The BEST macaroni and cheese. Ever.

February 15, 2009 at 2:06 am (Recipes)

Sooooo… have figured out the secret to incredibly rich, incredibly creamy macaroni and cheese. Don’t bake it. At all. Completely unnecessary and messes with the texture that is so integral to a satisfying macaroni and cheese experience. Because, frankly, if I’m going to do mac and cheese, I’m going to have it how I want it. And how my kids want it. And the neighbour. And the ex husband. And anyone else who has had the good fortune to try it out.
Give it a shot; you’ll be very happy you did.

macncheese1

Ingredients:

4 C uncooked macaroni
3 C skim milk, hot
1/2 C hot water
1/2 C margarine
1/2 C flour
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2 tbsp cajun seasoning
1 1/2 C cubed Velveeta
1 1/2 C cubed low fat old cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Melt margarine and gradually whisk in flour and cajun seasoning over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Cook and whisk constantly for approximately 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot water and then milk. Add Worchestershire sauce and whisk for another 2 minutes. Once texture of sauce is smooth and creamy, slightly thickened, begin adding cubed cheese, alternating between Velveeta and cheddar. Stir CONSTANTLY with a wooden spoon until all cheese is melted and sauce is thickened and bubbly.
Meanwhile, cook and drain macaroni according to directions on box. Stir into cheese sauce and heat through.
Serve with a crisp green salad and a white wine.
Serves 6 hearty appetites.

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The Great Canadian Butter Tart

December 23, 2008 at 12:58 am (Recipes)

butter-tarts

One of the BEST recipes to ever come out of Canada, right here, right now. Not my grandmother’s recipe ( I WISH) but pretty darned tasty.

Ingredients:

1 batch double crust pie pastry

2 eggs

1 1/2 C packed brown sugar

1/2 C corn syrup

4 tbsp melted butter

1 C currants

1/2 C chopped walnuts

2 tsp vinegar

1 pinch salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beat the eggs well. Add sugar, syrup, and melted butter and beat again. Add the currants, walnuts, vinegar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix vigorously.
Put a small amount of corn meal into tart tins or muffin pans OR use silicon baking cups. Place circles of uncooked pie crust into the pans/cups. Fill the shells 2/3 full and bake until the pastry is light brown, about 20 minutes. For runnier tarts, cook for 15 to 17 minutes.

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Neptune Melts

August 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm (Recipes)

So, was looking for a fast meal last night after a rather abortive fishing trip. Yes, we had fun, no, we didn’t catch much of anything, other than some nifty twigs and weeds.¬†

I think it was the lack of a nice, plump fish that led me to throw together something a little bit different for our supper last night. Turned out rather well, so I whipped out the camera and decided to share ūüôā Bear in mind I wasn’t planning on posting this so you’ll have to play around with actual quantities, haha.

Ingredients:

some shrimp; peeled and cooked

some crab-flavoured Alaskan pollock (hey, if you have the real thing USE IT)

some scallops

some Texas Toast

some butter or margarine

some mayonnaise

some sour cream (keep this amount fairly small in relation to the mayo. I made six of these and used  maybe 2 tbsp of sour cream)

some Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

some garlic salt

dry mustard

some paprika

some freshly ground peppercorns

some tomatos; sliced

some green onions, coarsely chopped

 

Directions:

Preheat the broiler.

First things first, you’re going to break up the pollock into bite-sized chunks. Add shrimp, scallops, green onion, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Mix gently and then add garlic salt, mustard, paprika and peppercorns.¬†

Place your Texas Toast on a  baking sheet and toast one side only under the broiler. Remove from oven and butter untoasted side lightly. Arrange tomato slices over the buttered bread and then cover with seafood mixture. Pop back in the oven and broil for a few minutes. Remove and smother with shredded cheese. Place BACK in the oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling. 

Remove and enjoy! I served this with a nice green salad. Both Spawn enjoyed their melts thoroughly. I had to add a little¬†salt but other than that was fairly pleased with this as a last minute meal that didn’t involve pasta.

I’ve been putting pasta on the table waaaaaaaaaaay too frequently lately!

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Blueberry Buckle feat. The Beast

July 30, 2008 at 3:30 am (Recipes)

So today I realised that the blueberries in my fridge weren’t making any progress on baking themselves into something considerably more interesting than a bunch of blueberries in a bowl. Thought about making another blueberry pie and thought that would be kinda gross, considering how recently I made the last one.¬†

Soooooo… with the support of my Beast I set out to make something new, something yummy, something…fast. Yep, once again, fast and simple is the winner in the great competition of What To Make.¬†

Here’s a nice little recipe for Blueberry Buckle. ¬†Don’t ask my why it’s named Blueberry Buckle; I have no idea. I do know that people far more experienced and learned than myself have been making variations of this recipe for longer than I’ve been alive, so I’ll stick to using the name they think appropriate. It’s only respectful after all.

 

Blueberry Buckle

 

Ingredients:

1 1/4 C all purpose flour

1/4 C granulated sugar

1/4 C brown sugar

1/2 C butter, softened

1/3 C milk

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

1 1/2 C fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen thaw slightly)

Crumb topping:

1/2 C granulated sugar

1/3 C all purpose flour

1/4 butter, softened

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugars, egg, vanilla, butter, and milk. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to larger bowl, using wooden spoon to mix well. ¬†Gently fold in blueberries (if you’re too rough you’ll pop the poor little things and then the buckle just won’t be the same). Spread in a greased 8 inch square pan ( I prefer glass ones but you could use metal) and top with prepared crumb topping (see below). Bake for 40-45 minutes.¬†

Crumb topping directions:

Combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter and then blend using a pastry cutter (or the good ol’ two-knife method) until mixture resembles a coarse oatmeal.¬†

This is what my wee Beastie thinks of his first Blueberry Buckle.

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Last Minute Banana Cream Pie

July 29, 2008 at 1:48 am (Recipes)

Here’s an extremely simple and straightforward recipe for Banana Cream Pie. This recipe is geared toward producing a fairly tasty yet fast and economical dessert. This one goes¬†extremely fast in my neck of the woods. This pie ¬†was made with a pre-baked single pie crust. You can do that if you want; I like going all out and slapping one of these bad-boys together with a graham crust. ¬†It’s just far more sinful.

Last Minute Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas (they gotta be nice and ripe otherwise the flavour won’t come through the same way)

1 prepared graham cracker crust (you can buy these in a pinch; I often make a few in advance to have on hand)

1 1/2 C instant vanilla pudding

1/2 C Dream Whip or other equally ‘nutritious’ brand

2 1/3 cup 2% milk 

Directions:

Slice bananas into rounds and lay in bottom of pie crust. Try to make it reasonably uniform but perfection would be wrong, here. Trust me. 

Now, some of us are fortunate enough to have stand mixers. Some of us aren’t, and I’m sorry.¬†

Combine pudding, Dream Whip and milk in a large bowl (or mixer) and beat on high speed for 4-7 minutes. Pour over the banana slices and using a rubber spatula, smoosh the pudding mixture down gently so that it sinks into any gaps between the bananas.

Cover, chill and serve with whipped cream. 

Not gourmet but damned good.

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Wickedly Simple Meatloaf

July 26, 2008 at 4:29 am (Recipes)

Since everyone who knows me knows that I love not only cooking but sharing my creations with anyone who will listen, here’s an offering for those of you short on time but looking for something a bit better than Hamburger Helper (not that I’m knocking HH; we’ve all had those nights where nothing else will do). The picture is NOT the finest example of my culinary abilites (or photographic for that matter) but this Wickedly Simple Meatloaf is both tasty and budget- friendly.¬†

Frosted with mashed potatos and flavoured with basic staples in most Canuck kitchens, this will do the trick if you need to whip something up on the fly. It has received the thumbs-up from both my Spawn, both of whom happen to be fairly picky eaters. 

Enjoy

  Wickedly Simple Meatloaf

Ingredients:

Loaf:

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef

1 large egg

1/3 cup prepared barbecue sauce

1 packet dry onion soup mix 

 

Potatos:

6 medium potatos, peeled and halved

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar/ monterey jack blend cheese

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 350 C. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil; add potatos and cook over med-high heat until soft and ready to mash. I like my potatos well cooked; the only part of a potato I like crunchy is the skin and those are looong gone at this point in the recipe.

Drain and add butter or margarine and salt; mash well and set aside. 

In a medium mixing bowl combine egg, dry soup mix and barbecue sauce. Mix well, and then add ground beef. Using a wooden spoon mix until well blended. What I like to is just dump the whole mess into a loaf pan; I find it makes draining the fat off later on much easier. But if you like, you can line a shallow baking dish with foil and shape your meat into a loaf. It’s totally up to you.¬†

Once you figure out which way to go the next step is to frost the meatloaf with the mashed potatos.

Pop into the preheated oven for one hour; remove and sprinkle with cheese. Place back in the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. 

I served mine with a green salad (not pictured; will do better next time) and corn on the cob. 

Served 2 adults and 2 children

***before you scoff at me posting a meatloaf recipe as my first example of the thrilling skill I display in the kitchen, try it out. It’s tasty and delicious according to the Spawn.

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