Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MY Baked Mac n Cheese

Not to brag or anything, but MY mac n cheese is the best you'll ever have. I promise. And if you don't agree with me, well, you are just weird.

You need:
16 oz bag of lg. elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded colby/jack cheese
2 cups milk
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
10 saltine crackers
spray butter, or another 2 tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook macaroni, drain. Add the stick of butter (in slices), the cheese, milk, eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Fold together.

(the eggs are in there, under the cheese)

Pour into a 13x9 size, or big enough, round baking dish.
In a small bowl, crush the saltine crackers up. Use either spray butter, or a little melted butted to "wet" the crackers a bit.

Spread the crackers over the mac n cheese

Bake uncovered for 50 min, or until bubbly and brown
Allow to cool for about 10 min before serving.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

I have never before made any kind of meringue. It always scared me. I don't know why though, it's so easy! I have been saying for months that I was going to make a lemon meringue pie, ever since my husband bragged about his late grandma's lemon meringue pies. I knew I wasn't going to be up on her level any time soon, but I was determined to try. I think it came out perfect.

For the Filling:
1.5 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups water
3 lemons, juiced and zested
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked (deep dish)

For the Meringue:
6 egg whites
9 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Heat oven to 350

I think it's best to get the meringue going first. You need to beat the egg whites for like 15 min, so if you have a stand mixer, you can prepare the filling while the meringue is going.

Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy.

Add sugar gradually, add the vanilla, and the tartar, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. (15 min)

Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.

Stir in water, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter.

Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.   


Pour filling into your pre-baked crust

Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.   

I used the back side of a spoon to give my meringue some pretty swirls

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.               

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chuck Roast with Homemade Noodles

I have been on a "classic" dinner kick. This recipe was in another one of my old "Taste of Home" books given to me by my grandma. I was intimidated and excited at the same time about making homemade noodles. So glad I tried it! They were a little time consuming, but they really were the star of the dish. Next time you want to impress someone. try making this dinner. You and everyone else will love it :)

You need:
1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 to 4 pounds)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2-1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 can (14 ounces) beef brothm
Pepper to taste

In a dutch oven, brown the onion and roast in oil. Add 1/2 cup of water. cover and bake at 325 for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, for noodles, combine flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Beat milk and egg, pour into flour.

Stir to form a stif dough. Roll out onto a floured surface in a 15x12 rectangle. Cut dough into 1/8 inch strips ( a pizza cutter works great). Refridgerate until ready to use.

Remove roast and keep warm. Add broth and remaining water to pan.

Bring broth to a boil and add noodles. Continue to boil for 8-10 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove noodles and serve with the beef. Spoon some broth over the top of both, enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chocolate Covered Brownie Bars

So these were supposed to be "chocolate dipped brownies", but I guess I cut them too big because I couldn't dip them into the chocolate and keep them in one piece. SO, I poured the chocolate over them instead. Same great taste, and easier to pick up and eat I think too.

You can use a box brownie mix, or use my "better-than-any-box" brownie recipe.
For the sauce:
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening

Prepare your brownies. Cool completely, then put them into the freezer for 45 min. Don't forget about them! You don't want them to totally freeze.
After removing them from the freezer, cut them into bars. I made like 3 inch bars, but if you want to 'dip' them, stick with 2x1 inch size bars.

In a double boiler, or in a rigged up double broiler like mine, melt your choco chips and shortening

Now, if you've cut your bars small enough to handle well, you can dip them into the chocolate sauce, and then set them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. If you decided to have bigger bars, you want to take a small ladle and pour sauce over each bar (bars should be on wax paper)

Let the bars sit for a while before moving them from the paper.  Enjoy!

Baked Omelet

I love Omelets. I love that you can pretty much throw anything into one. And I love "baking" omelets. They actually reheat really well, so you can make a 9x13 size dish up, and eat omelets for breakfast all week long. Well, maybe not a week, but a couple days anyway. This one is pretty simple. I used sausage, bell pepper, onion, and cheese, topped off with a little avocado. But switch it up, use bacon, ham, chicken, crab...whatever floats your boat.

You need:
8 eggs
1/2 cup half & half
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper, green or red
1/2 pound ground country sausage
1 cup shredded cheese. I used a colby/jack combo
salt and pepper to taste

Brown your sausage in a skilet, over med heat.

Beat the eggs with the half & half for about 4 min, til bubbly

Add your peppers, onion, sausage and cheese to the eggs, fold together

Pour into a greased 9 in dish

Bake at 400 for 30 min. Top with sliced avocado. Enjoy!