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"My easy stovetop mac and cheese recipe is the creamiest, most delicious I’ve made. Thanks to a simple homemade cheese sauce (with a couple secret ingredient!), this macaroni and cheese is on your table in under 30 minutes!"



Even when you're super busy, you don't have to settle for instant mac and cheese made with lumpy, bland powdered cheese. You can make this during the week after a long day, and sit and enjoy a bowl of comfort food.


Un-Baked Mac & Cheese

Servings – 8 Prep Time – 10 Minutes Cook Time – 30 Minutes

Ingredients:


  • 1 lb elbow, shells or spiral macaroni, any pasta you like will work as well

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 can - 10 1/2 ounces condensed cheddar cheese soup

  • 3 cups milk, whole or 2% reduced fat preferred

  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 4-ounces cream cheese, softened, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 sleeve Ritz or other butter crackers, crushed


Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and then follow package directions, but cook 1 minute less than the package calls for. Drain.


Melt the butter in a large, high-sided pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.


Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk it into the butter (it will be thick, almost paste consistency). Continue to whisk until it smells toasted and looks light brown, 1 to 2 minutes.


While whisking, pour in a cup of the milk. Whisk until smooth (it will thicken), then whisk in another cup until smooth, and finally whisk in the last cup.


Continue to cook, constantly whisking until the sauce begins to simmer and thickens. The sauce only thickens after it has reached a simmer.


Turn the heat to low then stir in the cream cheese. When the cream cheese is mostly melted into the sauce, stir in the cheddar cheese soup. Once the cream cheese is melted and the soup is combined, add the cheddar cheese; a handful at a time, until it melts into the sauce. Season with salt and black pepper. If the flavor does not pop, add a bit more salt.


Stir in the cooked pasta. It will look like there is too much sauce, don’t worry. The pasta will absorb the extra moisture as it stands. Turn off head and let sit for 5 minutes.


Crush the sleeve of butter crackers.


Stir mac and cheese once more, add crushed crackers to the top and serve.


Serve alone or with my Speedy Chicken and Roasted Asparagus for a family meal!


Notes:


You can jazz up this recipe into a marvelous casserole dinner dish!


Add ins:

Chopped cooked bacon and chunks of tomatoes for a fresh casserole.

Chunks of lobster or imitation crab meat for seafood casserole dish.

Chunks of smoked ham or cut up hotdogs

Cooked bag of frozen broccoli florets and a can or two of tuna fish for a tuna casserole.

Shredded chicken and a bag of cooked frozen carrots for a potpie-ish casserole.


This recipe is one food you can play with!


Nutrition:

Calories 571 / Total Fat 31.9g /Saturated Fat 18.2g / Cholesterol 89.6mg / Sodium 564.7mg / Carbohydrate 48.7g /Dietary Fiber 2g / Total Sugars 2.3g / Protein 21.8g


"This recipe is a keeper. Makes a large pot of mac and cheese for a family, douple the recipe for a crowd. Great to transport for potlucks and cookouts!"


CWT is not a certified dietician or nutritionist. Any nutritional information shared on this site is an estimate counted through measurements and package nutritional information used in each recipe. If calorie, macro counting and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend running the ingredients through your choice of nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on national brands used per recipe.

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"I love the idea of using cake mix. It's all the ingredients you need in one little package but can made endless things with it! These Strawberry Banana Muffins is -  an easy shortcut when you're in a rush. Or great for if you have a few bananas going bad and you don't have many ingredients on hand for making homemade banana bread. Trust me... You are going to love it!"



This was a recipe I played with since I was trying to re-up my pantry stock, but wanted to use everything I had on hand and do a spring cleaning. So I decided to add a few bananas with a few other ingredients. I used my cute little clay pot ramikins I had on hand to make jumbo sized muffins... These were a hit! They are moist, full of flavor, with a sugary crunch on top. You have to try it!


Strawberry Banana Muffins

Servings – 8 Jumbo Muffins or 18 Regular Size Muffin Pan Prep Time – 5 Minutes Cook Time - 28-40 minutes depending on the size you choose to make

Ingredients:


  • 1-15.25oz Duncan Hines strawberry cake mix

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 bananas, mashed

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon water or milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract, optional

  • coarse sugar, garnish - optional

  • 1-pint fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners, or baking spray; set aside.


Pick over and hull (remove the green tops) of your strawberries. Chop into small pieces.


Peel and mash bananas with a fork in a small bowl. Set aside.


Add cake mix to a large bowl; whisk dry mix to break up any lumps that have formed.


Add in eggs, oil, water or milk, vanilla, and strawberry extract (if using). Mix to combine all ingredients.


Add in mashed bananas; stir to combine. Add in 3/4 of the chopped strawberries; fold in cake mixture turning only a few times. Overstirring will cause mushiness and the batter to become super pink.


Fill muffin/cupcake liners 3/4 of the way.


Top with a couple strawberry pieces and a sprinkling of coarse sugar if desired.


Bake at 350 for 28-30 minutes. For jumbo muffins 35-40 minutes.


Remove from oven to cool completely.


Notes:


Spread with butter, banana butter and or strawberry preserves. Along side a cup of coffee or tea.


Makes a great lunch snack for kids lunchboxes. Or for the next school bake sale!


Store the muffins in a well-sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 


Nutrition:

Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 16mg| Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.2mg




CWT is not a certified dietician or nutritionist. Any nutritional information shared on this site is an estimate counted through measurements and package nutritional information used in each recipe. If calorie, macro counting and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend running the ingredients through your choice of nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on national brands used per recipe.

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"This Brown Sugar Custard Pie reminds me of my Nana's cooking. When she cooked, everything seemed to come together so quickly and easily, yet tasted so extraordinary! This is a retake on the classic Silky Smooth Custard Pie recipe!"



"This Brown Sugar Custard Pie reminds me of my Nana's Silky Smooth Custard Pie. I played with my food on this one, and only using what I had on hand. I am a big fan of brown sugar and thought why not! Custard anything has always been my favorite dessert, besides brownies! So this recipe was created with a little imagination and limited ingredients. What a delicious concoction this turned out to be!"


Brown Sugar Custard Pie

Servings – 12 Prep Time – 15 Minutes Cook Time – 45 Minutes

Ingredients:


  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust - You can use my homemade Flakey Pie Crust or a store bought one works perfect

  • 5 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon water


Directions:


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


In small bowl separate one egg white from egg yolk reserving both.


Brush crust with beaten egg white, mixed with an 1/8 teaspoon water and par-bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.


In large bowl whisk together 4 eggs plus the one spare yolk and whatever is left from the beaten egg white, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, cream and milk.


Pour egg mixture into piecrust and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.


Cool on a wire rack. Store in the fridge.


Serve each slice with a dollup of whipped cream and any fresh in seaon berries if desired.


Notes:


If available use fresh ground nutmeg because it so full of flavor.


Sprinkle the top with flakey sea salt for a sweet and savory flavor. - totally optional but it's delicious!


I prefer pour the egg mixture into the pie crust very carefully right in the oven while the piecrust is on the oven rack. Less chances of spillage. If you have a super steady hand, GO FOR IT!


Do not over-bake. The pie should still be somewhat jiggly.


This pie tastes and cuts best when chilled.


Nutrition Facts:

Calories 321 | Fat 18.8g | Cholesterol 170mg | Sodium 200mg | Carbohydrates 31.2g | Sugars 32g | Protein 8.6g


"This recipe is a keeper. I made them as per the recipe, and they were delicious! I even use tostadas for a crispy version!"


CWT is not a certified dietician or nutritionist. Any nutritional information shared on this site is an estimate counted through measurements and package nutritional information used in each recipe. If calorie, macro counting and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend running the ingredients through your choice of nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on national brands used per recipe.

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