Monthly Archives: October 2017

Tomato Mac & Cheese

Tomato and Mac & Cheese. It’s sounds like a strange combo doesn’t it?! At first, it really did sound crazy to me, but then I thought about it. One of my favorite comfort foods is grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. So why not a Tomato Mac & Cheese? See, not so strange now, is it?

The entire idea behind my recipes as of late, is simplicity. Simple weeknight fall comfort foods. I’m no longer just a mom and housewife. I took a part time job at a school, and although part time, it’s fast paced. It’s a busy busy job, and by the time I’m done there and get home, I’m beat. The last thing I want to think about is dinner. This is where planning ahead, and making things very simple come into play.

This Tomato Mac & Cheese couldn’t be easier. It looks a lot like Dad’s Glop, but don’t get fooled because it’s a totally different flavor. Probably just as easy to prepare though, which is not a bad thing at all. Tired or not, I still need to bring my family around the table. Gathering my family around the table in the evenings, sharing a delicious meal, is so important to me that no matter what, it will not be compromised. With this recipe, you can do it too, and enjoy conversation and reconnecting with your family. To save on precious time, I like to chop my onions and garlic the night before and store them in an air tight container in the fridge. That way when I get home from work, and it’s time to cook dinner, I don’t have to waste precious time chopping the veggies. At this point it’s pretty much a dump and cook recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did, and enjoy some much needed reconnect time with your loved ones.

Print Recipe
Tomato Mac & Cheese Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain any fat if necessary. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine cooked pasta, the beef mixture, soup, sauce, and milk. Heat mixture over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Campbell's Kitchen

Share this Recipe

Wine Pairing Wednesday – Petit Toffee Buttermint Wine Specialty

Oh boy, have I got a treat for you! So, I’m walking through the front doors of the local Aldi grocery store, on a typically normal shopping day, and what catches my eye as I’m trying to quickly pass the wine shelves so I am not tempted to buy things NOT on my list (as if that was really going to work). This beautiful Toffee Buttermint wine. It has a such a delicious blend of toffee, buttermint, and chocolate. How can that ever be wrong? When I saw that bottle, I just had to stop and look at it. “What is it?” I wondered to myself usually out loud and making people think I’m crazy. “How do you drink this? Wonder what it tastes like?” All those typical questions.

Let me take the guess work out of it for you. First step, buy the wine. I have no idea what vineyard distributes this, all I know is I found it at Aldi and haven’t seen it anywhere else. Not even on Amazon! So if you’re lucky enough to have a local Aldi store, you might take a look and see if they have any. My feeling is that it’s probably seasonal. What I do know about this wine, is that it comes from Ireland and it’s about 5.99 a bottle locally. It’s cheap folks, but trust me when I say, it doesn’t taste cheap.

So, on with how to enjoy this wine. You’re going to love this. There are two ways I know to enjoy this wine. First, like the picture above, the obvious way, over some ice. Just pour it over ice, and sip away. Beautiful dessert wine. It tastes as delicious as it sounds. Enjoy it with your favorite dessert, or for dessert like I did.

Another way to enjoy this Toffee Buttermint wine, pour it over ice cream. Seriously. Just pour it over some vanilla ice cream like  you would any other ice cream syrup and enjoy! The richness of this wine pairs exceptionally well with vanilla ice cream.  You won’t regret trying that one.  I do hope you are able to find this delicious dessert wine so you can try it for yourselves, and enjoy it as much as I did, and if you do, and you try something other than on the rocks and over ice cream, please let me know! I’d love to hear  your creative ideas for this awesome Toffee Buttermint Wine!

And as always, my friends, please drink responsibly.

 


Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake

There’s something about hot gooey cheesy casseroles that is just so comforting on rainy days. Like this Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake, with it’s creamy and cheesy goodness. It’s easy to and quick to put together too, which is another added bonus. There’s no chopping involved here since I use frozen potatoes O’brien which already has the onions and peppers. No need to thaw anything so that takes away a lot of the brain work, and believe me, after a long day, I don’t want to think anymore!

All you have to do is dump all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix it up. If you’re not a fan of broccoli, or don’t have any on hand, any frozen vegetable will work. Cauliflower would be great, carrots, green beans, whatever you like. Or maybe even a combination of veggies. Just try to keep it between 12-16 ounces of veggies and you’re golden. If you have leftover ham, this recipe is perfect to help use it up. However, I didn’t have leftover ham, so I bought ham already cubed and ready to go from the grocery store. No chopping involved. Just open the packages and dump.

Spread that deliciousness into a prepared glass 13×9 inch dish, sprinkle with as much or as little Parmesan cheese as you desire, and it’s ready for the oven. I think a grated Asiago cheese would be awesome on this in place of Parmesan, or maybe even a mixture of the two. This dish is really versatile folks.

Pop that baby in the oven, and in 1 hour dinner is ready to enjoy! Add a delicious tossed crisp green salad to accompany this yummy casserole, and you’ve got a well rounded meal, with little effort.

Print Recipe
Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine potatoes O'brien, ham, broccoli, soups, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Mix well.
  4. Spread into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Share this Recipe
No Comments
POSTED IN: , ,


Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni

It’s supposed to be Fall. Right? I mean, here in Southern Indiana, it really doesn’t feel like Fall. We are in desperate need of rain, and we’re still in the mid to upper 80 degree weather! However, the evenings have become a lot cooler. Down in between 55-60. Beautiful nights for some bonfires, if you ask me. In fact, friends are starting to schedule their Fall bonfire parties. Let the potlucks and fires begin! These get togethers are why I love Fall so much. A big part of it anyway. Another reason I love fall, comforting casseroles like this Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni.

Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni is full of delicious flavor, and creamy cheesy goodness. It’s easy to fix, perfect weeknight meal for busy families. With Fall brings school and all those extra activities that come with that like sports. So having a nice comforting filling dish is greatly needed during this time of year.

What I like to do, is I look at my recipe the night before, and see what I can prep ahead of time. For instance, in this recipe, I need to chop a few things up. I’m not exactly a pro with a knife, so chopping things can take some time. I do all my chopping the night before and store them in Ziplocs, or plastic containers. That way, when I get home and I’m ready to start dinner, the time consuming chopping is already done. Just take it out of the fridge, and toss it in the pan, or mixture, or whatever the recipe says to do with it.

For this recipe, it’s real simple. Cook your elbow macaroni (or any short pasta you prefer) according to the package directions. While that’s cooking, steam  your broccoli. I get the packages of frozen steamable broccoli, and do this in the microwave. No extra dishes, you just do it right in the package and it’s quick. Just be sure you buy the packages that are steamable. Then melt some butter in a pan, and saute the onion, bell pepper and sausage until the veggies are crisp tender. Sprinkle a little flour over that, and cook it just for a minute to get that flour taste out. Gradually add your milk, bring that to a boil and cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until it’s thickened. Cut off the heat and add your cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is melted. Drain the macaroni and if necessary, the broccoli. Mix the cheese mixture, broccoli and noodles together.

Transfer this creamy deliciousness to a greased 13×9 glass baking dish. The dish is going to be full. If you’re worried about it spilling over in the oven, just set the dish on a foil lined baking sheet and don’t worry about clean up. It’ll be easy peasy! Sprinkle your breadcrumbs and butter mixture over the top, and bake this at at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

All that’s left, is to serve this beautiful comforting casserole, and enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, steam broccoli according to package directions.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute the onion, sausage and red pepper in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Stir in the cheese, parsley, mustard and seasonings until blended. Drain broccoli and macaroni; stir into cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish (dish will be full).
  4. Combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home

Share this Recipe