Sunday, January 31, 2010

365 Recipes - #20 - Baked Mac N Cheese

Who doesn't love Mac and Cheese? Really? Come on now? Pasta and cheese... Y U M. I love the stuff... I was in the mood for the cheesy goodness the other day but I didn't want it to be ... bla... I wanted it to have some crunch... some bite.... some extra flavor.

I came up with my very own "Baked Mac N Cheese". And I only used what ingredients I had in the fridge and the kitchen cabinet that day. And yes... that meant using pre made frozen mac n cheese from the store. Ok, not "home made" but I did put my very own twist on it, and this is what i came up with....


The Line Up :
Frozen Mac N' Cheese
Italian Bread Crumbs
Parmesan Cheese
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
My "Baked Cherry Tomatoes"

Start with the family size frozen Mac N Cheese... Heat it up in the microwave for only HALF of the cooking time. This will allow for more baking later on. Take the bowl out of the microwave and mix it up.

Spread the Mac N Cheese in to a glass baking dish.. you'll see it's mostly cooked through already.

Take some shredded sharp cheddar cheese and sprinkle it ALL over the top... this will make it very cheese, because why not... right?

Grab your Italian bread crumbs and spread them all over the top of the cheese.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over as well...

(insert photo of olive oil) Right before you pop this in to the oven drizzle some extra virgin olive oil all over the top.

YUM! Now toss it in to the oven.. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.. or until the cheese starts bubbling up around the edges and the top is all golden and crispy.

There you go! wasn't that easy?

Scoop out a nice hot heaping amount in to a bowl and enjoy.

Look how yummy and cheesy that looks!

No really... LOOK :-D this was soooooo good.

Now for my twist. I made these Baked Cherry Tomatoes and decided to toss them in.... it was a GREAT decision ! The flavors of the tomatoes and the garlic and the fragrant olive oil just made this dish soo decadent and yummy and well just darn good !

I hope you enjoy!

Recipe #20, 345 more to go.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

365 Recipes - #19 - Fruit Cereal

I'm not sure if some of you are thinking "this really isn't a recipe... " But I thought I would post it anyway. You see... I had all this left over fruit from different desserts I tried out over the last few days... and.... I didn't want it to go to waste... so.... I grabbed a hand full of each and topped my cereal with them. How easy is that? Cereal topped with a bunch of different berries. Simple. I used Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries. And a nice heaping amount of them too... if you have any left over fruit... cereal is the way to go.... Now don't leave out the bananas or the mangoes... or any of your favorite fresh fruits, throw them right on top and I'm sure you'll like the change to the boring box cereal. Although come to think of it... melon may not taste good here... what do you think? :-)

Recipe #19, 346 more to go.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

365 Recipes - #18 - "Hot" Tomato Soup

I'm not the first in line for tomato soup... it never sounded appetizing to me. I do like tomatoes, but as a soup? Eh...

The other day I was in the supermarket and I happened across these "Ugly Ripe Tomatoes" . Awwww they called them ugly! The tomatoes were not ugly to me... they actually looked like tomatoes I grow in my little make shift pot garden. Looking around I noticed that they were the only ripe tomatoes in the entire store. I grabbed 4 and decided to make tomato soup... but with a kick !

The Line Up:
4 large plump tomatoes
1 small habanero pepper
4 tbs Sour Cream
1 tsp Ground chicken bullion
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of Sherry Vinegar
1 small sweet onion
1 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
olive oil

Yummy !

The Kick !
Look at this innocent little guy... all pretty and orange and sitting there all innocent... but you better keep an eye on him... he packs a punch !

Here they are, the "ugly ripe tomatoes" They are not so ugly... just a bit lumpy... almost like those fancy heirloom tomatoes.

Roughly chop up the onion, size doesn't really matter too much here... they will be blended up later.

Quarter the tomatoes in to small chunks.

Pour a few tbs of olive oil in to a sauce pot, then add tomatoes....

And the onions...

Then pour in 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth....

add the minced garlic...

Now take that little "innocent" habanero pepper and slice it open and plop it right in to the pot.... you want to be able to fish this out later.. so don't chop it up no matter what you do.

You don't have to use a habanero pepper if you don't like heat... and if you don't like EXTREME heat then you can dump in some dried pepper flakes at this point instead.

Ahhhh lovely! bring the pot up to a boil and then back down to a simmer and let it simmer for ten minutes.

After the 10 minutes have passed remove the habanero pepper... Here is where my dish went down hill... I did not remove said pepper... i left it in there for the entire cooking time... OY It was very hot to say the least... Lets just say I was happy I had a lot of sour cream in the house that day !

At this point you can add the ground chicken bullion.

My very first bottle of sherry vinegar ! really it was !

Pour in 1 table spoon...

Give it a good stir and then let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down some. Once it's cooled a bit you can pour it right in to a blender...

Puree the soup until everything is creamy... (at this point you can freeze the soup if you like for future use or give canning a try !)

Pour the soup back in to the pot and heat it up for serving...

To add a creamy texture to your soup you can then top if off with 2tbs of sour cream per serving...

Did I tell you it was great for dipping grilled cheese sandwiches too??? Well it is.. and let me tell you... this was the best tomato soup I've ever tried!

Recipe #18, 347 more to go.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

365 Recipes - #17 - Layered Fruit with Mango Whip

Now doesn't that just look yummy !

The Line Up :
Blueberries (with a splash of lemon juice and 2 tbs of powdered sugar)
Whipped Cream

Take about 2 handfuls of blueberries...

and drop them in to a small blender with the powder sugar and a splash of lemon juice.

Blend away until it's as smooth as you can get it.

Then take about a 1/4 cup of diced mangoes.

Put them in to a small blender with a cup of whipped cream.

Blend away until it's all smooth...

Then fold the mango mix in to another cup and and a half of whipped cream to keep it fluffy.


I love fresh fruits... don't they look so good... even for the winter they look so yummy !

I used a wine glass for this dish... it will hold just the right portions for a refreshing dessert. Start with the strawberries on the bottom.

Then add a dollop of the cream.

Then add some blackberries.

Another dollop of cream.

Then some raspberries.

More cream !

Remember that blueberry mixture we made earlier... well by now it has jelled a bit.. and this is OK... just mix it up and put a nice little spoon full on the top.

YUM ! Enjoy!

Recipe #17, 348 more to go.