Easy Mac and Cheese with Chicken

There is something to be said for Kraft Mac and Cheese.  That’s right.  I said it.  Come on people.  You know you love it.  It’s the cheesiest and it doesn’t stick to your cookware like real cheese does.  I honestly and truly like, and sometimes I even crave the unnatural orange colored pasta dish in its blue box of goodness.  However, there are times when a girl needs to eat mac and cheese made from scratch.  This macaroni and cheese recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens website.


I loved the crunchy breadcrumbs on top of this dish.  The sauteed onions and garlic mixed with tomato paste give the sauce a richer flavor that is more than just milk and cheese.  I used 2% milk and half swiss, half sharp cheddar with a great resulting flavor.  I cooked the chicken in chunks, but ended up kind of shredding it into smaller pieces before adding it to the cheese.  The recipe calls for penne or similar pasta, but I used traditional elbow macaroni.


Firecracker Chocolate Bar

I saw this confection at Wal-Mart the other day,  and I was intrigued.  I was also impressed that Wal-Mart was selling something so trendy and chic… in the world of chocolate anyway.  The bar is made by Chuao Chocolatier.


Online this bar goes for $6.00 a piece.  I got mine at Wal-Mart for $4.00!  Anyway, I was not expecting to like this combination of dark chocolate, chipotle, salt and popping candy…aka Pop Rocks!  Pop Rocks?  Even if I didn’t like it, I didn’t care.  How could someone not at least try something with Pop Rocks in it?  I hadn’t had Pop Rocks in a while, and I knew there was no better time than now to have them as an adult.  This is an “adult” candy bar.  The dark 60 % cacao chocolate, spicy chipotle and salt would not appeal to many kids.


Dinner Rush: Greek Burgers with Tomato Jam

Over the past few week we have eaten burgers more than once a week.  I know.  Not exactly health food.  We did make them ourselves and tried some pretty different combinations of flavors.  These Greek burgers were the first in our series of burgers, and I thought they were delicious.  I love feta cheese, so the presence of that ingredient alone in the meat mixture had be smitten even while the meat was raw, but don’t worry, I did not do any taste testing until after they were cooked.



Mamma’s Rice Pudding

Some foods will always remind me of my childhood and of family.  Among these are my Grandma June’s pecan pie, my mom’s chicken velvet soup, dutch babies, bar-b-cups, spritz cookies, Swedish rye bread at Sundbeck Christmas, Swedish pancakes, and the Rystrom family’s rice pudding.  Of course there are plenty more now that I begin brainstorming, but I’ll focus on this one today.

ricepudding7I asked my mom where this recipe originated but she doesn’t really know.  Her mom made it when she was young, and I plan to make it for my kids…whenever they choose arrive.

My mom grew up in Richvale, California.  Her dad, better known as Gramps, is a rice grower in Northern California, and so they ate a lot of rice growing up.  My mom met my dad in college and he brought her to the great state of Texas.  Thanks to my sweet Californian mother, I don’t have too much of a Texas accent, and I ate of lot of perfectly cooked rice as a kid.


Almond Butterscotch Friendship Bread

friendshipbread2My friendship bread starter made it to day 10, and it was ready to be transformed into two delicious loaves of bread.  I loyally stirred and added flour, sugar and milk every day I was supposed to.  I was pretty excited about it this evening.  It was a long day at school…I got there at 7:30 am and did not come home from school until 7:00 pm.  After I got home, Ben and I went to dinner with a friend of his who’s staying with us tonight to break up his car trip from Colorado to Waco.  We got home from dinner at 9.  The excitement of the bread had subsided a bit yielding to the excitement of sitting on the couch and not doing a thing.  I forced myself to go into the kitchen and just get it done.


Foodie Trivia Answers

worldFoodiesphere: What is the term for animal innards and extremity meats included in British chef Fergus Henderson’s 2004 cookbook The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating? Offal (pronounced like “awful”)


starsFood Stars: What type of crustacean is Sebastian, who lands on a first course dinner plate in The Little Mermaid? Crab

dinnerpartyCompany’s Coming: What sweet, red-pepper spread is a picnic-sandwich tradition in the southern U.S.? Pimento cheese

scienceLab and Field: How much time, according to a 2003 survey, did Americans age 15 and older spend eating and drinking per day?  About 73 minutes (this seemed short to me…)

candlelit-dinnerDining Out: What is often served accompanied with baguettes, nuts and condiments made of fruit paste?  A cheese plate

whiskWhat’s Cooking: What distinguishes classic French-style rolling pins from classic American-style pins? Handles! American pins have them and French pins do not.