Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sage Butter Macaroni and Four Cheese

This is comfort food at it's best!!

Better than plain mac 'n cheese is the decadence of four cheeses, sage and a delicious crunchy topping!!

One of my new favorite cooking shows is Ask Aida on The Cooking Channel . . . check it out sometime!  That is where I found this recipe.  The link to The Cooking Channel is listed after the recipe.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for baking dish
4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
1 pound macaroni
3 tablespoons thinly sliced sage
6 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
4 ounces shredded aged Cheddar
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to broil and arrange rack in top. Butter a 9 by 9-inch baking dish and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter and mix in a medium bowl with 1 cup of the Parmigiano and all the bread crumbs until thoroughly moistened; set aside.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for half the time indicated on package.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add sage and cook until crisp and butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside until pasta is ready. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta.

Return pasta to pot and place over low heat. Stir in sage butter, reserved pasta water, remaining 3 cups Parmigiano, Gruyere, Cheddar, mascarpone, and salt, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Stir constantly until cheeses are evenly melted and the pasta looks well coated. 

Turn pasta into baking dish and evenly top with bread crumb mixture. Place under broiler until mixture bubbles and top is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

This is the most gorgeous German Chocolate Cake I've ever seen!

German Chocolate Cake is definitely in my top ten favorite cakes and I have made it often for a special occasion or a weekday treat.  

By all means, use your chocolate cake from scratch recipe if you like, but for convenience, I love the semi-homemade idea of using a cake mix for the cake.  

The frosting in this recipe is homemade and sounds yummy . . . you can make it easier on yourself if you want to use canned frosting, which I have found to be awesome.  But I think I will be making my own frosting just to test out the recipe!

In my opinion, the gorgeous presentation makes this recipe super special, as well as the awesomeness of a German Chocolate Cake, whether you make it homemade, semi-homemade or totally from a box mix and canned frosting.  When I use the canned frosting, I always buy two cans to make it extra special . . . don't forget the chocolate frosting for embellishing!

The photo and recipe source is Mr. Food, who never lets me down.

  • (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix, prepared according to package directions
  • (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup canned chocolate frosting
  1. Bake cake according to package directions for 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Let cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla. Cook about 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in pecans and coconut.
  3. Place one cooled cake layer flat side down on a serving platter. Spread half the coconut mixture on top. Top with second cake layer and remaining coconut mixture.
  4. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave frosting 10 to 15 seconds, or until slightly thin. Drizzle over top and sides of cake. Store cake in refrigerator.

Source:  Mr. Food's website 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fiesta Chicken Taco Cups

Love the concept of this recipe, using refrigerated crescent dinner rolls in a muffin tin to form these cups that can be used in a number of food combinations.

I'm not sold on the taco sauce with chicken, but with a little imagination, all types of recipes can be adapted from this basic idea.  I'm thinking more along the idea of italian sausage with peppers, onions and cheese . . . left over roast pork with barbeque sauce . . . something similar to chicken pot pie . . . breakfast cups with scrambled eggs, ham and cheese.

You can even use this idea for dessert . . . apple pie filling with a cream cheese topping . . . whatever you like!!  The possibilities are endless :)))  I love these type of food discoveries!

Wouldn't it be awesome to make these in different variations as appetizers for a party?

I'm an advocate of using leftovers for other meals . . . this idea is perfect for using those small quantities of food leftovers to make a meal with variety or lunches to go?  I'm sure these little cups would reheat in a microwave at work with no problem.

Now that I've got you thinking of alternatives . . . the original recipe follows!


1 1/4 cups refrigerated taco sauce with seasoned chicken (from 18-oz container)

1/2 cup Green Giant® Niblets® frozen corn (from 1-lb bag)

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup finely shredded Mexican cheese blend (2 oz)

Sour cream, salsa or sliced ripe olives, if desired


Heat oven to 375°F. 

Spray 8 medium muffin cups with cooking spray. 

In 1-quart saucepan, heat taco sauce with chicken over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.

Unroll dough and separate into 4 rectangles; press each into 8x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. 

Cut each in half crosswise, making 8 squares. 

Sprinkle both sides of each square with cornmeal. 

Press each in bottom and up side of muffin cup; turn edges of dough under, pressing to extend 1/4 inch above edge of cup.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons chicken mixture into each cup. 

Sprinkle cheese over each.

Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. 

Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes; remove from muffin cups. 

Serve warm.

Nutrition Information:

1 Serving (1 Serving)
  • Calories 340
    • (Calories from Fat 140),
  • Total Fat 15g
    • (Saturated Fat 6g,),
  • Cholesterol 45mg;
  • Sodium 1330mg;
  • Total Carbohydrate 38g
    • (Dietary Fiber 3g,
    • Sugars 10g),
  • Protein 14g;
Percent Daily Value*

    • 2 1/2 Starch;
    • 1 Lean Meat;
    • 2 Fat;
    Carbohydrate Choices:
    • 2 1/2;
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

    Recipe and photo source:  Betty Crocker . . . always a great source for awesome recipes and food inspiration!

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    Country Turkey Casserole

    Your guests will think you worked for hours in the kitchen!  

    They'd never guess how quick and easy this recipe is . . . one of those semi-homemade meals that I love so much.  Of course it includes Campbell's Soup, which is the best secret I have for semi-homemade cooking.

    You can also use your leftovers or substitute a store-bought rotisserie chicken for the turkey.  Since I love broccoli and corn so much, I would consider including them in my meal.  Substitute whatever you like!

    Low fat or no fat items can also be used.  One of my greatest discoveries has been generic no fat half and half that I substitute for milk or heavy cream.  I can't tell the difference . . . really!

    The recipe and photo originated from Campbell Kitchens, but my source was the website Recipe Lion. Check out both websites for quick and delicious meals!

    Serves: 5 (about 1 3/4 cups each)
    Preparation Time: 10 min
    Cooking Time: 25 min

    1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Celery Soup 
    1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
    1 cup milk
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 cups cooked cut-up vegetables (use a combination of cut green beans and sliced carrots)
    2 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken
    4 cups prepared Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    Stir the soups, milk, thyme, black pepper, vegetables and turkey in a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Spoon the stuffing over the turkey mixture.
    Bake for 25 minutes or until the stuffing is golden brown.

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