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Smoky Mac and Cheese Bites Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 mL) uncooked elbow macaroni (1/2 lb/250 g)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (425 mL) whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each smoked paprika, salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) grated Applewood Smoked Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) roughly chopped chives
  • 1 egg yolk

Smoky Mac and Cheese Bites Recipe

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush 24 mini-muffin tins with olive oil. Sprinkle bottom of each cup with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) panko.
  3. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Continue whisking while bringing to a boil; simmer 5 min., or until thickened. Whisk in smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in each of the following, mixing in each ingredient before adding the next: 2 cups (500 mL) cheese, chives and egg yolk. Stir in drained cooked pasta; mix well.
  4. Fill prepared mini muffin tins with macaroni and cheese mixture. Sprinkle top of each macaroni and cheese bite with remaining panko and cheese. Bake 15 min., or until cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Cool 10 min. before using small spoon to loosen edges around each bite before lifting out of muffin tins. Transfer to serving tray.

Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 white anchovies (see Note)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  • 1/4 cup finely diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 pound baby romaine lettuce leaves

Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette Recipe

Directions

  1. In a blender or mini processor, combine 4 of the anchovies with the garlic, vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and puree until smooth. With the machine on, add the olive oil and blend until incorporated. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper; add the Parmesan and blend briefly.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the crab, chives, tarragon and red pepper with the vinaigrette. Add the romaine and toss. Transfer to plates, top with the remaining 4 anchovies and serve.

Marinated white anchovies are available at Italian markets, specialty food stores and in the deli case at some supermarkets.

Imitation Cheese Sticks from Pizza Hut Recipe

We love the breadsticks at our local Pizza Hut but with this recipe I can make them at home as an alternative to nachos or ordering in.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (6-1/2 ounces) pizza crust mix
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Pizza sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Mix pizza dough according to package directions, adding garlic powder to dry mix. Cover; let rest 5 minutes.
  2. Knead dough 4-5 times or until easy to handle. On a greased baking sheet, press dough into an 8-in. square. Brush top with oil; sprinkle with cheeses and Italian seasoning.
  3. Bake 6-8 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Cut in half; cut each half crosswise into eight strips. Serve with pizza sauce. Yield: 16 cheese sticks.

Slow-Cooker Ratatouille Recipe

Serve the ratatouille warm or at room temperature; as a side dish for grilled poultry or meat; as a bed for a fish fillet; on a sandwich; or perhaps over toast with an egg on top.  Using a slow cooker means that you can take advantage of all of these vegetables in season and not warm up your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant (unpeeled; about 1 pound), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 medium Roma or plum tomatoes (about 1 pound), cut into medium dice
  • 2 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash (about 8 ounces each), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions

  1. Place the eggplant in a colander set over a bowl or in the sink, and toss with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Allow to sit and drain for 30 minutes, then rinse the eggplant with cold water. Lay the eggplant on paper towels and pat with additional paper towel to remove as much water as possible.
  2. Whisk together the oil, tomato paste, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper in a medium bowl until incorporated.
  3. Combine the drained/rinsed eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and/or squash, bell pepper, onion, garlic and thyme in your slow-cooker. Add the oil-tomato paste mixture and stir to incorporate. Add the bay leaf. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or until the vegetables are tender, then uncover and cook for 1 hour more to allow some of the liquid to evaporate and the vegetables to meld further. Discard the bay leaf.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

The cold winter gives you the perfect excuse to barricade inside, cozy up on the couch, and watch some Netflix.  It’s also the best time of the year to pull out the slow cooker for amazing recipes like this Chicken Tikka Masala and make it at home rather than order it in.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (29 oz.) can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust according to your heat preference)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup / 250 ml heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch)
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Directions

  1. Grease the inside of your crockpot bowl with a bit of olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except for bay leaves, heavy cream, arrowroot powder, and lemon juice) in a large bowl. With a large large spatula, stir to combine everything, making sure that the chicken is well coated.
  3. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and place the two bay leaves on top.
  4. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).
  5. When done, in a small bowl combine heavy cream and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), and gently stir into the mixture. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up.
  6. Finally add lemon juice and gently stir to incorporate.
  7. Serve warm.
  8. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Serves 6

Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 cobs of corn, grilled
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

Directions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium.  Remove the outer layers of the corn husks and then soak the whole cob in water for about 30 minutes.  Peel back remaining husks and remove hair.  Brush the kernels with olive oil; then pull husks back over the ear.   Place the cobs on the grill and cook for about 15 minutes.  
  2. Once the cobs have cooled, cut kernels off the cob.
  3. Add tomatoes, onion and basil to corn.
  4. Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper; mix well.  
  5. Stir the dressing into the corn salad and serve.

Mini Ranch Burgers Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 small soft dinner rolls, split
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • lettuce, sliced plum tomato, and cut-up vegetables (such as carrots and celery), for serving

Directions

  1. Form the beef into eight 3-inch patties.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the patties with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of each patty registers 130ºF, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  3. Form sandwiches with the rolls, ranch dressing, lettuce, tomato, and burgers. Serve with the cut-up vegetables.

Roasted Mushrooms and Potatoes Recipe

Great combination of potatoes and mushrooms.  Perfect holiday side dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds new potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1/4 pound king trumpet mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 pound chanterelle mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 pound nameko mushrooms, trimmed
  • 1/4 pound clamshell (shimeji) mushrooms, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place potatoes into a large roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and mix to coat potatoes with salt and olive oil. Turn so the cut sides are up.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, pour 1 teaspoon olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat and cook pancetta, stirring often, in the hot oil until pancetta releases some fat and looks like cooked ham, about 5 minutes. Stir in king trumpet, chanterelle, nameko, and clamshell mushrooms, adding a pinch of salt as they cook.
  5. Turn heat to high and cook mushrooms until most of the juices evaporate and mushrooms begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  6. Turn oven heat up to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  7. Stir potatoes in the baking dish; mix mushrooms and pancetta with potatoes. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes; stir and continue baking until potatoes are browned, soft, and tender, about 10 more minutes. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  8. Drizzle sherry vinegar over potatoes and mushrooms, sprinkle with tarragon, garlic, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving platter.