Friday, March 22, 2013

My Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

My mom is not much of a cook. This she will admit to any of you. But the woman can boil pasta an melt velveeta like nobody's business. Growing up, macaroni and cheese was make homemade only for special occasions. Any other time it came out of a box. Macaroni and cheese in general is something that one bite and I am transported into time. Funny that my son will not eat it this way. He finds it too cheesy. I do not know where this child came from.

My Mom's Macaroni and Cheese
2 TB butter
2 TB flour
1 cup whole milk warmed up (micro works perfect 1 minute)
2 cups elbow macaroni cooked but not all the way
1/2 box veleveeta cubed
1 tsp dry mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
in a sauce pan melt the butter
while the butter is melting put the milk in the micro for a minute to take the chill off
 and cube up the cheese
add the flour and mix with a whisk and cook for about a minute
it should look like this
add the milk and keep whisking
and add the mustard
when the milk is thick enough that you can coat the back of a spoon and draw with you finger, add the cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until melted.
add some black pepper, or dont... but resist the urge to grab some jalapenos and tortilla chips
butter a baking dish
add your noodles and resist the urge to dump into a bowl, the noodles arent cooked all the way (well mine might be lol
Dump into a baking dish and pop into a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes
oh my...pure heaven

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mustard- and Brown Sugar- Rubbed Salmon

I have been trying to eat clean. I know the blog posts you see on here don't always depict that. The rest of my family has to enjoy food and then there are times you just need to try a new recipe. I have been trying to swap out full fat for reduced and portion control. That is huge! I am also trying to eat more fish. Unfortunately the adults in our home are the only ones that like fish. When The Ballplayer was little we could trick him into eating fish sticks by saying they were chicken. That isnt going to work now I am afraid. He likes what he likes and wont budge.

This was a very easy recipe. I bought a huge bag of frozen salmon (think costco) and took out a couple pieces and tossed into the fridge in the morning.

I liked this recipe because the whole dinner was about 326 calories for us.

Mustard- and Brown Sugar- Rubbed Salmon
recipe adapted from Preventive Magazine
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each), skin removed
1 teaspoon olive oil

Stir together the sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, and mustard in a small bowl. Press the sugar mixture evenly onto the top surface of the fish.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the fish, rub side down, for 4 minutes or until the rub dissolves and darkens slightly (being careful not to burn). Flip the fish and cook for 3 minutes or until the fish is opaque
 carefully flip

Do you ever play with a classic recipe? Dijon Chicken Fried Steak with Pan Gravy

Sometimes I feel like changing things up and boy did I this time! I took a family favorite  and spun it! Some liked it and some not so much. My kids are not a fan of sweet potato mash. I am not sure if it is a texture thing or that they just love my mashed potatoes with all the heart stopping goodness and refuse to love anything else. Elverything else on this meal was a hit. The Dijon was a nice change for a dinner time meal.

Dijon Chicken Fried Steak with Pan Gravy
4 cube steaks
4 tb dijon approx
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
1/2 cup oil

I started with smearing Dijon Mustard on both sides of the cube steak

I like to put the flour into a pie pan and then season with salt and pepper
Poor Louie is not impressed. Maybe when I start frying meat he will be
I took a smear of flour and floured a cookie sheet so I could put the floured steaks on the cookie sheet
dip the steaks into the flour and really press the flour into the steaks
Then place them onto the cookie sheet and put into the refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes
add about 1/2 cup oil to your cast iron pan and heat on medium high. Fry the meat until golden brown on both sides

When the meat is all cooked remove all oil except 2 TB leaving any crumbs in the pan. add 2 TB flour using a whisk. Add using a whisk 2 cups of warm milk (I like to put mine in a microwave for a minute or so before) and cook on medium until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. (sorry I got busy  on the phone and didn't take any pictures of the gravy)

Do you ever play with a classic recipe?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Do you have a favorite Meatloaf recipe? Mine happens to be Italian Meatloaf

I have a girlfriend that has meatloaf every Monday. Meatloaf Monday as she calls it. I love that! I always loved meatloaf as a kid. I would get excited for the leftovers, not caring for the dinner. I would beg my mother to just make me a sandwich for dinner. Please! She would never allow to. To this day when I make my family meatloaf I sneak a half sandwich before dinner. I cant help it. I don't care the calories it blows my diet. It is meatloaf and I am going for the glory! This recipe is not figure friendly, but it happens to be my family's favorite. It is the one that I go back to time and time again. This is a HUGE recipe. You can make either 2 logs of meatloaf or my favorite is to make one meatloaf and then make meatballs and freeze them for later in the month. Use a  throw away pan and sseparate them on the pan. You will just need to bake them.

Italian Meatloaf
1/3 cup whole milk
2 slices good quality white bread with crust removed
1 pound italian sausage or ground pork
2 pounds ground beef (not too lean you can drain the fat later)
1 package prosciutto 
1 egg
1/2 cup onion finely chopped (or you can grate it)
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 TB low sodium Worcestershire sauce   
1 cup parmesan grated (use the fresh)
1/3 cup Ketchup
salt and pepper (easy on the salt the pork is salty)  
Preheat oven 325
remove the crust from the bread. You could make croutons out of it if you don't like wasting it!
Add the milk to a bowl. My Gram would heat it. I found that you have to let it cool down then before adding to the meat.
cube up the bread
add the bread to the milk and let soak while you do everything else for the meatload
I like fresh Parmesan cheese. The stuff that is already grated taste funny and melts differently
I am grating my onion. I like the way it makes my meatloaf really moist
I always add twice the amount of garlic because I am going to use my microplane and grate it down to

No chunks of garlic this way
add the hamburger and cheese
squeeze out the bread from the milk and dump into the bowl
Add the pork and the chopped up prosciutto
add the egg but take a fork to it first
I never measure Worcestershire sauce!
Add 1/3 cup ketchup
mix until it is combined but do not over mix or the meatloaf will be tough
My gram and my mother always made theirs in a loaf pan. because I use meat that is fatty I use a 9x13 pan and shape into a loaf and then drain off the fat
Shape into a log. Notice I have leftover. You could make a second one and freeze or make a pan of meatballs

put into the oven and bake 45 minutes. After 45 minutes pull out and glaze the meatloaf.
To glaze the meatloaf take
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Chili sauce
Mix well.
Cover Meatoaf and bake for additional 15 minutes. Meatloaf should be completely cooked inside. You have pork products and beef products here!

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