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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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!

Bagel And Egg Casserole 

I first saw a version of this casserole on The Today Show. I had to change the ingredients to my liking so I have created this very versatile breakfast casserole that would be prefect for brunch, lunch or dinner paired with a salad. 
Ingredients:

4 everything bagels, (plain or onion can be used) torn into pieces

3 Tablespoons of chopped onion

1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, room temperature 

1/4 pound sliced ham, torn into pieces or 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled 

8 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Butter for 13 x 9 pan, be generous or it will stick

Butter inside of 13 x 9 pan. Place torn bagels in bottom of buttered pan. Sprinkle chopped onion on top of bagels. Dot the top of the casserole with softened cream cheese. Tear up ham and spread over casserole. In a bowl or blender, mix eggs, milk, pepper and mustard. Pour blended egg mixture over casserole. Top with shredded cheese. Cover tightly with foil and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. 


Take casserole out of the fridge and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. 

Almost Mom’s Scalloped Potatoes 

You are probably asking why almost. This difference between this recipe and my Mom’s is that I used my food processor (but it’s not required) and I left the skins on my potatoes. I grew up eating these potatoes, loved it when she made them. It was usually holiday time like Christmas or Easter. 

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon corn starch or flour

5 average size potatoes, I used Russet 

1/2 cup onion, diced very fine (I used my food processor)

Pepper to taste

4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, or whatever cheddar you prefer


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking dish (I used a long shallow pan) by rubbing the bottom and sides with butter. This will add more flavor to the potatoes as they are baking. 
Make your white sauce by combing milk, cream, butter, salt and corn starch. Stir to blend in pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue keeping it at a low boil for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. Set aside. 


I used my Kitchen Aid Food Processor which has a slicing preference to how thin or thick you slice things. I kept mine in thin, like potato chip thin. That can also be obtained by using a mandolin but if you aren’t able to slice thin, I suggest you parboil the potatoes so they will be done and not undercooked in the casserole dish. 


Working quickly, potatoes do discolor, lay a layer of potatoes in your casserole dish. Sprinkle pepper, add onions, white sauce and cheddar cheese. Repeat each layer, I made 4 layers in my pan. Tent with foil and bake for 55 – 60 minutes until hot and bubbly. I removed the foil the last five minutes of baking. Enjoy!


Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash


I love spaghetti squash. You can dress it up like pasta once it’s cooked. There are many ways to prepare this squash. Bake, microwave and even in the pressure cooker. I typically microwave mine but this time I baked it. This recipe is delicious, low carb and can be served as a meal or side dish. 


Once you cut open the squash, scoop out the seeds and pulp just like you would do with a pumpkin. 
Baking 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking pan, spray or oil bottom of pan. Drizzle olive oil over squash. Salt and pepper prepared squash, I used garlic salt. Place cut side down in your baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until done. 

Microwave
Salt and pepper inside of prepared squash. Fill baking dish with one inch of water with squash inside. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. 


Ingredients:

Olive oil, if baking

Garlic butter, I used Shamy’s

Parmesan Cheese, grated

Salt and Pepper, I used garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper 


Once your spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the inside of the squash. Spaghetti like strands will begin to form. Continue to scrape the inside until strands are no longer coming from the sides and bottom of your squash. Add garlic butter, salt and fresh ground pepper, and top with Parmesan or your choice of Italian cheese.  I did not add amounts for the ingredients because each squash will yield different amounts of squash depending on the size. Use what you prefer as far as butter, salt, pepper and cheese. 


I chose to eat my squash on a plate like spaghetti but you can load it back into the empty squash shell if you prefer. This is a delicious low carb meal or side dish.  Mangia mangia!  Enjoy!

BLT Ranch Pasta Salad


I love BLT sandwiches. I thought why not turn my favorite sandwich into a salad. When I told my friend I was making a BLT Pasta Salad with romaine lettuce, he thought I was nuts. I did add a few other ingredients that don’t usually appear on my sandwich like cheese and green onions.  This salad was a big hit and it was very tasty. 

Ingredients:

8 ounces of pasta, cooked and drained I used shell pasta because that what I had, feel free to use your favorite

3/4 bag of Romaine Lettuce

4 green onions, cut into small pieces, green and white parts

Cherry tomatoes or a big heirloom tomato cut into bite size pieces

6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp, I used thick cut slices, crumbled

3/4 cheddar cheese, cubed into small pieces

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain from hot water and run cold water over your pasta in the colander to cool it off.  Pasta should not be hot. While the pasta is cooking, chop and cut up the other ingredients. Put all ingredients in your salad bowl and toss. Add your favorite ranch dressing or make my recipe posted below. Add dressing a little at a time so you do not over dress your salad. It’s better to add a little at a time and toss. Enjoy!

Homemade Ranch Dressing
Ingredients:
1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Sour cream
1 Tablespoon of chopped chives, fresh is best
1 Tablespoon of parsley, I used dry
1/2 teaspoon Dill, dry
1/4 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt 
1/8 teaspoon Pepper, cracked fresh if possible
Whisk all of the above ingredients. Refrigerate. Dressing is best if made the day before. 

Southern Fried Chicken Salad

I love salads in warm weather. This salad has protein, vegetables and dairy. It’s a meal in a bowl!  This makes a very large salad. Perfect to feed a crowd, potluck or family. If you do not add the dressing, it should stay fresh for several days. You can use my homemade Parmesan Ranch dressing, or use your favorite dressing. 

  
Ingredients:

2 bags of Hearts of Romaine lettuce

2 Fried chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces, I bought mine at the deli

3 Scallions, cut in pieces

4 Strips of Bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

3 Hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges

1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese

1 cup Celery, diced

Pralines, optional

  
Put lettuce in a large salad bowl. Add the remaining ingredients.  Toss with the dressing below or use your favorite dressing. Enjoy!
Homemade Parmesan Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

1 cup Buttermilk

1/2 cup Sour cream

1 Tablespoon of chopped chives, fresh is best

1 Tablespoon of parsley, I used dry

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, the kind you shake 

1/2 teaspoon Dill, dry

1/4 teaspoon Onion powder

1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon Salt, taste after adding Parmesan cheese, you may not want any or you may want more

1/8 teaspoon Pepper, cracked fresh if possible

  

  
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The dressing can be made ahead of time and it’s better the next day.