Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cheesy Beans


Not your green bean casserole!

Of all of the recipes I've posted, I really can't believe that this one isn't here yet.
This is one of my husband's favorite foods. His all time comfort food - he LOVES these! These are one of our staples for Thanksgiving Dinner.

3 cans green beans - drained
1/2 small jar cheese whiz
2 t. yellow mustard +/-
1 - 2 T. mayonaise

Place all ingredients in sauce pan and mix thoroughly. Heat until sauce is bubbling and begins to slightly thicken. Serve hot.
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Babyback Ribs

We went shopping last night for ingredients for our Father's Day dinner. While we originally headed out looking for steaks, we decided to try some babyback pork ribs that were on sale.

I've never made ribs before, so I was a little tentative at first, but we were thrilled at just how easy these were, and how great they tasted. They've been added to our list of easy (and impressive) Sunday-cook-while-we-are-at-church recipes. We also loved that this meal only cost about $8.00 compared to the $25+ steaks.

1 rack babyback pork ribs
1 bottle barbecue sauce (we like hickory flavor)

Line a baking dish/pan with aluminum foil. Cut rib rack in half and fit into baking dish, bone side down.
Pour 3/4 bottle barbecue sauce over ribs and cover with foil, sealing tightly.

Heat oven to 300* and bake for approximately 5 hours or until meat reaches 170* F.

Remove from oven and using a spoon, baste with the juices and sauces which have run onto the sides prior to serving.
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Maple Syrup, Berry Syrup

Syrup. I grew up not knowing what commercially sold syrup tastes like. I learned the 2:1 ratio as soon as I started cooking.

Basic syrup
2 c. sugar
1 c. water
maple flavoring
Bring to a boil. Add flavoring.

Berry syrup
4 c. sugar
2 c. water
2 T. corn starch
Fresh or frozen berries 1/2-1 c.

Mix sugar and cornstarch in pan.
Add water, and heat to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add berries, bring to a boil again. Let boil for 2-3 while stirring. Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast


While my photo isn't fantastic, this breakfast really is!

I made this for Father's Day this morning. It is from another SAA cookbook that I've had for years, but never got around to trying out this recipe...oh what we've been missing!

I set out to try out this recipe earlier in the week and got halfway through only to discover that we were out of eggs. The good part of this is that I learned that there were some changes in the recipe that I would want to make.

Here's my version of Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

French or Italian Bread cut into 3/8 - 1/2 inch slices
8 oz. cream cheese (room temp or softened)
1 cup diced strawberries
3 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. vanilla
1-2 T. sugar

Add strawberries and sugar to cream cheese and thoroughly mix.

Heat griddle or skillet.

In a shallow dish or bowl beat eggs, then add milk, nutmeg, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Grease griddle or skillet. Cover one slice of bread with cream cheese mixture and top with another slice (yes, a strawberry cream cheese sandwich). Dip into egg and milk mixture, then place on griddle. Repeat with all of the bread.

Turn once thoroughly cooked.
Serve immediately with a berry syrup and whipping cream, or maple syrup.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Smooth and Creamy Mac 'n' Cheese


Today I was watching my neighbor's son and the kids wanted mac and cheese for lunch. Growing up, mac and cheese was a staple. Not the stuff out of the boxes, but cook the noodles, add butter, milk and cheese and stir mac and cheese. While that recipe works, in college, my roommate Josie made some mac and cheese which I still remember. She was a farm girl and I was scandalized to see her mixing flour (what? flour?) into her mac and cheese. It was so amazingly creamy, I was stunned.

Since then, I've learned a little more about cooking and understand the theory behind a good roux. (I really love to write and use that word by the way). Here's my recipe for homemade mac and cheese. And please note - this is not a baked mac and cheese, rather a stovetop version.

3-4 quarts boiling water
2 1/2 c. macaroni noodles (uncooked)
1 t. salt
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/4 - 1/2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheese (I use whatever is on hand)

Add salt to boiling water and then add noodles. Cook 15-18 minutes until done.
Drain noodles into a colander and set aside.

Working quickly, place pan back onto the stove and melt butter. Once melted, mix in flour and briskly stir until incorporated. Stir briskly for another minute, then add 1/4 c. milk and shredded cheese and mix into a smooth paste. Add noodles and coat thoroughly, adding milk as needed to thin the consistency.

Serve immediately.

Note - finely chopped onions add a fantastic crunch and flavor to this mac and cheese.
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