Thursday, September 29, 2011

Home Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is probably the ultimate comfort food. It's creamy, cheesy, goodness makes it just too much to not love. Also, what makes it great is that there are so many different ways to make it. You can change up the cheese. You can add different toppings when you bake it. You can also add things into the mac and cheese. What could be better? It is versatile and delicious!
Home Baked Macaroni and Cheese
8 oz. Elbow Macaroni
2 3/4 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup shredded  Kraft Italian Blend  Cheese
3 cups Milk
1/4 cup Butter and 2 tablespoons Butter
2 1/2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
  Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in to the pot so the 
pasta won't stick.
Once the water is boiling, add the pasta.
Bring water back up to a boil, and cook for 7-9 minutes.
After the macaroni is cooked, drain the pasta.
Pour the pasta back into the pot and set aside.
In a saucepan melt 1/4 cup of butter.
Add flour to the butter and mix to make a roux.
A roux is a thickener for sauces.
Add milk to the roux slowly, stirring the entire time.
Stir in the cheeses, cooking on low heat, allowing 
the cheeses to melt.
The sauce should become thicker once the
cheese melts.
Once the sauce has thickened and the cheese has melted,
pour it in to the pot, over the macaroni.
Mix well.
Pour macaroni and cheese into an oven proof dish.
Spray the dish before using with pan spray.
If you have any sauce that you did not use, pour it on top.
It will soak in to the macaroni.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Thank you for joining The Freshman Cook today!

Stop by tomorrow !
We will be baking Mile High Apple Pie!

See you then.

Chicken 'n' Dumplings!

For my husband, chicken and dumplings is the ultimate comfort food. He loves the warm aroma of the broth, the moist and tender chicken, and the soft, velvety taste of the noodles. The combination of  these three items, makes simple ingredients in a bowl something special. It makes him feel good. And that's good!
Chicken 'n' Dumplings
(adapted from Taste of Home)
1 large Chicken(6 lbs)
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons White Vinegar
1 large Onion
2 Carrots
2 Celery Stalks
2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
Ground Pepper
Rinse the chicken, and then place in a pot.
Cover with water.
Add salt.
Add vinegar.
Chop off the ends of your onion.
Peel onion.
Slice onion.
Slice celery down the middle. This should be a
rough slice. That means that they do not have to be
a consistent size. We are using them for flavor, not
 Rough chop in to small pieces.
Place onion slices and celery pieces into pot.
Rough chop your carrots. It is not necessary to peel them.
 Add the carrots to the pot.
Make sure your chicken is covered with water.
Bring water to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat 
and let it simmer for about 60 -90 minutes.
You will know it is done when you pull the piece of chicken 
and it is falling off of the bone.
Pull your chicken out and place on a cookie sheet or
a cutting board.
While it is hot, start pulling the chicken off the bone.
I like to use 2 forks. 1 helps me hold the piece, and
the 2nd fork pulls the piece away from the bone.
When you have all the chicken off of the bone, set the 
chicken aside and cover it with foil. Discard the bones.
Also take all the veggies out of the pot and discard.
 Pull 1 cup of broth out of the pot.
Place to the side.
Leave the rest of the broth in the pot. 
We will be using it.
Place the flour in a mixing bowl.
Add the salt.
Make a well in the flour. This is basically a hole
in the flour.
Add an egg.

 Stir in 1/4 cup of the broth you set aside.
Start mixing until the dough is soft, and feels like pie dough.
If you need more broth add a little at a time until all 
flour is mixed in.
Once dough is well mixed,
roll the dough out on a floured surface. Roll the dough
to as close as a 17" x 17" square. 
Cut the dough into 1" strips.
Then cut the dough crosswise so you end up with 1" squares.
Place the dough aside for 30-60 minutes so it can dry.
I used a cooling rack so they could dry above and 
underneath at the same time.
Bring the leftover boil to a broth.
Drop the squares into the broth. Reduce the heat 
to a simmer. Cover the pot and let dumplings simmer
for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot, and 
test the dumplings by sticking a toothpick in them.
If you are unsure, just test one by tasting.
 When the dumplings are ready,
add the chicken back into the broth.
Dust the top of the pot with pepper.
 Heat up pot if necessary.

Thanks for cooking with us today!

Please join us later this evening when we will be making
Macaroni and Cheese.
Comfort Food Extraordinaire!

See you then!