Creamy Macaroni And Cheese

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This is so yummy.  I was at a loss in deciding what to make for my grandchildren after school today.  They both like pasta so that wasn’t such a hard decision.  Though one doesn’t really like tomato sauce, so I came up with this recipe long ago.  Even I love this but then again I could eat pasta 3 times a day and then some.  You can put any kind of meat into this Mac and Cheese or none at all.  I used the meatballs because I bought them and had them in the freezer.  It was just quick and easy.  Sssssooo here is my recipe.

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 002Into a pan melt and brown about 4-5 tablespoons of butter.

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 003Next add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of flour.  Stir really well.  It will start to clump together.

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 004Then add 1 box of ready made chicken broth 900 ml. and some water if you like.  About 1 cup. Continue to whisk until all the flour and butter have dissolved completely and start to thicken.

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 006Next take 1/2 of a 500 ml container of sour cream, give it a bit of a whisk,

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 005And add it to the soup mixture, stirring constantly until it is dissolved.  Add the number of meatballs you like, or chicken pieces, whatever you prefer, stir, lower your heat and partially cover your pot.  Gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, remembering to stir.Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 009Add 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, or any cheese your like. Stir until melted.

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 010After cooking a 500 ml package of pasta, add it to your creamy sauce.  Stir well.

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese 012Place the mixture into a covered casserole dish, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Test to see if it is ready.  I usually take a little spoonful from the middle.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

500 ml Of Cooked Pasta

4-5 tablespoons Of Melted Butter, Browned

1/2 cup Flour

1- 900 ml Container Of Chicken Soup

250 ml Sour Cream

2 cups Shredded Cheese Of Your Choice, Or More If You Like

Water,  From Pasta Optional

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

Cook pasta, drain and set aside.  Melt and brown butter.  Stir in your flour and soup and continue stirring until it has thickened and is completely lump free .  Add your sour cream making sure you have totally combined it with the soup so you don’t don’t have any lumps.  Add in your choice of cooked meat, simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.  Next add your shredded cheese stirring until it has melted then add your pasta. When you have coated your pasta with the sauce, pour into a casserole dish and bake approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees. Do a small taste test it see if it has completely heated through.

Enjoy!

Italian Pizzelles

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Do you see the pizzelles underneath the other cookies?  These cookies are really good and they fit into any occasion.  I have been making them for more years then I care to remember.  Along the way I learned very quickly to make a double recipe.  They take only a little longer to make but it is worth it.  You see these cookies never last because everyone will eat them as soon as they are made.  At first I tried putting them in the freezer so they would last a little longer.  Didn’t work.  Guess what, they taste just as good frozen!  I finally gave up and just made a double batch.

Now, you do need pizzelle maker.  Just go to your local supermarket or Italian specialty store.  You will find one.  They are not that expensive because they last for years and then you can pass it down to the kids.  Trust me it is worth it.

My recipe came with the machine.  Yet, when my friend purchased one, hers did not contain the recipe, so she just used mine. Here it is.  Remember I DOUBLED mine.

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Beat 3 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar together.

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Add your 1/2 cup melted butter.

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Next add 1- 3/4 cup flour and  2 teaspoons baking powder to the egg mixture.  Mix until well combined.

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The batter will be stiff.

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Set up your work station. Your pizzelle maker, the batter and a glass of water with either a small spoon or I like to use a small ice cream scoop.  The water is for dipping your scoop.  It will become sticky.

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I spray my machine with oil, or your could coat it with olive oil by hand.

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Drop a small scoop of batter onto each side of the machine and slowly close the lid.

Italian Pizzwllwa 019I just purchased a new scoop, so I’m off centre a bit. Trying to get use to it.

Italian Pizzwllwa 019Once you put down the lid it only takes about 10 – 15 seconds to bake.  Just unlock your handle and slowly lift the lid.  If it looks slightly golden, it’s done.  Sometimes I like them just white.

Italian Pizzwllwa 020Using a knife with a rounded edge, as not to scratch your machine, gently lift the cookie and….

Italian Pizzwllwa 022Place on a surface one at a time until cooled.

Italian Pizzwllwa 023Then stack them.  It is really that simple. When completely cooled, place into bags and freeze.  They are great to keep on hand in the freezer until you need them.  They also defrost quickly.

Italian Pizzwllwa 028How nice they look on a tray.  Not for long!

Enjoy!

 

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

3 Eggs

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1- 3/4 cups Flour

1/2 cup Butter

3/4 cup Sugar

PREPARATION

Spray your pizzelle machine with oil.  Set aside.  Beat eggs and sugar.  Melt and cool butter then add to your eggs along with your vanilla gently beating.  Next add your flour, baking powder and mix until well combined.  Batter will be stiff.  Heat your pizzelle machine and drop the batter by the scoop onto the machine.  Gently close and lock the lid.  Count to about 10 or 15, gently lift the lid.  If you have the colour you like then they are done.  I like them on the lighter side.  With a rounded knife, lift one edge and place cookie onto a flat surface to cool.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Have fun making these.

My Mothers Pineapple Cake

Piroghy, Pineapple Cake 075

I remember this cake well.  It was made for every kind of occasion.  From birthdays to anniversary’s to showers to Christenings to First Communions, Confirmations and all kind of church functions.  It made a lot and looked great on trays with all the other cakes.  It is funny because I was asking my friend the other day about this cake, though she didn’t make it she knew about it because her aunt makes it to.  It is not a hard cake to make and it is easy to put together.  I haven’t made it in years so I was feeling my way through because there were things I had forgotten about.

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Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Mine was a bit larger, so it you have one use it, your cake won’t be as high but still good.

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I like to make the filling first and set it aside to cool.  First empty out 2-19 oz cans of crushed pineapple into a pot.

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Add approximately 1/4 cup of cornstarch and about 1/2 cup sugar.  The sugar depends on how sweet you want it.  Just give is a taste and you’ll know.  Mix all off the ingredients together and cook over a medium heat until thickened.  Set aside.

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To me this is the trickiest part.  Pay close attention to what I am about to tell you.  You must use 1 cake of yeast but not the one you buy individually packaged in the dairy section of your supermarket.  Go the the bakery department and ask to buy a cake of their yeast. They might tell you the other stuff is the same but it is NOT, NOT as fresh and might not give you the same results.  Now I have to buy this yeast 1/4 lb. at a time, but that’s ok. All you do is cut it into cubes, wrap it individually in foil and put it in the freezer. It will keep for about 6-8 months.  Use it in other baking or make pizza dough with it.  It is the best cake yeast I have ever used.  If your supermarket doesn’t have it then try a bakery.

Into preheated milk with a couple of teaspoons of sugar, crumble the yeast, cover and let it bubble.

Piroghy, Pineapple Cake 018

This process does not take long if it fresh yeast.

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In a mix master bowl add 3 cups of flour and 1 cup of butter.  Combine together until you see little crumbs.

Piroghy, Pineapple Cake 020

Then add your yeast, 3 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

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I used a dough hook and combined the ingredients together. The dough will be firm but a bit sticky.

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Divide the dough in half, roll it out to fit the pan. Top the bottom layer with the cooled pineapple.

Piroghy, Pineapple Cake 028

Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top of the pineapple, tucking in the edges. Cover it with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size. Place into a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.

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All ovens are not the same so keep an eye on it.  Cool.

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While cake is cooling, into a bowl add 4 tablespoons of butter along with 2 cups of icing sugar, combine. Add 3 tablespoons of milk, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, and grated lemon rind.  Mix until well combined.

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This was the original recipe for the icing but for my size of pan I found it wasn’t enough. So next time I would double the recipe.  Told you I haven’t made this in years.  On top of the icing you could sprinkle ground walnuts.

Piroghy, Pineapple Cake 069

I place the cake into the fridge so it is easier to cut.  Then I cut along the outside to make sure edges are nice and even. Next I cut across the cake.

Piroghy, Pineapple Cake 070

Then on a diagonal.  This way I have diamond shape pieces.

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They look so nice on a platter.  Make sure you cut with a hot wet knife.

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This is not a sweet cake.  If you want to add extra sugar into the pineapple then feel free to do so.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup Of Warm Milk, Not Hot

1 Cake Of Yeast, Crumbled

2 Teaspoons Of Sugar

3 Egg Yolks

1 cup Butter

3 cups Flour

2-19 oz. Cans Of Pineapple Drained

1/2 cup Of Sugar

1/4 cup Of Cornstarch

ICING

4 Tablespoons Of Butter

2 cups Of Icing Sugar

3 Tablespoons Of Milk

1 Tablespoon Of Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Grated Lemon Rind

Pinch Of Salt

Ground Walnuts (Opt.)

PREPARATION

FILLING

Drain pineapple, place into pot with sugar and cornstarch.  Cook until thickened.  Set aside to cool.

ICING

Cream butter and sugar.  Add milk and grated lemon rind and lemon juice.  Beat until smooth.

CAKE BATTER

Warm milk, add crumbled cake yeast and cover.  Set aside until it bubbles.  Add the yeast to 3 cups of flour along with egg yolks and sugar.  Beat with a dough hook until the bowl comes clean.  It will be a bit sticky so when handling use a bit of flour.

Spray your pan, divide dough in half and roll out dough to fit the bottom of the pan.  Place your cooled pineapple on top.  Roll out the remaining dough place on top of the pineapple and press down edges.  Cover with a dish towel, place in a warm place until doubled in bulk.  Anywhere from 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  Place into a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.  Cool and ice.

This also freezes well in a container with a lid.

Have fun making this.  Enjoy!

Baba’s Apple Cake

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 016

I had the greatest role models in my life.  Teaching me what was important and what wasn’t.  When I look back,  these lessons in life meant more to me as I got older.  I’m sure it must have been frustrating for them seeing me make my mistakes.  If I could go back and redo things, I sure would pay more attention to what they wanted me do and do things the way I was told.

My role models were my mother and my grandmother.  These two women lived in Europe during Second World War.  They very rarely spoke about the those times but I could see the pain when on rare occasion they did share some of the stories.  My Baba often said, “If I could speak better English, I could write a book this thick.”  As she gestured to a height that was about 12 inches high.  I really don’t know why she didn’t write things down because her English was as good as mine.  She was a very smart and tough little women to survive what she did and then come to a completely foreign country, not speaking the language to start life all over again.

They imparted on me their love of cooking. They brought with them traditions be cannot be replaced.  These things live on in my heart everyday with the memories they created, now that are both are gone.  I try to pass these things on to my children and grandchildren hoping some day they will do the same.

Here is a recipe that Baba use to make, that my son well remembers because he just recently asked for it.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 001

Peel and core 4-5-6 apples.

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Add 1/2-3/4 cup of sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1/2-1 lemon rind and its juice.  Mix.  You can leave this overnight.

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Into another bowl add 1/2 lb. of butter and 1 cup sugar.  Mix until well blended. Next add 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons of sour cream and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or even vanilla.  Mix well.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 004

Add 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, pinch of salt and mix well.

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Dough will be sticky but firm.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 005

Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 007

Then drop onto the pan, clumps of dough, about half.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 008

With a spatula or spoon that has been continually dipped in hot water, slowly spread the dough to fit the pan.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 010

My apples sat in the refrigerator overnight so I drained a lot of the liquid but I also added about 1/2 cup of flour.  This is to prevent the apples producing more liquid and making your dough soggy.

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Next place the apples on the dough and spread them to cover the dough.

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With the other half of the dough, drop it by the spoonful on top of the apples and spread it the same way as the bottom half.  Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 013

When it is nicely golden remove from the oven and check with a toothpick.  I use a skewer.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 014

Look at this skewer, it is clean, so I know my cake is ready.  I use to use a toothpick but this is a trick I learned in Ireland cooking with a Cordon Bleu chef.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 015

Ta Da!  Let it cool.

BABA'S APPLE CAKE 016

Cut yourself a piece and sprinkle it with icing sugar.  Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!  This cake freezes well.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

5-6 Peeled And Thinly Sliced Apples,(Next Time I would Use A Couple More, To Get More Of A Layer In Between The Cake Layers)

2 cups Flour

1/2 lb. Butter

2 Eggs

3 tablespoons Sour Cream

1/2 – 1 Grated Lemon Rind

1 tablespoon Of Fresh Lemon Juice, to taste

1 tablespoon Baking Powder

Pinch Of Salt

Icing Sugar

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

Combine butter and sugar, beat until well combined.  Add the eggs, sour cream, lemon rind and lemon juice, beat some more.  With all this beating I use a Mix Master.  Boy, am I dating myself .  It is sssooo much faster.

Next add the flour and baking powder.  When all the ingredients are well combined, divide the dough in 1/2 and pat it into the pan.  Next place the apples on top and finish off by dropping dough on top of the apples then spreading it out with a hot and wet spatula.

Bake in a pre heated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.  Cool and freeze or cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Enjoy!

 

 

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