Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Essentials: Baked Mac and Cheese

Everyone has a favorite Mac and Cheese and for a lot of us it happened to have come in a blue box. That was a familiar option in our house growing up but wasn't nearly as exciting as when the baked version would appear on the table. It's a fairly simple casserole that only has to involve boiling water as the prep for the pasta. No making a cheese sauce first or sauteing onions for this one. Just layer in the ingredients and go. The best part is it's adaptable, you can dump in whatever leftover meat or veggies from the week if you'd like or add fresh ham and peas, a popular option around these parts.
What version of Mac and Cheese was your favorite growing up?
  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 1 lb shredded cheese
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and Pepper

Optional add ins
  • 1 Cup Peas, 1 Cup Ham
  • Replace 1/4 lb pasta with broccoli, 1 Cup cooked Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cook pasta till just al dente
  3. Drain pasta
  4. Spray a covered casserole with non-stick spray
  5. Layer 1/3rd of pasta into bottom of dish sprinkle some salt and pepper over pasta, cover with 1/3rd of cheese and 1/3rd of butter, season l
  6. Repeat layers twice more
  7. Pour milk into a corner
  8. Bake for 30 minutes covered
  9. Remove lid and turn oven up to 450 for 15 minutes
To see other Essentials visit this post.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Menu Time: May 27 - May 31, 2013

Happy Memorial day weekend! To celebrate it's a week full of grilled this, that and the other thing. The grill isn't just for burgers and dogs though so throw some veggies on there when you get a chance. This is also going to be a week of lots of salads for us as the garden has lots of greens ready to eat.

Monday - Baby back ribs, grilled green beans, baked potato and a green salad.
 - If you don't have a grill check out Alton Brown's recipe for ribs.

Tuesday - Grilled flat bread, grilled zucchini and red pepper, yogurt and cucumber, hummus.
 - I use a pizza dough recipe for the flat bread, oil up the grates real good and toss it on to cook about 2-3 minutes per side.

Wednesday - Burgers, grilled corn.
 - I shuck the corn, rub some oil on it, salt and pepper and toss it on the grill. turn it fairly often or you end up with half raw corn half popcorn.

Thursday - Chicken and Broccoli stir fry, fried rice.
 - Use more ginger when you make stir fry, it's good for you and tasty.

Friday - Baked mac and cheese with peas and a green salad.
 - Baked mac and cheese is my definition of comfort food and is still one of my favorite meals from growing up. Thanks Mom!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Menu Time: May 13th - 17th, 2013

When you go shopping this weekend pick up an extra lemon, i'll tell you what we're doing with it later this weekend. There are some great deals at Safeway (steak, whole chickens) and Sprouts (Strawberries, Watermelon, Shrimp) this week that we're taking advantage of for this weeks menu.

Monday - Steak sandwiches Broccoli and Carrot slaw (I like rice wine vinegar and sesame oil to top this but you can do any dressing really)

Tuesday - Grilled chicken and shrimp, cous cous, grilled Brussels Sprouts (quarter, blanch, toss with olive oil and throw in the grill pan with salt and pepper, delish)

Wednesday - Roasted sweet potato, quinoa and bacon topping (BACON!)

Thursday - Steak and red bean nachos (Using up any leftovers from Monday night)

Friday - Rice noodles with edamame, carrots, egg and chives (from the garden!)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Menu Time: May 6th - 10th, 2013

New feature for the blog, well heck just posting is a new feature but let's not go down that road. I'll start/resume posting the menu for the week. My method for making up a menu is pretty simple. I take a quick glance at the fridge, freezer and pantry and get some things in mind that should be used up first. Then i'll take a glance at the ads for the local grocers and see what on sale can compliment what we already have in the house. We try to eat seasonally as much as possible which helps avoid burnout of the same thing over and over as well. Hope you enjoy the first week's go at it.

Monday - Beef stew with drop biscuit topping

We're starting the week off by using up some leftovers. We had beef stew last week and have just enough to throw the leftovers into a baking dish and top it off with some drop biscuits.

Tuesday - Pizza night

You can find my dough recipe here but this week I might try Alton Brown's recipe again, just remember it takes a day in the fridge so start early.

Wednesday - Sautéed chicken breasts with butter sauce, green beans, cous cous

It's not really as complicated as it sounds. I swear.

Thursday - Baked sweet potate with black beans and quinoa.

I'm gonna cheat and use canned black beans, probably cook the quinoa earlier in the week too.

Friday - Rice noodles with beef and snow peas

I've been using this method for pretty much any noodle dish lately since it's infinitely adaptable and stupid simple.