Monday, May 10, 2010

Fancy Pants Macaroni and Cheese


I must admit that, although I do try to eat healthy on a regular basis, most of the recipes I post here are fairly fattening, and this recipe is by far the most fattening of them all. But I will tell you one thing, it's completely worth it! This is THE best Mac and Cheese that I've ever had, all the wonderful cheeses meld together into creamy perfection and the smoked gouda crust really tops it off. This is a great meal for those craving something rich, warm and comforting. I hope you all love it as much as I did! 

Ingredients: 

16 Ounces Fusilli Spiral Pasta 
1 Cup Shredded Gruyere Cheese 
1 Cup Shredded White Cheddar Cheese 
1 Cup Shredded Emmentaler Cheese 
1 and 1/2 Cup Shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese 
1/2 Cup Butter 
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
3 Strips of Bacon, pan fried until crispy and then diced into centimeter-sized squares


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Strain and set aside. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the milk, nutmeg and ricotta cheese and continue to heat for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sour cream, gruyere, cheddar, emmentaler, 1 cup of the smoked gouda  and the bacon squares. Set aside.


Pour half of the pasta into a large casserole pan and pour half of the cheese mixture into the casserole pan. Mix them until well blended. Now add the rest of the pasta and the rest of the cheese mixture and blend again until the pasta is completely and evenly coated in the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of smoked gouda onto the top of the macaroni and cheese and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Then turn the heat up to broil and cook for another 5 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serve immediately with a cold glass of milk.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peachy Keen Bread Pudding


I've only had bread pudding once in my life, and it was completely unintentionally. The first time my roommates and I had gone out for tapas senior year and we couldn't decide which dessert to go with, bread pudding or chocolate cake. We went with the cake, but the server brought us out the bread pudding too as a treat on the house! And I could see why he wanted us to try it, it was carmelly and rich and warm and delicious, basically the perfect dessert. The bread pudding I've made here is far less rich, I actually tried to make it relatively healthy since I've been trying to eat a more balanced diet lately. When I made it I kept the crusts on the bread slices, but I ended up not liking their firmness in comparison to the rest of the bread, so I removed the bread crusts for the recipe. I also threw in some peaches because they're my favorite fruit and happen to be in season, (FINALLY!) I hope you all enjoy this moderately healthy dessert as much as I did, it's a real treat!

Ingredients:

5 Slices Whole Wheat Bread, crusts removed
1 Peach, pitted and cut into 6 slices
Juice of 1 Peach
2 Eggs
1 Cup Skim Milk
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 Tablespoon Butter, softened
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a small loaf pan and lay the bread slices down flat, layering them like shingles. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of the nutmeg. Sprinkle the sugar mixture in between the slices of bread in the pan. Set the pan aside.


In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, brown sugar, peach juice, and the remaining cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour this mixture over the bread slices in the pan. Arrange the peach slices in between the slices of bread and sprinkle the remaining sugar and the graham cracker crumbs over the slices. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the bread has softened and the liquid mixture in the bottom of the pan is cooked through.