Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese

Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup Colby & Monterey Jack shredded (cheese blend)
  • 6-8 oz Velveeta cheese shredded (feel free to cut back on the Velveeta if you don’t want it to be super creamy)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar shredded (can use less if you don’t like a sharp taste in your mac n cheese)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese shredded (a must)
  • paprika optional

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cook macaroni until just al dente or a little under al dente. (Look on the back of the box to see how long you need to cook your pasta for it to reach al dente.) Be careful not to overcook.
  • Drain pasta and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add milk, heavy cream & cheeses (except for the smoked cheddar).
  • Stir to combine.
  • Taste the milk mixture and add salt & pepper until it has a good taste. (You can also add in other seasonings like onion powder, paprika, etc. Tasting will help avoid having a plain, bland baked macaroni & cheese.)
  • When you are content with the taste, add the eggs.
  • Stir well until combined.
  • Butter a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
  • Add macaroni to the baking dish.
  • Pour cheese mixture over macaroni.
  • Make sure the cheese is distributed well.
  • Top with the smoked cheddar cheese. (I add a little more Colby jack as well.) Sprinkle with paprika and/or black pepper, if desired.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes. Do not overbake. It may be a bit jiggly when you take it out of the oven. It will firm up as it cool.
  • Let cool for about 10-15 minutes or until fully set.
  • Enjoy!

***Recipe from Divascancook***

Spaghetti Carbonara

Fettucine Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fried and crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup diced ham
  • 6 ounces dried spaghetti or linguine, cooked al dente
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano
  • 3 tablespoons shredded or shaved Parmigiano
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine eggs and heavy cream in a small mixing bowl, and whip together well. Set aside.
  2. In a 10-inch sauté  pan over medium heat, heat olive oil, bacon and ham until sizzling.
  3. Add pasta and toss well.
  4. Slowly pour egg-cream mixture over top while pulling up spaghetti with tongs until coated.
  5. Add Parmigiano, salt, pepper, and toss well.
  6. Portion into serving bowls and top with shredded or shaved Parmigiano and parsley.

Chardonnay Shrimp Dip

Chardonnay Shrimp Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen cooked salad shrimp, about 7 oz, thawed, drained
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay wine
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Coarsely chop shrimp. Place shrimp in a small glass bowl. Pour wine over shrimp, toss to coat. Cover. Refrigerate at least one hour to blend flavors. Drain shrimp, reserving wine.
  2. In another small bowl, mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of the onions and the mustard with spoon. Fold in shrimp. If a thinner consistency is desired, stir in small amounts of the reserved wine.
  3. Spoon shrimp spread into a serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining onions over the top.
  4. Serve with crackers.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars together in a bowl; beat in eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into butter mixture. Put dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a crisscross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.

Candied Pecans

Caramelized or candied pecans

Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound pecan halves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, 1 hour.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder (make sure your baking powder is no older than 6 months)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest

Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

Directions:

  1. Prepare oven: Adjust the oven rack to the middle-lower part of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together, beating until fluffy (about 2 minutes with an electric mixer).
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each one. Beat in the lemon zest.
  5. Alternate adding flour mixture and yogurt: Beat in one third of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Beat in one third of the yogurt. Beat in a third more of the dry ingredients. Beat in a second third of the yogurt. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients and then the remaining yogurt. Again be careful to beat until just incorporated. Do not over beat.
  6. Distribute batter into muffin pan: Use a standard 12-muffin muffin pan. Coat each muffin cup lightly with olive oil or a little melted butter using a pastry brush. Distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups.
  7. Bake at 375°F until muffins are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Use a tester to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set muffin pan on wire rack to cool. After 5 minutes, remove muffins from pan.
  8. While the muffins are cooling, in a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice for the glaze. Add more lemon juice if necessary.
  9. While the muffins are still a bit warm, use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over each muffin. The muffins will absorb some of the glaze, so you add more glaze to each muffin if you like.
  10. Best eaten fresh and warm.

Asparagus and Pea Soup

Tasty asparagus soup on table

Asparagus and Pea Soup

Instructions:

  • 12 oz green asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen peas, 1/4 reserved for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Mint leaves, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved for garnish
  • Parmesan crackers

Directions:

  1. Remove the base of the asparagus and discard. Separate the spears, remove this tips and reserve for garnish, and chop up the remaining pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the butter and cook over medium heat until melted. Add the leeks and cook for 5 minutes, or until they have softened.
  3. Add the chopped asparagus, 1 cup of the peas, and the parsley. Cook for 3 minutes, add the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so that the soup simmers and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Transfer the soup to a food processor, puree until smooth, and strain through a fine sieve.
  5. Place soup in a clean pan. Add cream and lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Bring a small pan of salted water to a boil. Place the asparagus tips in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Remove tips, submerge in ice water, dry, and set aside.
  7. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, garnish with the asparagus tips, reserved peas, mint leaves, reserved lemon zest, and parmesan, and serve with Parmesan Crackers.