Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Grammie's Baked Mac and Cheese

 Macaroni and cheese is one of those dishes that nearly everyone seems to love. It is so simple, just some pasta and cheese but we never seem to get tired of it.  The rich and creamy flavor with a golden crisp top, mac and cheese is amazing. Great for a side dish, but it's also satisfying as dinner on its own. We can also use it for inspiration to build something totally different. =)

Boiling the water, it requires patience and more patience.

The cheese.

The baker and her whittle apprentice, trying not to get banished for being rather messy at times. =)

Everyone has their adaptations and his is ketchup.
I highly...do not recommend this.

My grandmother doesn't really follow a recipe for this, so I tried to make note of the measurements and ingredients while she baked.  It can be a bit tricky until you've practiced a lot.  As Grandma said..."It's sort of like making a pie crust, you can type out all the ingredients and instructions but you really have to get a feel for it to make it right."  Sounds like "practice makes perfect" to me.

1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
3 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup flour
1 1/8 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill pot 1/3 way with water, bring to a boil and add 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni and boil until tender.
2. In medium saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp. butter then add 1/4 cup flour and whisk, then add 1 1/4 cup milk. Stir until nice and consistent.
3. Drain macaroni and pour into buttered pan. Pour on the cheese mixture and fold until everything is covered, sprinkle 2 cups of cheddar cheese and bake for 45 min.

It's good to be back in California, but I still miss PA and all my family, friends, 3 fishes (that my cousins and brother won at the fair, and got flushed...after 2 days) and all the yummy food.

GB2- God Bless, Go Bake!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Almond Toffee Brickle

This summer has been great, but it's not over...yet. So while it's still summer we have a chance to try something new and with a couple of guests too. Guess who??? I'm starting to sound like Dr. Seuss.  I guess I'm a poet and I don't know it. Anyway my three guests were my cousin (who's one year old), my aunt, and my mother. It made for a lovely day of ohhhh look at the baby laugh when Grace spills something. She was very distracting. =)

The Ingredients

BTW, you don't need 4 sticks of butter, these sticks were only 1/4 cup.

My aunt pouring the ooey gooey mixture.

We had a wonderful audience...
until someone got distracted by a CA orange. =)

40 saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter ( 2 sticks )
12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped almonds
Created by: Debbie Calhoun, Big Pool PA


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover bottom and sides of jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Place crackers side by side, not overlapping. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar, and bring to a rolling boil. Boil exactly 3 minutes; stir often. Remove from heat and pour immediately over saltines. Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.

3. Take out of oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Allow chocolate to melt a few minutes, then spread evenly. Remove foil and break (do not cut) into small pieces. Store in refrigerator in plastic containers.

I had so much fun making this recipe with my aunt and our audience carefully watching us, making sure nothing was spilled. In the end everything turned out wonderfully and was eaten up as quickly as we made it.

GB2- God Bless, Go Bake!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

It looks like this recipe needs some taste testing. =)
You know sometimes too much of a good thing...isn't a good thing.  Like when you're at a potluck in front of an array of desserts like People Chow, brownies, cake, and these wonderful Raspberry Cheesecake Bars and you just can't decide which one to eat. You want to try them all but you don't want to stuff yourself!  So that's when it's great to be the "baking apprentice" because then instead of pigging out you can just say you're "taste-testing" for your blog. We bakers have to make sure there are no loose eggshells or any other unidentified objects in there.  Then after "taste-testing" you can pass on the leftovers to your Dad because he'll usually eat anything.

Sorry, no ingredient picture this time, just some flour.

BTW, there is a biiiig difference between jam and jelly. (At least I think there is, I might have to do some research on that one or have a talk with my Grandma.)
(Jelly is the most fun though, because jam is always, well...in a jam.)

and after. 
(Someone in my family got a hold of these before I could get a picture of the whole pan.)

Tweaks, Twists, and Tips...
I didn't have any raspberry jam, so I decided to use strawberry jam and fresh raspberries mashed up and it tasted fine. I would suggest blending the filling, otherwise you get little chunks of cream cheese in the bars.

And you can find this delicious recipe right here!

GB2- God Bless, Go Bake!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blueberry Pancakes

Number 1 pancakes for a number 1 winner.
Pretty impressive since he just started practicing a few weeks ago.
Today, or at least what was today, (7/7/12) was a looong day. I got up early and got myself ready to run a whopping 1 mile race. For some of us that's our worst nightmare. 5,280 feet is a looong way. For others it's a piece of cake, or maybe a piece of pancake. For my cousin it sure was, he ran a mile in only 5:42.  As for me, you don't really want to know my time, but I will tell you about the delicious pancakes that my cousin made for us after the race...

The Ingredients - Notice my Aunt Lori's cute tablecloth.
I'm blogging from another kitchen today!

It took me awhile to explain exactly why I had to take the bowl outside.

The rule for my baking partner was to pretend I wasn't there, which didn't work very well.
He kept bumping into me...sigh....at least he tried.
chomp, chomp, chomp

1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups "Baker's Corner Baking Mix"
1 1/3 cups milk
A desirable amount of blueberries, chocolate chips, or bananas.


Heat griddle or electric skillet to 400 degrees. If using a frying pan over top of range, set to medium-high temperature. Melt a little bit of butter on the pan, so the pancakes don't stick. Cooking surface is ready when a few drops of water boil and disappear when sprinkled on the surface.

Stir all ingredients together until smooth. Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter onto the cooking surface. Cook until bubbles form on the surface (about one minute). Turn and cook until bottom color matches top (about one minute).

"What I say is true - anyone can cook...but only the fearless can be great." (a quote from Ratatouille)  So I searched Pinterest and found a couple of pancake recipes that were obviously made by the "fearless", one for him and one for her.  Why not give them a try...

Bacon Pancakes...sweet and...savory?

This is a little more dainty and ladylike, very cute!

GB2- God Bless, Go BAKE!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars/Bricks

Let's go back to the basics.  Don't worry you can still keep your cell phone and Blackberry or raspberry or whatever it's called. But let's skip all the French stuff like creme brulee, eclairs, tiramisu, and anything else that may be hard to pronounce. Today we're talking about cookies, just plain old cookies, and the most basic of all...chocolate chip cookies. No folding, bending, stretching, or hurting yourself trying to stir the dough.  We're just going to mix and plop! It's simple, even simpler than a raspberry or whatever that phone is called...oh right a Blackberry.

The MVIs
{Most valuable Ingredients}

I (finally) got my sister to help me pour stuff in so I could take pictures.
She was a good little apprentice. =)

 I made sure she used both hands and didn't drop any eggshells.

If you want to keep your hands clean and save time, you could use a jelly pan.

I almost thought about playing Jenga with this tower.
The cookies turned out really nice in the jelly roll pan....but they got a bit over baked. So my family renamed them chocolate chip bricks. They were still good, just a bit crunchy. No one chipped a tooth or anything like that. 

Here's the recipe.  It's usually on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bags.

GB2- God Bless. Go BAKE!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Red, White, and Blue Bundt Cake

Yes, I know, I'm a day late on the red, white, and blue, but I have a good excuse (sort of). I didn't really have access to a computer yesterday so better late than never!  Actually rather than being a day late, you could also consider it 364 days early!!!  =)

 Happy Birthday/ Fourth of July, America!!!

The Ingredients

Trust me there is a layer of white in there.

Roses are red, Violets are blue.
I love to show off my red, white, and blue!

The reddish-pink sort of ruined it. =/

And here's the recipe.
I'm now officially done with red, white, and blue recipes.  And I'm off to try some east coast recipes.  I may even invite a few guest bloggers too.  Stay tuned!

BTW, I hope you had a chance to see some fireworks this week.  I saw a lot and from a really good seat too. Flying over fireworks was amazing!!!

GB2- God Bless, Go Bake!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Trail Mix Cookies

Like I said, they're surprisingly good. =)
 I'm not really a hiker, I'm more of a runner, biker, walker, or swimmer... not a hiker. There's not a whole lot I like about hiking except for trail mix. I could easily go on a hike if you bribed me with trail mix. Although you wouldn't have any M&M's left after you handed me the bag. But.... I've found a solution to me not taking all the M&M's. It's called trail mix cookies, and surprisingly...they're really good!

The Ingredients

Make sure to use whole wheat flour, otherwise your cookie may not be whole.... without the whole wheat flour.

I think the cookie monster would be pretty impressed with these ingredients

More great recipes at Joy's Website.

2 1/2 C. old-fashioned oats
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter - softened
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. peanut butter chips                 
1 C. M&Ms candy
1 C. roasted, salted peanuts
1/2 C. golden raisins

1. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or just spray with non-stick spray) and set aside.
2.In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat together the sugars and softened butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for about a minute after each addition. Stop and scrape the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla and beat until thoroughly incorporated.
4. Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the peanut butter chips, M&Ms, peanuts, and raisins. Finish mixing together by hand, so as to not over-mix. Roll tablespoonfuls into balls (or use a cookie scoop) and place on baking sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheets, then finish cooling on wire racks. 

Twists, Tricks, and Tips:
I used a combination of salted and unsalted butter and it turned out fine. I also used regular raisins instead of golden. I didn't have any salty peanuts around, so I crushed 1/2 cup of walnuts. I also substituted peanut butter chips, for butterscotch. 

GB2- God Bless, Go BAKE!!!

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