Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

I am not a big fan of the crockpot and don't use it that much.

There is a site popping up all the time on facebook called 12 Tomatoes and they have
very interesting recipes.  (I heard this all comes out of a small New York City apartment!)

The other day they had a Crockpot Mac and Cheese and just for the fun of it I thought
I would try a New York City apartment!!!

The recipe:

10 oz. pasta, cooked  (I used traditional elbow macaroni noodles)
1/2 stick butter, cubed
1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
1-1/2 c. whole milk
3 c. cheddar cheese, grated
1 c. parmesan
1 c. romano
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. nutmeg

cooking spray

Into crockpot place hot cooked noodles and cubes of butter stirring til butter melts.
Add the milks, cheeses, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Stir til well blended.  Cover and
put on low heat for 3 hours.

Our review:  this was great!  I could not believe how easy.  The next time I make
this I will use monterrey jack cheese with jalapeno peppers......that would be so
yummy!  This is a keeper.

Note on the crockpot:  we are still soaking the crockpot as we have encrusted cheese
on part of the bottom and one side.....we have a hot spot and it really baked on the
cheese and pasta!

Bread Puddings

These cold winter days are just perfect for old fashioned bread puddings.  I have been
experimenting with "new" recipes and testing them on BOB and friends.

I did find on average the ratio of cups of bread to cups of liquid was 2/1.  While this
worked for most recipes I did have one that was just too wet.

When first approaching a new recipe I always proceed according to directions and make
any changes after we have taste-tested the item.

One I recently tried was:

Raisin Bread Pudding

16 slices bread, cubed
1 cup raisins
2 cans evaporated milk
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 cups butter, melted
2 t. vanilla
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350* and greast an 8 x 12 baking dish.
Combine bread cubes and raisins in large bowl.  Combine remaining ingredients.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and combine well.
Pour the the mixture into the baking dish and let rest 10 minutes.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or til knife in center comes clean.

Our review:  I also made a bourbon sauce which called for 1/2 cup of bourbon (I used
Bob's good Makers Mark!) and it was way, way, way too strong!, Bob ate it with
no sauce and really enjoyed it.  He loves raisins, however, so next time I would increase
the amount of raisins for him.

(I personally like a sauce and/or whipped cream with a bread pudding)

Another I tried:

Apple Bread Pudding

10 cups firm bread, cut into large cubes
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2- 1/2 c. milk
2-1/2 c. whipping cream
1 T. vanilla
1 t. ground cinnamon
3 apples, peeled, cubed (2 cups)
1 c. raisins
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. granulated sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325*.  Grease 13/9 glass baking dish.
In large bowl, beat the 4 eggs and egg yolk with the 3/4 c. granulated sugar til blended.
Beat in milk, whipping cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Stir in Apples and bread.
Pour Mixture into baking dish.
Brush top of mixture with melted butter and sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon over top.
Bake 55-65 minutes til top is puffed and light golden brown and center slightly jiggly.
Cool 30 minutes.

Our review:  The bread pudding was way too wet.  When I removed it from the oven after
60 minutes,  it was gorgeous, all puffy and lightly brown and jiggly.  However, it really needed
more time - an additional 15.  The taste was great, not too sweet.  I would have loved a sauce
but did not make one for this pudding.  Again, Bob would like additional raisins!