Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Easiest Mac and Cheese EVER!

This is seriously the EASIEST homemade Mac and Cheese recipe I've ever seen and it's actualy good.  I made this today when my oldest daughter wanted me to make her my Mac and Cheese but I was out of butter so I couldn't make a rue which is in my favorite recipe that you can find HERE.  I was very skeptical that this recipe would actually work bcause you cook the pasta directly in the milk and then just add cheese and stir, what's easier than that?  Well I was pleastantly surprised when I made this on a whim and it was actually really delicious.   My only suggestions are that you should use a small pasta with ridges in it to help absorb the milk more easily and I would also only serve this right after it's made.  It gets super thick as it stands and although it still tastes good it's looses that creaminess that I really like in Mac and Cheese.  Try it for yourself and see.  You can find the original recipe at Macaroni and Cheesecake.  I omitted a few ingredients to make it even easier.


2 cups dried pasta (something with ridges in it will work best)
2 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup loosely packed cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt


In a saucepan, add pasta and milk. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until pasta is soft, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.
Turn heat off, add cheese & salt & and stir to combine.  Serve immediately.  If the mac and cheese is too thick add a little bit of milk and stir until you get your desired consistency.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spinach and Parmesan Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

This recipe was created for a catering job that Nanci and I had last summer.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to blog it because it's really a fantastic, delicious recipe.  It's a new take on the traditional "stuffed" mushroom.  I love using portabella mushrooms because it's easy to portion as a side dish, (one mushroom per person) or this would make a great vegetarian dish and in that case two mushrooms per serving would be plenty. A great side dish for a BBQ and I know we are all always looking for something new and different to make than the typical colesloaw and potato salad.


8 small/med whole portabella mushroom caps
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bag of fresh spinach
1 cup grated parmesean cheese, divided
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsely, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet and lay each mushroom cap gill side up on the sheet.  Lightly oil the bottoms and inside of each mushroom cap and season both sides with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Meanwhile,  in a large skillet over med heat sautee minced garlic in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil for a minute.  Add in fresh spinach to hot garlic oil, season with salt and pepper and cook spinach down until it is fully wilted.  Transfer spinach into a small bowl and set aside to cool.  Once spinach is cooled add in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and stir to combine.  In another bowl mix bread crumbs with remanining parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Now to assemble the mushrooms;  Add about 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture into the gill side of the mushroom cap and then sprinkle with about 1-2 tablespoons of the bread crumb mixture, continue until all filling and bread crumbs are used up.  Drizzle a little olive oil on top of each mushroom (add an additional sprinkle of parmesan cheese if desired) and bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes.  Add another sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley before serving, serve hot!