I read a lot of food blogs. I mean, a lot. I occasionally save recipes to make but for the most part, I just enjoy looking at the pictures and reading the reviews. So it was really weird when I couldn’t get this macaroni and cheese out of my head after seeing it on Ezra Pound Cake. I seriously couldn’t stop thinking about it.

It seems like a basic macaroni recipe with the elbow noodles and sharp cheddar. But then you mix up eggs and cream and all kinds of goodness to pour over top. I topped mine with more cheddar and panko before putting it in the oven.

It is absolutely the. best. thing. ever and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese that much. Since you cube the cheese instead of shredding it, you get super gooey cheese throughout it. And the grated onion? I’ll never make mac and cheese without it again!

Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

1 cup elbow macaroni
1/2 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated onion, loosely packed
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a baking dish
  2. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain, and transfer to the baking dish. Mix in the cubed cheddar cheese.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Add the yogurt, followed by the egg, and whisk to blend. Stir in the onion, cream and Worcestershire sauce. Pour this custard over the macaroni and cubed cheese, and stir to blend.
  4. Mix grated cheese and panko bread crumbs together. Sprinkle evenly over the surface of the custard.
  5. Bake until the custard is set around the edges of the dish but still a bit loose in the center, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool for 10 minutes.
http://fakeginger.com/mac-cheese/

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I have been meaning to share this recipe forever now. It’s what I go to most often when I can’t think of anything else to cook or if I’m too tired to do anything else. It;s that easy and a definite man (and boy) pleaser.

All you do is take boneless chops and make little foil packets:

Sprinkle some lemon pepper (I like a lot, like the top picture but I usually go easy for the boys) and then dot with butter. Sometimes I’ll add a little worcestershire or steak sauce. Fold the packets up, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so depending on the thickness of your chops.

Easy, delicious, and cheap!

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I’ve been hearing about NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, since I began blogging back in 2007 but I’ve never had time to make the commitment to blogging everyday for a month. School, family, blah blah blah, you know the story. I’ve decided to take the plunge this year even though there will be a baby arriving sometime in the next 30 days. Yikes, right? Here’s hoping for hospital WiFi!

I’ve been reading other NaBloPoMo posts today and most people (especially food bloggers) seem to have a back log of recipes and photos to use, and well, I have nothing. We’re going day by day here. So you know what? You might hear about my dinner, or my failed attempt at frying shredded potatoes this morning (I wanted Waffle House style hashbrowns), or maybe even the stray cat that’s decided to sleep in a chair on my porch. I’ll be here everyday and that’s the important part.

This post, however, is about my newest BBA creation, focaccia. I love focaccia and I have a super simple recipe that we love and always turns out awesome, so I was a little put off by the 2 day event that this guy calls for. Lots of folding, waiting, folding, waiting, refrigerating, waiting, waiting, and waiting some more.

It’s good bread, not going to lie, but 2 days of waiting good? Maybe, but I don’t think it was any better than the recipe I usually use. That said, the outside pieces were amazingly crunchy (my favorite part of any bread) and the inside was super chewy. I did a simple herb oil with thyme, rosemary, garlic, and salt and it was really, really delicious. You can’t go wrong with thyme and rosemary in my book.

Visit the BBA blogroll to see where all the other baker’s are and pick up Peter Reinhart’s book next time you’re in the mood to bake some bread!

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My parents recently brought back some food goodies from their Tennessee vacation, including some big, beautiful apples. I’m usually not a huge fan of fruity desserts, but I really wanted to try these apples in a pie. I didn’t want a typical double-crust pie though and after a lot of searching, I settled on an apple custard pie. My husband’s favorite dessert is flan so anything custard-y is usually a winner around here.

 

This pie was easy, easy, easy. I had a storebought crust in the fridge that needed to be used and I have to say I’m super impressed with Pillsbury. I love a good crunchy crust and it was perfect. The only element that took any real time was cooking the apples but that just involved stirring them every few minutes.

The pie just tastes like fall. I tend to think of custard pies as warm weather food (probably because we usually have one on my dad’s birthday in April) but the cinnamon in this recipe totally changed that. Well that and the streusel, streusel makes everything feel like fall! It was delicious right out of the oven AND cold.

 

Apple Custard Pie

adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 large)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. To prepare crust, roll dough into a 14-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. To prepare streusel, lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place streusel in refrigerator.
  4. To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstrick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add sliced apple, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook 10 minutes or until the apple is tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Spoon the apple mixture into prepared crust.
  5. Combine remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300F (do not remove pie from oven); sprinkle streusel over pie. Bake at 300F for 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 hour before serving.
http://fakeginger.com/apple-custard-pie/

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A few weeks back the people of POMWonderful contacted me asking if I wanted to try their 100% pomegranate juice. I had never tried pomegranate juice (or pomegranates!) so I was very excited and knew I wanted to try it in a couple recipes. But then something horrible happened. I went to my fridge one day and realized that I had drank the entire box of juice! Apparently it’s just that good. So, I went to Target and bought more:

I don’t know why I had this recipe in my bookmarks because, for one, I’ve never tried butter chicken and two, it’s just a strange looking recipe with all the spices and pomegranate juice and tomatoes. It just doesn’t sound good to me. But yeah, I have been holding onto it and POM gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out.

It ended up being delicious. My husband, who I figured would end up eating pizza rolls once he saw it, loved it and said that it’s definitely a keeper. The pomegranate flavor was not super obvious but it was definitely there.

My only complaint is the chicken thighs which from what I’ve read is traditional in this dish. I don’t like them so I’d use breasts next time. No complaints at all from my husband or my toddler (yes, he ate it too!).

Pomegranate Butter Chicken

from Food Network

Ingredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup minced ginger
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons pomegranate
2 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In large saute pan, over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic and ginger and slowly cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder, turmeric, Garam Masala and pomegranate juice. Let cool slightly. Rub chicken well with mixture and bake in a shallow baking pan for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and shred.
  2. Meanwhile to make butter sauce: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onions, ginger and garlic until light brown, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and continue sauteing until tomatoes begin to fall apart, about 5 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return puree back to pan and add cream and butter. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken, salt and pepper. Serve with basmati rice, if desired.
http://fakeginger.com/pom-butter-chicken/
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