April 25, 2009

Drunken Mac and Cheese

This is the result of an aha! moment that I had last week. Beer cheese dip is wonderful. Mac and cheese is wonderful. Why not combine them both? I haven't quite perfected this yet, but it's still pretty darned good for a first attempt!


5 cups shredded cheese, approximately 80% cheddar and 20% swiss
1 bottle of beer, preferably Alaskan Amber
2 T butter
2 T flour
Worcestershire sauce
Dijon mustard
Horseradish sauce
Garlic and Wine seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1 box of macaroni

Preheat the oven to 400. Cook pasta as directed, drain, pour into an oven safe pan and set aside. Set the beer simmering in a large saucepan while melting butter and flour together in a small pan. Add Worcestershire, Dijon, horseradish, garlic, salt and pepper to the beer to taste. Blend in the flour and butter mixture and slowly stir in 3 cups of the cheese shreds. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, stirring to mix well. Toss pasta with the remaining cheese shreds and top with bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes.

April 19, 2009


For some reason, it never occurred to me that one might make crepes at home. Or rather, that one might make crepes at home without the fancy crepe-maker that my French host family used. For all of you laboring under the same misconception - you CAN make crepes at home. You don't need anything fancy. And it's EASY!


1 c flour
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water
1/4 t salt
1 T butter (melted)
1 pinch sugar (dessert crepes only!)

Combine all but the flour in a medium bowl, blending well. Slowly stir in the flour until the batter forms. Lightly oil a large skillet. This is an important step. Too little grease, and your crepes will stick and tear. Too much and they will be oily and not spread well.
Turn the burner on medium and let the skillet warm briefly. Pour 1/4 c of the batter into the skillet and turn it around quickly so that the batter coats the bottom. If the batter sets before you've covered the bottom completely, the skillet was too hot. Let the crepe cook for a minute or two, then carefully loosen the edges and flip it over. This might take some practice. I found that after lifting the edge with the spatula, it worked best to use my fingers for the actual flipping. As the second side cooks, place your filling in the middle. The crepe should slide right off the skillet onto your plate!


Fillling can be anything! The sky is the limit! Today I made a savory and a sweet crepe. The savory was spicy scrambled eggs (cayenne, a bit of garlic, and some grated habenero jack cheese) cooked with baby spinach. For my sweet crepe I used brownies and ice cream. Be creative!

April 12, 2009

Chicken Marsala

This one's for my husband!
Not your traditional Easter dinner, but with only the cat and me here, tradition is out the window. Typically I serve this dish with rice, but I couldn't completely abandon the mashed potatoes on Easter, so you get two recipes for the price of one today!

Chicken Marsala

2 chicken breasts, pounded flat
1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t oregano
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c butter
1/2 c marsala wine*
1/4 c cream sherry

Mix flour, salt, pepper, and oregano. Meanwhile, bring the oil and butter to a boil in a skillet. Dredge the chicken in the flour mix, then brown in the oil 2 minutes on each side. Carefully add the wine and sherry. Cover and simmer 5 minutes on each side.

*the marsala you chose will make or break this recipe. Don't buy the cheapest thing out there!

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are my favorite. They are one food that I will not compromise on - you won't find me sneaking veggies into them, or worrying about how healthy they are. That said, mine are not the most unhealthy out there either! For me, the ultimate mashed potatoes are smooth and fluffy. None of those chunks!

Peel and cube baking potatoes. Boil until soft and strain. Place butter or margarine into a bowl - I usually use about 1/4 c for every three or four potatoes. Now, here's the trick: press the cooked cubes of potato through a potato ricer, into the bowl. Add some salt and pepper and a dash of skim milk into the bowl, then quickly blend with a whisk. Don't use a hand mixer, and don't overwork the potatoes. This should only take a few seconds, and you will have perfect potatoes every time.