First of all, I have no idea who Wendy is. I just wanted to get that out there. This is, by no means, an original recipe of mine, but it’s really, really, REALLY yummy, and I wanted to share it. I first encountered this bit of comfort food heaven at a party next door a year or so ago. I asked my neighbor for the recipe, but never got around to making it until tonight. Silly me!
The original recipe was for 1/3 this amount, but tripled, it fits perfectly in a 9×13 casserole dish. That said, I will take credit for the math involved in figuring out the proportions. And if you know me at all, you know that was a major effort.
Warning: This is not a “light” dish!
- 1 1-pound box uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ sticks butter, divided
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 4 ½ cups milk
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 ounces Velveeta, cubed
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 1 sleeve of crushed Ritz crackers
- Cook macaroni according to package directions & drain.
- Place drained macaroni in greased baking dish & set aside.
- In a large saucepan/pot, melt 1 ½ sticks of butter over medium heat.
- Stir in flour until smooth.
- Gradually add milk.
- Bring mixture to a boil.
- Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then reduce heat.
- Stir in cheeses, salt and pepper until cheese is melted.
- Pour over macaroni & mix well.
- Melt the remaining butter and combine with the crushed Ritz crackers. Sprinkle over casserole.
- Bake uncovered at 375° for 30 minutes.
Makes 12 servings.
This is really more of an idea than an actual recipe. I say that, because the amount of each ingredient can’t really be measured. But, it’s an awesome appetizer, snack, or even a meal (if you’re an oddball eater, like me). I swear – I had these for dinner the other night when hubs took the girl to a birthday party. In fact, the preparation of the mushrooms was somewhat documented in this photo of the day:
- Package of white mushrooms
- Olive oil
- Your favorite breadcrumbs – I make mine by smashing Texas Toast Cheese & Garlic Croutons
- Minced garlic
- Fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice (at least a couple teaspoons)
- Preheat oven to 350˚.
- Thoroughly wash mushrooms.
- Remove stems from caps, slicing off the “ground” end.
- Mince stems and put in bowl.
- Add breadcrumbs, garlic (to taste), and parmesan to make a mixture that looks like a good filling for the caps (I told you it wasn’t precise) and mix well.
- Stir in lemon juice and olive oil until mixture is moist (sorry, I know some of you hate that word).
- Place mushroom caps in a greased baking dish.
- Fill caps with breadcrumb mixture. It’s ok (and yummy to stealthily eat before cleaning up) if you spill some into the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until mushrooms become soft.
Be careful not to burn your mouth – these suckers are HOT when they first come out of the oven!
For some time now, I’ve been hearing all this buzz about kale chips. How healthy they are. How yummy they are. How easy they are to make. Until recently, I’ll admit that I didn’t even know what kale looked like, let alone how it tasted. Today, I finally decided to give making them a try. Nothing ever works out perfectly the first time, and I think that I should have made sure the leaves were all a bit drier. I also think that perhaps the girl and I oversalted them (we did this as a project together).
Of course, I had no idea what to do with this, so I turned to google. Every site said pretty much the same thing, so here’s what I did.
- 1 bunch of kale
- olive oil
- coarse salt (I used kosher, but any coarse sea salt will do)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Thoroughly wash and dry the leaves. I dried them by using a salad spinner and then patting them with a paper towel as well.
- Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces, removing the thicker stems as you go.
- Put the leaves in a large bowl and add olive oil (about 2 tablespoons).
- Toss to coat.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the leaves out in one layer on the lined cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until leaves become crunchy.
You should eat them when they’re fresh from the oven. I loved them. The girl, not so much. She tried them about three times before giving up. I think that means she really wants to like them, and probably will, eventually.
Looking to limit your sodium intake? I bet these would be amazing if you substituted a little garlic powder for the salt. If you try it, let me know.
In subsequent go-rounds, I added a teensy bit of garlic powder to the already salted kale. Yep. Amazeballs.