Recipes from the Internet

Monday, January 23, 2012

...because that's where recipes come from, right?

Since Juliette was born, I've gone through spurts in cooking. (Let's be honest, it was that way before she was born too.) Usually, having people over, taking a dish to a party or bringing a meal to a friend are the catalysts I need to get me in the kitchen.  (The whole grocery-store part is the killer.)  Here are a few things I've made recently for some reason or another. And for transparency's sake: this is pretty much all I've made recently, too.

I've seen Black Bean Brownies posted several places recently. Black bean brownies, you say? Yes indeed. They're healthy(-er) with hidden fiber inside them. Yes.

I made this version the other night for dinner at my parents' and everyone liked them. It was pretty fun hearing everyone's guess on secret ingredient. No one got close, obviously. {We did, however, serve them with some Blue Bell frozen yogurt, and may or may not have used chocolate syrup.} They are light and not super-dense/rich. Yes, they're "healthy"-er, but definitely not disgusting. I'd classify them as "good to great," and fairly easy. I'd make these again for my fam, but probably not for an occasion where prizewinning is involved.

Sister posted about these earlier today, recommending these Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies (5 Cs, like diamonds). I'd second that recommendation. I really like their texture and taste.

I made some Cheese Straws to send my brother (Martha made him those cookies above), similar to these. My friend Kate's MIL makes these and always knocks my socks off. This provided the perfect opportunity for the cookie press' maiden voyage (since it's been almost 6 years (!) since we registered for it--sort of close to this one). I used the star shape punch thing. Who wouldn't like a concoction based around cheese and butter?

(you like my little collage? haven't reinstalled photoshop since the computer disaster, so here's a free online quickie collage.)

Next up was Macaroni and Cheese Soup for the soup swap I'm going to tomorrow night. Adapted from this one.

Nutmeg = good touch (but eeesh those brains give me the heebie jeebies). Also left me with a pretty messy pot, yikes.


1 lb elbow macaroni (cooked according to package directions)
1 1/2 C onion (used frozen chopped, thank goodness for that)
1 1/2 C celery (chopped)
1 1/2 C carrots (diced in the food processor)
1/4 C flour
6-8 strips bacon (cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
3 tbs Dijon mustard
6 C chicken broth
1 C shredded cheddar cheese (can use 2% milk)
1 C shredded Swiss cheese
1 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese (shredded in food processor!)
3/4 C evaporated milk
1/4 tsp ground or fresh nutmeg
Fresh Cracked Pepper (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Yields 16 Cups

Directions: Saute bacon, onion, celery and carrots in large soup pot until vegetables are soft. Add flour and Dijon mustard, cook for 3-5 minutes on low (it'll be pretty pasty). Add chicken broth and simmer until mixture starts to thicken (sort of the consistency of a gravy).
Slowly add each cup of cheese one at a time waiting until each is incorporated into mixture over medium/low heat, stirring constantly. (This is pretty important or you'll get cheese globs.) Once all of the cheese has been added, salt and pepper to taste and nutmeg if desired (but you totally should). Simmer on low for 5 to 10 minutes allowing the flavors to mingle.
Just before serving add evaporated milk and cooked elbow noodles. The amounts above make a pretty thick soup, so if you would like more broth add less noodles, less broth more noodles. Top with cheese or bacon bits, if you'd like.

It's pretty yummy. You could use whole-wheat macaroni if you'd like, too. And also add more veggies (I already upped them a bit).

I finally read the first Hunger Games book. Just like everyone said, I couldn't put it down and am well into the second (first book read on the iPad, too). It was very interesting. I'm very excited to see the movie, but that Winter's Bone girl isn't exactly who I pictured as Katniss, even though I knew it was going to be her the whole time I was reading.

Also...I wish there was a mobile Baby Nail Trimming Service. I would pay for it in a heartbeat.


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