A staple of American cuisine – Macaroni and Cheese is one of our favorite home-cooked meals!
Thomas Jefferson discovered the dish while traveling abroad. Upon returning to Monticello, he planned to serve it for an important state dinner. He imported pasta, parmesan cheese and olive oil.
James Hemings was Jefferson’s chef and slave. Hemings was the first American to train as a chef in France. With his sophisticated techniques of French classical cooking, he prepared a “macaroni pie” for prominent guests at Monticello, Jefferson’s private mountaintop home and plantation in Virginia.
Until the late 1800s, it remained a recipe for upper classes. Once pasta was broadly available more people enjoyed macaroni and cheese. By the 1940’s, it became a hearty, inexpensive meal for the working classes.
Tips for the best Macaroni and Cheese:
Select the best-quality butter, cheddar cheese, and pasta.
Make homemade breadcrumbs with day-old sourdough bread.
Make creamy béchamel sauce with a butter/flour roux and hot milk.
Steps for Creamy Macaroni and Cheese:
Toss homemade breadcrumbs with melted butter.
Boil pasta in lightly salted water until a little under al dente.
Make a béchamel sauce, add the grated cheese to create a Cheese Sauce Mornay.
Pour the cheese sauce mornay over the cooked pasta.
Pour into a lightly greased baking dish.
Top with bread crumbs and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown.
A staple of American cuisine – Macaroni and Cheese – make some today!
Rise to the occasion . . . knead, roll, rise, and bake some hot dinner rolls!
My grandmother, Birdie was famous for her homemade dinner rolls. She served them at her cafe in Oregon. Last summer, I was visiting with one of my cousins in Austin. She was raving over Birdie’s dinner rolls served 50 years ago! People will always remember your homemade dinner rolls.
Rise to the occasion . . . bake some dinner rolls today . . .
Delicious every time . . . These rolls make every meal memorable!
1cup2% or whole milk
4 cupsall-purpose flour
In a 1-cup liquid Pyrex® measuring cup, add the water, sugar and yeast. Stir to combine Set aside to rise for 5 to 10 minutes or until frothy.
In a small saucepan set over medium low heat, add the milk. Scald. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Set aside. Cool to 100ºF to 115ºF.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, Add 4 cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and cooled, scalded milk. Mix until the ingredients are blended. Switch the attachment to the hook attachment. Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, add the oil and swirl to cover the sides. Add the dough to the bowl and toss to coat it on all sides. Cover with a clean dish towel. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubles in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
About 30 minutes before the dough has risen completely, preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Lightly flour a work surface, a silicon pad is a helpful tool. Roll out the dough into 1/4" thickness. Cut into 1 1/2" strips. Stack the strips. Cut into 2" pieces. Place in lightly greased muffin tins. Cover with a clean dish towel. Set aside until for 30 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk.
Now that the NFL is playing, we need some snacks to make at home. They should be easy to make and fun to serve.
After years of making nachos, these Game Day Nachos are the best of all. Inspired by Joe T Garcia’s nachos, I set out to make them at home with some large tostada chips and hatch chilies. About that time, I was slow cooking a brisket. And just like that, the two recipes merged and became Game Day Nachos.
Sometimes, recipes evolve and become what I call “restaurant-quality” because they rival something that could be found at a favorite restaurant. The Game Day Nacho recipe is one of those recipes. And it’s ready just in time for the fall football season!
One of our favorite dishes to serve on Monday because it's so easy to make. Also, it's great for a Meatless Monday. Add some chicken, shrimp or beef to make it more hearty. Be sure to prep and chop all of the ingredients before cooking. It's much more fun that way. Enjoy!
1cuprice(3 cups cooked rice)
1carrot, finely chopped
1red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2broccoli, florets only
1ear of corn, shucked
1/2canbaby corn, drained & each corn cut into quarters
1small cansliced water chestnuts, drained & cut in half
1small canpineapple chunks, cut into smaller pieces
2T. soy sauce
3garlic cloves, peeled & minced
1bunch of green onions, chopped
1T.ginger, peeled & minced
In a saucepan, cook the rice. Pour onto a jelly roll pan, spread into a thin layer. Set aside.
In a wok set over a high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions and carrots. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the red pepper and broccoli florets. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add the butter. When melted, about 30 seconds, add the rice, corn, peas, baby corn, water chestnuts and pineapple. Add the soy sauce. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Lightly scramble the eggs. Julienne. Set aside.
In a small skillet, quickly sauté the garlic and sesame seeds in a little vegetable oil. Add to the wok.
Add the green onions and ginger. Heat briefly, stirring constantly.
Frittatas are Italian omelets. The perfect “Meatless Monday” meal. In addition to tasting delicious, they are quick and easy to make!
They differ from their French cousins in several ways:
The fillings are combined with the eggs before cooking.
The eggs are cooked without stirring.
Frittatas are served cut into halves or wedges.
Two methods for cooking frittatas:
Pour the egg and filling into a pan, cook while lifting the sides so that the uncooked portions can flow underneath, and broil until the top is set and browned, about 4 minutes. This method is my favorite!
Pour the eggs and fillings into the pan, stir once, cook the eggs undisturbed until the top is just set, place a heat proof plate on top of the pan, invert the plate/pan, cook on the other side, cook for a couple of minutes, invert the eggs one more time onto a serving plate.
Frittatas are a perfect "Meatless Monday" meal. They are quick and easy to make. The ingredients are simple staples to keep on hand. No rush to the grocery store is required. A bonus for Monday meal planning!
1T. extra-virgin olive oil
1small onion, diced
1small tomato, diced
1/2bagfrozen spinach, defrosted and strained of all moisture
2garlic pods, finely minced
1/4cupbasil, finely julienned
2T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2T.extra-virgin olive oil
Garnish: fresh basil
In a large sauté pan, set over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Just as it begins to sizzle, add the onions, tomatoes, and spinach. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute of cooking.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small mixing bowl, add the water, basil, Parmesan cheese, and vegetable mixture.
Heat a well-seasoned, ovenproof 9" skillet over medium heat until it's quite hot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
Add the egg mixture. Cook, occasionally lifting the sides so the uncooked portion can flow underneath. Cooking time will be about 5 to 8 minutes or until the edges are set and the bottom is golden.
Place the skillet about 6 inches from the boiler element. Broil for until the top is set and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Watch closely!
Slice into wedges. Place on serving plates. Garnish with fresh basil.