Pimento macaroni and cheese

I love the simplicity of this one-pot macaroni and cheese; however, after 20 hours in the car with Kiddo (who, by the way, was a car-traveling champ) in the last four days I wasn’t really feeling the urge to watch the pot as closely as I would need to in order to avoid a boiled-over-milk scene on the stove.

I also had some pimentos that had ripened in the garden while Kiddo and I were gone.

So I crossed my fingers and totally made up tried this — and it worked!

Pimento macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1.5 cups dry pasta
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 3 fresh pimentos, peeled (like this, only tiny), seeded and minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a heavy, oven-safe sauce pot melt butter till foam subsides, then add flour and whisk until fully combined; add milk while whisking and turn off stovetop heat
  3. Stir in salt, mustard, dry pasta, cheese, and pimentos; cover pot and place in oven
  4. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through; top with additional cheese and uncover for the last few minutes if you so desire

That’s it!

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Fritatta

When we signed up for our CSA this year we knew we weren’t veggie-adventurous enough for the produce share, so we went with the meat and eggs option.

Eggs. Oh my moly the eggs. The EGGS! They are so good but they are taking over my house. It’s like kale, but the carnivore version.

In an attempt to use up some a bunch of them at once I came up with this ridiculously easy little number. It was SO quick, and crazy filling with all the protein in there.

Fritatta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 6-8 eggs
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Brown sausage in a non-stick skillet, crumbling as you go; drain out grease
  3. Sprinkle in cheese
  4. Beat eggs and add some salt and pepper, then pour over sausage/cheese mixture in the skillet; adjust amount of eggs for size of your skillet, obviously
  5. Bake at 350 for about ten minutes until eggs are set in the center. Breakfast is served!

Creamy crockpot chicken

You know what I hate? When a recipe tastes SO GOOD but photographs SO POORLY. Le sigh.

Shall I just spare you the picture? Because really, it doesn’t do it justice. Just try this (it’s so crazy easy — you just have to try) and then come back and tell me what you thought.

Creamy crockpot chicken

Ingredients

  • What you need:
  • A slow cooker
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • frozen chicken breasts — I used 2 but you could do up to 4 or 5 without adjusting ingredients and be fine

Instructions

  1. Put chicken breasts, corn (drained), beans (drained and rinsed) and salsa into the slow cooker and stir it up a bit
  2. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked through
  3. Add in block of cream cheese and cook another 30 minutes
  4. Stir up mix to make the whole thing creamy, then serve chicken and sauce together

Do you see how easy that is? And that you must try it? Please do. Make it, eat it, love it, and agree with me that a picture of it is no indication of its actual greatness.

Lissa’s baked jambalaya

Oh I wish I could make this look as good as it tasted!

My fabulous friend Lissa makes this so often that she doesn’t even look at the recipe anymore. That’s the sign of a good supper! She told me how to make it while The Kiddo and I were visiting last fall, and I can’t believe it took me this long to make it. It is absolutely phenomenal, really. You must make this as soon as possible.

Lissa’s baked jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can french onion soup
  • 1 can beef consomme
  • 2 lbs. uncooked chicken, turkey or peeled shrimp
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14 ounces (or 1 can) chicken broth
  • I also added some chopped dehydrated red peppers out of the freezer from last summer’s garden

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix all ingredients and bake in buttered casserole, covered tightly (I did a tight cover of foil then a lid on top of that) for one hour; stir and cover, then bake 30 minutes more or until rice is done

It’s only one step. Don’t you love that? This expands a lot as the rice cooks and soaks up the chicken broth so allow yourself plenty of room in the casserole dish (I totally pushed my luck there; overflow crisis narrowly averted).

I served this with shredded cheese, hot sauce and cornbread. It went fast. 🙂

Cultural divide Casserole

It’s cold here. Yes, it’s the South and I am a big baby about cold but I swear: it’s actually cold.

And cold, of course = comfort food.

This is where the cultural divide comes in. One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish my mother used to make:
~ ground beef, browned and drained
~ cooked pasta, usually elbow macaroni
~ red sauce, pretty spicy with lots of garlic and Worcestershire sauce
~ cheese, usually mozzarella and Parmesan

Everything is mixed together in a casserole dish and baked at 350 for about 40 minutes with a little extra cheese melted on top at the very end of the cooking. My mom called this Italian casserole.

My husband, The Yankee, calls this goulash.

Say what?

Goulash in my house involved runny-nigh-onto-watery tomato sauce with whole tomatoes and it involved egg noodles. Yeech.

So, my Italian casserole — what would you call it?