I’ve gotten just a little behind on posting my weekly recipes, but I have been keeping up with the recipes themselves, I promise! Last week (or last last week I guess) Erin came over for dinner. It’s always more fun cooking with a friend! Erin became a vegetarian a few months ago, so she brought over a cookbook, the most gigantic cookbook ever! It’s called How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, so I guess it makes sense to weigh a ton. It was overwhelming trying to pick out a recipe, but we both decided something cheesy sounded good. It’s probably not the most healthy recipe (ok, definitely), but we found a delicious sounding mac and cheese recipe. I’m a sucker for good mac and cheese. It was actually pretty similar to how I usually make my mac and cheese, but the recipe used cheddar and parmesan, plus it is baked with bread crumbs on top, yum!!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
2 1/2 cups milk
2 bay leaves
1 pound elbow, shell, ziti, or other cut pasta
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups grated cheese, like sharp cheddar or Emmental
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup or more bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.
2. Cook the milk with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn off the heat and let stand.
3. Cook the pasta to the point where it is almost done but you would still think it needed another minute or two to become tender. Drain it, rinse it quickly to stop the cooking, and put it in a large bowl.
4. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter; when it is foamy, add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture browns, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves from the milk and add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the hot flour mixture, stirring with a wire whisk all the while. As soon as the mixture becomes smooth, add a little more milk and continue to do so until all the milk is used up and the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the cheddar and stir.
5. Pour the sauce over the noodles, toss in the Parmesan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9×13 -inch or smaller-size baking pan and turn the pasta mixture into it. Top liberally with bread crumbs and bake until bubbling and the crumbs turn brown, about 15 minutes. Serve piping hot.
I’m not going to lie, I ate more than my fair share of mac and cheese, but still managed to save room for dessert. Erin told me about her aunt’s recipe for apple dumplings and I love anything that has apple in it. She didn’t have a recipe written down, so we just winged it and they tasted delicious!!
1/2 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 peeled, cored and quartered Granny Smith apples
1 can crescent rolls
1. Melt the butter, sugar and water together on the stove.
2. Roll each apple piece in a crescent roll.
3. Place in a baking dish and drizzle the melted mix over rolls.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and back at 375 for 25 minutes.
While we ate, Erin and I watched Food, Inc., a documentary about the food industry. It was really eye-opening and equally depressing. I could probably write a whole separate post about the film (and I might). I definitely recommend it though (as long as you don’t mind some chicken killing). Erin also made good on her promise to teach me to crochet. I must say, it’s much much easier than knitting. I’m almost halfway done with a scarf that for the first time doesn’t even remotely resemble crap. I sat around yesterday watching tv and working on my scarf for several hours. I’m becoming an old lady. Thanks Erin for being patient with me, you’re a great teacher!
I know I’m a bit behind. I’ll post my recipes, yes plural, from this week, tomorrow. Getting back to my southern roots this week! I have a few non-food related posts coming your way too. Look out!