Crockpot Mac n Cheese!

 

Crockpot mac n cheese. You heard that right! Did I lose you yet? Soft, creamy, delicious and decadent.

I’m sure by now you know I’m a huge crockpot user (and lover!) Long days out of the house, while the rest of my family still needing to eat has encouraged me to get creative.

Peoples objection to weekday crockpot meals is that they feel each meal tastes, or has the consistancy of chulent. I’m here to tell you now, I don’t make chulent. I think I’ve made it once or twice. But the leftovers are unappealing and for most people inedible. The thought of throwing it out upsets me.

When I stumbled upon a fantastic blog, crockpot365.blogspot.com I was smitten! Browsing through the recipes, Mac n Cheese caught my eye! Raw noodles in the crockpot? Must be a mistake! No. No, it wasn’t.

My version, adapted from there produces a creamy, decadent bowl of comfort yumminess.

I must say though, this recipe is not a “set it and forget it” one. I suggest keeping an eye on it. I took pictures during the cooking process for you to see. While this isn’t a recipe you can set at 7am and eat at 8pm, it’s a treat for you to enjoy!

Crockpot Mac n Cheese!
 

Ingredients
  • 12oz’s uncooked noodles (I used rotini, because that’s what I had on hand).
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tap pepper

Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Spray the inside of the crockpot with an oil based spray. Pour mixture into crockpot and set on high for 3 hours. Do not open the lid!
  3. After 1 hour, life the lid and take a peak. Give the mixture a stir. Replace the lid and walk away.
  4. After another 30 minutes lift the lid again and stir. The mixture should be soft and bubbly, but not burning on the edges. The noodles should be fluffy as they’ve absorbed the liquid.
  5. Depending on your crockpot, your mac n cheese may be ready now, or it may need more time.
  6. At this point, feel free to enjoy it as is, or if you are like us, you may want to pour it into a ceramic diah, sprikle with cornflake crumbs, some paprika and some shredded parmesan cheese! Bake for 5-8 minutes in the oven at 400′ until it reaches the level of doneness that you enjoy!

*my recipe includes baking it in the oven for 5-8 minutes to give it a crispy top. Depending on how you enjoy your mac n cheese, feel free to not do this part (we fight over the crunchy bits!)

This will either serve 4 people, or 1 (!) depending if you are willing to share.

“Meat” Lasagne!

lasagne

In my not-so-scientific survey, most people say ‘real’ lasagne (or cheeseburgers!) would be their one non-kosher meal of choice. And who blames them?

Morningstar Farms have released a new $1 off coupon for their products! Love coupons! It’s like free money for items you’re already buying!

We love the Morningstar Farms Crumbles – it’s so incredibly versatile! chilli, meatloaf, meatballs, pizza, oh my!

Here is a recipe, adapted from Morningstar Farms website! Cheesey and delish!

“Meat” Lasagne!
Main, dairy, shavuot, chanukah

 

Adapted from Morningstar Farms.
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14½ oz.) diced Italian style tomatoes
  • 1 jar (26 oz.) marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces MorningStar Farms Crumbles
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces fat-free cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions
  1. Combine tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and Morningstar Farms Crumbles in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  2. Spread ⅓ of tomato mixture in bottom of 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Arrange ½ of the noodles over the sauce. Spread ½ the cottage cheese over the noodles. Top with another ⅓ of the sauce. Repeat using remaining noodles, cottage cheese, and sauce. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake at 350° F for 50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Return to oven uncovered for 5 minutes to melt cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Recipe Adapted from: Morningstar Farms
Image Credit: Morningstar Farms 

Chocolate Caramel Challah? YES, PLEASE!

I have been reading The Challah Blog for a while now, and am loving the creations that The
Hazz and The Mrs.
come up with!

Nothing blew me away more than the Chocolate Caramel Challah! Just the word caramel makes me weak at the knees.

The Mrs. makes this challah with her Basic Challah Recipe and a bunch of add ins!

This looks TO. DIE. FOR.

Chocolate Caramel Challah? YES, PLEASE!
Challah
 

Ingredients
  • ¾ c water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1½ tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs plus 1 more for egg wash
  • ¼ c vegetable oil
  • 3 c flour
  • 1¼ tsp salt

Instructions
  1. The Mrs. gives great directions….
  2. Place very warm (but not hot, I usually let me faucet run for a bit) water in mixing bowl. Add yeast and honey, mixing lightly.
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so… I usually do less… until you see little eruptions.
  4. Add eggs and vegetable oil and mix with wood spoon.
  5. If you have a stand mixer, add flour and salt and beat with dough hook. Remember: salt kills yeast. Don’t put the salt in with the yeast. Wait until you’ve added some of the flour.
  6. If the dough is not holding together as a ball, add a bit more oil or water. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour. The dough is ready when it sticks together as a ball and is not sticky to the touch when you poke your finger in (5-10 minutes of beating). Turn the ball out onto a floured work surface and punch a few times until very smooth.
  7. Place in oiled bowl and cover in plastic wrap or a towel.
  8. Allow to rise at least one hour, preferrably more, until dough has doubled in size. I only do one rise as a ball, but you can do more. I’m not convinced it does much to the texture but some people swear by it.
  9. Punch down the ball in the bowl and remove. Punch out all air bubbles. Braid in your preferred method. Allow to rise 20-30 minutes. Top with an egg wash (I use the yolk and white) and sesame or poppy seeds if you like.
  10. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. You can use a bread thermometer (180-200 degrees) or poke at the seams. If they seem doughy, give it more time. You can always add foil if the top seems like its browning too fast.
  11. I often have to foil five- and six-stranded challot because they’re so much fatter.

Photo Credit: The Challah Blog
Recipe Credit: The Challah Blog

Goat Cheese and Scallion Mini Muffins

Had enough of carrot muffins made out of baby food? Yeh, me too. While they are delicious, we’ve seen them 1001 times. At least.

Here is a great mini muffin recipe perfect for a Chanukah party, Shavuot, or even a weekday breakfast or Sunday brunch!

Goat Cheese and Scallion Mini Muffins
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces soft mild goat cheese (Trader Joes or Costco sells kosher versions!)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 bunch scallions

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl stir together the goat cheese 2 tablespoons of the milk until combined.
  2. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. Melt butter and in another small bowl whisk together with remaining milk and egg.
  4. Chop green onions using both the white and the green parts.
  5. Stir butter mixture and green onions into flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Put batter into greased mini muffin tins and top with a dollop of the goat cheese.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Let cool slightly before serving.
  8. Makes around 25 mini muffins

Photo Credit: Clockwork Lemon
Recipe Credit: Epicurious.com

Cheesecake in a Jar

Anyone that follows trends, knows that anything tastes better in a Mason-like jar!

My baking Addiction displays this incredibly creamy-looking cheesecake in a jar. The berries alone look incredible! What a fun Shavuot, Seudat Shlishit or even a party dessert bar! The uses are endless!

Cheesecake in a Jar
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 packages cream cheese, 8 oz each; room temperature
  • 2 large eggs; room temperature
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh berries

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, combine the sugar and lemon zest and mix until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add in the cream cheese and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into canning jars until about ¾ of the way full. Place jars into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the sides of the jars.
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have a little jiggle to it.
  6. Carefully remove the cheesecake jars from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cheesecakes are completely cooled, place them into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. Top will fresh berries and serve.

Notes
Notes from mybakingaddiction.com For glossy berries, simply add 1 tablespoon of hot water to ¼ cup apricot preserves. Blend until combined and thinned out. Place the berries in a bowl and gently brush and toss the berries with the apricot and water mixture. If you are not a fan of lemon, simply omit the zest. If you are missing the graham cracker crust, serve with graham sticks.

 

Photo Credit: My Baking Addiction
Recipe Credit: My Baking Addiction

Har Sinai Cupcake

What a great surprise for the kids for dessert on Shavuot!

I couldn’t stop cracking up at the little Lego Israelites! Too funny!

Back to the cupcake! Joanna, from Bible Belt Balabusta shows us a wonderful, and pretty easy way to create Har Sinai on a cupcake, a mini cupcake, a muffin, or even a full size cake! She even give some great suggestions for the 2 Ten Commandment tablets! What’s your favorite? I was thinking mine was an easy guess, the Hershey chocolates, but then I noticed the marshmallows and may have to go that route!

What may also look great is if your pipe the grass using the Wilton decorating tip #234. There are many other ideas and options seen in this Kveller article.

Photo Credit: Bible Belt Balabusta
Tutorial Credit: Bible Belt Balabusta

 

Cupcake Liner Flowers – Shavuot Centerpiece

What table wouldn’t look wonderful with a few small vases of these homemade cupcake liner flowers!? Just picture a long, beautifully set table adorned from end to end with these masterpieces!

Here is a tutorial for a wonderful centerpiece or gift for Shavuot! While there are photo’s of a step by step which I usually love, Creative Jewish Mom gives thorough directions.

I can picture some uber colorful flowers using different colored cupcake liners, such as these and sprinkling the edges with fine glitter by Martha Stewart.

BUDGETING TIP: Of course, this wouldn’t be The Kosher Home {on a budget} without telling you to buy this glitter from Michaels with a 40% or 50% off COUPON!

Cupcake Liner Flowers – Shavuot Centerpiece
 

Ingredients
  • You’ll Need:
  • Cupcake liners in three graduating sizes (small, medium, large)
  • Floral wire, around 22 gauge (you can also use pipe cleaners but use floral wire for this one!)
  • Red craft paint (or color of your choice)
  • Floral stamens
  • Fine glitter, if using.

Instructions
  1. How To:
  2. The large flowers are made from 9 total liners, 3 large, 3 medium and 3 small. the small flowers are made from 8 liners, all size small.
  3. Stack the liners according to size, one inside the next.
  4. With a very large needle, or something else sharp, like possibly a toothpick, poke a hole at the edge of the small liner, such that the hole goes all the way through all the layers. Make sure to keep holding your liners together after you poke the hole!
  5. Thread a piece of floral wire through the first hole, and poke a second hole opposite the first on the inside bottom edge of the liner. the point is that the holes should be about 1 inch apart.
  6. Thread your floral wire down through the second hole, and if you will be using floral stamens, insert them now under the wire. (You could also try using tiny piece of ribbon in place of the stamens!)
  7. Pull the wire as tightly as possible without tearing the paper and fold the whole flower into a half moon shape.
  8. Now, to shape your flower you’ll have to play around a bit, separating the layers from one another while folding them up and towards the center. You may also want to crumple the paper a bit or fold the edges back as you rotate the flower.
  9. To add subtle colored detail to your flower, dip a dense sponge in a small amount of paint and dab the edges. Alternatively you can use water color paint to add color to the whole flower, just go light on the paint!

Photo Credit: Creative Jewish Mom
Tutorial Credit:
Creative Jewish Mom

Floral Challah!

When I first saw this picture on Pinterest, my first thought was of course for Shavuot! What would be more gorgeous than to uncover the challah cover to 2 of these beauties!

Of course, you can use your favorite challah recipe, but Maya from foodivakitchen shows a phenomenal step by step instructions on assembling this challah.

Here is a sneak preview!

One of my favorite blogs The Challah Blog has some incredible (and VERY original!) recipes and shapes every week! Here is her basic challah recipe. Enjoy!

Floral Challah using a basic challah recipe
 

Ingredients
  • 1¼ c water
  • 1 tbsp active dry or instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg for wash
  • ½ c neutral oil (we use canola, but vegetable is fine)
  • 6 c bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • sesame or poppy seeds or cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)

Instructions
  1. While I would usually include the instructions here, The Mrs. (as she is affectionately known on her blog!) has given an incredible step by step. I suggest you check it out at: http://www.thechallahblog.com/2011/01/basic-challah-recipe-1-with-honey.html