Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Comfort Food Part 3 – Potato Salad

This Week's Menu
Angelique
Many people probably think that potato salad is unhealthy but in reality it's not.  It's what we add to the potato salad that make it unhealthy.
Mom
You know Ange you are absolutely correct about that.  We put so much unnecessary things in our salads.  Like the ever so  popular Bleu Ribbon Potato Salad sold at that "natural food market" loaded with bacon, bleu cheese, sugar, etc it's just a heart attack waiting to happen!
Angelique
I can't understand why it's so popular just tasting that bacon and bleu cheese was very unpleasant to my taste buds. 
Mom
There's a lot of taste buds out there who love that potato salad, that's why I'm offering a healthier version of it.  
Angelique
Yeah well they can just keep packing on the lbs me I'm going with your potato salad.  I actually like the vegan one the best.  Folks you should really start making your own vegan mayo, it's simple and easy to make  and taste so much better than traditional mayo.  Throw a chipotle pepper in it and even Hellmans can't make a better mayonnaise.
Mom
So folks, here it is: The New Age Bleu Ribbon Potato Salad.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce

Bleu Ribbon Potato Salad
6 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
3 pounds red potatoes cut into 1” dice
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
½ bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup vegan mayo
¼ cup fat free sour cream

Method
Wash potatoes and scrub with a vegetable brush, cut off any bad spots or blemishes, but do not peel. Cut potatoes into 1” dice.
Place potatoes and bay leaf in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil until potatoes are just fork tender about 13 minutes. 
Thoroughly drain potatoes, discard bay leaf and place potatoes in a bowl. 
While potatoes are still hot, season them with salt and pepper then mix in the white wine vinegar.
Spread potatoes out to cool on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them sit for about 15 minutes on the counter before placing them in the refrigerator. Let potatoes cool in refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes. 
Once potatoes have cooled down, add in all vegetables and mix thoroughly then add the cheese, mayo and cream and mix thoroughly.
Cover, return to the refrigerator until salad is cold.

6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, grated
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes. Place diced potatoes in a pot and pour in room temperature water that covers the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Bring the uncovered pot up to a boil and let potatoes boil rapidly for 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, put a lid on the pot and let potatoes continue to cook covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes or until they are tender ( usually take 8 - 10 minutes).
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate uncovered in order for them to cool down for 30 minutes.Place potatoes in a bowl and thoroughly mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.

 Soulful Potato Salad
6 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 sweet pickles, diced, fine 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup vegan mayo

Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.
Place pan in the refrigerator uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool, transfer potatoes to a bowl, mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.




Bleu Ribbon Potato Salad

Bleu Ribbon Potato Salad
6 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
3 pounds red potatoes cut into 1” dice
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
½ bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup vegan mayo
¼ cup fat free sour cream

Method
Wash potatoes and scrub with a vegetable brush, cut off any bad spots or blemishes, but do not peel. Cut potatoes into 1” dice.
Place potatoes and bay leaf in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil until potatoes are just fork tender about 13 minutes. 
Thoroughly drain potatoes, discard bay leaf and place potatoes in a bowl. 
While potatoes are still hot, season them with salt and pepper then mix in the white wine vinegar.
Spread potatoes out to cool on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them sit for about 15 minutes on the counter before placing them in the refrigerator. Let potatoes cool in refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes. 
Once potatoes have cooled down, add in all vegetables and mix thoroughly then add the cheese, mayo and cream and mix thoroughly.
Cover, return to the refrigerator until salad is cold.

Traditional Potato Salad

6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, grated
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes. Place diced potatoes in a pot and pour in room temperature water that covers the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Bring the uncovered pot up to a boil and let potatoes boil rapidly for 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, put a lid on the pot and let potatoes continue to cook covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes or until they are tender ( usually take 8 - 10 minutes).
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate uncovered in order for them to cool down for 30 minutes.Place potatoes in a bowl and thoroughly mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.

Soulful Vegan Potato Salad

 Soulful Vegan Potato Salad
6 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
½ medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small carrot, grated
4 sweet pickles, diced OR 1 cup sweet relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ - ½   cup vegan mayo

Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.
Place pan in the refrigerator uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool, transfer potatoes to a bowl, mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday Dinner Turkey Leftovers

This Sunday's menu
Joyce:
Hope everyone had a successful Thanksgiving dinner.   Now it's time to start getting rid of the left overs and we came up with these creative ideas to help you along the way.
Angelique:
Hopefully you did what we do and sent home as many to-go plates as possible.  Because let's face it, by next Wednesday we are all turkeyed out.  And it's less than a month before we have to do it all over again.  
Joyce:
Other than the normal turkey sandwiches, I suggest making turkey salad. For the casseroles and other dishes, make sure your refrigerator is cold and all of the food is properly wrapped and stored.   It's safe to eat it for another 3 - 4 days.
Angelique:
Ma, you are so funny.  We used to eat our left overs for 2 weeks.  Remember how one year you wrapped up the left overs, froze them  and we ate it again at Christmas?  Now you're all into this food safety stuff.  
Joyce:
Think about it, 10 years ago the food supply was not contaminated like it is today.  Salmonella was unheard of in fruit and vegetables.  The longer the foods sit in our refrigerators the greater the risk of bacteria growth. So it's much better to be safe than sorry.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Mom

Turkey Hash
8 servings
Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
2 red onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced thin
2 pounds potatoes, diced, small
½ cup tomatoes, sliced
½ lime
1 - 2 cups stuffing/dressing
4 cups turkey, shredded
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers

Method
In medium sauté pan, add olive oil, onions, peppers and sauté until translucent. Add potatoes and increase the heat to high.  Cook until potatoes have browned.  Add tomatoes, lime, stuffing/dressing, turkey salt and chili pepper and cook the hash until it's golden brown and delicious.



Cranberry Salad Dressing

Ingredients
½ cup cranberry sauce
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup extra virgin olive
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Method
Whisk together all ingredients by hand or place ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
Serve over any salad greens topped with chopped nuts.
This dressing can also be used as a marinade for chicken or fish.


Cranberry Salad Dressing

Cranberry Salad Dressing

Ingredients
½ cup homemade Cranberry Sauce
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup extra virgin olive
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Method
Whisk together all ingredients by hand or place ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
Serve over any salad greens topped with chopped nuts.
This dressing can also be used as a marinade for chicken or fish.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Very Perrin Thanksgiving 2011

How to Brine a Turkey
Brown Bag Turkey
Salmon with Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup
Angelique's New Age Dressing 
Cranberry Sauce
New Age Greens
Cabbage and Peppers
Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions
Mac & Cheese
Candied Yams with Peach Schnapps


Angelique:
This year we created a holiday cooking page.  If you've seen it, you know there's lots to choose from.  But we have narrowed it down.  This is our Thanksgiving dinner.  Remember Thanksgiving is not a time to experiment.  If you struggle with cooking, just keep it simple with recipes like the Brown Bag Turkey, cranberry sauce and mac and cheese.  For those who are skilled, go for it!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Angelique & Joyce



How to Brine a Turkey

Note: These are instructions on brining not cooking.

The Purpose of the brine is to clean and season the turkey.  The salt in the brine draws out all the moisture from the turkey thereby allowing the turkey to soak up the broth and seasonings. 

1 (12 – 14 pound) turkey
For the brine: Prepare 2 days prior to cooking
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 gallon water  
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
½ tablespoon whole allspice berries
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
3 – 6 sprigs of rosemary
1 bunch sage
6 large bay leaves
3 - 5 pound bag of ice

With the exception of the ice, combine all brine ingredients in a stock pot, and bring to a boil.  Stir to dissolve sugar and salt, then remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  The night before cooking, pour the cold brine in a clean 5-gallon food grade bucket with a cover.  
Place thawed, cleaned  (make certain you removed the giblet pouch all turkeys have them) turkey in the brine then pour in the ice.  Cover and refrigerate or set in a cool area; a basement or an ice chest over night.

Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly inside and out with cold water, discard the brine then pat turkey dry with paper towels. 

This brine will work with any method you choose to cook your turkey, roast, fry or smoke.



Roasted Brown Bag Turkey


Ingredients
1 – 12 lb turkey
1+ tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1+ tablespoon garlic powder
1+ tablespoon onion powder
1 cup peanut oil (use peanut oil only.  Other oils will set the bag on fire)
2+ teaspoons poultry seasoning (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 large brown paper bag

Note:  Turkey should be seasoned 1 day prior to cooking.  If turkey is frozen allow 3 day for it to thaw in the refrigerator.

Method:
Remove giblet bag from turkey clean it inside and outside thoroughly.  Pat it dry with paper towels then generously sprinkle the inside and outside with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and poultry seasoning.  (It is best to purchase new poultry seasoning or make it fresh.)  Wrap the bird in foil and let it sit over night.


 Poultry Seasoning


Ingredients
2 tablespoon sage, rubbed
1 tablespoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon rosemary, dried
1 tablespoon marjoram, dried
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method 
Combine all ingredients.


Try and purchase all ingredients from a specialty store that sells herbs and spices in bulk.  This way you can purchase only the amount that is needed.  

24 Hours Later

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil with 1 tablespoon each of the following:  garlic powder, onion powder and paprika and 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Drain turkey of any excess liquid that may have accumulated then rest it on the foil.  Massage the oil mixture over the turkey making sure you coat it inside and out thoroughly.

Coat the paper bag thoroughly with the remaining oil mixture. Add more peanut oil if needed to coat the bag. To ensure that the bag does not catch fire, you must use peanut oil.

Place the paper bag in a roasting pan, insert a roasting rack (if you have) in the bag and place the turkey on the rack then staple the bag shut.

Put pan in the oven and bake undisturbed 10 minutes per pound (a 12 pound turkey will cook in 2 hours).

After the cooking time has elapsed, remove turkey from oven and let it sit  in  the unopened bag 1 hour before serving.

Note: Even after the turkey is removed from the oven it will continue to cook.  Just know, that if you followed the instructions your turkey will be done, juicy and golden brown.

Do not over crowd your oven.  The more food you have in it, the longer it will take your food to cook.



Salmon with Apple Cranberry Stuffing



Salmon with Apple Cranberry Stuffing
8 - 10 Servings

This recipe was requested by one of our followers Levram.  She only eats fish and wants stuffing and cranberry sauce with her holiday meal.  Well Levram, here it is, hope you enjoy!

Ingredients
For the fillet 
2 ½ - 3 pound salmon fillet
½ teaspoons sea salt - Optional
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoons black pepper
Have the butcher or you can cut a pocket the length of the salmon
For the Stuffing
½ cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ teaspoon sage
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 Granny Smith apples, cored, diced
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½  teaspoon granulated garlic
½  teaspoon granulated onion
2 cups Pepperidge farm stuffing 

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
For the Salmon
Combine salt, granulated garlic, onion and black pepper in a small vessel then sprinkle it on the salmon inside the pocket and outside rubbing it in.
Cover, refrigerate and let salmon marinate in the seasoning blend a few hours or overnight.

For the Dressing 
In a small bowl, combine vegetable broth and cranberries; let soak for 30 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sage, saute 3 minutes.
Add bell pepper, celery, garlic, poultry seasoning and salt; cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently or until tender.
Add apples and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add vegetable broth, seasonings and stuffing, mix gently to combine 
cover and remove from the heat and let cool before stuffing the salmon.

To Combine
Make sure the mixture is cool before stuffing it in the salmon, you don't want it to cause the fillet to over cook.
Place salmon on a lined or oiled sheet pan, open the pocket and spread the stuffing evenly on the bottom half then close the flap. 
Place the salmon in the preheated oven and roast 20 minutes. 
The salmon will continue cooking anywhere from 8 - 10 minutes after it is removed from the heat, so let it sit undisturbed until cooking process is complete. 



Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup


Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
8 Servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin

Method
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onions start to brown around edges, about 6 minutes.
Add garlic and chipotle pepper cook with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, about 1 minute.
Add sweet potatoes, mix thoroughly. 
Pour in broth and seasonings.
Bring to a boil; reduce to a medium simmer and cook uncovered until sweet potatoes are tender, 20 - 25 minutes.
Working in batches, carefully transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth or use an immersion blender.
Return pureed soup to pot, taste for flavor and if needed, adjust seasoning accordingly.

 Note:  Soup can be cooked 2 days in advance, just reheat and puree prior to serving.

Angelique's New Age Dressing

Angelique's New Age Dressing

Ingredients
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon poultry season, divided
1 – 2 teaspoons sage, divided
1 tablespoon onion powder, divided
1 tablespoon garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 – 14 ounce bag Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing
1 – 14 ounce bag Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing
48+ ounces vegetable broth

Method
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or wok over medium heat.  Add ground turkey and 1 teaspoon each of the following seasonings:  poultry, sage, onion powder and garlic powder.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and mix thoroughly while mashing and separating the ground turkey.  Sautee for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally, do not let turkey brown. 
Add the diced onions, peppers, celery and minced garlic continue sautéing until onions are tender.
Add the stuffing packages, vegetable broth and remaining salt, mix well then add all remaining seasonings and mix thoroughly.  If dressing is too dry, add more liquid, ½ cup at a time, taste for flavor.  You may have to add more poultry seasoning or sage.  Transfer dressing to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven 30 minutes.
Dressing can be made a day ahead then baked or stuffed in the turkey the following day.
For those of you who like to use sausage, never fear!  The sage is what gives sausage its taste.  So use it generously.  
You can also turn this into a vegetarian dressing simply by using vegetable crumbles.  Your guests will never know the difference.
If you like it sweeter, trade out the Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing for a box of Jiffy Cornbread mix.  
Just make sure you add a pinch of sage and a pinch of poultry seasoning to the mix before baking the cornbread.

Cranberry Sauce


Cranberry Sauce

8 – 10 Servings

12 ounce bag of cranberries 
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 whole orange, peeled, seeds removed and chopped 
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup of crushed pineapples, juice included
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Note:  Fresh cranberries can be found in the produce section

Preparation:
Sort through cranberries and remove stems or bad berries rinse, then set aside.

Mix sugar and water together and bring to a boil.  Add cranberries, oranges, allspice and cinnamon.  Cook over a medium flame, uncovered until berries pop open stirring frequently.  Add pineapples, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes - 1 hour or until desired thickness is reached stirring occasionally.
Sauce can be served hot or cold.


New Age Greens

4 – 6 Serving
Ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
1 tablespoon chopped/minced garlic
2 pounds of greens (any greens), washed, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon onion, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ - 1 teaspoon pepper
Preparation:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. 
Add the crushed red chili peppers and sauté until peppers start to brown approximately 30 seconds.  Lower the heat to medium, add the chopped garlic and continue sautéing approximately 1 minute, do not let the garlic brown.  Add the greens, orange juice, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Bring pan up to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15 – 30 minutes (depending on the greens), stirring occasionally. 
That is a sufficient amount of time for the greens to be done.  Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Variations:
  1. Onions and/or peppers (any variety or colors) can be sautéed with the garlic.
  2. Any type of mushroom can also be added to the sauté prior to adding the greens.
  3. Dried herbs i.e. oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc can be added for additional flavor.
  4. Seasoning blends i.e. curry powder, Italian seasoning, garam masala, etc., for added flavor.
  5. ½ teaspoon liquid smoke1, hot sauce and vinegar can be added along with the juice.
Note:  When you’re dealing with bitter or pungent greens use sweet vegetables or fruit to sweeten the pot, red bell peppers, grated carrots, apple juice or pineapple juice.Caramelized (sautéed until golden brown) onions are very sweet and goes well with bitter greens caramelized tomatoes will work also.
1 Liquid smoke if you use too much will make your food bitter so be careful.


Cabbage and Peppers

 


  8 -10 Servings



Ingredients


1/4 cup olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, julienne
1 large yellow pepper, julienne
1 large green pepper, julienne
1 large orange pepper, julienne
1 large red onion, julienne
4 - 6 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 large head of cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon garlic, granulated
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped

In a large sauce pan or wok, add the olive oil, peppers, onions, garlic and1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Saute until onion are translucent.
Add cabbage, granulated garlic, remaining salt, pepper and liquid smoke, mix thoroughly, cover and cook on medium heat 20 minutes mix at least 3 times during the cooking period.
At the end of 20 minutes mix in the parsley and remove from heat.
Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Cabbage should be firm at the end of the cooking period because it will continue cooking from the residual heat and you do not want it to become mushy.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions


   Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions
4 Servings

Ingredients
1 cup unfiltered organic apple juice
¼ cup Olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
3 lbs butternut squash, diced
1 large red onion, diced

Method
            Preheat oven 350 degrees
Peel and seed squash, cut into 1” dice
In a medium bowl, whisk together apple juice, olive oil, garlic and dry seasonings.
Toss squash and onions with the mixture, let sit refrigerated 1 hour, drain.
Place on a sheet pan leave space around pieces to allow for browning.    Use 2 pans if necessary to avoid crowding.
Bake in a preheated oven 45 minutes.
Half way through turn squash and continue cooking until edges are caramelized, stir again.

Macaroni and Cheese – for Holidays Only

Macaroni and Cheese - for Holidays Only 10 - 12 Servings
Ingredients
1 pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil, ground
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups (1 lb.) pepper jack cheese
6 cups (1 1/2 lbs.) NY or WI  Xtra-Sharp cheddar cheese

Method

Heat oven 350 degrees
Cook macaroni until it's al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water, add salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add the macaroni, stir and bring the water back up to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the pot sit covered and undisturbed until the cooking time stated on the box is reached. Approximately 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the milk and butter heating just long enough to melt the butter.
Once the cooking time has elapsed on the macaroni, drain it and return it to the pot.

Add the paprika and basil and mix thoroughly.
Add the warm milk and mix thoroughly.  Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
The cheese does not necessarily have to be melted, just make sure it is well distributed
throughout the dish. Mixture should be moderately moist, if needed add more milk.
Taste for flavor and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the
foil and plastic wrap and bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until the casserole is slightly
browned on the top and all of the milk is absorbed.
      

     

Candied Yams with Peach Schnapps

Candied Yams with Peach Schnapps
10 Servings

This fun twist on sweet potatoes was inspired by James Rosebud of the famous Cotton Club in New York City.

Ingredients
3 Pounds Sweet Potatoes
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 ½ Cups Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
¼ Teaspoon Almond Extract
¼ Cup Peach Schnapps
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Lemon, Juiced
½ Orange, Sliced

Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Peel and slice sweet potatoes, place them in a large pot of lightly salted water.  Bring to a boil, let potatoes boil 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
Put sweet potatoes into a 2 quart casserole, dot with butter.  
Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon and orange zest mixing thoroughly.  Then sprinkle mixture over the potatoes.  
Combine vanilla and almond, extract, peach schnapps, orange and lemon juice then pour over the potatoes.  
Place orange slices over the top of the potatoes then back in the oven uncovered, 45 minutes to an hour.