Wednesday, October 7, 2009

THE BEST MAC and CHEESE

I found this recipe on cooks.com several years ago and have never used another mac and cheese recipe since. I brought out the recipe for my cooking class to try and they loved it. It is easy and fast to make. Good Stuff!!!!!

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe -

3 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 c. milk
2 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1 (16 oz.) box elbow macaroni
1/2 tsp. paprika

In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, mustard and pepper until smooth; take off heat. Half a cup at a time, stir in milk until smooth. Stir constantly for 10 minutes on low to medium heat until thick; take off heat. Stir in 2 cups Cheddar cheese, Velveeta cheese and Mozzarella cheese until melted. Put cooked macaroni in a 9 x 13 greased casserole dish, pour cheese mixture over and mix well. Sprinkle paprika and leftover Cheddar cheese on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Classic French Bistro Sandwich - Croque Monsieur

My family absolutely loves grilled cheese sandwiches regardless of the weather outside. I came across a recipe for a french grilled cheese - Croque Monsieur. It looked wonderful! I decided to print off the recipe and make it after morning service today. I found two different recipes for the same sandwich and decided to try them both. I made both versions (a total of 8 sandwiches) and it took me under 20 minutes. Unbelievably delicious! I wanted to take pictures but the family just couldn't wait any longer to eat. Worth every minute of preparation and the calories :0)



Croque Monsieur

Serves 4
Ingredients
8 slices white bread
4 ounces butter, softened
4 slices ham
4 slices gruyere cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
salt
fresh ground black pepper

Directions
1Spread the bread with some of the softened butter, make 4 sandwiches, each with one slice of ham and one slice of cheese. Press them firmly together.

2Beat the eggs with the water, add the salt and pepper to taste, and dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture, coating all sides well.

3Heat the rest of the butter in a heavy- bottomed frying pan/skillet, when it has melted and is very hot - but not brown, fry the sandwiches for about 5 - 8 minutes, turning once.

4Serve immediately.

5If you prefer, although it is not traditional, you may place the croque-monsieur into a very well-buttered baking pan and bake in a moderately hot oven - 175°C/350°- turning once, for about 10 to 15 minutes. It is easier to prepare a larger number this way and keep them warm until you are ready to serve them.



Here is the second version - My favorite!



Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Ingredients
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, or more to taste
6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups grated)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (packed)
8 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
12 ounces ham, sliced
Dijon mustard

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 Make the béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyère. Set aside.

3 Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor you can spread some butter on the bread slices before you toast them if you want.

(Alternatively, you can assemble the sandwiches as follows in step four and grill them on a skillet, finishing them in the broiler with the bechamel sauce.)

4 Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices.

5 Spoon on the béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese. Place on a broiling pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

If you top this sandwich with a fried egg it becomes a Croque Madame.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Peach Cobbler

This is my favorite Peach Cobbler recipe. It is wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream...the perfect summer dessert.

PEACH COBBLER:
1 stick of margarine or butter
1 medium can of sliced peaches in lite syrup

1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp. baking powder
2 T. sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon - set aside

Melt the stick of margarine or butter. Pour margarine/butter into a 9X13 pan. Pour can of sliced peaches into the pan. Mix together the cup of sugar, flour, milk, and baking powder. Evenly pour this batter over the peaches. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The top will be somewhat crispy. Top with vanilla ice cream and serve immediately. You can also add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blackberries to the peaches...tasty!



Friday, July 10, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwiches



Pulled pork sandwiches are so easy to make and taste yummy too. The following recipe is courtesy of Paula Deen. I always use my crock pot when making these sandwiches. It is much easier to make and truly less time consuming. Absolutely delicious!

Ingredients
Dry rub:
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon cayenne
4 pound shoulder pork roast
2 cup apple juice (OR use a can of Coca Cola or Rootbeer)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
6 soft hamburger buns with seeds
BBQ sauce
Cole slaw
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the dry rub ingredients in small bowl. Sprinkle dry rub all over the pork roast, pressing into the pork. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


Combine liquid ingredients and the garlic powder in a medium bowl and pour into a large Dutch oven. Place pork in the oven and tightly cover with aluminum foil then lid. Roast for 4 hours or until fork tender and shreds easily. Brush the roast with cooking liquid every hour. IF USING CROCK POT - combine liquid ingredients and garlic powder and pour into your crock pot. Place pork in the crock pot and place on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours.


Remove from oven or crock pot and let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred the pork with a fork or tongs into bite size pieces.


Serve on hamburger buns topped with BBQ sauce and cole slaw. Most of the time I use boneless chicken breasts instead of pork. I also like using Coca Cola instead of the apple juice.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yummy Cinnamon Rolls


These cinnamon rolls are delicious and easy to make.

Preparation time and cook time is about 4 hours total. This recipe makes about 12 cinnamon rolls.

1 1/4 cups of whole milk
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons sales
About 5 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cinnamon

1. In a 2 quart pan over medium heat, heat milk to lukewarm. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Let stand about 5 minutes.

2. With a wooden spoon, stir milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, the salt, and 3 1/2 cups flour into yeast mixture. Stir vigorously until slightly stretchy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups more flour until a stiff dough forms. Scrape onto a floured board and knead until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, about 8 minutes; add flour as needed to prevent sticking. Return dough to bowl.

3. Cover bowl airtight and let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Scrape dough onto floured board and press gently, to expel air. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 10 by 16 rectangle. Spread 6 tablespoons of butter over each rectangle. In a small bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups sugar with 1/4 cup cinnamon. Sprinkle half the mixture over each rectangle.

5. Starting from a long edge, roll each rectangle into a tight cylinder. Cut each cylinder into six equal pieces. Place, cut side down and slightly apart, in two 7 by 11 inch baking pans. Cover pans and let stand at room temperature until rolls are almost doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.



6. Bake in a 350 oven until rolls are browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan about 10 minutes. While cooling mix 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup water. Then drizzle over with icing.

Serve warm from the pan.

*You can also make these the night before and place in the refrigerator. Make sure to cover them tightly though. Let them sit out for about 15 minutes before you place them in the oven.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lemon Linguine


This is a very easy meal to prepare and economical. It takes about 12 to 15 minutes to make. You could also add shrimp to this recipe...very tasty!


Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package linguine
1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1 tablespoon milk
1 3/4 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
1 whole lemon, zested
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives

Directions:

Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

In a skillet, cook onion or shallots and garlic in butter, stirring constantly until tender, not brown. Stir in sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, milk, lemon-pepper, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over linguine. Toss gently, adding chopped parsley, chives, and remaining Parmesan. Serve warm. One of Alexandria's favorite meals.

Welcome

Welcome to my cooking blog. I will be posting new and old recipes often. I absolutely love to cook and bake. I love the challenge of a recipe. I am currently teaching a culinary arts class at our school and have thoroughly enjoyed working with high school students. It has been quite rewarding to watch how far some of these kids have come in 7 months...from not being able to boil water to being able to follow a recipe from start to finish. I will be posting some of their creations as well. Thanks for stopping by...