Chicken Mac

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken breast, boned and skinless
  • 1/3 cup of white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup of celery, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup of carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons of chicken bouillon, heaping
  • 1 teaspoon of dry tarragon, heaping
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups of water
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, depending on how thick you want it
  • 1 cup of cool tap water
  • 1 box of cheap Mac and Cheese, about 8 oz.

Directions

In my opinion skinless, boneless chicken breasts have only slightly more flavor than tofu (ick!). So you need to add flavor to them while cooking. You can do this by cooking the chicken breast slowly in a liquid that contains butter and other good flavors.

Prepare the vegetables. You can use more than the amounts given. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large deep pan over medium high heat. When it has melted stir in the onion, celery and carrots. Add more butter if need be. Sprinkle the vegetables with a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Stir and cook the vegetables until the onion is almost transparent.

Add the three cups of water, the bouillon, the tarragon and another tablespoon of butter. Place the chicken breast in the pot and cover tightly. Lower the heat to medium and simmer. Turn the chicken breast at least once while cooking. Cook until the chicken is completely done. Remove the cooked chicken breast and cut it into cubes. Mix the cubed chicken back into the pot.

Mix the flour and tap water together with a whisk until smooth. Pour slowly into the simmering chicken and vegetable mixture, stirring all the time. Continue to stir until the mixture in the pot has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Turn on the oven to 350 degree F.

Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water in a large pan until it is almost tender. Remove the macaroni  and mix it into the pan containing the chicken and vegetables. Mix in the dry sauce mix that came with the package of Mac and Cheese. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour the mixture into a buttered casserole dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top with grated parmisan cheese or your favorite topping.

Bake the casserole at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Pass a bowl of shredded cheddar cheese at the table. Serve the casserole along with tomato wedges or a salad and fruit pie.

Source: http://dwittopinions.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/chicken-mac/

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Kicked Up Tuna Mac

Ingredients

    1 8 oz. box of macaroni and cheese
    1 cup of peas or vegetable(s) of your choice, frozen, fresh or canned
    4 tablespoons of butter
    2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon, heaping
    ½ teaspoon of salt
    1 teaspoon of Paprika, heaping
    1 teaspoon of dry mustard, heaping
    3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons of mayo, heaping
    4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour or enough flour to absorb the melted butter
    2 cups of water
    1 can of tuna fish packed in water, drained
    Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and have a casserole dish ready.

Heat salted water to boiling in a 2 qt. sauce pan. Once it boils add the macaroni and the frozen vegetable (I used peas). Cook until the pasta is almost done and the vegetable has cooked. Drain and pour the pasta and vegetable into the casserole. Stir a tablespoon of butter into the pasta so it will not stick together.

In the same pan melt 3 heaping tablespoons of butter. When it has melted remove from the heat and using a whisk stir in the chicken bouillon, salt, paprika, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mayo and the ‘cheese’ sauce powder. Add a dash of pepper if you want. Sprinkle the flour into the butter and seasoning mixture. Use the whisk to blend it in. You will end up with a brown mass wedged around your whisk. Knock the stuff off of the whisk. Add a bit of the liquid at a time while whisking until all of the liquid has been added and the mixture is free from lumps. Be aggressive during this process. Cook the sauce over medium heat while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it has thickened. It is done when it begins to bubble.

Open the can of tuna, drain, give the cat his share and break up the rest with a fork. Stir the tuna into the sauce. Pour in the cooked macaroni and vegetable. Mix well but try not to break up the tuna too much. Pour the mixture into the casserole. Smooth and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake the casserole in a 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes. Allow to cool about ten minutes before serving.

Source: http://dwittopinions.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/kicked-up-tuna-mac/

Pumpkin Log

Ingrediants

Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup flour

Filling

  • 2 tbl soft butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla

Procedure

Cake

  1. Grease 10 x 15 jelly roll pan and line with wax paper
  2. Mix cake ingredients and pour into the pan
  3. Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees
  4. Turn onto clean towel sprinkled with powdered sugar and pull off wax paper
  5. Roll and cool

Filling

  1. Beat ingredients until smooth and fluffy

Construction

  1. Unroll cake once cool
  2. Spread filling onto cake and reroll
  3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Source: Elek family recipe

Tomato Herb Soup

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 10-15 cranks freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
Instructions
  1. Mince the garlic and add it to a sauce pot along with the olive oil, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-low and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic has softened.
  2. Add the tomato paste and brown sugar. Stir until everything is mixed (the oil will stay partially separated). Cook the mixture while stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes, or until it takes on a darker, almost burgundy hue.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Turn the heat up to medium and heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

Source:  http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/09/tomato-herb-soup/

California Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 chicken breasts, skin and bone removed
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ½ cup of white sauce
  • ½ cup of Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a medium casserole dish.

Make a white sauce from 2 tablespoons of butter, a pinch of salt and white pepper, 2 tablespoons  of flour (the flour amount determines how thick the sauce will be, this is a medium sauce) and 1 cup of milk. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour, salt and white pepper. Blend well until smooth and cook a minute or so (do not brown) then slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce has thickened. Use half of the white sauce in the recipe and refrigerate the remainder.

Cut the chicken breasts into ½ inch thick slices. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken slices and sauté until they are almost cooked and lightly browned on each side. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Put the chicken slices in a layer in the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish.

Source: http://dwittopinions.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/california-chicken/

Peel and pit the avocados. Cut into thin slices. Cover the chicken slices with the avocado slices. Wash and remove the stems from the tomatoes. Cut them into thin wedges. Add the tomatoes to the casserole. Pour ½ cup of white sauce over all. Cover  with thin slices of the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes. I usually cover the casserole.

Fudgiest Espresso Cashew Brownies

Ingredients

serves makes one 8- by 8-inch pan, active time 20 minutes, total time 45 minutes

  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped

Procedures

  1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and two sides of an 8- by 8- inch baking pan with foil, allowing edges to overhang the sides. Grease the pan.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, heat butter, chocolate, espresso powder, and salt until melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in sugars until combined. Add eggs, one by one, whisking well after each addition. Add vanilla and mixture for one minute.
  4. Add flour to chocolate and whisk until combined and mixture is smooth and glossy (see note). Stir in cashews. Spread into pan and bake until just set and top is crusty, about 25 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.

Source: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/10/one-bowl-espresso-cashew-brownies-recipe.html

Squash Casserole

Ingredients

serves serves 6 to 8, active time 30 minutes, total time 1 1/2 hours

  • 1 1/4 cups butter, divided
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds yellow crookneck or zucchini squash, sliced
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese or Gruyère, divided
  • 4 large eggs, beaten to mix
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
  • Dash hot sauce or Tabasco, optional
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

Procedures

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup of the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions and peppers until soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute then set aside.
  3. Bring to the boil a pot filled with enough water to cover the squash, and add the squash. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return squash to the pot. Mash the squash until thoroughly broken into small pieces. Add 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup cheese, eggs, onion mixture, and 1 cup pecans. Season to taste with hot sauce if desired, and stir well to mix.
  4. Move mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and pecans. Spread evenly over squash mixture. Dot with remaining butter and bake 45 to 60 minutes, until bubbly. Serve hot.

Source:  http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/06/squash-casserole-from-mastering-the-art-of-southern-cooking.html

Chicken Enchilada Meatloaf

Ingredients

serves serves 4, active time 30 minutes, total time 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, halved, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, ground with spice grinder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 ounces ground chicken
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice from one lime
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated on box grater
  • 9 ounces tortila chips, finely crushed
  • 8 ounces tomatillos, pulsed in processor until crushed

Procedures

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with foil and spray with pan spray. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat to shimmering. Add onions, pepper, jalapeños, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic, cumin, cayenne, coriander, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and tomatoes. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer to large bowl and cool briefly, about 10 minutes. Add chicken, eggs, cilantro, lime juice, broth, cheese, chips and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Toss gently until thoroughly combined. Gently pack into loaf pan.
  4. Bake 30 minutes. Stir crushed tomatillos with 1/4 teaspoon salt and spread over top of casserole. Continue to bake until the center of the casserole registers 160°F on an instant read thermometer, about 30 minutes more. Let rest in pan 10 minutes. Lift out of pan, slice and serve.

Source:  http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/06/chicken-enchilada-meatloaf-recipe.html

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Ingredients

serves serves 8, active time 40 minutes, total time 2 hours 40 minutes

Cookie Crust

  • 7 ounces Oreo cookies with the filling scraped off (about 2 packages)
  • About 5 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of sea salt

Chocolate cheesecake

  • 3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 1 cup full-fat cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp superfine sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1–2 tsp red gel food coloring

Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Procedures

  1. Put the cookies in a medium bowl and, using the end of a rolling pin, crush them until fine. Add the butter and sea salt and mix well. Squeeze some of the mixture in your hand; it should stick together. If not, add a little extra butter. Pour the mixture into a 9in pie dish and press firmly over the bottom and sides. Put the pie dish in the fridge until needed.
  2. To make the cheesecake, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. In a medium bowl whisk together the cream and food coloring until the cream holds soft peaks. Pour in the melted chocolate and gently mix together. Add the cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture and fold together until evenly combined. Pour the mixture onto the prepared cookie crust and smooth out.
  4. Chill for 2 hours or until set. Before serving, pour the heavy cream for the topping in a medium bowl and whisk until it holds soft peaks. Spread the cream over the top of the cheesecake.

Source: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/08/red-velvet-cheesecake.html

Chili Cornbread Skillet

Ingredients
For the Chili
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 jalapeño (optional)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz.) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans beans (kidney, pinto, black)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
For the Cornbread
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeño lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and then dice the pepper. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeño to a large, oven safe skillet. Sauté over medium heat for five minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse them briefly with cool water. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and rinsed beans to the skillet. Stir to combine. If the mixture too thick to stir, add ¼ to ½ cup of water.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine and then allow the mixture to heat through. Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings if needed (for extra heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper).
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until very well combined. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, and oil. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened.
  5. Make sure the chili is spread evenly in the skillet and then sprinkle the cheddar cheese over top. Carefully pour the cornbread batter over the chili and cheese, and spread it around until everything is evenly covered.
  6. Transfer the skillet to the fully preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown on the surface. Divide the skillet into 8 portions (cut into wedges) and then serve.

Source: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/10/chili-cornbread-skillet/