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Mac and Cheese (Béchamel Cheese Sauce)

I had a hankering for some homemade goodness of the cheesy verity so I made Mac and cheese!  I knew Shae wouldn’t eat it if it was regular macaroni so I made it with the whole wheat stuff because it is so much healthier for you /end sarcasm.  Feel free to make it with regular macaroni if you prefer.  I went the direction for a béchamel cream sauce as my base (some make a custard base) to make my cheese sauce and boy was it good!

Don’t get scared off by the fancy French term, béchamel is just a white

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Lemony Slice-And-Bakes

This one also comes from Bon Appetit’s holiday gift edition and I wouldn’t change much.  The one change I would do for sure is instead of forming a long, I would form dough into a ball and chill in refrigerator for an hour then roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter to get nice rounds.  Maybe I am lazy but I found it hard to roll nice logs out.

I had extra chocolate left from the almond cookies so I drizzled that on top as well, turned out wonderful and these cookies were a hit.  I took

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Almond-Oat Lace Cookies

I made some cookies as well, both came from Bon Appetit’s bonus publication “Our guide to an easy, stress-free Christmas party” edition.

Here is the first one I made, note gray text is quoted from BA.

Ingredients 1/2 cup whole natural unsalted almonds with skins 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 6 tablespoons superfine sugar 2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons honey 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted Preparation Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 rimless baking sheets

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Snickerdoodles

I try to give credit, where credit is due… I’ve had most of my Cookie Recipes for so long, I actually don’t remember where this one came from.

 

Soften 1 cup butter slightly, in a large mix bowl cream it together with 1 1/2 cups Sugar. After well blended beat in 2 eggs and 2 tsp Vanilla.

Sift together the following;

2 3/4 All Purpose Flour

2 tsp Cream of Tartar

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

 

Add the Dry ingredients to Wet mixture, Mix together using enough Flour to form a dough you’re able to

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Frosted Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Cutouts

This is another one I’ve inherited from my Mother, she’s been baking these for a thousand plus years! She’s aged very well, and doesn’t look anywhere near that! I assume she originally got this recipe from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Package.

Melt slightly and cream together in a large mix bowl the following;

1 cup Butter

8oz Cream Cheese

1 1/2 cups Sugar

When fully combined beat in;

1 egg

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 tsp Almond Extract

 

Butter, Cream Cheese, Sugar, Egg, Vanilla and Almond Extract well Beaten…

 

Sift together;

3 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour

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Czech Inspired Pork Loin Roast w/ Roasted Carrots:

Roast pork is the national dish of the Czech Republic (and loved all over central Europe) and in honor of their beloved leader Vaclav Havel who died over the weekend I made a Czech inspired pork roast last night.  It is not the most traditional roast (which has caraway seeds as its main spice and served with sauerkraut and dumplings) this one is based on other variations I have seen with a wee bit of a twist.  Being a Czech boy, I really love this roast!  I miss my dad’s potato dumplings though (another topic for another day) [edit – potato

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Date & Oatmeal Cookie/ Bar

This one is one of my favorites. An Oatmeal crust with Dates between! YUM!

This one is from a recipe my Mother used. Most likely off a container of Quaker Oatmeal!

 

Put the following ingredients into a medium kettle. Bring to the boil, stirring somewhat frequently.

1 1/2 cups Water

1 1/2 cups chopped Dates

After boil has been reached continue cooking stirring constantly another 5 minutes or so.

After removing from heat stir in 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

Now set this aside.

 

The Date Filling.

 

The Crust.

Put these dry ingredients into a large

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Gingerbread Cookies

Yes, I truly used a total of 12 pounds of butter in all the Holiday Cookies I made this year! I double or even triple each of the recipes I am posting here. I never like the consumeristic take over of our culture. At the Holidays and anytime of year really. So I bake tons of treats and oh are you lucky if you live close enough to receive a box of buttery goodness!

 

Gingerbread Cookies (Bears)

(this recipe is from the Brer Rabbit Molasses Bottle, but I have adulterated it with extra spices etc…)

Put into a

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16 Pounds of Butter Later,,, (I bake Holiday Cookies)

coming soon,,,

Macaroni pesto with two types of mushrooms

This is a throw together meal with stuff I needed to use up from past meals.  It is also a vegetarian option that I seem not to do very often so enjoy!

1 Cup of uncooked macaroni ¼ cup of pesto (thought i had a pesto recipe up, will update with pesto in a day or two) Hand full of cramini (baby bellas) and shiitake mushrooms Fresh parmesan cheese.

Cook pasta as the package directs, add salt to boiling water.

Mean while sauté mushrooms in a frying pan with a little olive oil until done.

When pasta is done,

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