Tuesday was a bitterly cold day here in southwest Ohio, the second of two heavy snowfalls imminent, and I was craving macaroni and cheese. I normally make a reduced-fat version (https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/shannons-macaroni-and-cheese/) but on a day like this, I wanted all of the cheese I could get. I came up with this version which my daughters and I really enjoyed.
1-½ cups dry macaroni, cooked in boiling, salted water al dente, drained Preheat oven to 350 degrees F In the bottom of a microwave-safe baking dish, place the cream cheese and microwave for 45 seconds, until cheese is very soft. Stir in the grated cheddar, milk, salt, dry mustard and black pepper. Add cooked, drained macaroni and stir to blend. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Lillian’s Macaroni and Cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
A few grindings of black pepper
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1-½ cups dry macaroni, cooked in boiling, salted water al dente, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In the bottom of a microwave-safe baking dish, place the cream cheese and microwave for 45 seconds, until cheese is very soft. Stir in the grated cheddar, milk, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.
Add cooked, drained macaroni and stir to blend. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
The macaroni was served with chicken breast which had been sprinkled with olive oil and herbs, and baked a covered pan at the same time as the macaroni casserole. We also had some steamed broccoli and carrots. Delicious snowy-day meal.
For Sunday dinner, I had intended to bake an old favorite, Peach Lasagne, using leftover Italian bread and some beautiful peaches from the farm market. Unfortunately, the peaches I had bought most recently weren’t ripe enough and the three peaches leftover from the previous week didn’t equal the four cups I needed for the recipe. I decided to add some leftover strawberries and drained, canned pineapple tidbits. I also substituted toasted pecans for the almonds in my original recipe and the dessert was delicious. My daughters loved it.
This is the original recipe: https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/peach-lasagne/
Mixed Fruit Lasagne
4 cups mixed fruit (I used equal amounts of strawberries, peaches and pineapple)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tblsp. butter
8 slices hearty bread, sliced fairly thin
1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 Tblsp. butter
3 Tblsp. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F
Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces, add granulated sugar, mix and set aside.
Spread butter on both sides of 8 slices of bread. Place slices in a large skillet over medium heat and brown on each side.
Line the bottom of a 9 inch baking dish with half of the browned buttered slices – just cover the bottom without overlapping. OK to break the bread into smaller pieces to fit them in. Sprinkle ¾ Tblp. sugar over the slices. Spoon half of fruit mixture on top of bread slices, spreading to cover.
Repeat with another layer of bread slices sprinkled with sugar and the remaining half of the fruit mixture.
Crumb Topping: Mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt and cut in butter. Sprinkle the topping over the last fruit layer and top with chopped pecans.
Cover and bake @ 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.
I started out intending to make a completely different orzo salad but was lacking some of the ingredients. I changed to what I had on hand and made a very delicious and filling lunch or supper salad.
Orzo Chicken and Artichoke Salad
4 cups boiling water
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast
7.5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
Red Wine Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp chili powder or cumin
¾ cup plus 2 Tblsp. light olive oil
Cook orzo in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and stir occasionally until pasta is slightly warm. Add tomatoes, chicken and artichoke hearts.
Place dressing ingredients in a one-pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to mix ingredients and pour over chicken/orzo mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving and stir.
In the 1980s-90s, my husband and I lived in a rural area called Blue Jay, located on the Ohio/Indiana border. My husband had a huge garden and every kind of berry bush and fruit tree that does well in our area. My favorites were the black raspberries and we got bumper crops year after year. I used them in every conceivable way, but regret that I found this recipe after we had to leave our country home and all the wonderful berries. It’s a quick, easy way to turn 1-½ cups of fresh raspberries into a delicious dessert with a little cake and lots of berries.
Butter is melted in the oven in a 9-inch pie plate. Then cake batter is poured over the butter (no stirring) and berries are scattered on top along with a sprinkling of sugar. The cake rises up over the berries to form a thin layer and is delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature.
¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Dash of salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
1-½ cups fresh raspberries
Additional 1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and melt butter in 9-inch pie plate Heat until butter is melted but not brown.
Meanwhile, mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and baking powder in bowl.
Stir in milk. Pour this batter over the melted butter – DO NOT STIR.
Drop berries over top, scattering evenly over surface. DO NOT STIR.
Sprinkle 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 F degrees.
The butter and batter rise to make a thin top crust that is buttery, sugary and crunchy at the edges.
Delicious plain or with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
I saw a recipe online for bell peppers stuffed with rice, ground chicken and an interesting blend of vegetables which sounded good, but I thought my family would like it better in casserole-form. I used chopped bell peppers along with chicken breast rather than ground chicken and substituted orzo for rice to make a very flavorful and satisfying meal. I used my favorite mixture of oregano and chili powder to give the dish a little kick and it was voted a winner by the family. I assembled the dish a day ahead of time and baked it for Sunday dinner. We had enough for everyone to have an extra serving for supper during the week. This dish would also freeze well.
Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke and Orzo Casserole
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
15 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup orzo cooked al dente according to package directions
½ chicken breast, cooked and shredded
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Oiled 9×13 baking dish
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook bell pepper and onion until soft but not brown. Add minced garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir in tomato sauce, thawed spinach, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Add cooked orzo and shredded chicken breast. Spoon mixture into oiled 9×13 baking dish. Dish can be covered and refrigerated at this point and baked later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place covered casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Remove cover and sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more. Serve hot.
6-8 generous servings
I found this recipe over 10 years ago online (sorry, I don’t remember the source) and adapted it to make a nice, light luncheon or supper dish. I would prefer fresh peaches, but canned ones also work fine and give a little pep to this low fat, low cal meal.
Tipsy Chicken with Peaches
3 medium chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tsp. olive oil
Large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. smoked paprika
6 green onions with tops, chopped
¼ cup orange juice
2 Tblsp. Bourbon
1 cup sliced peaches
Grating of fresh nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Spray a 9 inch casserole dish
Place chicken cubes in prepared casserole and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and cook onions over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add paprika and chopped green onions. Cook an additional 4 minutes.
Spread onion mixture over chicken; spoon orange juice and bourbon over the top and bake uncovered for @ 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally.
Remove chicken from oven and spoon peaches over the top. Grate nutmeg lightly over peaches and return to oven to bake for 15-20 minutes more until chicken is done.
Serve over hot rice.
Diet Power: ¼ of casserole with ½ cup rice = 278 calories, 3.7 g fat, 37.7 g carbohydrate, 1.99 g dietary fiber, 24.2 g protein.