Archive | January, 2011

White Cheddar Baked Mac ‘n Cheese

18 Jan

There is just nothing like the ooey-gooey goodness that is baked macaroni and cheese.  It is the comfort food of comfort foods, and one of my very personal favorite foods in general. Every holiday, I insist upon a dish of baked mac n cheese being present.  Fortunately, my Grandma knows this and of course never lets me down.

There are so many variations of baked mac and cheese, but one of my favorites is a White Cheddar cheese recipe that was part of a cooking class required for my major.  When I tasted that delicious cheesiness, I was in love.  And so was my roommate, Megan.  We’ve gotten ambitious enough on some of the days we’ve craved mac n cheese to make this recipe at home (honestly, the only recipe I’ve ever made at home from that cooking class).   Yesterday was one of those days. 🙂 This recipe is perfect for serving as a side dish for a family or, if you’re like Megan and I, eating the whole pan between yourselves!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni (about 1/2 of a box)
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 lb sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (One 8 oz block)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (~ 2 small handfuls)
  • 1 9X13 baking/casserole dish
  • 2 cups medium white sauce  (as follows)
    – 4 tbsp butter
    – 4 tbsp flour
    – 2 cups warmed milk
    – 1/4 tsp salt
    – 1/8 tsp pepper

When we make this at our apartment, Megan starts off grating the cheese while I get water boiling for the noodles and start the white sauce.  This is also a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  To start the white sauce, melt your butter in a sauce pan, once it is melted, quickly whisk in the flour by the tablespoonful.  I had Megan adding in the flour while I whisked to avoid making a giant mess (Yeah, it didn’t work…).  Then whisk in the warmed milk, and continue whisking until thick and add the salt/pepper & 1/4 tsp dry mustard.  Don’t forget to keep an eye on your boiling water! Once it starts boiling, add in the noodles.

While waiting for the noodles to finish, turn the heat to low on the white sauce, and whisk occasionally.  When the noodles are finish, drain them and place them in a large bowl.  Mix in the grated/shredded cheese with the warm noodles.  Then, slowly mix in the white sauce.  Put the noodles & cheese sauce mixture into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and coat the surface with breadcrumbs.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes and enjoy!!!!

Yum! Baked cheesy goodness!

WE ARE… awesome mac n cheese chefs!!!

Mark Your Calenders!

17 Jan

Everyone mark your calenders and plan to make a trip to State College!
Monday, March 21st & Monday, April 18th will be the official meal dates of my HRIM 430: Cafe Laura theme dinner! We need at least 100 people to attend each dinner and would love it if you could stop by!
We’re planning a lot of great dishes and can’t wait to see you all there!

And don’t worry, even though I’m going to be pretty busy this semester, LION BITES has an update or two in the works! Get ready for Hawaiian Punch Cupcakes & Cheddar Mac n Cheese!

Please, check back for details about our theme dinner and keep your eyes open for a Facebook Event & flyers around campus! We would genuinely appreciate all of your support!

http://www.cafelaura.psu.edu

WE ARE… in shock that we’ve made it to this class already! Time’s running short here at PSU.

A Peppers & Onions Potluck: Hot Sausage Spaghetti

3 Jan

This recipe was introduced to me when a guy from my THON committee brought it to our spaghetti potluck. My last minute, store-bought meatballs paled in comparison.  I love this combination of spaghetti sauce, sautéed peppers & onions and sweet spicy sausage.  Thursday, I decided to cook this for my family & thought it would be a great recipe to share with you all on LION BITES.  Enjoy! And don’t thank me, thank the guy on my THON committee!!

What You’ll Need:

  • appx 1 lb sausage (use hot, italian style, mild, smoked, whichever you prefer!)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (24-26 oz — I used Delgrosso’s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 box spaghetti
  • Italian Blend or Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • seasonings: garlic or garlic powder, salt & pepper, cayenne pepper
  • a Crock Pot!!

 

Start off by boiling water & cooking the sausage according to the directions on the package. While the water is boiling, begin by seeding and cutting the bell peppers in to long thin strips (julienning) and slice/chop 1/2 of a small onion.  Sauté these in a pan with the olive oil (and garlic if you so choose).

Start to heat up your crock pot on high with the spaghetti sauce in it. When the onions & peppers are ready, add them to the crock pot as well.  After boiling your sausage, allow it to cool for a minute and slice into 1/2 inch chunks.  Sauté them in the pan that you took the vegetables out of, just allowing them to get a nice brown color, and then add them to the crock pot as well.

Simmer in the crock pot for a few hours...

I left the crock pot set on high until the sauce began to bubble (checking regularly) and then I added a dash of garlic powder & a dash of cayenne pepper and mixed it all in.  I let it continue to cook on high for about 20 minutes and then reduced the heat to low for about 2 1/2 hours.  After 2 hours, I switched the crock pot to warm, just to keep it hot.

When you are about ready to eat, boil a large pot of water on the stove and cook your spaghetti to preference.  Drain & serve spaghetti topped with sausage & peppers “sauce” from the crock pot.  Top with cheese if desired and enjoy!!!

WE ARE…