Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Homemade Mac & Cheese

I'm not a huge fan of mac and cheese but this stuff is really good. I have made it many times and the last few times I have been tweaking it.


This is the basic recipe:

Ingredients:  
2 cups dried pasta
2½ cups milk
1 cup shredded cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard


Directions:
In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, until pasta is soft, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Turn heat off, add cheese, salt and stir to combine. Stir in the mustard a little at a time to taste. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes, then stir again and serve. If not creamy enough, add milk a little at a time, and gently stir. If you would like to bake it at this point, place in a baking dish and top with a generous sprinkling of cheese. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until cheese has melted.

NOTE: I never bake it in the oven and I also don't turn off the heat when adding the cheese, I just turn it down.

Tweak 1: I added 6 oz of cream cheese instead of 4. Good but almost too creamy.
Tweak 2: I have started doing a heaping tsp of mustard. I do the regular amounts of everything but I have added two oz of Velveeta cheese. It gave a little more of a cheesy flavor and added nice texture.

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Shake 'N Bake Steak Fries

We decided we wanted to try a new twist on steak fries, so this time we cut up the potatoes and tossed it in Ranch & Herb Shake 'N Bake. We then baked it at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tender. They were really good.



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Crockpot Chicken Tacos

This is meat is delicious! We've made this with chicken and pork, I prefered the chicken but both were really good. The recipe came from Chocolate Therapy and is very simple. Dump the meat, 1 oz taco seasoning, and 16 oz salsa in the crockpot then give it a stir. We cooked it for 6 to 8 hours on low. After it was done it go shredded and put back in the crockpot and stirred up. It made leftovers that were just as good the second or third day as it was the first.



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Homemade Taco Seasoning

I really like taco seasoning but it always seems to give me indigestion. I found this homemade taco seasoning on pinterest and decided to give it a try. Super easy to make and NO indigestion!

Ingredients
2 T. chili powder
3 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar

Directions
In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together until well-combined
Store in an air-tight container.

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Kroger 10 Minute Skillet Meals

I got another BzzKit!! I really like receiving these kits, it open up new products for me to try. For those who don't know what BzzAgent is, you create an account and do a bunch of surveys. The results from the surveys are then used to pair you up with a Bzz Campaign, for some it takes a while to actually be paired up with a campaign.
For my campaign I received coupons for the Kroger 10 Minute Skillet Meal, a salad kit and a loaf of Kroger garlic bread. The skillet meal and the garlic bread are both located in the freezer section. There are many choices for the skillet meal, a lot had peppers in them, peppers fresh are fine but not so much frozen. With this being the case I chose the Chicken Florentine. You simply open the bag, dump it in a pan and cook it for 10 minutes. You don't have to add anything to it!
For the salad kit my Smith's had a few options and I chose the house salad with bacon. It comes with really crisp lettuce, ranch salad dressing, garlic croutons and bacon bits. I was afraid there wasn't going to be enough salad dressing but we found it to be the perfect amount.
The garlic bread I finally found at Fred Meyers, it is located in with the Texas Toast type breads. It was good but for us we wanted it to be more garlicky. It simply goes in the oven for 10 minutes.

All-in-all we were really impressed with this meal. The only drawback we found was the meal is 3.5 servings but costs $5.something almost $6 a bag it was a bit expensive for our taste but with the free coupon it was definitely fun to try something new.


All opinions written in this post are mine and I haven't been bribed to give a positive or negative feedback.

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