Sunday, March 10, 2013

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

After much thought, I've decided to post this recipe.
I've made it many times and it's great.

I have so many versions of Mac & Cheese and I really can't decide which is my favorite or should I say, which one has the right to be labeled a Best of the Best Recipe.
We all have our favorites.
How many versions of Mac & Cheese can I post?

When we served the latest one that I made, we asked the kids why they love Mac & Cheese so much.... they simply replied, "Kids Love Cheese"!
I don't think I've made a version that they don't eat.
I know that they absolutely love this Crock Pot Recipe.

It's certainly less time consuming than the last one I created.

1 C Milk
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
4 TBS (1/2 stick) cut into pieces
1/2 C Sour Cream
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can of Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
2 C dry Elbow Macaroni
2 1/2 C Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 eggs, beaten

Boil the Macaroni in a 2qt. saucepan for about 7 minutes
Drain
In the saucepan, melt Butter and Cheddar Cheese until creamy

In a Slow Cooker:
Cheese/Butter mixture
Sour Cream
Soup
Salt
Pepper
Milk
Dry Mustard
Stir well!

Add Eggs
Add Macaroni and stir again

Set Slow Cooker on Low and cook for 3 hours.
Stir occasionally

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

More Mac & Cheese recipes to come.....
I just can't get enough of them!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet/Dutch Oven Macaroni and Cheese

Cast Iron Skillet / Dutch Oven Macaroni and Cheese / Original recipe

I just created this recipe and made it for dinner.
So..... this one is good, everyone liked it, even the kids, but the prep time is overwhelming.

It's a huge amount, it took about an hour of prep time.
I started out in a 10"  Cast Iron Skillet and immediately realized that I needed my deep Cast Iron Chicken Fryer. I think a large Dutch Oven would work too.

I made a complete mess of the kitchen and had a lot of clean up.
In the long run, I would recommend this if you have a crowd or family reunion for dinner.
It looks and tastes great.
So..... it's worth the time, the effort, the mess!

Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees

1lb.8oz package of dry Macaroni
1/4 C ( 1/2 stick of Butter) plus 1/2 stick for the topping
1/4 C Flour
Salt
2C Milk
1C Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1- 4oz. can of Diced Green Chiles, undrained
2 C Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 C Grated Swiss Cheese
1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese plus 1/4 C for topping
1/2 C Grated Romano Cheese plus 1/4 C for topping
2 C Bread Crumbs
2 TBS Fresh Chopped Rosemary

Bring about 7 quarts of water and a good amount of salt to a boil in a large stock pot .
Cook the Pasta until Al Dente.
Drain and set aside.
Melt 1/4 C of the Butter in a large Cast Iron Skillet or a Dutch Oven over medium heat.
Add Flour to create a Roux, stirring constantly.
Slowly whisk in the Milk and Cream, whisking constantly eliminating any lumps.
Whisk in the Dry Mustard.
Add 1/2 tsp of Salt.
Add the 1/2 C Parmesan, 1/2 C Romano, 2 C Cheddar and 2 C Swiss Cheeses and stir to melt and combine well.
Stir in the Green Chiles
Remove the pan from the heat

In a bowl, combine:
Breadcrumbs, Rosemary and reserved 1/4 C Parmesan and 1/4 C Romano Cheeses.
Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top of the Macaroni

Cut small pieces of the remaining 1/2 Stick of Butter and distribute evenly over the top of the Breadcrumbs.

Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Raspberry Margarita

I could post many, many recipes for Margaritas, and I will later.....
In Texas, we love our Margaritas and we can create one from just about any type of fruit or liquor.

I happen to have a passion for anything made with Raspberries.
I often refer to Raspberry as my favorite artificial flavor!
I know you all have a favorite!

Raspberry Margarita:

2 oz. Cuervo Tequila, or your favorite!
1/2 oz. Chambord, you know.... that decadent French Raspberry Liquor!
1 oz. Agave Nectar, I'm a fan of Agave Nectar to sweeten recipes.
2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Fill a Cocktail Shaker with Ice
Add all of the ingredients
Shake vigorously..... like a James Bond Martini!
Strain into a Margarita Glass and top it with a Raspberry and garnish the rim of the glass with a half slice of Lime.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Torte


We've been making this for years in Texas and I never thought of it as anything worth blogging about.
It seems to be a staple recipe in Texas.
This is a Best of the Best Recipe.

Tex - Mex Torte:

350 degree oven
1- 8" Spring Form Pan

This may appear to be an odd recipe because it's not really a recipe.
I'm writing this from the heart and from memory.
I don't usually use a recipe, it's made at the last minute with whatever we have available in the pantry and refrigerator.

8" Flour Tortillas

Here's a list of the ingredients you can layer in this Torte:

Chicken, cooked ( I use a Vegetarian product)
or
Ground Beef, sautéed ( I use a Vegetarian product)

Diced Onion

Diced Green Chiles in a can, drained,
or
Sliced Fresh Jalapeños.

Picante Sauce or Salsa ( we all have our favorites in Texas)
1 can of Black Beans, drained
1 can of Corn, drained
Sliced Black Olives
Shredded Cheese, (Monterey Jack or Cheddar)
Sour Cream

Create several layers beginning with a Tortilla topped with the meat.
Layer in any order you choose at this point.
Continue to repeat the layering until you end with a Tortilla topped with Cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes

Cool, top with a layer of Sour Cream, release from the pan and move to a serving platter.
Slice and serve with additional Sour Cream and Salsa

I hope this makes some sort of sense....
It sure does taste good no matter how you construct it.

You can add or delete any of the ingredients to personalize it for your family.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!







Rhubarb Mus , Cherry Moos , Pluma Mus !

Today I'm going to talk about Moos or Mus !
I'll be making Rhubarb Mus later today.

The first time I experienced this dessert, I was at The Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale in Hutchinson, Kansas with my wife and her family.

They are from an Amish , Mennonite community.
This is where I learned about Mus.

Some believe that it originated in Germany, but most believe the the origin is Russian Mennonite.
My wife's family is of Russian Mennonite decent.

There are many, many versions of this dessert and I've been researching the archives of my collection of Mennonite and Amish cookbooks and found the following recipes that appealed to me the most.

However, my wife says that she has never heard of Rhubarb Mus so it must have been made by the Ohio or Pennsylvania Mennonites.
She grew up with Pluma Moos and Cherry Moos.

I was raised in Michigan and we grew Rhubarb and plenty of it so this recipe appealed to me.
I've tried to grow Rhubarb here in Texas and have failed .
I've been told that some of my favorite things that we grew in Michigan are impossible to grow here.
We can't grow Peonies or Lilacs ..... or Rhubarb.

I purchase my Rhubarb from the Amish/Mennonite Bulk Food Store near Hutchinson, Kansas.
I believe that Rhubarb is an acquired taste. You either love it, or think that it's very strange.


I happen to love it in any recipe.

Rhubarb Mus:

4 C diced Rhubarb
4 C Water
1 C Raisins

Cook Rhubarb and Raisins in the Water until tender.

In a separate bowl mix together the following ingredients to create the thickening agent.
1C Sugar
2 TBS Flour
1 C Heavy Cream
Add this to the cooked Rhubarb/Raisin mixture and continue cooking until it becomes thick.

Serve warm or cold.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


This is my favorite version of Cherry Moos.
Some recipes use Jello and some use other thickening agents.
Some use milk, cream..... and the recipes vary.
I chose this one to publish here.

Cherry Moos:

1 Qt of Pitted Sour Cherries
1 Qt. of Water
1/2 C Flour
1 1/3 C Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 - 13oz. Can of Evaporated Milk
1tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Red Food Coloring

In a large kettle combine the Cherries and Water and boil for 2 minutes.
Mix the Flour, Sugar and Salt and stir in the Canned Milk.

While stirring, slowly add 2 C of the Hot Cherry liquid.

Slowly stir this mixture back into the Hot Cherries.

Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add Almond Extract and the Food Coloring.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cherry Delight

I'm fascinated by vintage American recipes that others around the world may not quite understand.

My wife and I recently returned from a funeral in Kansas.
There are 3 foods that you can guarantee will be at a Mennonite Funeral.

Zweiback Rolls
Funeral Cheese ( 6" Cheddar, sliced and quartered) served with slices of Ham that make a sandwich with the rolls.
Jello

I've never seen a group of women come together and cook for a multitude of people as I did at the funeral.
It was quite impressive.

I have never seen so many jello recipes in one place in my life.
There was every color imaginable with so many different variations of ingredients added.
I tasted some of each and loved them all.

Here's another classic recipe from one of the Mennonite Recipe Books.
This Book is a handwritten Book put together by the women of our families church.

Cherry Delight:

50 regular sized marshmallows
1 C Milk
1 Large Carton of Whipped Topping
1 1/4 C Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 1/4 C Butter, melted
1/4 C Chopped Pecans
2 Cans of Cherry Pie Filling

Melt Marshmallows and milk, slowly in a saucepan
Cool thoroughly
Fold Whipped Topping into the Marshmallow mixture

Mix Graham Cracker Crumbs, Butter, and Pecans
Press into a 9"X13" pan

Spread the Marshmallow mixture on top of the crust
Spread the Pie Filling on the top and chill thoroughly.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!







Raggedy Ann Bars

Here's a vintage recipe from a Church Recipe Book in Kansas.

1 - 9x13 pan

Crust:
1/4 C Shortening ( Crisco)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar
1 C Flour

Cream together salt, shortening and brown sugar.
Cut this mixture into the flour with a pastry knife or 2 forks
Press this crust into the bottom of the pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

Top Layer:
1 C Packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs, well beaten
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Rice Krispies
1 C  Chopped Pecans
1 C Coconut

Add Sugar to Eggs and beat until fluffy
Fold in remaining ingredients
Pout over the Crust and continue baking for 35 minutes more.
Cut while warm
Cool to serve

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!