Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Easter Foods: three recipes

Hello Crushers!

About two weeks ago (yipes), we had many Easter celebrations. First, we went to Steve's aunt's house for the big family party on Saturday. It was fun to chat with all the cousins and eat lots of delicious food! At the request of Steve, I made baked mac n' cheese as one of the side dishes. Everyone must have enjoyed it because I went home with an empty pan! I base my version of the dish on my kitchen crush, Paula Deen's recipe for "The Lady's Cheesy Mac Recipe" with a few changes (scroll down to see how I made it).

Happy Easter Salad!
On Sunday (actual Easter), we went to my aunt's house for Easter dinner. For the past few years, I've hosted Easter. First it was at my apartment and then at our house. Since we're trying to sell our house and keep it as clean and tidy as possible for people who want to see it, my aunt offered to use her house, which is also wheel chair accessible for Grandma. My mom was going to make the ham and green bean casserole, but she had an AWFUL cold, so she asked if I would make it. She still made the family-secret-recipe for schaum torte, though. Some day that recipe will be mine!!!

Ok, so back to the food. I offered to make scalloped potatoes and a fresh green salad, and ended up making the baked ham (glaze recipe here) and finishing the green bean casserole. For the green beans, just use the ultimate recipe on the Campbell's Soup website. So good!

Here are the recipes that I used for the weekend of delicious Easter food:

Baked Mac n' Cheese
(Based on The Lady's Cheesy Mac)
4-5 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained (2-3 cups dry)
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, separate the 2 cups from the 1/2 cup
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
1 cup skim milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Gear you'll need: large pot for boiling noodles, strainer/colander, 13 x 9 pan or another baking dish that will hold about the same size, a large bowl, cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

While the macaroni noodles are cooking, mix the eggs, sour cream (add more or less depending on how creamy you want it), milk, mustard and pepper in a large bowl.

For some reason, I only took one picture of the whole Mac n' Cheese process.
Here is what all those ingredients look like before I mixed them.
Cook the macaroni noodles to al dente (just done) and drain them in the strainer. Return them back to the pot (why make another bowl dirty?) and while they're still hot add in 2 cups of the shredded cheese and mix. I usually add the butter at this point so nothing sticks to the pot. When the cheese has melted, pour in the egg  mixture and stir until everything is well coated. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of your baking dish with the cooking spray. Pour everything you just stirred into the baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, top the dish with the extra cheese and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the whole thing.

Serve and enjoy!

Scalloped Potatoes
8 cups of thinly sliced potatoes (I used about 8 red skinned potatoes, which is about 2-3 pounds)
1 cup diced onions (I used a red onion because I had it from the salad I made, but any kind is fine)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups milk
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced/crushed
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Gear you'll need: cooking spray, 13 x 9 baking dish, veggie slicer/mandolin, sauce pan, measuring cups and spoons

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Your kitchen will smell wonderful at this point, and you've just started!
In the sauce pan, heat the garlic and onions in the butter until they are soft and translucent. Add flour and stir until it's gooey. Add milk and cream all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until it is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside while you get to the potatoes.
Be careful not to slice your fingers!
(The shadow is my arm)
Spray a light layer of cooking spray or lightly grease the baking dish with butter. Slice half of the potatoes and layer them evenly in the baking dish. Pour half of the onion sauce over the potatoes. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes and sauce. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 40 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

All ready for the oven!
(Again, that's my arm's shadow)
Greek salad dressing:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt or 1 clove of garlic crushed

Gear you'll need: measuring spoons and a jar or container with a lid that fits tightly
All of these veggies are so excited for the dressing!
Directions: Put all of the ingredients in a container and shake it like you mean it! Pour as little or as much over your salad as you would like. You can keep this in the fridge for up to 3 months, but I have a feeling you'll use it up well in advance.

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