Macaroni and cheese

Creamy macaroni and cheese is a hearty, filling supper, perfect for chilly fall nights.

Cooking over the past six months has become a boredom buster, a creative outlet, and a family bonding experience. From baking the perfect chocolate chip cookies to experimenting with new recipes, people have spent more time in the kitchen while under the quarantine stay-at-home period. Been waiting to try that Pinterest casserole you pinned last year? Quarantine allowed for that.  Baked a cake from scratch because you suddenly had some free time? Quarantine provided the vacation day. Like you, I enjoyed cooking for my family and friends and rediscovered that a home cooked meal is intensely satisfying and truly comforting any time. Here are three of my family’s favorite recipes for you to try.

 

Bacon cheeseburger pie 

1 uncooked pie crust (not deep dish)

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

5 slices raw bacon, chopped

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

3 tablespoon barbecue sauce

2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 egg

¼ cup milk

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown ground beef, onion, and bacon until no pink remains. Drain well. Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs, mustard, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, ketchup, and pepper. Place mixture in prepared pie crust. In small bowl, combine cheese, milk, and egg. Spread over meat mixture. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil or a pie shield to prevent over browning. Bake 15 minutes, remove foil, and bake an additional 15 minutes. 

 

 

Creamy macaroni and cheese

 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles 

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dry mustard powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

3 cups  shredded mild cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (if you can’t find this variety, can use Colby-Jack cheese or cheddar)

1 can cream of chicken soup (can use fat-free)

½ cup sour cream (can use fat-free)

½ cup mayonnaise

 

Boil macaroni noodles according to directions to make al dente (about six minutes). Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for two hours on high or low for three hours, stirring once or twice. You can also bake in the oven in a lightly greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered and 25-30 minutes uncovered.

 

  

Fresh strawberry bread

Makes 2 loaves 

2 cups chopped strawberries

½ cup sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ¾ cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, combine strawberries with ½ cup sugar; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, 1 ¾ cups sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. In a medium bowl, stir together eggs and oil. Add pecans and strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

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