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Macaroni and Cheese

macaroni and cheese recipeI can always seem to go for a steaming hot pile of gooey mac and cheese.  It goes with just about anything and it is such a comforting addition to any meal.

I previously made a smoky chipotle mac and cheese version and we loved it so much, that I decided to try my hand at another recipe.  While this one was just not as tasty as the other, it was still very good.  Surprisingly, we figured out that we actually prefer the spicier alternative recipe.  This one is just a tad more mellow.

This mac and cheese recipe is perfect for your family or children who may just want the classic version.  It’s creamy delicious and makes a generous casserole dish full.

Macaroni and Cheese

from Epicurious

Ingredients:

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 & 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 3- to 4-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish.

2.  In a heavy saucepan melt 6 tablespoons butter over moderately low heat. Add flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes.

3.  Add milk in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking.

4.  Add mustard, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

5.  In a kettle of salted boiling water cook macaroni until just al dente, about 7 minutes, and drain well. In a large bowl stir together macaroni, sauce, cheddar, and transfer to prepared dish.

macaroni and cheese

6.  Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over macaroni. Cut remaining 1 tablespoon butter into bits and scatter over topping.

7.  Bake macaroni in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

macaroni and cheese

Turkey Meatloaf For Two

This basic meatloaf recipe has been my staple recipe for years. It’s super simple and easy to make so I thought I’d share it with you.

Ground turkey breast tends to get a little dry since it is low in fat, so I always add water to the bottom of the roasting pan.  I also like to baste the meatloaf in the water/cooking juices a few time throughout cooking too.

While I made this recipe with ground turkey, it also works well with ground beef.  Serve it with homemade mashed potatoes for a very tasty and filling meal.

turkey meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 egg
1/2 – 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 – 1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350°

turkey meatloaf

2.  Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Adjust your amount of bread crumbs and milk until your turkey can be formed nicely and will hold it’s loaf shape.

turkey meatloaf

3.  Shape your meatloaf as desired and place in a well oiled roasting pan.  Add 1/2 cup of water and cover.

turkey meatloaf

4.  Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven and add more water if needed.  Cook for additional 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Balsamic Barbecue Glazed Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are quickly becoming one of our favorite weekend splurge meals.  They’re pretty simple to make and with just the right sauce recipe , they are very tasty and comforting.

I was leery to try this barbecue recipe at first since it’s vinegar based and hubby is not too fond of vinegar.  If it was up to him, we’d have sweet honey bbq sauce every single time.  I’m trying to stay open minded and am more willing to try new recipes.  So since I do the cooking, he’s stuck eating what I make him, hahaha!

This barbecue sauce recipe is definitely strong in flavor.  If you don’t like vinegar, this may not be for you.  Some of the vinegar does cook off so my husband didn’t dislike them as much as he thought he would.

balsamic barbecue chicken wings

Balsamic Barbecue Glazed Chicken Wings

from La Bella Cook

Ingredients:

1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 dozen chicken wings

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 375°.

2.  Combine everything but the chicken wings in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

3.  Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

4.  While sauce is simmering, cover a jelly roll pan in foil.  Toss all the chicken wings in a bowl with a little salt and black pepper and spread them out on the foil lined pan.  Bake for 40 minutes.

chicken wings

5.  Remove wings from the oven and dip them into the sauce and return them to the pan.  Bake for another 10 minutes.

6.  Baste the chicken wings again in bbq sauce and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

7.  Let wings cool until easily handled, then devour!

balsamic bbq wings

Cheesy Hash Brown Bake

cheese hashbrown bakeThis recipe has been making the rounds in my family for years.  It makes an appearance at just about every holiday/family function we have.  Everyone loves it!  No one can resist it’s ooey, gooey cheesy goodness.  And best of all, it goes with just about anything!

With a few simple ingredients, you can whip this up in a pinch.  It can even be assembled a few weeks early and frozen.  The day of your gathering, just pop it out of the freezer and into the oven.

For summer picnics, I like to make mine in disposable aluminum foil pans.  It makes for easy cleanup minus scrubbing the baked on cheese.  And when taking it to someone else’s house, you don’t have to worry about leaving behind your favorite baking dish.

Give this favorite recipe of mine a try, I think you’ll like it!

Cheesy Hash Brown Bake

Ingredients:

32oz bag of frozen hash browns   (cubes)
2 cans of cream of potato soup
16oz sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 350°.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all of the above ingredients.  Mix well.

cheese hashbrown bakecheesy hashbrown bake3.  Spray 9×13 baking dish or disposable pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Spoon in hash brown mixture.

cheesy hashbrown bake4.  Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake for additional 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

cheese potatoes

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Wow is just about all I can say about these brownies.  They are so delicious but be warned before you continue reading, they are diet busters for sure!

I’ve never made a brownie recipe quite like this one before.  I think that’s what intrigued me the most about it, aside from the beautiful pictures.  Sigh, my camera just doesn’t do justice to my recipes.  I’m gonna seriously think about buying a better one soon.  Oops, I got off track.  Back to the brownies now.

These brownies were very easy to make and they turned out so moist and dense.  It’s definitely a heavy brownie recipe, just the way we like them.  I adjusted the original recipe a touch by adding chunks of peanut butter cups in the batter.  They add just the right amount of peanut butter flavor to the brownies.

Because we wanted a fair amount of peanut butter flavor, I opted for the larger Reese’s Big Cups.  You can buy them in 6 packs in your grocery store candy aisle.  About an hour before starting the brownies, I put the peanut butter cups in the freezer.  While your waiting for your butter to melt (step 2), take them out of the freezer and chop them up.  Put them in a bowl and back in the freezer until you need them.  This will keep them from immediately melting when you add them to the batter.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

adapted from Rainy Day Gal

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tbsp water
12 oz package semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
6 Reese’s Big Cup Peanut Butter Cups (chopped and frozen)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine.

2.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar and water. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat.

3.  Stir in one package of chocolate chips and the vanilla extract.

peanut butter cup brownies

4.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

peanut butter brownies

5.  Slowly blend in the flour mixture, and then add the peanut butter cups.

peanut butter cup brownie recipe

6.  Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour in batter and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

peanut butter brownies