not something I keep stocked in my pantry. Which may or may not have something to do with a story someone once told me about hers gong rancid and everyone getting sick from it…that and I think it’s almost as easy to just make a cake from scratch. And I most always have the ingredients to make a cake from scratch! And of course it tastes better, because that is the unspoken rule of ‘homemade.’

If you’re in the mood for a smack in the face of chocolatey richness, go make a batch of these babies. And have a glass of milk handy! So good.

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Ingredients:

Cookies-

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350^F. In a large bowl, cream together butter, and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well. Combine cocoa, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix into creamed mixture. Create rounded balls of dough – about 1 Tbsp each (keep them fairly small for best results). Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until puffy but still soft. Allow cookies to cook on baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack or wax paper to cool completely. When completely cooked, frost will cream filling.

Cream Filling-

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold into whipped cream.

 

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Italian Meatballs

28 Oct

My neighbor got Mono a couple of weeks ago. I had it the summer after my freshman year of college = no fun. And I didn’t have kids to take care of back then – she has 4. So, I made their family dinner, and asked the kids if there was anything they didn’t like or anything they preferred. There was talk of macaroni and cheese and other kinds of kid favorites, but then their eyes lit up; “Spaghetti and Meatballs!” I love spaghetti – my husband does not. So, whenever I make spaghetti, it is a special treat for me. 🙂 However, I usually just make spaghetti with meat sauce. I have never made meatballs. But they asked specifically for meatballs! It’s always a little scary making something you have never made before with the intention of giving it to someone else. It doesn’t leave much room for error – even though you know that they would never say anything if it tasted horrible. I contemplated just doing my regular meat sauce, but then my conscience would strike and I just didn’t have much choice – I promised meatballs.

I was really pleased with this recipe. The meatballs were like miniature meat loaves, and then of course, there is the ease of the crockpot! Even my husband tried them. 🙂 He’s still not a huge fan of spaghetti, but said the meatballs were pretty good – I take what I can.

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Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand – use your bare hands for best results. Roll meatballs to about the size of a golf ball. Drop raw meatballs into crockpot filled with Marinara Sauce. Cook on high for about 3 hours.

Original recipe found here: http://www.food.com/recipe/authentic-italian-meatballs-92095

Katie’s Sugar Cookies

20 Sep

I have no idea who ‘Katie’ is (that’s how they are listed in my mom’s recipe cards, and I have to give credit where credit is due!) – but she sure knew how to make sugar cookies! I prefer a little bit of ‘fluff’ to my sugar cookies. Soft and perfectly puffy. Try this recipe, and never again will you buy those pre-packaged cookies, with the inch of frosting and sprinkles, from the vending machine! You will be spoiled. And you will love it. I may or may not have eaten four in a row yesterday and called it lunch.

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Ingredients:

1 cup evaporated milk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

In a separate, small bowl, add vinegar to evaporated milk and allow to sit. Blend butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth. Add milk mixture to butter mixture and blend well. Add dry ingredients until blended. Make 2-4 large balls of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place balls of dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour to make it firm. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Bake at 425^F for 7-8 minutes. Cookies will not brown – if they start browning too much you will loose the airiness and they will instead be crunchy. Top with Buttercream Frosting.

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