Pizza Mac & Cheese

Recipe Adapted by http://www.anediblemosaic.com/

Serves 4

1/2 lb (8 oz) elbow pasta, or any small pasta shape you like

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb (16 oz) lean ground beef*

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk (I used Lactate as Normy is lactose intolerant)

1-1 1/4 cups pizza sauce (I used my recipe for Chunky Pizza Sauce, see below)

6 oz sharp cheddar, shredded (about 2 cups freshly shredded cheese, not packed)

2 oz low-fat cream cheese

*If you don’t have lean ground beef, just drain out the fat once the meat is browned before moving to the next step.
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Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions;
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drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion
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and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and beef,
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turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook until the beef is browned, about 3 to 5 minutes,
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stirring occasionally to break up the meat. (At this point, drain off the fat if your ground beef wasn’t lean.)

Turn heat down to medium, add the bay leaf,
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Italian herb seasoning,
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salt, pepper, and flour
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and cook 1 minute. Stir in the milk
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and pizza sauce,
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and cook 2 minutes;
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add the cheeses
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and stir constantly until it comes to a simmer. Add the pasta noodles
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and cook until warmed, about 1 minute;
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serve with any toppings you like, such as fresh grated parmesan cheese.
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here is the recipe for her Chunky Pizza Sauce

Yields about 1 cup

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt’s No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes, undrained (I used jarred tomatoes that my friend Stacey made and gave me, YAY!)

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch black pepper
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Preheat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat;
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add the garlic and cook 1 minute,
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stirring constantly. Add the canned tomatoes,
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Italian herb seasoning,
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sugar,
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See my little mini bowl I got for spices. Smallest bowl ever!
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salt,
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and pepper,
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and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and using a wooden spoon to break up the tomato pieces a bit.

Broccoli Salad

This is my mom’s most favorite salad that I make. Whenever I cook her dinner for her Birthday or Mother’s Day or just because she ALWAYS requests it!

Recipe

1 head broccoli
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
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1/2 cup chopped red onion
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8 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut into very small chunks
1 cup mayonnaise
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2 tablespoons white vinegar
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1/4 cup sugar
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salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Trim off the large leaves from the broccoli stem. Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash broccoli head thoroughly. Cut the head into florets and the stem into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add the crumbled bacon,
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onion,
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and cheese.
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In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well.
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Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.
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Taco Salad

Recipe

2 ripe tomatoes (Those look ripe to me)
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diced

1/2 pound sharp Cheddar, diced (I used grated/shredded cheese)
1 large onion, diced
1 head iceberg lettuce, washed, drained and shredded
1 pound lean ground beef, browned, crumbled and drained
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1 cup salad dressing (recommended: Catalina)
1 (7-ounce) bag taco flavored chips, crushed
1 cup salsa
Tortilla chips, to serve
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Combine the tomatoes, cheese, onion, lettuce, and ground beef in a large bowl.
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Add the salad dressing and mix well.
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Just before serving, add the taco chips, tossing to combine with other ingredients. Top each serving with salsa. Serve with tortilla chips.

I added all my salad ingredients to a bowl, a tortilla bowl, did that instead of corn chips…

11/11/11 Happy Birthday to me and Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

November 11, 2011  was my birthday and what an awesome date it was this year 11/11/11

To start things off my co workers decorated my desk at work the day before

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Then later that day I went to the airport to pick up Heather, she came out from California to visit me.

we celebrated Friday, Saturday and then Sunday she flew back home. Sniff sniff.

we had a fun-filled weekend and you KNOW I cooked.

So for my birthday I woke up and wanted to make Heather and Normy breakfast and I wanted them to make me Mimosa

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so I made them this:

Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

recipe

1 (32 ounce) package frozen hash brown potatoes
8 ounces cooked, diced ham
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of potato soup
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix hash browns,
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ham,
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cream of potato soup,
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sour cream,
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and Cheddar cheese.
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Spread evenly into prepared dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly brown. Serve immediately.

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while we waited for breakfast to cook, Heather and Normy had me open presents

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I am trying to cover my face as much as possible as I don’t have make up on, I don’t want to scare you all!

Let’s EAT!
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Then we did a toast at 11:11
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Broccoli Salad

Recipe

 

2 heads broccoli
½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
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8 ounces cubed cheddar cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar
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1. Trim the florets off of the broccoli, cutting large pieces into bite-size pieces, and rinse in a colander.

2. Combine the broccoli, bacon, cheese and onion in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar.
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Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.

4. The broccoli salad can be served immediately, but it tastes even better if you cover it and refrigerate it for an hour or two before serving. Leftovers the next day are even better!

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Classic Macaroni Salad & Happy Mother’s Day!

This past weekend for Mother’s Day we had my mom, dad and brother over for dinner. I love to cook (bet you didn’t know that did ya?) so when I want to do something nice for someone I like to cook them dinner. So I asked my mom what she wanted and we made her, her favorite dishes. Normy made his Breaded Chicken because she LOVES it! My mom doesn’t like chicken at all, but she LOVES Normy’s Breaded chicken.
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I made her my Broccoli Salad as she LOVES that too! And then I made her a new recipe (this Recipe) and she LOVED it too! I also made her my deviled eggs ,
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and Strawberry Cupcakes with vanilla Butter Cream frosting…
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Recipe

4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
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1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
(I also added in a packet of Ranch dressing mix)
I also added in 8oz of extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut up in cubes
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Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.

In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise,
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vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.
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Stir in the onion, celery, green pepper,
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and macaroni. (And Ranch Packet)
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Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.
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My dad was really excited about trying the Mac Salad
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Lets eat some dinner
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My parents love Bacon
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So does Normy
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I really like this picture of my mom and dad. Really captures the moment!
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My family (The Fab 4) The Creeks
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People wonder where I get my goofy side, well I would say I think I get some of it from my dad. I was cooking away and he comes over to me and does this, and says “Look I am a Pirate ARGH” (the hook is an attachment from my Kitchen Aid mixer).
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and then he came up to me another time and did this…(Those are my Sunglasses)
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Who is Darker? (Glad I get my tan skin from my dad)
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Priceless
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Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
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Instead of getting my mom a dozen Roses, I decided to make a dozen cupcakes with these pretty candy roses on top!

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Potato Bites

I LOVE Potatoes…

I Love Bacon…

and…

I LOVE, LOVE Sour cream!

You can NEVER have too much sour cream or BACON in my opinion! I have an obsession with bacon! I have been trying to use it less as we seemed to be having it every week and well that’s not good. I was debating last night if I love Bacon or Coffee more! I love coffee in the mornings and bacon ALL the time! I daydream about bacon sometimes! (yep I am obsessed)

A lot of people watch what carbs they eat and well I NEED carbs! I have so much energy that I (so) need those carbs to keep my energetic self going!! When I was making these I decided that I wanted to cut them in half as I thought it would take less time to bake them so after the fact I didn’t like the way they looked after looking at the picture the person took who I got the recipe from, my potato bites just look like potato skins. So I already decided I will be remaking these like she did. You should look at her picture! SO Pretty!

Recipe

15 small red skin potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher Salt

For the Filling:
1/4 cup Sour Cream
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter; softened
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
3 slices of bacon; cooked until crisp and chopped
½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese
4 chives finely chopped

Garnish
Sour Cream
Finely chopped chives

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slice off a thin portion from the bottoms of the potatoes so they can sit upright without falling over.
3. Add potatoes to a gallon size bag and pour in your olive oil. Seal and coat all of the potatoes with the olive oil.
4. Remove potatoes from bag and place the potatoes upright on a foil-lined sheet pan; sprinkle with salt.
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5. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
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6. When the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled, carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. A serrated spoon works well for this process. (I used a melon baller spoon hehe) Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together.
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7. Mash the scooped potato lightly with fork, or run through a potato ricer.
8. Add the Breakstone’s Sour Cream, heavy cream, butter, and salt and combine until smooth.
9. Fold in chopped bacon and cheese into the potato mixture.
10. Evenly spoon or pipe the filling into the hollowed potatoes and return to the 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
11. Garnish with Breakstone’s Sour Cream and finely chopped chives.
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Triple-Cheese Spirals

Got this Recipe from the Food Network Magazine that I get at my Apt each month. I go through and rip out what Recipes I like and want to try…

Kosher salt
12 ounces gemelli, cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, chives and/or scallions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, mustard and cayenne and stir with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste puffs slightly, about 1 minute. Whisk in both milks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened and creamy, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the cheddar and jack cheeses and all but 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan and whisk until melted; keep warm.

Combine the panko, herbs and/or scallions, 1 tablespoon butter and the remaining Parmesan in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the butter melts, about 1 minute; toss.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup cooking water, and return to the pot. Toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then stir in the cheese sauce, adding the reserved cooking water if needed. Season with salt and top with the breadcrumb mixture.

Bacon Onion Cheddar Biscuits

  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ cups Vegetable Shortening (crisco, Etc)
  • 10 Tablespoons Milk (whole Milk Is Best)
  • 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 10 slices Thick Cut Bacon, Fried And Crumbled
  • 1 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening until all combined.

Combine milk, oil, and egg in a separate bowl. Whisk together.

Combine flour mixture, milk mixture, bacon, onions, and cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Stir gently until all combined.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes on 375 degrees until golden Remove from pan and serve warm.

Recipe