Monday, September 24, 2007

Fun Monday - Yum!

Lisa at the Food Snob is hosting Fun Monday this week. And of course, being a "food snob", she wants to know about food!

Lisa's challenge:
I want to see your favorite recipe, be it either because your grandmother wrote it, it's the easiest thing you can slap together that everyone likes, it makes you feel healthy, it's cheap, etc. You don't have to make it (although you could if you want) but let us see the index card, cookbook, printed paper from the web, and why it's a favorite in your house. If you have a lot, just pick one, I know I'll have to!

Oh, boy. I cannot say that I'm a great cook. Things just don't occur to me the way they do to my husband. He can take a kitchen full of nothing and come up with something delicious. ME? I need a little help.

This has been obvious from the early days of my culinary experimentation. Especially since I apparently had an aversion to actually reading directions. I have no idea how many flat cakes, hocky puck muffins or overcooked pieces of leather my parents and brothers had to endure, but if I was cooking, you can bet that it was more than a few.

I sincerely believe that it was self-defense when my mother put together a recipe box for me at a very young age. I've had this box (and most of the contents) for 30+ years now, and visiting ancient history never tasted better.

But because of our recent move, I first had to go on a treasure hunt - into the garage. I know I saw it in here somewhere....
FM_20070924_0001 FM_20070924_0002
Aha! Just move that Jango helmet and whatever this thing is... Yup! right next to the Gray's Anatomy - right where it belongs (right?).

FM_20070924_0003 FM_20070924_0004
Wow - I remember when my mom did this. She was an artsy lady. Now, hmmmm.... my favorite? Nope. Nope.

Ah! Here it is!
Aunt Jill's Macaroni and Cheese. Of course, when I was little, I hated it. She makes it with tomato sauce and EVERYONE knows that there's no tomato sauce in Mac & Cheese (just like there's no crying in baseball!). But I got the recipe anyway and a couple of years ago (after the last move), I tried making it again. ZBoy and Darling Man LOVED it! I loved it! So now, I'm going to share it with you.


3 cups of cooked macaroni (drained)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon sald
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 8-oz can of tomato sauce

Put 1/2 of the macaroni in a 1 1/2 qt. casserole. Combine cheeses, mil and salt - pour 1/2 over macaroni. Sprinkle on 1/2 onions. Pour on 1/2 tomato sauce. Repeat. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. (Of course, I sprinkle on some extra cheddar on top).

You can make the full-fat version, or go all health-nutty and use whole wheat pasta and fat-free everything else these days (they didn't used to HAVE fat-free stuff when I was a kid), and lower the caloric hit considerably, but it's actually really good both ways.

Then I found this...
It's my grandmother's recipe for Scalloped Potatoes. It was actually published in a cookbook once and I love it because it's so easy - at age 10, I could turn out good scalloped potatoes!

6 potatoes (peeled if you want)

Slice potatoes thinly. Butter baking dish. Layer potatoes, flour, butter. Add milk until you can barely see it. Bake until top is browned, (350 oven) about an hour.

Okay... now that I type it out, I can see that a little explanation is needed, since you never actually SAW Grandma make this. Butter your dish, and make a layer of sliced potatoes. Then DOT butter around on top of the potatoes. This means just a little tiny bit of butter, not great globs. Then pick up your sifter, which is already loaded with flour, and sift a light layer of flour on top of that. Keep building your layers this way until you're almost to the top of the baking dish. Then pour in the milk until you just barely see it peeping up the side of the potatoes. There are no measurements really, because you can make as much or as little as you need. In fact, I might make this for the "Holiday Luncheon" they have at work around Thanksgiving...

So, okay, Lisa - you got me to go back into history for this one!


Debs said...

You know I never heard of tomato sauce in mac and cheese, but it does sound good.

I must give it a go! :)

Happy Working Mom said...

First of all, great idea by your mom!

Secondly, thanks for the recipes...I've been looking for a good homemade mac and cheese recipe and I always screw up scalloped potatoes, so I'll definitely give this a try!

theotherbear said...

That scalloped potato sounds lots like mine - I don't use flour, but I use full thickened cream not milk so it is possibly just as thick. Er... but maybe fattier?
I will try that mac cheese!

Blue Momma said...

They both sound great, though the mac and cheese sounds a lot like the ziti I made a couple of nights ago, less the sausage.

I'm definitely gonna try those potatoes. So much better than the ones I usually make from a box!

Liane Michel said...

Hey Sarah!!

Remember when you lived on Dellwood and you put sugar in the salt shaker??

Boy your mom sure didn't the humor in it that you did!!

Lisa said...

I'm glad the recipes brought you back, food to me is so important to the memories of my family growing up.
I've never heard of tomatoes in mac & cheese either, but I'll have to give it a try!

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I just can't seem to move past the "my husband cooks" part. How did you buy the whole package like that? Mine's defective. I wonder if they take hubby returns after 9 years?

Amy W said...

Great recipes!

Kaytabug said...

oh those sound yummy! I will try out the first but will be hesitant about the 2nd one as I am the type of cook that needs measurements when it is something I have never made before..but this does seem like the easiest one without measurements so I may take a chance!

nikki said...

Yummm. I like the potato recipe. I always make a white sauce from a rue first when making my recipe. Yours is so much easier!

Pamela said...

I'm getting to that "don't measure" point in my life.
but mostly because I can't find my glasses and I can't read the recipe.

I enjoyed your peak into family and past

dawn said...

I sometimes make Mac and cheese with tomato sauce to switch things up a little from the other five days a week we have mac and cheese (he he). Whenever I ask what we should have for supper my 12 year old says 'Macaroni and Cheese". It is her favourite food, and when she is not smiley, we bring out the big guns and say "macaroni and cheese" and she can't stop herself from smiling, which at her age she is very annoyed with.

I have to try that method of scalloped potatoes, it does look easy and less time consuming than the way I have done it.

ChrisB said...

I think it's lovely that you have your grandma's recipes. I have some of my granny's recipes written by her on scraps of paper and I use her old cookery books.

Although I love macaroni cheese I don't think I could bring myself to add tomato sauce but there again maybe I should give it a try!!

susan said...

The scalloped potatoes looks about like my grandma's (verbal) recipe. Although I've never been able to make mine taste like hers. Sigh...

Karina said...

I don't know that I can do the tomato sauce on mac & cheese thing...mostly because I don't like tomato sauce...haha...

But the scalloped potatoes? I can't wait to try that!!

min said...

EVERYONE knows that there's no tomato sauce in Mac & Cheese (just like there's no crying in baseball!).

Ha! I don't even like mac 'n cheese, but I'm going to try yours because I love you so much!!

mjd said...

I love the way that you wrote this post with a treasure hunt. Your Macaroni with Cheese with the tomato sauce sounds delicious. I will have to give this a try.

Anonymous said...

MY grandma made the best macaroni and cheese EVER. Some years ago, your grandma and I tried to duplicate it, hence the 17 Mac & cheese recipes in my recipe file.
Grandma Hunt's version was made with big, unbent macaroni, today sold by Muellers as "ready-cut". The final dish was custardy and cheesy, and she baked in the oven of her wood stove until the top was crusty and brown.
The closest recipe we found was from Prevention magazine, and had the added benefit of being low-fat and high calcium. I'll send it to you and you can publish it in your blog if you like.
In the meantime, I just want to say that your quiche is the best I have ever tasted!
Love, Mom

my4kids said...

I love Mac and Cheese and actually posted my recipe also. I don't know that I could add the tomatoe sauce though but like someone else said, I'm not a fan of tomato sauce and when I do make something with it in it I tend to make myself something different.

I haven't made scalloped potatos though because the only way I've ever known was out of the box and I'm not a big out of box fan. I'll have to give it a try!

Robin said...

My recipe for scalloped potatoes is soooo much more complicated than this one (meaning I'm getting ready to cut and paste your version and try it soon).

Tomato sauce in Mac & Cheese? Ummm...not so appetizing to me, I'm pretty loyal to my new-found Paula Deen recipe (it's lethal!).

Julie said...

HA! Robin and I recently found the same recipe from Paula Deen. I was really hoping to try it and now this one. I think I am going to try one and then the other and post about it. I will have to wait until I am in my "real" kitchen. Which won't be too long. YEAH!

bermudabluez said...

The Mac and Cheese sounds good! When my daughter was little that is all she would eat. Actually she's still like that and she's 21!!