Drown In It Mac and Cheese

Mac-and-Cheese-570x450 It’s comfort food personified. I love the stuff, but often find it very bland and gummy the next day. This recipe seems to solve that problem. This mac and cheese reheats better than any I’ve tried. Without too much effort you can split this recipe.


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Kosher salt
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha  or other hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 pound extra-sharp cheddar, grated
  • 8 ounces American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 chunks


  1. Place the macaroni in a large saucepan and cover it with salted water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir- ring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and let stand until the pasta is barely al dente, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the evaporated milk, eggs, hot sauce, and mustard in a bowl until homogeneous. Toss the cheeses with the cornstarch in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Place over low heat, add the butter, and stir until melted. Add the milk mixture and cheese mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture is hot and creamy. Season to taste with salt and more hot sauce. Serve immediately, topping with toasted bread crumbs if desired.


NOTES: You can of course add cooked bacon, sausage, jalapeños, green onions, or whatever else you might like to make this a more complete meal.

SOURCE: Serious Eats


Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

orzo Nothing better than this. Orzo is pasta that looks an awful lot like rice, but it’s sturdier.

It’s a wonderful side for a pork roast or a roasted chicken.

Nice fragrant flavor.

Just good eats.




  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Basil sprigs (optional)


  1. Cook the orzo according to package directions, omitting the salt and fat. Drain
  2. While orzo cooks, heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemon rind and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  3. Add orzo, basil, and remaining ingredients; toss well. Garnish with basil, if desired.
  4. Serve immediately.


NOTES: You can easily adapt this as desired to other herbs and even other cheeses.

SOURCE: My Recipes

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Green Chiles*

cauli Comfort food today. Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? How about lightening up that carb total a bit, and spicin’ it up at the same time?

A winner for sure.

So get up and get busy in that kitchen.



  • About 1/3-1/2 of a large head of cauliflower, broken up into fairly small flowerets.
  • 1 c elbow macaroni (or other such as small shells)
  • 1 1/2 c of milk
  • either a roux of butter and flour (1:1 ratio) generally 2 tbsp of each, or 1 tsp xantham gum.
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 large Poblano or other chile of your choice, charred, seeded, peeled and chopped.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-3 tbsp hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is great)


  1. Salt a large saucepan  of water and either place pasta in cold or bring to a boil first. It really doesn’t make any difference. Cook until about half way done and then add the cauliflower and continue cooking until macaroni is al dente and cauliflower is firm but pierceable with a knife fairly easily. Drain.
  2. Add the roux and milk, or add the milk to the empty saucepan, sprinkle the xantham gum on the surface and whisk, while heating until it gets bubbly and thickens.
  3. Cut up the cream cheese into bits and drop in and continue whisking until it has melted in.
  4. Add the mustard and salt and pepper and hot sauce.
  5. Add 2 c of cheese, cheddar.
  6. Add the pasta and cauliflower back in and stir until fully coated.
  7. Serve.


NOTES: you can add whatever chiles you wish and also vary the cheeses as you desire

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Brussels All Dressed Up

brussel-sprouts-recipe-images (1) Don’t ask me why I love Brussels. I just do. I think they are cute, and I like that they have some a strength of taste.

Recognizing that not everyone shares my love, I look for recipes that provide additional interest.

This is one of them. It is just good. You will love it. So get on and buy some little bitty cabbages and get started.


  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces and fried until crisp.
  • 1 lb of brussels, cleaned and halved.
  • 1 pkg of pearl onions, typically about 6-8 oz bags
  • salt and pepper


  1. Remove the bacon from the pan and place on paper towelling to drain.
  2. Pour off all but about 2 tbsp of the bacon grease.
  3. Cut off the ends of the onions and place in a water. Bring to a soft boil and then remove and place under cold running water until cool enough to work with.
  4. Slice down the side of each onion carefully just one layer and peel off the outer leaf.
  5. Add the brussels and the onion to the pan with the bacon grease and saute gently until just tender.
  6. Remove to a serving dish, add salt and pepper and then the bacon.


NOTES: You really can’t peel the onions any other way. You could also steam them if you wish. It’s fine if they get a bit done since they will take longer than the brussels and you definitely don’t want to slice the pearls since they will just come apart. You might want to add a tbsp of lemon juice, orange, or lime juice.

SOURCE: Adapted from Applegate

Southwestern Dressing

southwesterndressingThis year I tired of making my usual Italian Thanksgiving dressing and decided to change things up a bit.

Actually it turned out rather well.

The amounts are not exact, but if you stay close to the approximations all will be well.


  • 6 cups cubed sourdough bread, dried at least 24 hours
  • 2 cups crumbed and dried cornbread
  • 1 c chopped celery, finely minced
  • 1 c chopped onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 c chopped carrot, finely minced
  • 2 Anaheim, Hatch, or Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 finely minced red sweet pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage of 2 tsp dried
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chopped andouille sausage
  • 1 c corn, frozen or drained canned, or fresh
  • 2 – 4 cups chicken stock


  1. Place the breads in a very large bowl and mix gently.
  2. Place the celery, onion, carrot, sweet pepper and saute in a bit of olive oil until softened and translucent.
  3. Add to the veggies, the chiles and herbs and mix.
  4. Add the sausage and corn, mixing again.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Pour into the bowl with the breads and mix gently.
  7. Add the chicken stock a cup at a time, and stir carefully each time, until it starts to cling together. Too much will make it soggy and mushy and not enough will make it dry. Err on the dry side, you can always add a bit more half way through the baking time if it seems too dry.
  8. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes, until hot throughout.


NOTES: I used to pour all into a casserole and then pour the stock over, but I found it harder to judge the amount that way, and ended up with a pretty soggy dressing. So I suggest you do it in a bowl where you an stir and see a bit better how much you really need.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Sweet Potato Fries

sweetpotatofriesI’d done sweet potato fries before and although they were fine, they didn’t have a lot of pizazz. I’d traditionally just rubbed them with regular canola oil and some salt and then put the ketchup on the table.

This recipe changed everything. It made me a true believer, and now it’s a great side to a burger or hot dog Saturday kind of day.


  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 clove garlic microplaned
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 c mayo
  • Sriracha sauce
  • 1 large sweet potato


  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  2. Add the spices and stir, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Peel and slice the sweet potato into fries.
  4. Place the fries in a plastic bag and pour in the butter.
  5. Massage and shake well until the fries are thoroughly covered.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450°.
  7. Place the fries onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. Keep in one layer but dont’ be overly finicky, just spread them out.
  8. Place in the oven and bake until browned and done, about 15 minutes. Stir or shake around, flipping most of them about half way through.
  9. Place the mayo in a bowl and add as much sriracha as you wish as a dip.


NOTES: you can easily change the spices to reflect say an Asian taste and also change the mayo with curry or mustard. Getting away from the ketchup is the key to making this dish soar above average.

SOURCE: The Pioneer Woman