Southern Macaroni and Cheese

My Dad found a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese in Southern Living Magazine. He asked me if I would make it for him. This is very creamy and cheesy, just the way I love macaroni and cheese. I realized at the grocery store I was going to have to modify this recipe because they did not have the tools and equipment to make it just like the original recipe. For example, no way to grate cheese and my grocery store did not sell a grater. So here is my version, a modified version.

Ingredients:

1 box (16 ounces) large elbow macaroni remember to make your water salty like the sea

6 Tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of grated sweet onion

2 teaspoons of dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or more for heat

6 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour

3 1/2 cups whole milk

1 3/4 heavy cream

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, divided

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta al dente according to directions on the box. Spray 13 x 9 pan with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and flour. Cook 2 minutes until golden. Slowly whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil and whisk occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low and whisk occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce. Add 1 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Stir until melted. Add in pasta and combine. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover the top with remaining cheeses. Place baking rack about 6 inches away from broiler. Put macaroni and cheese under broiler for about 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let sit about 10 minutes after it’s removed from the broiler. Yields 10 generous servings. I paired my macaroni and cheese with a Caesar Salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Southern Living Magazine.

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Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

These are a favorite of my Dad and Judy. If you have visited Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant in Florida, this is combination plate #17. I made these mild for them but you could certainly increase the heat factor. The creamy sour cream sauce is delicious.

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

2 teaspoons packaged taco seasoning

1 can of Rotel

1 can of green chiles, drained

1 can cream of chicken soup, divided

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 cup whole milk

12 ounces Mexican Cheese, divided

1 package tortillas, taco/fajita size 10 count

Scallions for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray non-stick cooking spray in a 13 x 9 pan. In a large bowl, shred chicken. Add can of Rotel, 1/2 can cream of chicken soup, drained green chiles and combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining cream of chicken soup, sour cream and milk together.

Place 3-4 Tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla. Add a couple tablespoons of cheese. Roll and place seam side down in your pan. Continue until 10 enchiladas are made. Pour sour cream sauce over the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with your favorite side dishes, we had rice and refried beans. Enjoy!

Mom’s Waldorf Salad

My Mom loved Waldorf Salad. It was on our Christmas Table every year. I think it also made an appearance on our Thanksgiving Table too. I haven’t had this in many years. This is her recipe and Mommy, this is for you. ❤️

Waldorf Salad was created at the Waldorf Astoria in New York by a dining room manager in 1896. The original recipe only had apples, celery and mayonnaise. My Mom’s recipe also had walnuts.

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apples cored and cut into bite size pieces

1 cup of celery, diced

1 cup of walnuts, chopped (I chopped the walnuts and lightly toasted them under the broiler)

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/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon salt

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ut apples, chop celery and nuts and set aside in a large bowl. Mix dressing up in a separate bowl and pour on top of apples, celery and walnuts. Mix well, refrigerate and enjoy.

Side note, this is the identical bowl I used to eat my Waldorf Salad in when I was growing up. Straight out of the 1960's, The is a Blenko bowl and I have a set of 7. I own 6 small bowls and one larger salad bowl. I treasure these and my Mom's recipe.

Cupcake Shake

This recipe was inspired by Portillo’s Cake Shake. Rarely do I have leftover cake but I do have leftover cupcakes from time to time. You probably do too. Portillo’s Cake shakes are typically chocolate unless it’s a certain time of the year. Sometimes they have lemon, but really you could make any flavor of cupcake into a shake. I will say this, I tried a slice of chocolate cake and the cake shake (thank you Kevin). I liked the cake shake best. The cake on its own tasted like a box mix and canned frosting on its own but in the shake, it was excellent. The only difference between my shake and Portillo’s is that I drank mine out of glass instead of a styrofoam cup and I used cupcakes instead of a piece of cake. Same great taste and flavor.

Ingredients:

2 leftover cupcakes, I had chocolate

1/2 cup milk

3 scoops ice cream (1/2cup each), I used vanilla

Whip Cream for garnish

Cherry for garnish

Blend cupcakes and milk together in a blender. Add ice cream and blend again. Pour into a glass, garnish with whip cream and cherry. Enjoy!

You can find Portillo’s in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Portillo’s is known for their hot dogs and cake shakes.

Monica’s Delish Dip

I tried this delicious dip at my grandson’s birthday party. My gorgeous daughter in love made this and I knew when I tried it, I had to share it with you. I doubled this recipe which feeds a crowd, this can very easily be cut in half for smaller crowds.

My son and his beautiful wife.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground sausage, I used mild but hot would be great too

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

2 small packages of original Velveeta

2 cans of Rotel, original

1 can of corn, drained

2 cups of grated cheddar cheese, I used sharp

Add cream cheese, Velveeta, Rotel, and corn to your crockpot. Cook beef (I seasoned mine with pepper and garlic salt), drain and add to crockpot. Cook sausage, drain and add to crockpot. Cook on low for a couple of hours until everything is nice and melty. Stir in additional grated cheese. Once the grated cheese has melted, maintain the dip recipe on low. Serve with you favorite dipping chips. I used Frito Scoops but any sturdy chip works. Thank you Monica 💗💗💗 for the recipe. Enjoy!

Egg Nog Cheesecake with Rum Caramel Sauce

I made this cheesecake to celebrate my four years of food blogging. Tis the season to eat or drink egg nog! I hope you enjoy this wonderful cheesecake as much as I had the pleasure of making it. Happy Holidays!

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs, I used Keebler

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 Tablespoons of sugar

1 stick of butter, melted

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and nutmeg. Add melted butter and it well. Place into a springform pan. Form crust on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Place in freezer.

Cheesecake:

3  8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

2 Tablespoons of cornstarch

2 Tablespoons of vanilla

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup egg nog

4 Tablespoons rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add cornstarch and combine. Mix vanilla, sour cream, egg nog and rum, blending well. Place in springform pan and bake 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes until center is about set.  I baked my cheesecake for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and remove ring from springform pan.  Cool completely and place in refrigerator.

Rum Caramel Sauce:

1 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark whatever you have

1/4 water

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 Tablespoons rum

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Place everything in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool. Pour on top of cheesecake. Serve and enjoy!

Peppermint Pound Cake

I have lost count how many Peppermint Pound Cakes I have baked in over 30 years. I have lost count. This cake is moist, and light on the peppermint flavor. It’s not overpowering at all. I have made these and given them to family and friends as gifts and now they expect them. I hope you enjoy this cake as much friends, family and I do. Happy Baking!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix, Duncan Hines preferred

1 small box of vanilla instant pudding

1 cup water

1/3 cup oil, I used vegetable

4 eggs

1 teaspoon peppermint extract, not mint, there is a difference

One recipe makes 2 large loaf pans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your bundt pan or loaf pans*. I used Bakers Joy.

Whisk cake and pudding mixes. Add water and oil and combine. Put the eggs in one at a time and mix well. Add peppermint extract. Pour into prepared pan(s). If you are baking in a bundt pan, bake 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Loaf pans will bake quicker and the mini loaf pans will bake in 20 minutes or so. Cool bundt pan about 20 minutes and remove to finish cooling. Do not glaze until cake is completely cooled.

**Peppermint Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Peppermint Candy Canes, I like the green and red stripe, crushed

Mix together and pour over poundcake(s). Add crushed candy canes.

*This is a wonderful poundcake that makes excellent gifts. You can usually 6-8 mini loaf pans or 2 good size loaf pans. After glaze is set, wrap in plastic wrap and deliver to your friends and family

**Additional glaze may be needed for individual pound cakes.