How do you Mac and Cheese?

It’s great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Mac and Cheese it’s wonderful as a take along for a party or picnic. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Oh yes, I love it for breakfast.

Most people I meet say that they don’t like the boxed powder cheese Mac and Cheese, but if they aren’t eating then who is??  Me that’s who.

Don’t get me wrong I loooooove making Baked Mac and Cheese and if I say so myself, I’m pretty damn good at it.. But I absolutely love the quick and ease of the boxed powdered mac and cheese and adding my spin on it.

So for all those who only will eat a homemade baked mac and cheese this first recipe is for you.

For everyone else keep readying. I’ve added my favorite twist to the boxed mac and cheese below.

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My baked Mac and Cheese recipe

I usually make this for a large crowd

Ingredients:

  • 32 ounces elbow mac
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (use less if you’re not into garlic. we love garlic here)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 package bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1   8 ounce package  shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1   8 ounce package  shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1   8 ounce package shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • panko for topping
  • fresh grated nutmeg, about 1/2 teaspoon or so

Directions:

  1. In a large pot bring salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside in 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter in a little bit of olive oil (the olive oil prevents the butter from burning).  Once the butter is melted add the flour and stir; cook the flour for 1 minute, 2-3 if you want a darker roué. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Add the chicken broth and continue to stir until thickened.
  3. Add all three cheeses and a little over half the bacon crumbs, keeping some out for topping.  Stir well.
  4. Pour cheese mixture over pasta and mix well. Top with panko, cheese that was held back and the rest of the bacon.
  5. Put in preheated 350 oven for 25 to 30 until bubbly.

Mac and Cheese bites

Use the same recipe as above only instead of using a 9 X 13 pan put the Mac and Cheese mixture into a muffin pan and top with extra cheese.  Bake in preheated 350 oven until bubbly.

muffin mac

 

Now for some of my favorite boxed mac and cheese mixes

  • Cook mac and cheese according to the directions on the box. I don’t add milk to my mac and cheese. I save a little of the pasta water and add 2 table spoons of unsalted butter or margarine. Mix that really well then I add the powdered cheese.  This is the base mac and cheese and by its self all good but..

Mac and Cheese for Breakfast

  • For breakfast, I put a ladle of mac and cheese (honestly I have no clue how much I use it’s less than 1/2 a cup though) in a non-stick skillet with yep a little more butter.
  • I stir fry that a little bit then add 2 eggs and scramble it all together. If I have any cilantro in the house I’ll chopped that up and add it as well.

Lunch or Dinner

Mac and cheese topped with Basil

  • Instead of using butter I added beef broth, powdered cheese packet, a teaspoon of garlic powder and topped it with fresh basil
  • In a bowl mix powdered cheese, 2 tablespoons softened butter, grated gruyere cheese, and grated parmesan reggiano cheese. Then mix in the noodles.
  • 1/2 pack of Ranch dressing mix, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon butter.  Mix the mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix, butter and powdered cheese together. When draining the noodles keep a little of the water to help with the mix. Mix it all together and enjoy.

These are just some of the ways I enjoy the boxed Mac and Cheese. Let me know below how you like to eat it or post your baked recipe to share with everyone.

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4th of July Edible Center Piece

Flower Pot Center Piece

Like everyone else, I’m celebrating the 4th of July with my love. I wanted to make sure that I still had a post for everyone. I’m sharing the Edible Center Piece for those who may have missed it or for that last minute dessert you want to make. Happy 4th of July Everyone!!!

While I’m not much for baking I couldn’t resist making this  Cupcake Flower Pot Center Piece. Originally I was going to make this for my birthday but since my birthday and 4th of July are only a week apart why not just combine the two and make a 4th of July Edible Center Piece.

Flower Pot Center Piece

 

Whatever the occasion make it your own

It’s so simple to make and by changing the color of the flower pot the shape of the styrofoam ball and color of frosting, you can make this for any occasion.  For instance, Christmas use cone shaped styrofoam, or Easter, an egg-shaped styrofoam. Whatever the occasion make it your own.

This edible flowers cupcake centerpiece was made using mini cupcakes.

The recipe I used was a Chiffon cake recipe and makes these cupcakes so airy. The Italian Meringue Buttercream icing on top makes this a winning combination.  You’ll tell yourself they’re so small I can eat more than one, two, and so on.. Don’t worry the recipe makes 72 mini cupcakes.

There are a few things you’re going to need to get started on this awesome baking project

First, pick yourself up:

24 cup cupcake pan

24 cupcake pan

 

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything. I will only recommend items that I personally use and love myself. look for italicized words.

 

Tiny liners

Flower pot any size or color

Flower Pot Center Piece

Styrofoam ball to fit in the flower pot (I used a 6-inch ball and it took 43 cupcakes to cover the ball)

Tooth pics to hold cupcakes in place

Flower Pot Center Piece

Now for the Cupcake and Frosting Recipes

Ingredients for Cupcakes  makes 24 chiffon cupcakes

Total Time:

1 hr. Prep:30 min

Cook: 30 min

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/4 ounces cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  •  6 ounces sugar, divided
  •  1/4 cup water
  •  1/4 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place paper liners into 24 cup cupcake pan and set aside. If you prefer, set 12 ovenproof coffee mugs on a half sheet pan and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place the egg yolks and 5 ounces of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale yellow and ‘ribbons’ when lifted.
  • Add the water, vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients and whisk just to combine. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl while you whisk the egg whites.
  • Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into a clean bowl and whisk on high using the whisk attachment, until it becomes foamy. Decrease the speed to low and gradually add the remaining ounce of sugar. Increase speed to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form approximately 2 minutes.
  • Transfer 1/3 of the egg whites to the batter and whisk until well combined. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently. Transfer batter into prepared muffin tins or coffee mugs, evenly dividing the batter between the cups.
  • Place both muffin tins on the middle rack of the oven or, if using mugs, place all of them on a half sheet pan and set on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick, comes out clean or the cupcakes reach an internal temperature of 205 to 210 degrees F. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

 Italian Meringue Buttercream Icing

Makes about 4 1/2 cups of icing

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon or a pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring
  • Icing bags or zip lock bags

Directions:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil.
  • Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
  • Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy.
  • Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff; do not overbeat.
  • With the mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes.
  • Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes.  I must add a warning at this point… The directions said to add 2 tablespoons at a time and this happened to me…

a sweet mess

Don’t let this happen to you.. use less than 2 tablespoons at a time.. Trust me.

  • Beat in vanilla.

If icing curdles, keep beating until smooth.

mmmm Frosting

Separate icing into 2 bags. In one bag add as many drops of red food coloring you would like to get the color you want.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, start putting them on the styrofoam ball with the tooth pics.

Once you have the cupcakes on the styrofoam ball where you ‘d like them, use the icing to decorate each cupcake. I know you wanted to Ice them first but trust me this way is best.

Now Enjoy your Edible Bouquet!!

Happy 4th Everyone!

 

 

 

Pride Anniversary

via Pride Anniversary

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