Allspice Chronicles

Entertain like a Queen, Think Lean and Live Green! A personal collection of recipes,anecdotes,and good old fashioned advice…

You are currently browsing the American category.

The Ultimate Country-Style Macaroni and Cheese

by Danica Waters

There’s just some days when you need a good old dish of piping hot, creamy macaroni and cheese.  Not the day-glo-orange kind.  I’m talkin’ REAL homestyle mac and cheese with rich chunks of cheddar and a creamy, dreamy, tangy-deelish sauce.

Here it is, folks.  The perfect cure to the Tuesday Blues.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Country-Style Macaroni and Cheese

7 oz uncooked elbow macaroni

1/4 C butter

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 C milk

8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. country-style dijon mustard

2 C cubed 1/2″ Cheddar Cheese

2 C steamed fresh broccoli florets, chopped

Potato chips, crumbled fine or 1 C fresh bread crumbs mixed with 2 Tbsp melted butter and 2 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley, for topping

 

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.  Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, melt 1/4 C butter, stir in flour.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and bubbly (about a minute).

Stir in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and mustard.    Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened (3-4 minutes).

Stir in cooked macaroni and Cheddar cheese cubes,  fold in cooked broccoli.;  pour into 2-quart casserole or individual oven-safe ramekins.

In small bowl, crush potato chips, or stir together ingredients for bread crumb topping; sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Serves 6

 

Posted November 29th, 2011.

Add a comment

Thanksgiving-Style Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows

by Danica Waters

Tomorrow brings the United States of America’s cherished annual Thanksgiving celebration.  A kickoff to our winter holiday season, Thanksgiving is a special day hopefully spent with family and close friends in shared celebration of each other and with a grateful spirit for all that we have.  In an ideal world, Thanksgiving inspires warm and beautiful visions of bounty and togetherness, laughter and shared memories, hopes and dreams for the future, and lots and lots of “Kodak Moments”.  And food.  Lots of food.

Indeed, across Facebook, American friends of the Allspice Chronicles are conversing about how their kettles are steaming, their pie crusts are filled with lovely, tempting deliciousness, their tables are set and ready for wonderful celebrations nationwide.  As most cooks will confess:  on this holiday, there is no place we’d rather be than creating art in the kitchen by stirring spices, magic and love into a feast for those we love the most, for new friends and old.

But Thanksgiving can quickly turn into a daunting and disheartening experience for those who have fallen on hard times, and in our great country and around the world, that number is rising.  I am reminded of a young mother of two whose husband had lost his job last year when his company closed its doors.  She was one of the best employees at this place of work- always on time, always one to give 110 percent.  Although she never complained about her situation, just before Thanksgiving she became rather withdrawn.  We all vaguely knew she must have been under some serious financial stress, given that there were medical problems within the family and she had no medical benefits, but no one knew the extent of it, and everyone felt uncomfortable about inquiring into the particulars.

In a moment of work stress and desperation, she finally confided in one of her peers about her financial situation, about how she didn’t know how she was even going to afford groceries, let alone a celebratory dinner for her husband and her precious little girls.

(Now here, folks, is where the human spirit shines.)

The news went around the workplace like wildfire, and within 24 hours a plan was developed to provide her family all the ingredients for a generous Thanksgiving dinner.  Employees who really didn’t have the extra cash to give found a way to pitch in, and what started as a Thanksgiving rescue plan morphed into an offering of food and enough cash and grocery gift cards to take care of the distressed employee and her family for a good while.

This Thanksgiving, the Allspice Chronicles would like to offer its first toast to the human spirit.  May we always remain aware of and sensitive to the plight of others, and may we diligently work together to alleviate suffering in our own backyard, if not worldwide.

It is, after all, a very small world.

To that point, after posting Camille Glenn’s recipe for Alabama Yams with Oranges, one of our readers from Africa submitted a request for the Allspice Chronicles to expand on the traditional American preparation for Sweet Potatoes/Yams with Toasted Marshmallows.  Given that the sweet potato is a staple of the African diet, and given the horrible state of drought and famine that certain portions of Africa are experiencing, it was humbling,  endearing and enlightening to receive such a request.

We at the Allspice Chronicles hope more than anything to see the eradication of world hunger, poverty, suffering.  It is the least we can do to provide a recipe, extracted from the sentimental foundation of our cherished common American experiences, and we look forward to the day when our little blog will feature personal stories and heirloom recipes from around the world.  Diversity makes us rich, stories show us how much we are the same.

After all, food, like music,  is an international language.   We all may express it differently, but in the end it contains the same basic ingredients which serve to nourish and inspire, comfort and console our weary spirits.  And for this, may we all be thankful.

Here’s the recipe for Thanksgiving-Style Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows.

Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving-Style Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows

4-5 medium sweet potatoes

1/4 C butter

1/4 C milk

2-3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Marshmallows

 

Bake sweet potatoes until soft.  Scoop out the soft flesh from the skins into a large bowl; discard the skins.  Add butter, milk, salt, and brown sugar; mix with hand mixer or potato masher until light and fluffy.  Taste mixture and adjust seasonings to suit your preference; mix thoroughly.

Spoon sweet potato mixture into buttered 9 x 9″ baking dish.

Top with miniature marshmallows, or with whole marshmallows cut in half.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes;  switch heat to “Broil – High Heat” and allow to cook until marshmallows bubble and turn dark brown on top.  (This will give it the perfect flavor)

Allow to rest 5 minutes prior to serving.

Serves 4 – 6

 

 

 

 

Posted November 23rd, 2011.

Add a comment