Thursday, September 29, 2011


A  comfort dish for Mac & Cheese, little lighter recipe then my usual.  Wonderful, creamy and every spoonful was delicious.  I found this recipe on the Crazy Cooking Challenge. This recipe was a winner in the "Real Women of Philadelphia Cooking Contest" and Mandy of "Gourmet Mom on the go" was the prize taker.  I used a mixture of triple cheddar cheese and sharp cheddar.  Instead of the whole milk I used 1/2 & 1/2.  I also baked my Mac & Cheese in my new pottery dish given to me by my lovely neighbor, Heidi.  I love it, I think it made this dish taste even better.   Thank you, Heidi.   She is one of my taste testers!   She always comes running, always willing to taste something I have made.  Love those neighbors!  

Heidi's gift to me
Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Featured dish with Crazy Cooking Challenge

2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
2 1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 1/4 cups cheddar cheese (save some for topping)
4 ounces of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (half a brick)
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers

1. Measure out the macaroni. Using a medium size pot, bring the water to a boil, add the 1 tsp of salt and the macaroni. Reduce heat and cook until al dente. You want the pasta to still be firm in the center when you stop cooking it. Otherwise you will get soggy mac and cheese. Keep in mind that this is going in the oven to continue baking.

2. Place the Cream Cheese in a small bowl and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds to softened it. Stir it around to make it nice and smooth.

3. In a large, deep skillet melt your butter over medium heat.

4. Add the flour and whisk this until smooth and thick.

5. Add the milk....keep whisking

6. Add the chicken broth....keep whisking

7. In a few minutes you will have a smooth creamy sauce. Add 2 1/2 cups of the shredded Cheddar cheese and the warmed Philadelphia Cream Cheese........keep whisking allowing both cheeses to blend and melt.

8. Add the drained macaroni and mix to blend. Remove from stove top.

9. Spray a 9x9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray and pour your mac & cheese into this,

10. In a small food processor grind up the Ritz cracker into crumbs.

11. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top of the mac & cheese, and sprinkle with the Ritz crackers.

12. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

                                                     Happy Cooking, Andi

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


As fall has landed on our doorsteps in Maine, so haven't the fruits of our fall season. Nothing says Maine better then apple pie, cider, and spending a day in the apple orchard picking apples. This is a tasty gingerbread topped with sweet apple slices, served warm with a dollop of whipped cream.  Happy fall everyone,  Hope you all enjoy your fall season.    Andi  

Apple Upside Down Cake
Easy-on-the-Cook Book
Copyright 1960

3 Tbsp of butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 small red-skinned cooking apples, cored but not pared, finely sliced
1 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup light molasses
1/2 cup hot water

Melt butter in a 8x8 pan or round pie plate. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of light brown sugar over the melted butter. Arrange the thinly sliced apples in rows over the brown sugar. Set aside.

Using a bowl sift all the dry ingredients together and mix. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Beat in egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the hot water and mix. Pour this batter over the apples slices. Being careful not to move the apple slices.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, depending on the size of the baking dish. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before inverting to a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream. Serves about 8.

Shared this with Katie at this chick cooks

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Buffalo Hot wings are a favorite for my hubby. The hotter the better.   Anything hot and spicy is a go for him.  I want to keep my taste buds, so I prefer the cooler side to hot and spicy foods. These wings were a hit for us, Anita at Aunt Nubby's Kitchen indicates they serve 4-6 people, not in this house last night for dinner, Dickie and I finished off the platter!  I served them with a side of Ranch dressing for dipping and celery sticks.  They offer a wonderful flavor, have a nice kick to them but not overly hot. My lips are still attached.  This recipe will be a keeper for me.  I will surely make these again and again.  So Anita, thank you very much for this recipe.  Go check her out, Anita has a nice blog and that she offers many recipes. 

Buffalo Hot Wings

3 pounds of chicken wings
2 (.60 ounce) envelopes of Italian salad dressing mix, divided
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 to 3/4 cups of hot sauce (I used 3/4 cups Frank's Red hot original)
2 Tbsp lemon juicel
1/2 tsp dried basil

Ranch dressing for dipping and cut celery sticks

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non stick cooking spray.
Cut off wingtips, and discard. Place 1 package of the Italian salad dressing mix in a large plastic bag, add the wings and shake to coat each chicken piece. Place the wings in a single layer on the prepared foil and bake for 25 minutes or until browned. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees.
In a small saucepan add the butter ,and stir over medium heat until melted then add the hot sauce, lemon juice, package of the Italian dressing mix and the dried basil and mix. Pour this mixture over the wings and coat each with a pastry brush if needed. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve with Ranch dressing and celery sticks.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Secret Recipe Club is upon us again for the month of September.  I got so much enjoyment looking around Lynn's Blog, it is a must look at. She had so many recipes I didn't know where to start.   Her photography is beautiful, mouth watering, and done with style and class.  I ending up making the Blond Brownies, that was made with her group of "Tuesdays with Dorrie".  These brownies are delicious, a thin layer of crunch on top, the chocolate, pecans and coconut.  I thought the recipe I had on my blog for Blonde Brownies was good but it's not as good as these.  This recipe is a make again for sure.  I think I will remove my post and replace it will these!  I also made from Lynn's blog Teddy Bears Breads, and Italian Meatballs with Spaghetti which we had for dinner one night, then I froze some of the meatballs and made meatball sandwiches another night.  So good,  I am so excited to work off her blog this month. All three recipes that are approved by me!   Happy Baking everyone..........................Andi 

Chewy Chunky 
cafelynnylu chewy-chunky-blondies

Teddy Bear Bread  from Simple Sweet Dough 

Lynn's Spaghetti and Meatballs

Chewy Chunky Blondies

2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
6 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into chips or 1 cup store bought chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips or Heath Toffee Bits
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan and place on a larger rimmed baking sheet. Center the oven rack to the middle of the oven.

In one bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk this together to combine all the ingredients.

With your stand mixer, add the butter and mix. Then add the light brown sugar and mix for about 3 minutes. Scrape bowl to combine the ingredients. Add the large eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add the vanilla. Carefully at a lower speed on the mixer add the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to incorporate the flour mixture. Hand stir in the nuts and the chocolate pieces and the shredded coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and using a off set spatula to even the top of the bars.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies may start to pull away from the side of the pan and the top should be a nice golden honey brown. Remove the baking dish from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack to cool. Cut into squares. Happy Baking, Andi

To see other great recipes from this month's Secret Recipe Club, follow the links below!