I needed comfort food today. I also needed to use up some cheese. Fondue is a great way to pool a variety of cheeses, but I wanted something more casserole-like. Additionally, I wanted to be able to pack it for lunch tomorrow.
Here is the original homemade macaroni and cheese recipe from Southern Living’s 2002 Annual Recipes book.
- 1 (8-ounce) package of large elbow macaroni, cooked
- 16 saltine crackers, finely crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
- 1 (10-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (10-ounce) block extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 cups of milk
Layer one-third each of macaroni, crackers, salt, pepper, and cheeses into a lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Repeat layers twice. Whisk together eggs and milk; pour over pasta mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until golden and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
My variations on the recipe include:
- I used the cheese I had on hand – mild cheddar and smoked gouda.
- Rather than layering noodles, cheese, and crackers as directed – I put all of the noodles in the baking dish, tossed them with cheese, salt, and pepper and half of the cracker crumbs. I then topped the casserole with the remaining crumbs before putting it into the oven.
- I replaced one cup of milk with a cup of half and half.
- I also used only 5 eggs. I didn’t want a custard.
- I used 20 saltines. Some were crushed finely, others were not.
I’ve whipped up a few fleece beanies to give as Christmas gifts. I used a pattern from The Green Pepper (Polar Beanies).
Beanies that I plan to give the gals in the family, I’ve decorated with fancy buttons (like that above). I did add extra length to the bottom of all of the beanies because I wanted a clean interior edge (the extra length allowed me to create a hem). The pattern is for all sizes. I created copies of each size by recycling large paper grocery bags. The nice thing about paper bags is they’re more durable than pattern paper. This beanie is snuggy and warm and can be completed in two hours or less. I have a few more cut out, but I’m pretty tired of making things, so those who will be missed this year, may get beanies next year.
Here’s a helpful tip when buying fleece for small projects like hats, scarfs, and mittens. Watch for fleece sales – lots of remnants are created during these sales. There is plenty of variety and you get the added remnant discount on top of the sales price. Picking up discounted fleece remnants is the way to go!
Ellen showed this video on her show today.
I contributed a couple of pies to our recent Thanksgiving feast. This pie recipe was a first for me and I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I was very pleased with the end result.
This happens to be the easiest pie in the world to make. If you like pie and custard, but hate fuss, you’ll want to try out this recipe.
Ingredients for coconut custard pie:
- 2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick room temperature butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until well mixed (this won’t take long – don’t over blend). Pour into a 9″ deep dish pie pan. During the baking process, the flour drops to form the crust and the other ingredients form the filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. You can test the pie’s readiness by slightly jiggling it. If it’s firm it’s ready. You can also insert a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
[from: Gooseberry Patch Christmas Pantry]
The pie is good at room temperature, but I preferred it cool. The pie will have to be kept in the refrigerator, as it is a custard.