We had a birthday party for the youngest daughter, Kristy, last month, and smoked a bunch of pork butts in anticipation of a United Way fundraiser (today) as well as her birthday. I had made my famous and delicious cheesy potatoes but as I contemplated the number of men and kids attending, I thought I might whip up a quick batch of mac and cheese.
My sister came up with this recipe and it’s super easy, cheesy and delicious. All you need is mac and cheese, powdered milk, velveeta and sharp cheddar. I might add that at first I was only able to find these huge boxes of powdered milk, but now you can buy little packages of it which are really handy and work for those of us who don’t use this on a regular basis.
Be sure to use sharp cheddar and the more liquid the better when you pop it in the oven. (I’ve actually started only buying sharp) Sooo good!
Homemade Mac & Cheese
Preheat oven to 325 for glass dishes; 350 for metal. Spray a 9 x 13 dish with non-stick spray.
2 cups small size elbow macaroni
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 lb. Velveeta (1/2 of package)
8 oz. (at least) sharp grated cheddar cheese
1/4 pound butter
Fill a 3 qt saucepan 2/3 full with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil. Add mac to boiling water, stir. Allow water to return to boil and cook macaroni just to al dente stage. This does not take long!! It will cook more as you melt the cheese and also in the baking process. Drain some of the water – leaving just enough to “almost” cover the macaroni.
Add nonfat dry milk to the macaroni and water. Stir until milk is dissolved.
Cut Velveeta into chunks and add to the macaroni mixture. Stir well, cover loosely and return to very low heat. Add 1/4 lb. butter, cut into chunks and add to the mac and cheese mixture. Stir frequently until almost all of the Velveeta is melted. Once that happens, pour into baking dish. You may want to add more water or milk at this point. Top with shredded sharp cheddar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned to your preference.
Have you ever tried grilling them? Well, I hadn’t and my biggest issue with an avocado is that I usually eat it before I can do anything with it! However, you should give this a whirl.
I halved my little green gems (they need to be pretty ripe but not mushy), removed the pit, and placed them upside down on a hot grill. Move them around a little to get some good grill marks:
grill marks galore!
I removed from the grill and dressed with a mixture of Mexican shredded cheese. Place back on grill (cheese side up, of course), lower lid and let cheese melt.
Before attacking these little morsels, I added a little salsa. I was afraid that the salsa, etc., would overwhelm the flavor of the avocado — NOT!! Oh soooo good! Thanks for dropping by, and hope you enjoy these as much as we did!
Avocados, halved and pitted
Shredded cheese (mexican blend or monterrey jack)
Place avocados cut side down t get some grill marks, flip over, add cheese. Place back on grill to let cheese melt. Top with salsa and enjoy!
The only time I’ve ever eaten radishes is with them dunked in mayo. Hellman’s, that is. Yep, I’m a mayonnaise snob. However, I ran across this recipe and was a little skeptical. MB and I speculated as to whether these might end up in File 13 quickly. However, they were amazing. The radishes take on a sweet flavor and are too the moon. So, they’re easy and I encourage you to give them a whirl – you will probably be pleasantly surprised! Enjoy!
Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com
Butter or margarine
Salt & pepper
Heat butter in a skillet over low heat; arrange radishes, cut side-down, in the melted butter. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and softened, about 10 minutes.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever get my friend Gina on here, so in lieu of that, I’m posting a couple of my favorite things she has made recently. Not a huge fan of raw broccoli, but the ingredients in this salad are sweet and crunchy, and who doesn’t love ANYTHING with bacon in it. It’s a taste treat!
I did want to share that I’m on a plane to Washington, DC at the moment, watching the NFL Network and blogging away. You’ll notice that some of the passengers were enjoying a little shut eye (don’t know this guy.) Also, I’m pretty excited to use a free drink coupon, so if the plane would quit jolting through the air, they might show up with my Bloody Mary.
Here’s the end result of the Broccoli Salad:
I’m also sharing a recipe for sandwiches that Gina brought for snacks one night. Don’t have any idea what to call them (Ginawiches?), but you’ll think yummo! And really different! I’m not familiar with a lot of the various sausage or salami brands in the deli sections, but I know these are available at your local Hy-Vee, and probably any other large grocer.
The sandwiches are made on the little cocktail or potato/egg rolls and use both Dijon and honey mustard. Add sausage, cheese and sweet pickle chips, and wow, do you have a tasty delight!! Specifics below and apologies that I didn’t get a pic before they were all gone L And, if there’s any weird words in this blog, it’s due – not to the Bloody Mary, which I finally got, but the fact that the airplane is doing a gymnastics routine at 557 miles an hour.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the beautiful spring weather and flowers blooming!!!!
P.S. On a side note, amazing that sleeping dude woke up for snacks. Hmmm….maybe he wasn’t really asleep
Wash and cut stalks off of 2 heads of broccoli. Separate into bite-size pieces.
1 chopped red onion
1 cup craisins
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup mayonnaise
3 TBSP sugar
Mix well and refrigerate before serving.
Butter/egg or cocktail rolls (or Hawaiian rolls)
Havarti with Dill sliced cheese
Sweet pickle chips
Spread one side of the roll with honey mustard, the other with Dijon mustard. Layer sandwich ingredients and ENJOY!
I had always wanted to try my hand at risotto (arborio rice) because I love it in the few restaurants that I’ve partaken of it. I ran across a version of this recipe, and with a little hesitation, MB and I decided to try it one night. It was one of those things that we figure we would dump if things went south. However, this little skillet of yummiliciousness turned out amazing, and friends have since also devoured it.
In reading the recipe, it appears that it takes quite a while to make, but if you sip on whatever white wine you didn’t put in the rice, it makes the time pass quickly. 🙂 This was delicious:
Mushroom and Pea Risotto
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp EVOO
1 qt vegetable stock
8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 tbsp each minced shallots and garlic
3/4 arborio rice
1/4 C white wine
1/3 cup thawed frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste
shredded Parmesan cheese
Pour stock into a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and keep at that temp while making risotto.
Melt butter and olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots; saute until soft approx 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the rice and stir well. Let the rice toast for a few minutes. It will start to smell nutty (be sure to stir so it doesn’t burn) and start to absorb some of the liquid in the pan. Add the white wine, stirring well. Cook until wine is reduced and pan is almost dry (approx 2 min(.
Reduce heat to medium low and add 1 cup of the hot stock to the rice, using a wooden spoon to stir vigorously. Once the rice has absorbed the broth and pan is just about dry again, repeat process with another 1/2 cup of stock. Continue this process until you have used all of the stock (this is where drinking the extra wine comes in handy.) This will take 20-30 minutes.
Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and add peas. Stir very well and serve ASAP. I like to serve with a little shredded parmesan cheese on top.
My very favorite hashbrown casserole, or cheesy potatoes, is what you are served at Cracker Barrel Restaurant. Cheesy, yummy and crispy on top. I tried for years to replicate it, and one recipe even had me put beef broth ??? in it. (it was pretty good, though). However, I’ve developed this delicious stand-by and my family craves it….there’s never any left in the pan. Also, many times I make it ahead and freeze it in 1/2’s so that I can just cook a small portion when it’s just the two of us. The key is in the cheese…COLBY. And I like to make sure that the top gets a little crispy. Here’s a pic, and notice there’s no topping:
Photo courtesy of blog.hangupsinkc.com
I made this for friends that are coming over, but forgot to take a pic. I’m sharing the recipe here – enjoy!
2 lbs frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed and drained on paper towel (if you have time)
1/2 C margarine, melted
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper, or more to taste
1/2 C onion, finely chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 C grated Colby cheese
Heat oven to 350. Spray 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Mix soup, margarine, salt, pepper, onion and cheese. Gently mix in the potatoes and dump into the baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35 – 45 minutes.