Saturday, January 19, 2013

MUST try recipes

First - two stand by recipes that I make that Joe often asks for and Always turn out well. Second, two new soups I just tried while at home visiting my parents and they were DELISH! (As my mom would say :))

Four Cheese Bacon Mac
Four Cheese with Bacon Mac

1 box (1 pound) cavatappi 
6 slices bacon, diced 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
2 cups 2 percent milk 
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
1 cup shredded colby-Jack cheese (4 ounces) 
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces) 
8 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese (6 ounces) 
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. 

2. Cook cavatappi 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain. Meanwhile, in medium-size saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Carefully pour off drippings, returning 2 tablespoons to pan. Add butter. 

3. Whisk in flour until smooth. In a thin stream, whisk in milk. Stir in onion flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. In large bowl, toss together cheddar, colby-Jack and mozzarella. 

4. Remove milk mixture from heat; whisk in American cheese and 11/4 cups of the cheddar mixture. Toss bacon pieces with remaining shredded cheese. 

5. In pasta pot, combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce. Pour half into prepared dish. Sprinkle with a generous cup of the bacon-cheese mixture. Repeat layering. 

6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil and broil 3 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. 

Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika


  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 pounds Stew Meat
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
  • 4 cups Beef Stock (or 4 Cups Water + 4 Beef Bouillon Cubes)
  • 2 cups Water (additional, If Needed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
  • 4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered
  • Minced Parsley (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half. Set aside.
Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
*UPDATE: The liquid should cook down to a thicker state. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add additional water as needed.
Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Serve in bowls next to crusty French bread. Sprinkle with minced parsley, if desired.

Simple Crab Bisque

1 lbs fresh crab
8 T butter
1 c carrots [optional]
1 large onion
½ c flour
32 oz/1 qt chicken broth
1 small can of tomato paste
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
2 pinches of nugmeg
½ t salt
pepper to taste
1 t smoke paprika
1 can of evaporated milk/coconut milk/cream
½ c sherry [optional]
siracha chili hot sauce [optional]
1. Melt butter in a 8 qt stock pot.
2. While butter is melting, put carrots and onions in a food processor. [I turn mine into mush – but you can chop as much as you’d 
3. Add the carrots and onions to the butter.  Cover and let simmer until vegetables are tender. [~4 min]
4. Whisk in the flour to create a roux.  Allow the flour to cook-out a bit, stirring continually.
5. Gradually add the broth.
6. Add the tomato paste and whisk until smooth. 
7. Bring to boil while stirring almost constantly. 
8. Add the cayenne, nutmeg, salt, pepper, milk of choice, and sherry. Add siracha chili sauce to taste.   [I’ve also added all spice, 
ginger, garlic – whatever you’d like!]
9. Stir in the crabmeat and cook until it is heated through.  Do not boil. 
10. Serve!
Notes:   If it gets too thick, add broth, milk or cream to add more liquid.  

Cathy's Sherried Tomato Soup


  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 bottle (46 Oz.) Tomato Juice
  • 2 cans (14 Oz. Cans) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon (up To 3 Tablespoons) Chicken Base
  • 3 Tablespoons (up To 6 Tablespoons) Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Cooking Sherry
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Chopped Fresh Basil

Preparation Instructions

Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Then add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream and stir. Add in parsley and basil to taste.
Adjust other seasonings and serve with yummy, crusty bread on a cold blustery, dreary, depressing, rainy, snowy day. Then close your eyes.
And give thanks for soups like this.


  1. These recipes look amazing, Rachel! I am definitely trying the bacon macaroni and cheese soon! Josh will love it! ;)

  2. He totally will - it's a keeper and it makes a lot & heats up well as leftovers (unlike boxed mac & cheese!)