Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Skillet Macaroni and Cheese
from My Kitchen Cafe (www.melskitchencafe.com)
3 1/2 cups water, plus extra if needed
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
Ground black pepper to taste
Bring 3 1/2 cups water, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, the macaroni, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.
Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, the cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack, one handful at a time, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce (I didn’t need any additional water when I made it). Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, December 13, 2010
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks (or leftover cooked chicken, cubed)
3 tablespoons butter
½ onion (about ½ cup), finely chopped
3 cloves garlic; finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion and raw chicken (if using leftover cooked chicken, don’t add it to the skillet now, you’ll add it later). Saute the onion and chicken, if using, until the onions are soft and translucent and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring, until fragrant.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and chicken and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for one minute - this helps get rid of the starchy, flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Add the salt and pepper. If you are using leftover cooked chicken, add it now. Continue simmering, stirring the sauce frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
Serve the chicken sauce over rice with your toppings of choice, such as olives, tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, mandarin oranges and chow mein noodles.
Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
6 to 8 Cs cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C milk
½ C butter
1 C finely chopped pecans
1 C brown sugar
1/3 C flour
1/3 C butter
Beat together all the first stuff, then put in casserole and put topping and bake 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees
Makes: 30 Rolls
½ C sugar
½ C oil
2 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 ½ C water
6-7 C flour
Proof the yeast by adding 1/2 C warm water to the yeast. While it proofs, beat sugar and oil together. Add eggs and beat again. Add 2 C flour and beat until smooth. Add yeast, salt, and water and gently mix until unified. Add flour until it pulls away easily from bowl. Knead for 10 minutes by hand/6-7 minutes with a mixer using a kneading hook. Let rise 35-45 minutes. Form into 30 small balls/rolls and let rise again 30 minutes (if you are freezing them, let rise 20 minutes, then place in the freezer on a plate or cookie sheet until mostly frozen, and then transfer to ziploc bags or other freezer container and store in freezer until ready for use); preheat oven to 375°F. Bake 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Brush with a little oil or butter and sprinkle with salt, if desired.
This is one of my favorite cheesecakes! I just make a graham cracker crust for the bottom. This year I decided to to a Blackberry Balsamic Reduction Sauce which I thought paired fabulously with it (although a little went a long way). I made the cheesecake days in advance and then froze it. Then, I popped it in the fridge 24 hours before serving it. I just removed it and let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before serving and it was perfect. Just play with it until it's the right temperature. The sauce paired SO nicely with it - my husband doesn't like cheesecake (I know, he should be arrested), but he actually ate a whole piece and attributed it to the pairing of the sauce with it. I was pretty liberal, I added balsamic to taste (more than the recipe called for) and sugar to taste (less than the recipe called for). I also added raspberries. But I followed all the steps perfectly, and made it days in advance and it was great. Cheesecake and sauce: 5 stars.
Junior's White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Graham Crackers, sugar, a pinch of salt, butter. You know the drill, just make whatever crust you like, bake it, let cook until golden and then let it cool while you make the cheesecake.
10 oz dry-pack frozen whole raspberries (unsweetened/not in syrup), thawed and drained well
5 T cornstarch
8 oz white chocolate
3 8 oz packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
1 1/3 C sugar
1 T pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
2/3 C heavy or whipping cream
1 half-pint fresh raspberries (about 6 oz)
White chocolate curls (for garnish, not necessary)
Pulse the thawed raspberries in food processor until pureed (you need ¾ C puree). Stir in 1 T of the cornstarch and set aside. It will thicken slightly as it stands. Melt white chocolate and set aside if doing white curls for garnish.
Put one package of cream cheese, 1/3 C sugar, and remaining 4 T cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Beat in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 C sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted white chocolate, then the cream, just until completely blended. Do not overmix!! (Overbeaten eggs cause cracking!)
Gently spoon the batter on top of the crust. Drop the raspberry puree in teaspoonfuls on top of the batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a ‘figure 8’ design, just until red swirls appear (don’t overmix and turn the cake pink!).
Place cake in a large shallow pan with hot water that comes 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan with raspberry swirls, about 1 ¼ hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away – don’t move it!). Leave the cake in the pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.
Remove from pan and put on cake plate if desired. Decorate with raspberries, white chocolate curls, and puree. Can wrap and freeze leftover cheesecake for 1 month (without fresh raspberries on top of course).
Magnolia's Banana Cream Pudding Pie
I love this recipe and make it every year. And every year that I make it I forget that it's better the next day, so next year, I'll make it 1 day in advance. I will also remember that it makes an EXORBITANT amount of pudding, so I will make 1/3 of the recipe and serve it in a smaller bowl (hopefully a clear one, because it's so pretty in a clear bowl, it looks like trifle). The bananas on top are the only part that need to be pretty, so put those on just before serving. The longer it sits, the more the flavor because amazing! Oh, and don't be fooled, I know this looks like your cheating with these ingredients, but really, who cares, if it's good, it must be Thanksgiving worthy (and if people line up for blocks in NYC for it, it must be good as well). I'm not a big fan of banana cream, but this is good. My husband loves it and has to have it every Thanksgiving! 4 stars.
Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
From 'More From Magnolia' Cookbook
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup vanilla pudding mix
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups cold heavy cream
1 (12 ounce) box vanilla wafers
4 ripe bananas, sliced
Whisk together the water, pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk until will mixed. If not using instant, refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. If using instant, it will be ready to go within 15 min.
When pudding is ready, whip the heavy cream in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well incorporated.
In a deep glass bowl (or pie pans or whatever you want to use to layer...but honestly the deeper the bowl the more it will all 'mish mash' together), layer the pudding, wafers, bananas and pudding again. Continue until all the mixture is used up, ending with either wafers or pudding. Don't end with bananas because they will just turn brown and end up looking unappealing. I sprinkled crushed wafers on top of mine.
Now, I can't take credit for all this cooking, my good friends came into town and helped make a lot of these dishes! Plus, my friend made amazing Collard Greens (seriously, they were really good!) and Pumpkin Cake with whipped Cream Cheese Frosting that were both so good. I need to get those recipes. I just had to share these recipes, and also document them so next year I can make them again!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
- 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked ditalini pasta (I used penne)
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted (I skipped this step)
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Basil sprigs, garnish, optional (I skipped this as well)
In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Garnish with basil, if desired.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup milk
- 4 cups fresh peach slices
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.