Best Macaroni and Cheese Ever

mac n cheese

My daughter says, “There is nothing like coming home to Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese on a chilly day.  Comfort food like this warms up the soul as well as the belly.   I like to add a little variety by using different cheeses.  We used french gruyere this time.  Enjoy!

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

 

 

½ cup butter (divided)
4 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
1 ½ cups of your favorite hard cheese, sharp cheddar, gruyere, etc (shredded or cut into ½ inch cubes)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ¼ tsp. prepared mustard
1 T. onion (chopped)
8 saltine crackers, crushed (optional)
2 cups elbow macaroni (cooked and drained)

Directions Continue reading

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Spicy Korean Chicken Wings

We like heat in our meat and I recently discovered a new kick it up ingredient  called Gochujang that is a chile paste used in many spicy Korean dishes.   I think you’ll like it.  My family does.

Spicy Korean Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • Pounds Chicken Wings
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Scallion (top green portion)
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Glaze
  • 1 1-Inch Piece of Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Gochujang (I like Mother In Law’s found at World Market)
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Black & White Sesame Seeds

Instructions

2. Prepare the ingredients:

Thinly slice the top green part of the scallion (Save the white part  for the bok choy side dish). Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.  To make the sauce, in a medium bowl, combine the soy glaze, vinegar, sesame oil,  garlic, ginger and as much of the gochujang as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.

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3. Glaze & finish the chicken wings:

Remove the roasted chicken wings from the oven and evenly brush or drizzle with the sauce. Return to the oven and roast 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned on top. Remove from the oven.

4. Plate your dish (if preparing as main course):

Divide the finished chicken wings between 2-3 dishes. Garnish with the sesame seeds and green top of the scallion. Serve with the seared baby bok choy on the side if you like.  Enjoy!

PSST!  This is a tasty appetizer too.  Don’t forget the napkins though!

Flank Steak with Blue Cheese and Herbs

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Got a carnivorous craving? If you’re like me who tries to limit red meat intake but enjoys a great steak now and then, try this steak topper and enjoy the delicious taste of going to a fancy Steak House right from your own kitchen.

This is a great date night meal on a budget too.

Yield: 2 servings

Flank Steak with Blue Cheese and Herb Topping

 

Ingredients

½ – ¾ lb. beef flank steak
5-6 oz. mushrooms
¼ of an onion
1 oz. blue cheese crumbles
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprigs of fresh rosemary
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

Continue reading

Skinny Chicken Parmesan

Skinny Chicken Parm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 lb. thin-sliced boneless chicken breast (or chicken tenders)
1 egg, beaten
shredded parmesan cheese (enough to coat the chicken)
1-2 tomatoes, medium diced
½ brown onion, sliced
Italian seasoning (2-3 shakes)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Instructions Continue reading

Chicken Cacciatore with a Southern Twist

Chicken Cacciatore with a Southern Twist

Makes: 3 Servings
Calories: About 450 Per Serving
Cooking Time: 35 to 45 minutes

Chicken Cacciatorie-in a serving bowl

Ingredients

  • 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • ¾ Cup Yellow Grits
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Southern Cacciatore Spice Blend (Smoked Sweet Paprika, Dried Parsley, Dried Oregano, Ancho Chile Powder, Garlic Powder & Cayenne Pepper)

Instructions

cheicken Cacciatore-chopped ingredients

1. Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Core and  dice tomato.  Cut out and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice. Peel and dice the onion. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Continue reading

Caesar Salad with Salmon and Oven-Toasted Sourdough Croutons

Caesar Salad with Salmon and Oven-Toasted Sourdough Croutons

Ceasar Salad with Seared Salmon

Makes: 2 Servings

It is rare that my oldest daughter is home and we get to cook together.  Yesterday was one of those treats.  Together we whipped up a delicious Caesar Salad and turned it into a hearty entree by adding a flakey, pan seared salmon fillet and homemade croutons. The creamy dressing is light and tangy.  This is an easy dinner prepared in less than 30 minutes.   We enjoyed it out on the back patio.  The meal together was heaven on earth!

Ingredients

Continue reading

Ras El Hanout Chicken with Cucumber and Tomato Tabbouleh

Chicken and tabouleh
I only recently discovered  ras el hanout, the dynamic spice blend from Morocco. I found a jar of this flavorful blend at Williams-Sonoma.  I seasoned the chicken with this and just a little salt and pepper…Oh so good!  This recipe pairs the chicken with a yummy sauce of greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, lemon and garlic along with a simple but classic tabbouleh.

Ras El Hanout Chicken with Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Tabbouleh

Makes: 2 Servings

Calories: About 700 Per Serving

Cooking Time: 25 to 35 minutes

Ingedients

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ Cup Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 4 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Large Bunch Mint
  • 1 T. Ras El Hanout (found at Williams-Sonoma)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 T. Pistachios (optional)

Instructions

Cook the quinoa:

Add 1/4 cup salted water and the quinoa to a small pan and boil on high.  Once boiling,reduce heat and cover and cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Prepare the ingredients:

Prepare the ingredients:

While the quinoa cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the tomatoes. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.  Peel and finely mince the garlic or use a zester so it resembles paste.   Use half of the cucumber for the tabbouleh and half for the yogurt sauce.  For the tabbouleh, medium dice 1 half and  for the yogurt sauce, grate the other half and squeeze if out to remove excess water and prevent yogurt sauce from being too runny. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, grated cucumber (water removed), half the garlic paste and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with the ras el hanout, salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan, heat 1 T. of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil, 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and set aside to cool slightly. Wipe out the pan.

Make the tabbouleh:

While the chicken cooks, to the pot of cooked quinoa, add the tomatoes, diced cucumber, half the mint (cut into small strips with scissors just before adding), remaining garlic paste and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil (optional) and stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish and Plate your dish:yogurt sauce chicken and tabboulehWhen cool enough to handle, thinly slice the cooked chicken on an angle.  Top with the remaining mint and pistahio pieces if desired. Serve with the tabbouleh and yogurt sauce on the side. Enjoy!