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December 4th, 2007


Ellen's Non-Recipe Mac n' Cheese Recipe

Posted on 2007.12.04 at 09:27

Last night, Jim and I had the pleasure of hanging out with our good budz, Dave n' Catherine, and eating yummy, homemade food on a crap-ass weather Sunday.

broadzilla's Blog Thought on The Side: (And hey, Philly --- What is up with all the crap-ass weather Sundays you've been giving us lately?! Oh sure, it's given me a great opportunity to cook and bake my brains out but I'd like to do some fun outdoor activities as well without getting spritzed all over by the sky. Thanx.)

Dave n' Catherine made vegetarian "meat"ball hoagies, and I decided to try my hand at a different, fancier twist on mac n' cheese. Normally, I use a recipe as a reference when making anything. I tend to not follow the recipe exactly and just wind up adding or deleting things from the recipe to what suits my taste and (hopefully) the tastes of others. This time, I used no recipe and totally winged it and shockingly, the mac n' cheese came out tasting fantastic! I decided to do my best at typing up the "recipe" that I used, because I basically just threw a bunch of stuff into a pot and then tossed it in the oven. This dish was such perfect comfort food that I had to share it with my friends, so here it is:

Ellen's Spicy Mac n' Cheese Non-Recipe

1/2 of a box of rotini pasta
1/2 of a box of gemelli pasta
A little over 1 1/2 cup of shredded jalepeno jack cheese
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
About two standard-sized coffee mugs of milk
A little less than 1/2 cup of butter
About 1/3 cup of flour
Salt n' pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook your rotini and gemelli until the noodles are al dente. While your noodles are cooking, prepare your cheese sauce by first melting your butter in a pan. Once your butter is melted, gradually whisk in about half of your flour. Once mixed, add the milk. Continue stirring these ingredients together until the mixture begins to simmer, then gradually stir in your cheese. The sauce will thicken as you are stirring it, but if you feel that it needs to be thicker, gradually add your remaining flour until it reaches the thickness and consistency where you want it to be.

Drain your noodles well. Once your cheese sauce is piping hot and the cheese is completely melted, throw your noodles back into the pot they were cooked in and gradually dump your cheese sauce over your noodles while stirring the sauce and pasta together. Add as much salt n' pepper as you'd like.

Once everything is mixed, evenly spread it into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Shred a bit more of either or both cheeses over the top. Bake for 25 minutes in your 350 degree oven.

There you have it!


Ellen's Crap-Ass Weather Chicken Chili

Posted on 2007.12.04 at 09:28
 So, I woke up this morning around 7:30am and realized that just like yesterday --- It was raining outside. I hate nothing more than soggy weather and I refuse to go outside in it if I don't absolutely have to. I actually wasn't too disappointed today because I didn't have any solid plans, so after sending Jim off to work & school with a cornbread muffin and a banana, I decided to make another Crockpot full of something that would warm my tummy on this crap-ass day. I went to the store and gathered ingredients for a hearty chicken chili. It's still simmering in the Crockpot, so I decided to post the recipe. This recipe makes enough chili to feed an army, so you will have enough to share with friends:

Broadzilla's Crap-Ass Weather Chicken Chili:

About 1.5 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
1 can of white corn or hominy (you can use either)
1 15oz. can of Great Northerm beans
1  15oz. can of garbanzo beans
1.5 (15 oz.) cans of chicken broth
2 10 3/4oz. cans of Campbell's cream of chicken soup
1 4.5 oz. can of chopped green chiles
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of taco seasoning or 1 package of taco seasoning
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Adobo seasoning
1/2 cup of sour cream

As Crockpot recipes go, just dump all of your ingredients inside of it and let it simmer for 6-8 hours on the low setting. Stir regularly. Stir in the sour cream just before you're ready to serve the chili. This stuff makes your home smell like Mexico. I wouldn't have it any other way!

I also picked up my sticks and started the knitting season off with a BANG! Soon to come... earwarmer/headband thing-a-ma-bobs. We'll see how this turns out...

Baked Ziti Ellen-Style

Posted on 2007.12.04 at 09:28
 

I am LOVING the weird mixture of autumn and winter that Philly is getting lately. For whatever odd reason, autumn kind of completely skipped Philly this year and instead decided to give us a hybrid of autumn/winter --- something I like to refer to as Auter or Wintumn.

 

Auter.... or Wintumn has thus far consisted of overcast skies without the rain (my favorite kind of skies), dry, cold air that energizes my whole system, and weather perfect for layering all of my favorite clothes. I also got to break out the fingerless gloves (my favorite kind of gloves) and my fancy hat!

 

This weather also motivates me to cook like a madwoman and feed the people that I love. Yesterday, I decided to dig for a baked ziti recipe online, as I lost the one I used to have. I found one on www.allrecipes.com, but after reading through it I decided that it needed some Ellen-ifying --- some tweeking, if you will.

 

The Ellen-ified recipe came out to be the best baked ziti I have ever made. I was able to feed myself, Jim, my sister, and her boyfriend and each person received massive, comfort food portions. I decided to post my recipe below. ENJOY!

Baked Ziti Ellen-Style:

1 16oz. box of ziti pasta

15 oz. ricotta cheese

1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese (I tweeked this and used an Italian three-cheese blend instead. It had much more flavor.)

1 egg, beaten

5 cloves of garlic, minced (I like garlic. You can use less if you want.)

1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce (I used tomato, onion, and garlic sauce. You can use less sauce or more sauce depending on what you like.)

1 small chopped red onion, sauteed in olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs

As much of the following as your little heart desires ---

Parsley

Oregano

Basil

Freshly crushed black pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cook your ziti noodles in a pot of salted, boiling water for about 8 minutes or until they're al dente. In a large bowl, mix your ziti, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, onions, garlic, egg, and about 3/4 of one of the jars of spaghetti sauce. Also add your spices. Stir everything together very well.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and scoop your mixture from the bowl into the pan. Press it down lightly so that you have a nice, even layer on top to pour more sauce over. Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce. In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle this mixture over the top layer of sauce.

Bake for 30 minutes in your 375 degree oven. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

 

I made a simple side salad with cucumbers, tomatos, carrots, and iceberg lettuce for the side. For the dressing, I mixed some olive oil with some balsamic vinegar and added about 1/4 tsp. of sugar, a pinch of salt, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, and about 1/2 tsp of grated parm cheese to it and stirred it very well. This is actually my favorite dressing (courtesy of Emily.)


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