Tonight is the Oscard Awards Ceremony and we wanted to have something simple, easy and quick for dinner. The only way to really do this is to either have it sent in or make something ahead. I opted for the ‘Make Something Ahead’ meal. This is my Macaroni and Cheese Suprema Dish. I have a standard recipe on line, but I never ever or hardly ever make it as stated. The recipe is just a guide and I use whatever happens to be on hand, especially if I have leftovers to get rid of.
I am a person who just cannot throw out leftovers until they are really no good to eat. But when I do use them, I can make some really good dishes from them and no one would ever know they were made from leftovers unless I tell them.
Todays leftovers were:
Onion (the only non-leftover item – only used half so it is now a leftover)
Shredded Cheddar/Jack (in freezer)
Fusili Pasta (in freezer)
Orange Bell Pepper
In addition to the leftovers I added some:
2 Tbsps. Flour
I made the Mac and Cheese in this wonderful stainless steel oval shaped stove-top to oven casserole pan. I use it for almost everything and it is perfect for the two of us and if we have company will hold at least enough for 4 people, maybe even six.
- Melt the Butter in the Pan over low heat. While the Butter is melting, dice the Onion and then add it to the melted Butter.
- Stir in the Flour and cook until the Flour is well-blended with the Onions and Butter. Continue to cook for about another minute and then add 1 cup of Cream or Half/Half or even Milk.
- Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and then add about 1-2 Tbsps. of Dijon Mustard along with 1/2 tsp. of Salt and 1/4 tsp. White Pepper.
- Stir in the Brie, in any amount up to 1 cup, (Cream Cheese can also be used) and the shredded Cheese (about 2 cups)
- Stir well to combine; if the mixture is too thick add additional Half/Half or Milk. Taste for seasonings and adjust to your taste.
- Stir in the Cooked Macaroni with a rubber or silicone spatula; be sure to have all the Macaroni covered with the Cheese Sauce.
- Dice the Bell Pepper and add to the Cheesy Pasta; combine well or just leave on top for a garnish.
- Snip the Chives with pair of Kitchen Shears and sprinkle on top for a Garnish. (Green Onions may be used instead or even dill if you like dill with Cheese)
- The dish is now ready to serve. If you are planning on serving it later in the day or even tomorrow, refrigerate until about one hour before serving time.
- If you are using a metal pan like mine, then you can put it in the oven while it is cold, but if it is a ceramic or glass dish, allow it to come to room temperature before placing it in the hot oven. Alternatively, place it in a cold oven and then turn the oven or even better, Microwave it for a minute or two to warm up the dish)
- Serve and enjoy!
For the full recipe please see macaroni-and-cheese-supreme/
If you have ever used one of the Cake Pop Pans you most likely have experienced the ‘run over’ that occurs when the pops bake. The Cake Pop Pan is a two part pan that has a bottom and a top that each contain round indentations. The Cake Batter is poured into the bottom section and the top section is placed over the filled bottom. The reason for the bottom is that when the batter rises, the top portion will also be rounded instead of flat. The top portion of the pan has a small hole in each indentation to allow excess batter to emerge. When and ef the excess batter emerges, you end up with pieces of cake baked on the outside of the pan. Sometimes these are very small and crisp, but other times they are pretty good sized.
Oh dear! What to do with those little pieces! Aha! A solution is at hand. Make ‘Over the Top’ Trifle.
Trifle is an English Dessert that is usually made with Sponge Cake or any other type of Cake. It is best that the Cake pieces become stale or dried out because there is a good deal of moisture added to the cake pieces. Once all the other ingredients are added, it becomes Trifle or a Cake Pudding. To make the Trifle, just follow the directions below.
First of all the recipe is located at over-the-top-chcolate-trifle/
You will need:
Mini-Chocolate Chips (optional)
To Make the Trifle:
Use Chocolate Run-Overs or any Cake that is several days old and which has been cut into small pieces.
Moisten with the Chocolate Syrup; allow to stand for at least half an hour to allow time for the Cake pieces to absorb the Syrup.
Add the Marshmallows to the Cake Mixture.
Fold in the Whipped Cream.
Transfer to a serving dish or individual dishes.
Garnish with the Mini-Chocolate Chips.
Voila! You have your dessert made from scraps! Very easy and very deliciouis!
February 6th is ‘National Chopsticks Day’. It may seem odd that we have a ‘National Chopsticks Day’ but if you take into account all of the Asian people living here and who have lived here for more than a hundred years, it doesn’t seem odd at all. And take into account all the Western People who have adapted to Chopsticks, at least when eating in Asian Restaurants.
Chopsticks have been in use in certain Asian for thousands of years. The Asian Countries that traditionally use Chopsticks are China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Of course, in addition to chopsticks, all these countries do use spoons to drink soup with. Much to my surprise, Chopsticks were used to replace forks in China.
Chopsticks which were originally devised as cooking implements go back to the Chang Dynasty which was more than a millennium before our modern day calendar came into use. The Cooking Chopsticks shown below are fastened at the top with a tie which makes it easier to use as a cooking implement. The Chopsticks are made from a hardwood that will not splinter into the food.
During the Han Dynasty, Chopsticks began to be used as eating utensils and during the Ming Dynasty they were used both for cooking and eating.
The Green Chopsticks below are fashioned after the ‘Hello Kittie’ Craze in Japan and if you look closely you will a ‘Hello Cookie’ face at the top of each one. These two are made from a hardwood; it seems like the color has been incorporated into the wooden material rather than having been painted on.
In Thailand, even though the fork and spoon are traditionally used for eating (the fork to push the food onto the spoon) chopsticks are also frequently used, especially by the numerous Chinese Thai. According to Wikipedia, almost all Thai citizens do know how to use chopsticks, even though they don’t use them on an everyday basis. Having been to Thailand, I don’t know if I agree with them as all I have ever seen Thai people eat with is the fork and spoon. The Chinese restaurants in Thailand do set the table with Chopsticks but also with fork and spoon as a rule.
Chopsticks can be made from wood (usually less expensive Chinese Restaurants will provide a somewhat inferior chopstick. The more exclusive the restaurant, the better the quality of the chopsticks provided.
Chopsticks have also been made from ivory (that practice has probably been stopped as the use of ivory in most countries has been prohibited), gold, bamboo and more recently plastic.
Chopsticks make it easier to eat Asian food as most, especially Chinese food, is cut up into small pieces.
If you have ever eaten rice and tried to pick the grains up with your chopsticks and find yourself failing at it, that is because chopsticks are not meant to pick up grains of rice. If you pay attention to how rice is indivually served, in small bowls, you are supposed to pick up the bowl and sort of push the rice into your mouth from the bowl.
If you don’t know how to eat with chopsticks, you can find directions on many websites. Just type into your browser, ‘How to eat with Chopsticks’/
Happy ‘National Chopsticks Day’. Go out or go home and enjoy an Asian meal; my favorite type of cuisines is Asian. Asian food is tasty and you don’t get stuffy full when you eat it, therefore you can have a variety of dishes at one meal and not be stuffed. And your taste buds will be totally satisfied!
February 1st is ‘National Baked Alaska Day’. There is nothing as beautiful as a flaming Baked Alaska as it is served at table. My Sons Father and I were fortunate to have had that experience aboard the Cunard Princess as it made its way up the Coast of California to Vancouver Canada. The night we had it, the lights in the Dining Salon were dimmed and all the waiters marched out, each carrying a Flaming Baked Alaska, one of each which was served at each table.
You could make your own baked Alaska, but unless you have a Culinary Torch and are familiar with the liquer that you would need to flame it with, you are better off having it as dessert at a Fine Restaurant. However, if you really want to make your own, I have a recipe of a ‘Mock Baked Alaska’ which although it is not going to be flaming, it is still quite good and simple to make. Children love as well as adults. The only problem with it is that although it looks beautiful when it comes out of the oven, it loses its beauty when it is cut. However, it does not lose its taste appeal. That is yummy!!!
Traditionally a ‘Baked Alaska’ is a cake that has already been baked and then filled with Ice Cream. A Meringue is put over the Cake and this insulates the Ice Cream and keeps from melting when it is baked in the oven a second time. In Restaurants, the oven step is eliminated and the Meringue is just flamed, thereby ‘cooking’ it.
My version of ‘Baked Alaska‘ is a sponge or Angel Food Cake. I cut a trough out of the Cake thereby creating a space for the Ice Cream. Once the ‘trough’ is filled with Ice Cream, the Cake pieces are put back. You can do this quite easily because a Sponge Cake is quite literally like a sponge and it can be easily compressed, thereby allowing you to replace the Cake pieces after the Ice Cream is inserted.
I usually put the cake back in the freezer at this point and just before serving, preheat your oven to 475 or even 500 degrees. Make your Meringue and cover the cake with it and place it in the hot oven for about 5 minutes or until the Meringue is a golden brown color. Remove it and serve immediately, once the guests have a look at your Masterpiece.
To cut the Cake, use a Bread Knife (serrated) so that you will not compress the cake as it is cut.
You can make your own Angel Food Cake or Sponge Cake cakes-frostings/angel-food-cake/ , /cakes-frostings/sponge-cake/or you can purchase a ready-made Angel Food or Sponge Cake that has been baked in a tube pan. Of course, if you make it yourself it will taste better!
You can find the complete recipe for the finishing touches on the ‘Baked Alaska’ at /cakes-frostings/5562-2/