Tag Archives: mac and cheese

Expiration Dates

Expiration dates

… Christmas rather peters out at Twelfth Night or Epiphany,   even for those of us who have managed  to keep it going THIS long.

Although, technically, you might continue the Christmas Season until February 2nd – Candlemas – The Presentation of Jesus to the Temple –

candlemas

Candlemas  is  also 40 days after Christmas.and the official official end of the Christmas season. So, my  door wreath is staying up as long as it doesn’t look shabby or it’s February, whichever comes first.

***

I bought new toothpaste and there was an expiration date on the box… toothpaste has an expiration date?????? Best by Au 17….I’ll be sure to use it up by then. It’s marked on the the end of the tube, so  I’ve been missing this for quite some time.

toothpaste barcode

See how subtle it is – and once you turn that end under…

toothpaste-used

barcode – hidden from view

***

Shrimp was on sale and it was too cheap to leave behind – the post-holiday good news!

shrimp ring

I ate  ½ as shrimp cocktail (is it true that fruit and shrimp cocktails are Prohibition stories????) as a starter for my supper. I then has some spaghettini  with olive oil and the rest of the cocktail sauce as the dressing for the pasta, and then a salad  of arugula dressed with  blood orange olive oil  and honey ginger balsamic vinegar. The rest of the shrimp (and the leftover spaghettini) will be my fritteta supper for tonight.

Hot chocolate with marshmallows as my dessert.

The shrimp Penaeus vannamie was farmed  in Viet Nam.

Shrimp also has an expiration date, which seems right…Shrimp(frozen) best by 03-11-2018. Beat it.

***

Mac & cheese – the store brand natural style (that means I bought it in the Natural Foods aisle, implying as it does that most of what they offer is neither natural nor food)  was on sale, so another semi impulse purchase.   I checked those boxes every which way, and could not find an expiration date.

mac-cheese box

I wanted to use up the last of the plain yoghurt, which was close to the end AND had been open several days, as well as the beginning to be a little too limpish to want to eat salad-wise salad greens, spinach and kale. This time of year probably  as many greens get tossed into soup and other hot foods as actual salads, maybe more.

Cooked the pasta, added the yoghurt, cheese powder and the greens – popped it into a baking pan (no-stick, saving the trouble of having to grease it up), and sprinkled the top with same grated cheese (I also had had the very dregs of a bag of sweet potato chip to use as a crunchy topping. I even remembered them – and noshed them down as I was waiting for the water to boil…..so close…..then I put the pan in a 350° oven for a little while just to finish cooking the greens and to brown the top.

I made a double batch, so not only did I have both supper and lunch, I also have freezer treasure.

***

Life hacks – sounds like something you’d wish the cat didn’t do….but there’s been  a workplace wave of microwave egg in a coffee cup. I haven’t tried this at home because most of my coffee cups are not the standard up and down, but hand crafter pottery and narrower at the top the bottom which leads to….. extraction issues

coffee mug handmade

Many of my mugs are more like this, and no 2 alike.

micri eggstep-by-step.xxxlarge_2x

This is how to make an omelet in a coffee mug

BUT – I was looking for something new for my morning oatmeal.So I added the egg to my oatmeal, instead of in a coffee cup. Like putting a poached egg on top of your hash….

I microwave it …so – I microwave ½ c regular rolled oats w/ 1 cup water for 4 minutes (instead of 5) on 50per cent power. Take it out and  make a little basin in the middle of the bowl – there’s often one there naturally – crack the egg and drop it on top of a pat of butter and then back in the microwave for another minute on high (sometimes a minute 30) and then sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

A nice warm way to start a cold day.

Hacked

You’ve been hacked – but the good hack, not the evil hack,

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Eating

Irish Mac and Cheese

Macaroni is not the least bit Irish. Calling it Mac only makes it sound like it is.

But if  you are Irish and Catholic,  St. Patrick’s Day comes smack dab in the middle of Lent and if it’s on a Friday night , no less, even if you are in the Archdioceses of Boston and even if St Patrick is the Patron saint of the Archdiocese  and even if there is dispensation for corned beef and cabbage……you might very well be having macaroni and cheese for supper.

st patrick

St Patrick, chasing  snakes and green macaroni and cheese out of Ireland

I don’t remember the details. We had plenty of St Patrick’s Days with Corned Beef and Cabbage but this one was most notably not one of those.  Was my Irish father working late? He loved his corned beef and cabbage, especially if corned beef would lead to corned beef hash….

Was it a year without dispensation? What year was it, anyhow?

What I remember was

  1. it was St. Patrick’s Day
  2. We were going to have macaroni and cheese and not corned beef.
  3. There wasn’t quite enough elbow macaroni, so some spaghetti was broken up into the mix.
  4. My mother decided to make the meal more festive by adding a little green food color to the cheese sauce.
green food color

Things are not necessarily more Irish if you color them green

How did it turn out?  It was not beautiful. Let me say that again ” ‘s NOT” Beautiful.

There are no photos. Saint Patrick’s gift to the world.

I have been highly skeeved by green food for Saint Patrick ever since. I’m not sure how this is supposed to honor the saint or Ireland.  Just say NO.

Someone else made green macaroni and cheese and took a picture of it and put it on the internet. Imagine a creamier, greener sauce...

Someone else made green macaroni and cheese and took a picture of it and put it on the internet. Imagine a creamier, greener sauce…

Green does not make the beer Irish

Green does not make the beer Irish

Green pancakes? No thank you

Rice Krispie Treats? Thank you, no.

Why??????

Why??????

Green eggs and ham

I just avoid green eggs and ham in March

I even avoid green beans at this time of year

I even avoid green beans at this time of year

Éirinn go Brách

4 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Irish

How To Make A Cheese Sauce In 40 Seconds

This is not just ANY cheese sauce – A RICH cheese sauce in 40 seconds. This is the promise of the Waring Cook Book for the 8 Button Blender. 1967.

Waring Cook Book

Waring Cook Book

It begins with a “Short Course in Blender Cooking” that includes the advice

“You own an electric blender….USE IT EVERY DAY!’

They’re also terribly fond of all caps, never realizing that ONE DAY it will look like they’re SHOUTING.

The second section is 30 ways to use your blender every day, the first way being

1.   Whip Cream.

I would like to pause for a moment and contemplate the place where whipped cream is an everyday thing……..

whipped creamor even this kind of whipped cream

HA_WhippedCreamBack to blenders…..

waring blender

This is the 8 button model, but I’m pretty sure ours wasn’t white. On the other hand, it wasn’t the first blender and it certainly wasn’t the last…

Blenders have come and gone, but this little cookbook has remained. I had to promise that my time with it is a LOAN agreement, and that it must return to the ancestral home and take it’s rightful place next to Betty Crocker, the 1957 Better Homes and Gardens and the Church cookbook (which I’ll be borrowing next).

But a quick and easy cheese sauce for mac and cheese…which takes slightly longer then 40 seconds to make, especially if you need 2 batches to feed everyone around the table.

It also calls for only one sort of cheese – cheddar –  and cheddar is great – we often had Cracker Barrel cheddar in the house

Cracker Barrel cheese has a Facebook page...I can't make this stuff up

Cracker Barrel cheese has a Facebook page…I can’t make this stuff up

but we usually we used several different sorts of cheeses in the sauce, one of them being Velveeta. velveeta box

 Rich Cheese Saucemakes 3 cups

2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt (I add the salt after the cheese is blended in because the salt level of  cheese varies so much)

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 cups scalding milk

1 ½ cups diced Cheddar cheese (Don’t be afraid to mix this up – great way to use up bits)

  1. Put all the ingredients – except the cheese – into the blender.

  2. Cover.

  3. Press WHIP and when blades reach full speed, press Blend. Blend 20 seconds.

  4. With motor on, remove cover (I feel the need to tell you to be VERY careful – hot milk inside, please don’t let it get outside all over you) gradually add cheese.

  5. Blend 20 seconds longer.

  6. Pour into a sauce pan and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally OR

  7. Mix with 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked, in a 2 quart baking dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

maccheese

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Recipe, The 1960"s

Pizza on a Roll

not exactly – WAY too many carbs…but since the pizza topic is far from exhausted, another pizza from my past.

But first – when is a pizza not a pizza? What is the essential pizzaness of the pizza?

What about this pizza from Papa Gino’s menu :

  • Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese Spicy buffalo chicken and macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce with a blend of American, asiago, and sharp cheddar cheese, topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Is the combination of buffalo chicken AND mac AND cheese take it beyond pizza, or is it defined by the crust and the pan? I just heard about this for the very first time this month, and I just don’t know.

What about this pizza from Brazil ? :

Chocolate Pizza from Brazil

Chocolate Pizza from Brazil

Continue pondering…….

There is another reason I connect pizza and Christmas. According to Wikipedia (I know, keep reading):

The term ‘pizza’ first appeared “in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta in 997 AD, which claims that a tenant of certain property is to give the bishop of Gaeta ‘duodecim pizze’ [‘twelve pizzas’] every Christmas Day, and another twelve every Easter Sunday”

(Salvatore Riciniello (1987) Codice Diplomatico Gaetano, Vol. I, La Poligrafica)

And where was my mother born? Gaeta.

I should definitely revive the 12  pizza thing. Next year. Someone remind me. BTW, there are both Pizza and History of Pizza entries in Wiki and they should probably spend a little more time together.

A little more general history , on pizza and Pizza Margharita, the pizza that carries the colors of the Italian flag in the red tomato, the white mozzarella and the green basil. On second thought, since this leads right into the story of the pizza napoletana, the European Union and legislation (Hooper, John (9 December 2009). “Pizza napoletana awarded special status by EU”. The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2009.) this is proabably a story for another day.

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

So if the Pasta di Pizza (that would be the dough that makes the crust) has no yeast in it, but is leavened with baking powder, is it still a pizza? asks the girl who has made (and eaten) English muffin pizza, toaster pizza, pizza roll-ups (at least I think that’s what they were called – or were they pizza bites?) Here they are…..

Cresent rollup - 1982 Pillsbury Bake Off winner

Crescent Pizza  roll-ups – 1982 Pillsbury Bake Off winner!

So here’s a recipe for Quick Pizza – and it is made in a jiffy, with ingredients that I generally had on hand.

Quick pizza

2 C flour + ½ cup ww (although I generally use half and half flour)

1 ½ teaspoons Baking Power – not be confused with baking soda, which is for Irish bread and not Italian Pizza

½ teaspoon salt

4 TBL butter

1 cup milk

toppings

  1. Heat the oven to 450. Prepare 2 cookie sheets – parchment paper, silpat or well greased.
  2. Mix the flours together with the baking powder and the salt.
  3. Cut in (or rub in – it’s rather like biscuit here) the butter.
  4. Add the milk and form into a dough ball.
  5. Cut the dough into 4 equal parts and shape into 8″ rounds (or other shapes to fit your  sheets or your plates or your moods)
  6. Put on your toppings.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden on the bottom and melty to brown on top.

from Jeanne Lemlin. Main Course Vegetation Pleasure . HarperPerennial. 1995 (June 1995). P. 134. She also wrote  Quick Vegetarian Pleasures and Simple Vegetarian Pleasures.

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Filed under Christmas, Pizza, Recipe