Creamy Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of bacon, cut into 1′ pieces
  • 1/4 cup bacon grease
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 pounds of potatoes, cut into 1/2′ pieces
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a  large pot, fry bacon until crispy and reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.
  2. Take the bacon out and drain on a paper towel.
  3. With the grease in the pot, sautee the onion and thyme until soft.
  4. Sprinkle the flour in and whisk together for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  6. Add the potatoes and milk.
  7. Let come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  8. Simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  9. Stir in the sour cream and cheese.

Adapted from:  http://sugarapron.com/2015/11/02/creamy-potato-soup/

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Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups peaches, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter and pour into a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Add the milk and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan, but don’t mix.
  5. Slice peaches and sprinkle 1 cup of sugar on them plus the lemon juice.
  6. Pour the peaches into the pan, but don’t mix.
  7. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Source:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/easy-peach-cobbler

Au Gratin Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes, sliced on a mandolin
  • 2 onions, sliced into rings
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounce bag of cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice potatoes and onion into about 1/4 inch pieces using a mandolin.
  2. In a greased baking dish layer potatoes and onions, beginning with potatoes.
  3. In a skillet, melt the butter.
  4. Add the flour and whisk together.
  5. Let brown slightly to cook out the flour.
  6. Add milk and let thicken slightly.
  7. Add cheese, salt and pepper and stir well.
  8. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes.
  9. Bake at 375 for 1.5 hours.

Source:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/15925/creamy-au-gratin-potatoes/

Easy Peasy Mac ‘n Cheesy

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or shells
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 pound cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente then drain.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine.
  5. Cook the butter/flour mixture for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the milk and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Add the mustard and whisk to combine.
  8. Take about a cup of your sauce and add it to the bowl with the egg.
  9. Whisk as you add as to not scramble the egg.
  10. Transfer the sauce/egg mixture back into the pot.
  11. Add your cheese and stir well.
  12. Add in the drained pasta and stir to combine.
  13. Pour into a buttered 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/macaroni-and-cheese-recipe.html

Delux Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onions in a bit of butter or oil until they start to brown.
  2. Add the mushrooms cooking until they soften then move into a separate bowl.
  3. Heat the butter in a medium, deep skillet over medium heat.
  4. When the butter melts add flour and whisk, cooking about three minutes or until the flour starts to brown.
  5. Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk.
  6. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently and allow it to thicken a bit.
  7. Stir in the cheese a handful at a time.
  8. Season sauce with pepper and mustard.
  9. Add the onions, mushrooms and bacon.
  10. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely.
  11. Transfer to a greased baking dish and brown under a hot broiler.

Inspired by: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/02/fancy-mac-and-cheese/

Gummy’s Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups bread, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Butter a baking dish.
  2. Put the bread in the dish.
  3. Beat the eggs slightly and whisk in the sugar and salt.
  4. Heat the milk over medium-low heat.
  5. Add in the butter and stir until it has melted.
  6. Tempter the milk mixture into the egg mixture.
  7. Stir in the vanilla.
  8. Pour over the bread.
  9. Put the baking dish into a water bath.
  10. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Source: Elek family recipe.

Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place the rice and raisins in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Pour the custard over the rice and mix well.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish or pan.
  5. Put your baking dish in a larger pan and add water.
  6. Bake for one hour in a 350 degree oven.
  7. Serve with whipped cream or milk.

Source:  Based on my grandmother’s recipe

Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups day-old bread cubes (Challah or Brioche would work well)
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped and divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 325.
  2. Spread the bread on a cookie sheet and toast lightly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine bread, bananas, 1/2 of the peanuts and chocolate chips in a greased 9-inch square baking dish; toss to mix.
  4. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla in medium bowl over a pot of simmering water until well blended.
  5. Pour over the bread mixture.
  6. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top.
  8. Bake in the center of the oven about 40 minutes, depending on how set you want it.

Source: Inspired by various recipes around the web and my own tinkering

Magic Custard Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated, at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk, lukewarm
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease and line 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with parchment.
  3. Separate eggs.
  4. Add the egg whites to a mixer and to stiff peaks and set aside.
  5. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light.
  6. Add butter and vanilla and beat for two mins.
  7. Add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
  8. Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed.
  9. Add the egg whites, a third at a time, gently folding them in using a spatula.
  10. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for approx 60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
  11. Cool and dust heavily with powdered sugar.

Source:  http://hugsandcookiesxoxo.com/2014/04/magic-custard-cake.html

Easter Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 gallon whole milk*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Prepare a strainer with a large layer of cheese cloth or clean dish towel.
  2. Add eggs to a large pot.
  3. Whisk to break up yolks.
  4. Add the milk, salt and vanilla.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  6. When curds and whey have separated, pour them through the strainer.
  7. Let drain well.
  8. Transfer to clean cheese cloth or towel.
  9. Twist into a ball and let hang for about a day.

Source: Elek family recipe (Traditional Slovenian Easter cheese)

*Most recipes I’ve seen on the web call for only a quart of milk.  We’ve always had better luck with a half gallon.  You can definitely start with a quart and if it seems like there aren’t enough curds, you can add in additional milk.