John Legend’s Mac and Cheese

John Legend's Mac and Cheese

John Legend stopped by Martha Stewart’s and shared his family’s recipe for Mac and Cheese. I have so many versions of Mac and Cheese and had to try John Legend’s. It just looked so good to pass up. But you know me, I never ever have the same ingredients as a recipe and change it up some how. It was so delicious, I knew it would be so I doubled the recipe. Great for leftovers and when kids just happen to drop in from College with all of their friends. I am not a fan of Martha Stewart since she made such a negative public statement about food bloggers, but I will forgive her because she is ignorant about food bloggers but she is brilliant in her choice of guests.

John Legend’s Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups elbow macaroni ( I used 2 boxes of macaroni)
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/3 cup skim milk + more if doubling recipe
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (8-ounce) packages extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated ( I used Asiago cheese)
1 (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, grated ( I used Muenster Cheese Plus I used 1 cup Ricotta and 1 cup grated Parmesan)
Paprika, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish ( I also used in addition a 10-by-8 dish); set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain, and return to pot. Add butter, and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, skim milk, and eggs. Add seasoned salt, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine cheeses; set aside.
Place 1/3 macaroni in an even layer in the bottom of prepared baking dish; cover evenly with 1/3 cheese. Repeat with remaining macaroni and cheese mixture. Pour milk mixture evenly over contents of baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake until top layer is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 8-10 if baking single recipe, if doubling makes a lot more!

CONGO BARS

CONGO BARS

When I read the description of these amazing bars, I had to make them. The Brown Eyed Baker describes them as Blondies on Crack… too funny…too yummy, can anything be too yummy??? Not in my book.

Congo Bars ( Chocolate, Pecan, Coconut Bars )

INGREDIENTS:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1½ cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9×13-inch baking pan, then line it with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang over all the edges.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and light brown sugar until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold them into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the toasted coconut, pecans, semisweet and white chocolate chips. Dump the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth it into an even layer.

4. Baking until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 36 bars and serve. The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.

Note: You don’t have to toast the coconut or pecans if you don’t want to, it just enhances the flavor.

(Recipe adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker and Baking Illustrated)

Simple Supper Tuesday Linky Party! #2

Welcome back to Simple Supper Tuesday, the party featuring QUICK, EASY recipes, perfect for those busy weeknights. So, please share your crock pot, 30 minutes or 5 ingredient recipes (easy desserts are also welcome)!!

 photo SimpleSupperTuesday_zps93ff0e49.jpg

3 Awesome Blogs are hosting the party!

Simple Supper Tuesday Linky Party

LINKY PARTY!

YOUR HOSTS ARE:

Cindy Facebook page: Hun Whats for Dinner!  Blog Hun, Whats for Dinner

Nettie: Facebook Page:  Moore or Less Cooking blog Blog  Moore Or Less Cooking blog

Lysska from Cooking from a Stay at Home Mom

Recipes that got the most clicks

Easy Tres Leche Cake 

http://amothersshadow.com/2014/01/16/esay-tres-leches-cake/#more-7050

A Mothers Shadow

Creamy Crab Dip

http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/creamy-crab-dip/

Dixie Chik Cooks

Chicken Alfredo Ravioli

http://www.lifewiththecrustcutoff.com/chicken-alfredo-ravioli-bake/

From Life with the Crust Cut Off

Recipe that caught my eye

Coconut Walnut Cake from Little Accident in the Kitchen http://littleaccidentsinthekitchen.blogspot.sg/2014/01/coconut-walnut-chocolate-cake.html

Please link up an easy supper or dessert recipe. We love Slow Cooker or Crock Pot recipes too!

The Party Rules

1. Please link up Crock Pot and/or EASY recipes only (simple desserts are also welcome)

2. Please link back to THIS post on Moore or Less Cooking Food Blog.

3. Please use link to direct recipe, not to your home page.

4. Please visit others and leave comments if a recipe catches your eye

5. Any post that DOES NOT contain a recipe or food tutorial, will be deleted

6. Please follow all of the hosts blogs.

7. Grab a linky button!

CLICK HERE TO LINK UP YOUR RECIPES!!

Valentine Brownies

Valentine Brownies

I love Valentine’s Day! I think I love baking for Valentine’s Day more than the actual Valentine’s Day. I wanted to bake cookies, but thought brownies would be a lot easier to cut out since you cut the hearts out after you bake the brownies. I have made heart shaped brownies with a chocolate icing. My kids think I should have my own bakery, I do, it’s called Nettie’s bakery, just for friends and family! Bake the brownies first, then cut out brownies with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Decorate with your Valentine colors: red, pink or/and white. Share with the one’s you love! Happy Valentine’s Day! From Nettie’s Bakery!

Valentine Brownies

Ingredients for The Easiest Best Brownies Ever:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Makes a 9″x9″ pan of brownies. For best results, eggs should be at room temperature.

Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add melted butter to sugar and mix thoroughly. Add two eggs and mix until smooth. Then add baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Mix thoroughly. Add flour to mixture and, again, combine thoroughly. Stir in vanilla. Preheat oven to 350(F). Prepare baking pan with non-stick foil or wax paper. Pour batter into pan and spread. Place baking pan and batter in the freezer for about ten minutes. Then, bake for 20-25 minutes at 350(F).

Ingredients for Icing/Frosting:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 – 3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
chopped pecans (about 1/4 cup, optional)

Melt butter and stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Stir in two tablespoons milk or cream. Mixture should be creamy-smooth. Run whisk through powdered sugar to remove any large clumps or lumps. Add chocolate mixture to powdered sugar and mix well. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and pinch of salt. Add another tablespoon of milk if needed for consistency. Frosting should be smooth and silky. To prepare brownies with icing, spread the icing on the brownies while the brownies are still slightly warm. This will melt the topping, magically turning it into icing! I dipped the brownies into the icing and let it cover the entire brownie.Before the icing sets up, sprinkle pecan pieces (or any chopped nut or candy) on top. I sprinkled tiny red balls and white irridescent candies over the brownies. Allow to rest and cut into bite sized pieces. You can also use cookie cutters to cut the brownies into fun shapes ( I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make the Valentine Brownies). To prepare brownies with frosting, wait until the brownies have cooled to room temperature before frosting. Sprinkle with nuts or candies, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Average Betty.com

This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs! Gingham & Roses

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

I have a page on Facebook called, you guessed it, Moore or Less Cooking! I just had a chicken party over on this so called page and so many yummy recipes were shared including some really yummy chicken and dumpling recipes. I’m the type of person who once I get something stuck in my head, I have to do that sort of something. Today this sort of something is make Chicken and Dumpling’s. If you aren’t into comfort food, just walk away, this delicious recipe is not for you. Thank heavens I have some fabulous readers who talked me through making the dumplings because I thought I had failed, but the trick is not to lift the lid while they are cooking, but I am an impatient one, I tried and tried not to lift the lid, walked a lap around the house, sure enough, they were perfect, do not be tempted! Enjoy this wonderful soup, it made my day so much better.

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces (cut Up Fryer) ( I used 6 chicken thighs)
Salt And Pepper
1/2 cup Finely Diced Carrots
1/2 cup Finely Diced Celery
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Apple Cider
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Dumplings:
1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (optional)
Salt As Needed

Directions

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.
Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.
In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.
Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.
Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot all the way and don’t peek!Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Adapted from Gourmet Magazine and The Pioneer Woman

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie. I have tried many recipes for Coconut Cream Pie, one was a complete fail and did not set, the others just didn’t have the flavors that I remember as a child. Coconut is a favorite of mine, especially in desserts. This is a simple recipe that I will make again and again.

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

Ingredients

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3 cups half-and-half ( I have used milk also, both work well)
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, will burn.

In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well.
Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.
Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla extract.
Reserve the remaining coconut to top the pie.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until firm, about 4 hours.
Top with whipped topping and with the reserved coconut.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes

Remember me? The one with the hubs who buys FIFTY POUNDS of potatoes for $7.00 ??? Yeah that’s me… I always have lots of teens coming in and out so I always double my recipes, or bake an extra couple potatoes. It comes in real handy if they are hungry or not. I made these delicious Twice Baked Potatoes with a couple extra baked potatoes. This recipe is for two people, but you can always double the recipe. Recipe is adapted by The Duchess of Fork….Isn’t that a great name for a blog??!!

Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

2 medium baking potatoes
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes and dry completely.
Bake potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and prick each potato with a fork a few times. Return to oven and bake 30 more minutes.
Allow potatoes to cool long enough to handle. Cut the top of each potato off lengthwise. Remove flesh from top and bottom, leaving enough so that the skin holds up.
In a bowl, mash potato flesh with butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
Press potato filling back into potato skins. Top with remaining cheese.
Lower oven temperature to 375 and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.

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