Saturday, May 30, 2009

Homemade Macaroni & Cheese


  • 2 cups elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente (it should still be a little hard, because it'll soften up when it's baked and you don't want to end up with mushy noodles)
  • 16 ounces Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cubed, 1/2 shredded
  • 8 ounces Monterey pepper jack cheese, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together pasta with the cheese cubes and pour into the baking dish.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, nutmeg and sour cream, egg, heavy cream and half-and-half. Pour over the pasta and cover with shredded Cheddar. Bake uncovered until top is just beginning to brown, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the bread into crouton-sized squares. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add cubes and toast until golden.

Sprinkle the bread cubes on top of the macaroni and cheese and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Garlic Butter

I saw the 'go-to' question and will try to answer it, but in the meantime I wanted to post this recipe. 

Last night we had a BBQ with some friends, we grilled Lemon-Rosemary Chicken and corn in their husks, then slathered this garlic butter on top of the corn. Soooo good. 

Garlic Butter

2 sticks butter
8 cloves garlic 
1/4 serrano chile, deseeded and finely chopped (if you're not familiar with these, like I was, they're in the produce section, and cost like nothing)
1/4 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper
dash chili powder

Combine all in food processor or blender. Tastes great on corn or garlic bread. It makes a lot so I cut it in half. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ribbon Ice Cream Pie

The combinations you could try are endless. Yum.


    • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
    • 1 ready-to-fill chocolate cookie crust
    • 1 pint reduced-fat Dutch chocolate ice cream
    • 1 pint strawberry ice cream
    • 1/4 cup fudge sauce
    • Garnish: strawberries


    Place 1 pint vanilla ice cream in large bowl; stir until smooth but not melted. Spread into bottom of a ready-to-fill chocolate cookie crust. Freeze 30 minutes until just firm. Repeat as above with 1 pint reduced-fat Dutch chocolate ice cream, then 1 pint strawberry ice cream. Cover and freeze until firm. Before serving, slightly warm 1/4 cup fudge sauce in microwave. Drizzle over pie; garnish with strawberries.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lewis Family 'go to' Meal

Speedy Asian Stir Fry

1 cup Kraft Asian Sesame dressing
Angel hair pasta
2 chicken breast, chopped or sliced
1 cup broccoli
1/2 tsp of each: Red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic powder
1 Tbs soy sauce

Cook Angel hair pasta according to package directions, add chopped broccoli for the last 3 min of cooking time.

Meanwhile in a saucepan use cooking spray and cook chicken through. Then add remaining ingredients. Let simmer for a minuet, then toss in pasta and broccoli mixture.... YUMMO and oh so easy PEAsy! You could add other veggi's if they cook quickly like broccoli, I have also made with sliced beef. You can add more or less red pepper flakes depending on how spicy you like your food!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cheesy Beef Stroganoff

A cheap, easy dinner from Kraft Foods.
I didn't actually do the Velveeta cheese; I just threw in a little bit of shredded cheese I had in the fridge.

1 lb. ground beef
2 cups water
3 cups medium egg noodles, uncooked
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 tsp. black pepper

BROWN meat in large skillet; drain.

STIR in water; bring to boil. Stir in noodles; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 8 min. or until noodles are tender.

ADD VELVEETA, soup and pepper; cook until VELVEETA is melted, stirring frequently.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Your "Go To" Meal

I thought I'd throw a question out there today:

What is your "go to" meal when you are taking in dinner to someone?


What is your "go to" meal when you are busy and don't have much time to cook?

Please share. I'm looking for some new ideas.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sicilian Pizza

Tim makes fun of me a lot for having an authentic Sicilian family and never actually cooking Italian food, so for his last birthday I folded and made my dad's pizza. I'll do my best to give his cooking instructions, which often sound like, "Just a little of this, not too much" with never giving an exact amount.


  • Refrigerated pizza dough (you can get this from any quality Italian market - it comes in a bag with just the right amount for one pizza, or you can use frozen bread dough, but you need to let the dough thaw out on your counter overnight after you rub it with some olive oil and cover it with saran wrap, one loaf = one pizza)
  • 1 Italian sausage link (since you can use such a small amount, I recommend you go for the good stuff and get a link from the deli, or an Italian market)
  • Pizza sauce (again, quality is key here, don't go cheap)
  • Grated Romano cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, whatever else you like on your pizza
  • sliced green onions, sounds weird, but it's good
  • dried oregano

  1. If you're using the refrigerated dough, you need to set the dough out and let it rise and get to room temperature. It won't rise a ton, but it will rise. As my dad says, "You want it to get warm, but not too warm." Basically, you want it at room temp. Leave it out for an hour or so.
  2. I make pizza on the Silpat, which I highly recommend. Some people use the pizza stone. The nice thing about the Silpat is it's non-stick, so you'll have to figure out a way to make whatever you're using a non-stick surface. Some olive oil and cornstarch should do the trick on a cookie sheet.
  3. Put about a teaspoon of olive oil on the dough to help work it out. I don't roll mine, I just push it out with my fingers. Dad says, "Not too thin, not too thick." If you're using a cookie sheet it will probably go to just about the edges of the sheet. You can make the crust as thick or thin as you want.
  4. Sprinkle oregano on dough, then press it in. Dad says this is the most important part.
  5. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the dough.
  6. Cut the skin off of the sausage and put very small pieces of sausage all over the dough. Make sure the pieces are small so they'll cook through.
  7. Add your toppings however you want. The cheeses are probably the most important, you can just do parmesan but I like the Romano as well.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I probably made it sound more complicated then necessary, but once you get it down it's super quick and tasty. One pizza serves about 3 people, if we're being realistic.

Australian Pavlova

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 6 kiwi, peeled and sliced


  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
  3. Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, sweetened if desired. Top whipped cream with kiwifruit slices.
Tim made this for me for Mother's Day, and it was amazing. He used less kiwi and food processed some strawberries and kiwi (lightly so they didn't turn into soup) and added raspberries. We have one of these amazing things called a Silpat - we love them, they're $25 from Williams-Sonoma but worth it. He eyeballed the circle and baked the meringue on the Silpat with a little cornstarch underneath.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

coconut Buttermilk syrup

I don't have the recipe yet... but I tried it last night and about died! It was SO yummy on waffles with whipped cream and strawberries! Mmmm... dreaming about it!

I will bless you with this recipe when I get it. :)