Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sugar 'n Spice Fruit Dip

  • 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar or honey
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Thick & Creamy vanilla yogurt
  • 1 C red raspberries
  • 1 1/4 C cubed honeydew melon, apple, or pear
1. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in yogurt.
2. Spoon yogurt mixture into small serving bowl. Sprinkle with additional ground cinnamon. Serve with fruit.

Yield: 5 servings (2 tablespoons dip, 3 pieces cubed fruit and 5 raspberries each)

Robyn's notes: this is half of the original recipe, but still makes quite a bit of dip. It will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for a couple days if necessary.  Watch me demonstrate this recipe on youtube!

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently

Nutritional Information: 1 Serving (1 Serving) Calories 70 (Calories from Fat 5); Total Fat 1/2g (Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 30mg; Total Carbohydrate 13g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 10g); Protein 2g

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Homestyle Mac n Cheese With a Kick

  • 1 C elbow macaroni (4 oz)
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 -1/2 C whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground white or black pepper
  • 1 -1/2 C grated sharp Cheddar, divided (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 C crushed Hot 'n Spicy Cheez-It crackers
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cook macaroni according to package instructions, drain, set aside.
3. Spray 1-1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
4. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until well combined (up to 90 seconds). Do not allow the flour to brown. Using a whisk, add the milk slowly and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, 1 C of the cheese, and stir well.
5. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 C of cheese with the crushed Cheez-Its.
6. Add the macaroni to the pot with the milk and cheese. Stir to combine well, then pour the mixture into casserole dish. Top with the cheez-it mixture. Bake until golden brown and bubbly at the edges, about 20-25 minutes.
7. Remove the dish from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 3 servings

Tips: Once the flour and butter have been incorporated, spoon some of that mixture into the measuring cup full of milk. This will help the milk start to warm up to the temperature of the flour and butter, so that when the milk is poured into the pan it doesn't curdle. The less fat there is in the milk, the higher the likelihood of curdling, so using whole milk you're unlikely to have this problem, but this is a useful trick to have in your arsenal.
When I had finished whisking in the milk, the sauce seemed quite thin to me, but it thickened up a lot during baking, so don't worry too much if it appears thin to you.
If you have a food processor, you can crush the crackers with it, otherwise use the method I usually use (I don't enjoy cleaning my food processor, so I don't use it often): bag the crackers in a zip-loc bag (double bag if not using heavy-duty freezer bags), then crush with a rolling pin. 1 C of whole crackers will crush to a bit over 1/2 C.

Robyn's notes: I wrote this recipe after my friend Patience Ann mentioned that her mom had used Cheez-Its for her macaroni and cheese topping when cooking for a Scouting event recently. I immediately started thinking about the various Cheez-It varieties and how each of them could be used to make a different kind of mac n cheese. My taste-testers really enjoyed this (as did I), and I'm quite proud of it. I made this in individual casserole dishes, instead of the one large one I've written the recipe for. There was exactly enough for three servings.

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hard-Boiled Eggs

also known as Hard-Cooked Eggs
  • 6 large eggs
  • Cold water
1. Place eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan (do not stack eggs). Add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat (water will have large rapidly breaking bubbles). Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes; drain.
2. Run cold water over the eggs or place them in ice water until cool enough to handle; drain.
3. To peel eggs, gently tap each egg on the countertop. Roll the egg between the palms of your hands. Peel off eggshell, starting at the large end.

Yield: 6 hard-boiled eggs

If you have extra-large eggs, let eggs stand in the boiled water for 18 minutes.

Robyn's notes: this is the method I use to hard-boil eggs. It seems basically every household has their own preferred method. My family's one addition to this is to poke a small hole in the base (rounded end) of each egg with a pin. It helps keep the eggs from cracking during cooking.

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently

Nutrition Facts: Calories 78; Total Fat 5g; Saturated Fat 2g; Monounsaturated Fat 2g; Polyunsaturated Fat 1g; Cholesterol 212mg; Sodium 62mg; Carbohydrate 1g; Total Sugar 0g; Fiber 0g; Protein 6g; Vitamin A 0%DV; Vitamin C 0%DV; Calcium 3%DV; Iron 3%DV; Medium-fat Meat 1(d.e.)