Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Taste of Home...and a little giveaway.

When I was little, my mom didn't cook much. She always told my sister and I that she just hated to cook, and nothing would change that. I know a lot of people that don't like to cook, and you can't hold it against them! :) I must admit I'm glad I didn't inherit that, as I love cooking and baking and anything that has to do with food really, and one of my greatest joys is making things for my family. They don't always turn out well, but I don't expect anything ALWAYS works......right?

While I love to make new meals and try new things, there are a few meals that I always go back to that are quick and easy, and even more so, remind me of home. Because even though my mom didn't like to cook, she did have a few recipes that she did like to make and that even when I grew up and moved out, would make whenever I came home (because she knew I wanted them). The one recipe that always stood out to me was her mac and cheese. And because I love this mac and cheese so much, I thought I would share with you my tweeked version that makes it all the easier! Not to mention, it is unbelieveably easy!

Macaroni and Cheese, Mom Style

Serves 6-8

1 pound elbow macaroni (or any type of non-stringy noodle)
1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 cup milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8x8 deep cassarole dish. Cook macaroni. While the macaroni is cooking, slice the cheese. And when I say slice, just slice it like you would if you were serving it for cheese and crackers. Once the macaroni is cooked, place 1/2 the macaroni in the bottom of the cassarole dish. Cover that layer with cheese. Cover the cheese layer with the rest of the macaroni. And top it off with another layer of cheese. I normally make sure to cover every bit of macaroni...because I like cheese. So, if you want to do that, you may need a bit more cheese! :) Once everything is layered, pour milk into the pan. I always err on the side of more milk (1/2 cup) because I don't want the macaroni to dry out...and you can always pour out any remaining milk if needed after you remove the dish from the oven. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the cheese and noodles on top are brown and a little crispy. Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

If when you take it out, you still see some milk on the bottom of the dish, let it cool and then drain. It tastes just as good with a little runny milk on the bottom (and when refrigerating leftovers it tends to solidify), so this step isn't necessary, exactly.

This mac and cheese recipe has been a hit with pretty much everyone I have made it for. It is easily adaptable to larger servings (just use a pound of cheese to every pound of macaroni) and you can easily make your own additions if desired. Also, would you believe I didn't realize that mac and cheese isn't typically baked like this until I met my husband? :)

I wish I had some pictures for you all, but I haven't been able to make this dish in quite some time. Next time I make it, I will be sure to take pictures and add them to this post though!

Now, for the other fun part! I am submitting this recipe to the Tastes From Home with Frito-Lay Sweepstakes. You can enter as well, and I encourage you to if you have a good recipe that reminds you of home!

Frito-Lay has been kind enough to send me some chips to giveaway to my readers. They have new chips coming out that are inspired by regional flavors and include all the flavors you see here:

A little more about them:

  • They are made with all-natural ingredients and cooked in healthier oils like corn and sunflower oils

  • There is less sodium in a serving then in a bagel!

To be eligible to win the bag of chips, all you need to do is respond to this post with a recipe that reminds you of home. Maybe I'll even try your recipe and post about it on my blog? :)

This giveaway will end on Wednesday, August 31st, at 11:59pm.

Can't wait to see what you leave me with!


Theresa said...

This recipe reminds me of home!

Light Potato Cheese Soup Recipe
• 6 large potatoes
• 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
• 4 green onions, chopped (some reserved for garnish)
• 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 cups evaporated skim milk
• Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Directions: Combine all ingredients in crock of slow cooker except cheese. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Remove lid and mash potatoes with a potato masher, stir in cheese, replace lid and cook an additional five minutes, or until cheese is melted through. Pour into bowls and garnish with additional green onions. Serves 6.
Tips: Make your potato soup zesty by adding a few hits from your favorite bottle of hot sauce. Customize your soup without adding too many calories or fat grams by adding healthful mix-ins: crumbled vegetarian bacon, fresh corn, roasted red peppers, or diced japaneno are all welcome additions

Laura said...

White chicken chili on a cool evening reminds me of home. You can check out the recipe I use here:

Thanks for the chance!

Laurasu82 at

Anonymous said...

These cookie have been around EVERY christmas:

24 Sugar cookies (can be homemade, refrigerated, etc.)
1 bag of white chocolate chips
12 candy canes

While the cookies are baking, melt the white chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time. Then crush the candy canes.
When the cookies are cool, dip them halfway in the white chocolate, sprinkle with crushed candy canes, then set on waxed paper. Let the chocolate harden then devour!

Thanks for the AWESOME giveaway!

acgoad at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

One of my familiy's favorites is enchies. I use the Kroger red enchilada sauce, ground beef, shredded cheese and small tortillas. After stirring a little sauce and cheese into the hot ground beef, I spoon a couple of Tablespoons of the beef mixture onto each tortilla and roll them before placing them into a pan coated with more sauce. Bake at 350 till the cheese sprinkled on top is melted and a little bubbly. YUM.

Chloe said...

Plain old spaghetti reminds me of home. haha. My momdidn't care to cook either!

klcoffey24 said...

Goulash reminds me of home. Use a # of ground beef, white onion, season salt to flavor. Regular elbow macaroni works best. Let sauce simmer for about 1/2 hour, mix in cooked pasta. Salt and pepper to taste. Not too exciting, but very filling.

Kaitlin McCormick said...

We love pretzel turtles! You just take mini pretzels and put one rollo on top of each one. Then you put them in the oven at about 200 degrees until the rollo is soft. Then you take them out and immediately push a pecan in the top. Yum!

Jay said...

plaintain smashed and fried!

Amanda Hayes said...

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Crushed Potato Chips!

the best recipe is here:

Star said...

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Melt 1 stick butter in pot with 1/2 c. milk. Add 2 c. sugar and 1/3 c. cocoa. Mix well and bring mixture to boil. Boil about 3 minutes.
Remove from burner and add 3c. oats, 1 t. vanilla, and a big scoop peanut butter. Stir well and drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

Cookies will be ready to eat when they are set.

My mom made these cookies when I was growing up for special occasions. I loved them and make them often in our house! My children love them too :-) They are known by several other names, but we always called them chocolate oatmeal cookies.

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