Mac N’ Cheese Bites

Mac N’ Cheese Bites

Mac N' CheeseThinking about your next holiday party?  Not sure what to serve?  Here’s a new twist on a favorite comfort food your family and friends will love, Mac N’ Cheese Bites.

I make these for my twin grandbabies, they love Mac N’ Cheese and these are perfectly portioned for their small appetites!

They look great on a tasting or buffet table.  Make them ahead of time and keep some in your freezer for unexpected get togethers this holiday season, I do!

Makes 24 bites

Ingredients:

2 cups elbow macaroni (cooked, strained, and cooled)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 stick melted butter
Cooking spray

Directions:

Spray  mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl except breadcrumbs and mix well.

Drop into muffin tin, fill each cup to the top.

Sprinkle tops with breadcrumbs.

Bake in oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges start to turn brown.

Mac N' Cheese Bites
Print Recipe
Great party appetizer! A new twist on everyone's favorite comfort food, Macaroni and Cheese. These cheesy, creamy, and yummy bites will be the hit of the party. They make great snacks too!
Servings Prep Time
24 Bites 20 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 Bites 20 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Mac N' Cheese Bites
Print Recipe
Great party appetizer! A new twist on everyone's favorite comfort food, Macaroni and Cheese. These cheesy, creamy, and yummy bites will be the hit of the party. They make great snacks too!
Servings Prep Time
24 Bites 20 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 Bites 20 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Bites
Instructions
  1. Spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl except breadcrumbs and mix well.
  4. Drop into muffin tin, fill each cup to the top.
  5. Sprinkle tops with breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake in oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges start to turn brown.
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Ganache Filled Bar Cookies

Ganache Filled Bar Cookies

Cookies

Who doesn’t love homemade chocolate chip cookies? Here’s a family favorite, a new twist on the classic cookie jar standard.  These bar cookies are crunchy on the outside and very chocolatey in the middle.

It requires a bit more work than the reqular drop cookies, but so worth the extra time and effort. It’s sure to become one of your favorites too!

Makes 32 Cookies

Ingredients:

 

½ cup heavy cream

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Boil cream over moderate heat.
  2. Finely grind chocolate chips in a food processor.
  3.  With food processor on add the hot cream and process until smooth.
  4.  Scrape ganache into a bowl and let stand til firm – 30 mins. To 1 hr.
  5.  Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees
  6.  Lightly butter 9”x13” baking pan.  Line pan with wax paper.  Butter and flour paper.
  7.   Whisk together flour and salt.
  8. In large mixing bowl beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed for 3 mins.
  9.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  10.  Beat in vanilla
  11. At low speed add flour in 3 increments, batter will be stiff
  12. Spread batter into pan
  13.   Bake 18-20 mins. , until tester inserted in center comes out clean
  14.   Transfer pan to wire rack and cool completely
  15.   Invert pan onto a large wire rack.
  16.    Remove pan and peel off wax paper.
  17.    Invert cake onto large cutting board.
  18.   With a long serrated knife cut cake in halves crosswise
  19.   Spread chocolate ganache on one half of cake leaving a 1/8” border
  20.  Top with other cake half
  21.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ganache is set – 2 hours or more
  22. Trim cake edges.
  23. Cut lengthwise into 4 strips
  24.  Cut strips crosswise into 8 bars each.

Serve chilled or at room temperature with cold milk for a yummy treat.

Cookies
Ganache Filled Bar Cookies
Print Recipe
A new twist on a cookie jar standard. Instead of chocolate chip cookies make theses bar cookies.
Servings Prep Time
32 Bars 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
32 Bars 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 3 Hours
Cookies
Ganache Filled Bar Cookies
Print Recipe
A new twist on a cookie jar standard. Instead of chocolate chip cookies make theses bar cookies.
Servings Prep Time
32 Bars 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
32 Bars 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 3 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Bars
Instructions
Ganache
  1. Boil cream over moderate heat.
  2. Finely grind chocolate chips in a food processor.
  3. With food processor on add the hot cream and process until smooth.
  4. Scrape ganache into a bowl and let stand til firm – 30 mins. To 1 hr.
Assemble
  1. Invert pan onto a large wire rack. Remove pan and peel off wax paper.
  2. Invert cake onto large cutting board.
  3. With a long serrated knife cut cake in halves crosswise.
  4. Spread chocolate ganache on one half of cake leaving a 1/8” border.
  5. Top with other cake half.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ganache is set – 2 hours or more.
  7. Trim cake edges.
  8. Cut lengthwise into 4 strips.
  9. Cut strips crosswise into 8 bars each.
Recipe Notes

You can get more cookies by cutting the bars smaller.

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Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce

Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce

Bread Pudding

Whole Foods sells an awesome Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce.  It’s one of the items in their hot bar.  It sells for around $7 or $8 a pound, and this stuff is pretty heavy.  My family loves this pudding and we usually take home a few pounds when ever we shop there.

Bread pudding is pretty basic, it’s just bread, milk, eggs, and sugar.  I decided I’d try my hand at making a bread pudding similar to Whole Food’s.  I’d also serve it with caramel sauce just like they do.  Luckily I hit it on the first try!  My family loves it, they say it’s even better than Whole Foods’.

You can serve bread pudding warm or cold; with or without the caramel sauce; and of course with a scoop of ice cream.  It’s one of my favorite comfort foods!

Here’s my recipe for bread pudding and caramel sauce.  It gives 12 generous servings.

Pudding:

12 cups baguette cubesI use day old baguettes that come on sale at the end of the day

7 cups whole milk

9 eggs

1 tbls. vanilla

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  1. Place cubes in buttered 9″ x 13″ baking pan
  2. Beat eggs, mix in milk and brown sugar
  3. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon
  4. Pour milk mixture over cubes
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven 1 1/2 hours or until tester comes out clean and pudding is set

You can serve warm or cold, with or without caramel sauce.

 Caramel Sauce:

Makes 4 cups

2 sticks butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Melt butter in sauce pan.  Add sugar and cream.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and sauce thickens.  Do no bring to a boil.  Stir to keep sides sugar from forming crystals on the side of the pan.

This Caramel Sauce can be used to top bread pudding, ice cream, brownies, etc.  I usually make a batch and just store in my refrigerator.  It keeps for about a month, just stir if the butter separates.

It gets a grainy texture if stored longer.


Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce
Print Recipe
Super yummy bread pudding, my favorite comfort food. The caramel sauce makes this bread pudding exceptional. Make extra sauce to pour over ice cream!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time
90 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time
90 Minutes
Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce
Print Recipe
Super yummy bread pudding, my favorite comfort food. The caramel sauce makes this bread pudding exceptional. Make extra sauce to pour over ice cream!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time
90 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time
90 Minutes
Ingredients
Pudding
Caramel Sauce
Servings: Servings
Instructions
Pudding
  1. Place cubes in buttered 9" x 13" baking pan
  2. Beat eggs, mix in milk and brown sugar
  3. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon
  4. Pour milk mixture over cubes
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven 1 1/2 hours or until tester comes out clean and pudding is set
Caramel Sauce
  1. Melt butter in sauce pan.
  2. Add sugar and cream.
  3. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and sauce thickens. Do no bring to a boil.
  4. Stir to keep sides sugar from forming crystals on the side of the pan.
Recipe Notes

 

This Caramel Sauce can be used to top bread pudding, ice cream, brownies, etc.  I usually make a batch and just store in my refrigerator.  I keeps for about a month, just stir if the butter separates.
It gets a grainy texture if stored longer.

 

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Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

 Fettuccine AlfredoFettuccine Alfredo was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio 1908.   It was  served in his mother’s restaurant in Rome.  It’s fame really spread when Di Lelio opened his own restaurant in central Rome simply called “Alfredo” in 1914.

His original recipe was very simple, pasta tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese.  Today if you go to most Roman trattorias or restoranti and ask for Fettuccine Alfredo they will probably have no idea what you’re talking about.  The name is mostly used in other countries, mainly in the United States.  In Italy it’s simply called “fettuccine al burro”.

There are many versions of this creamy white sauce, you’re almost sure to find it on the menu of many of the Italian style chain restaurants including The Old Spaghetti Factory, Olive Garden, and Macaroni Grill.   They make it with shrimp, chicken, and plain with just pasta.

This version is really my son’s recipe.  It’s very rich and creamy.  We use it as a sauce for Chicken and Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo and even use it as a pizza sauce.  My daughter Jaime loves the sauce over steamed rice.

This recipe is pretty simple but you have to keep stirring it so that the sauce comes out smooth and creamy.  Left over sauce keeps well for a week or more in the fridge.  Just warm it up and pour over pasta or meats.

Sur La Table Healthy Cooking_468x60

 

Ingredients:

Sauce:

3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1 lb. Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup Butter

1/2 – 3/4 Cup Sun dried tomatoes, chopped

 

Chicken:

1 1/2 lb. Chicken Tenderloins, cut in cubes

1/2 Cup Italian Dressing

1 Package Frozen Broccoli Flowerettes

8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbls. Olive Oil

1 Tbls. Minced Garlic

Your favorite pasta or homemade pasta.  Click here to see my review on the Philips Pasta Maker.

 

Directions:

Fettuccine AlfredoPlace chicken cubes and Italian dressing in a ziplock bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Then shortly before cooking the chicken make the sauce.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

Add heavy whipping cream and allow it to heat up, do not let it boil.

Stir in grated cheese.  Keep stirring until all the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.  If the sauce isn’t thick enough add more cheese until you get your desired consistency.

Stir in sun dried tomatoes and turn off heat.  Keep sauce warm until ready to serve.

Cook your favorite pasta as directed.

Heat Olive in a frying pan add garlic and saute until it starts to turn brown, then take chicken out of ziplock bag and add to the pan.  Discard marinade.

HNM&K5@NT%Saute chicken until it turns brown on the outside.

Add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms turn golden brown.

Add broccoli and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and serve.

To Serve:

Place pasta in serving dish, top with chicken and sauce.  Serve hot with freshly baked garlic bread or homemade Garlic Knots.


Cheese of the Month Club

HNM&K5@NT%
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Print Recipe
Rich creamy white sauce you can use for pasta or pizza.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
HNM&K5@NT%
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Print Recipe
Rich creamy white sauce you can use for pasta or pizza.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
Ingredients
Sauce
Chicken
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Place chicken cubes and Italian dressing in a ziplock bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
    Fettuccine Alfredo
  2. Then shortly before cooking the chicken make the sauce. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add heavy whipping cream and allow it to heat up, do not let it boil.
  4. Stir in grated cheese. Keep stirring until all the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. If the sauce isn't thick enough add more cheese until you get your desired consistency.
  5. Stir in sun dried tomatoes and turn off heat. Keep sauce warm until ready to serve.
  6. Cook your favorite pasta as directed.
  7. Heat Olive in a frying pan add garlic and saute until it starts to turn brown, then take chicken out of ziplock bag and add to the pan. Discard marinade.
  8. Saute chicken until it turns brown on the outside.
  9. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms turn golden brown.
  10. Add broccoli and cook until tender. Remove from heat and serve.
    HNM&K5@NT%
  11. Place pasta in serving dish, top with chicken and sauce. Serve hot with freshly baked garlic bread or homemade Garlic Knots.
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The BEST Pecan Pie You’ll Ever Make!

The BEST Pecan Pie You’ll Ever Make!

 Pecan PieOne of the best things about our Thanksgiving Meal is dessert, namely my Pecan Pie.

Many folks I know have told me they don’t care for Pecan Pies.  They tell me it’s too sweet and too gooey. This might be true until they try my version of Pecan Pie.  Over the years I’ve converted many of my friends and family into Pecan Pie lovers!

My son-in-law, Shedrick, born and raised in the South,  home of Pecan Pie, has never liked the pie until he tried our recipe.  Now it’s a staple at their Thanksgiving Table too.  Pretty much the same story goes for my other son-in-law, Joel, (he loves it so much he always persuades my daughter make extra pies to share with the single soldiers in his unit every Thanksgiving!), and my daughter-in-law, Sheena (whose father is a pastry chef at one of the big name resorts,  says my pies are better than her dad’s!).

I read somewhere long ago that Pecan Pies were a type of custard pie, yet the popular traditional pie recipes omit one big ingredient for custard pies, cream!  That’s why the pies are gooey and runny, too much syrup in my opinion.  Years ago I went in quest for a “good”  Pecan Pie recipe, perhaps I should say “different” recipe.  One that would not be gooey and syrupy, and be more like the custard I read about.

Believe it or not I came across a recipe in a box I had purchased from the flea market.  I tried it and my husband loved it!  It was our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, so they were no kids yet, but I’ve been making this pie since. Actually over the years during one of our many moves I had somehow lost the recipe.  I was devastated!  But I rallied and came up with my own version which turned out the same if not better than the original recipe.

My pies are not gooey, syrupy, or too sweet.  They are somewhat creamy and just sweet enough. This weekend I baked 6 pies for Thanksgiving, I only have 3 left!  My family wiped one out after our Sunday night barbecue, my son took one home, and my husband too another one to work to share with his employees.  My brother-in-law in California is requesting a pie, but I’m not sure how that would work, I told him I’d just share the recipe!

Anyway here’s my holiday gift to you, my Pecan Pie recipe!  Enjoy and have a great Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup Karo Dark Corn Syrup
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbls. melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups pecans
2 unbaked 9″ deep dish pie crust (frozen or your favorite crust recipe)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare pie crusts and set aside.

Mix Karo syrum, eggs, sugar, and cream together until all sugar dissolves.

Stir in melted butter, vanilla, and pecans.

Divide  between 2  pie shells.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before serving.  If you cut into the pie before it cools it will fall apart.
I like to refrigerate before serving, for easier cutting.  My husband and son prefer it warm so they zap their slices in the microwave for 15 seconds.

The World's Best Pecan Pie
Print Recipe
This is the only Pecan Pie recipe you will ever need!
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
The World's Best Pecan Pie
Print Recipe
This is the only Pecan Pie recipe you will ever need!
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 9" Pies
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare pie crusts and set aside.
  3. Mix Karo syrup, eggs, sugar, and cream together until all sugar dissolves.
  4. Stir in melted butter, vanilla, and pecans.
  5. Divide between 2 pie shells.
  6. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before serving.
Recipe Notes

If you cut into the pie before it cools it will fall apart.  I like to refrigerate before serving, for easier cutting.

My husband and son prefer it warm so they zap their slices in the microwave for 15 seconds.

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