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.
This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in 2015 on a wonderful site called Natasha’s Palace. It’s worth a visit there to see all of the great and unusual recipes she has. The original recipe is here:
My daughters and I love this dish, especially if I can use some flavorful Honey Baked Ham leftovers.
Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese Pasta
¾ cup bowtie pasta
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Tblsp. garlic, minced
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced
One cup chopped cooked ham
1 tsp. oregano
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. butter
4 oz. goat cheese
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente, drain
In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion slices, sprinkle with salt/pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent but not brown.
Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add pear slices and ham and cook until heated. Stir in oregano and salt/pepper to taste. Stir in butter and drained pasta. Add goat cheese in small lumps and stir gently until cheese has melted.
I found this recipe, adapted slightly here, on a cherry orchard web site in 2013 (page no longer available).
I just got around to making the wraps and they are really good, quick to make and have some vegetables included along with the tangy dried cherries. I’ll be making these again.
*Instead of tortillas, I used some great flatbread I found in the deli section of my grocery store.
Dried Cherry Wraps
1/2 cup non-fat lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon honey Dijon-style mustard or honey-mustard dressing
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (8 ounces)
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion
4 (8- to 10-inch) whole wheat flour tortillas, tomato-flavored flour tortillas*
Whisk together yogurt, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Gently stir in chicken, cherries, carrot, cucumber and green onion. Mound about 3/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla or flatbread, leaving space all around for folding . Fold in top and bottom and fold over each side, placing wrap seam-side down on a plate. Cut into 3 portions. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 servings
Italian Cheese Breadsticks
2 Tblsp. Fast acting yeast
2 tsp salt
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1-1/2 cups water, heated to 130 degrees F
¼ cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups good flavored cheese, grated
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast, salt, sugar and 2 cups of flour.
Heat water to 130 degrees F, add cheese and stir to melt, reheat mixture to 130 degrees F.
Pour water/cheese mixture into bowl with flour mixture, add oil. Beat on medium speed with a paddle beater for 3 minutes. Remove the paddle beater and insert a dough hook. Continue to beat at medium speed, adding flour gradually for 6-½ minutes. You may not need all of the flour.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Punch down dough and using ¼ cup of dough, form into a cigar-shaped roll 5 inches long. Place on a greased baking pan 3 inches apart. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake breadsticks for approximately 12 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool.