Dinner #2: Fried Mac and Cheese

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2010 by tamishields

I LOVE Cheesecake Factory’s fried mac-n-cheese balls! They make me SO happy! Tonight I tried to make them (not my first attempt BTW). So…here they are:

I made mac and cheese Saturday.
1 lb elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 lb. grated cheddar
1 lb. grated Gouda
Cook the pasta. Drain and rinse. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into butter and stir with a whisk. Cook for 2 min. Whisk the warmed milk into the flour mixture, working out any lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens then add in the cheeses. Mix until smooth and melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold the cheese into the macaroni.

At this point, if you are making fried mac and cheese you have to cool the hot stuff! So pour it into a shallow pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours. AFTER it has cooled, shape the cooled mac and cheese into balls and place onto a waxed paper lined tray. Freeze the balls overnight:)

Beat 2 eggs with 2 Tbsp milk to form an egg wash and put into a bowl. Put 3 cups of seasoned bread crumbs into another bowl. (I used 1 cup of bread crumbs and 2 cups of ground fried onions). Remove the balls from the freezer and dip into egg wash then into bread crumbs. Fry in a 350 degree fryer until golden brown about 5 min. Serve hot with sauce (marinara, alfredo or whatever!)

I used queso blanco with jalapeno for our sauce. It helped add some extra flavor. The ground fried onion with the bread crumbs made a really good coating once fried. Certainly a bonus!

Not too bad, although they didn’t really taste like Cheesecake Factory’s. Oh well. I’ll try again another day.

Any ideas for what to make tomorrow???

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Dinner #1 with Fried Onions

Posted in Uncategorized, What's for dinner with tags , on March 14, 2010 by tamishields

Tonight Adam decided he wanted paella. So instead of chopped fresh onion, fried onion went in. It was pretty good. I made some crepes to go with it. Not the greatest picture, but it’s  paella…not a pretty dish to make.

Because I didn’t cook it, I’m going to have my first guest blog post…kind of. I’m going to invite my husband over to my computer so he can tell you how he made the paella. (All I did was cut some carrots.)

Paella is a one pot dish.  I used this recipe as a rough outline.

I made a paste of Thai Chili paste (about 2 tbsp) and 1/4 tsp of Paprika and Turmeric.  Then you brown the chicken with a little olive oil and the paste.

Once browned, set aside the chicken. Then sauté the vegetables in order of cooking time (roughly the order of hardness).  I used what we had, carrots, frozen green peppers, frozen corn, fresh garlic and the crispy onions.  Then add broth and rice. You want roughly two cups of liquid to one cup of rice and a longer cooking rice is better.  I used Thai Coconut Curry Broth to change up the flavor and because that is what we had.  Then I added in a can of tomato sauce.  The recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, but neither Tami or I really like tomatoes, so I always use sauce.

Then cover and simmer.  Check to make sure you have enough liquid and stir regularly.  It is easy to burn the bottom of the pan.  We ended up adding the rest of the broth and about a cup of water by the time the rice was done.  Once the rice is almost done add the chicken and paste back in and simmer for a couple more minutes.

You can add almost anything.  It is an easy dish that takes about 45 minutes to an hour depending on what you put in it.  It is easy to make a ton and you want to make sure you have a large enough pan to cook it in.

So, that’s the recipe. Of course there will be leftovers for lunch tomorrow but tomorrow night, it will be back to some creative meal using these fried little onions.

Oh, to finish off the meal, I made pina~colada cake! Coconut cake mix with pineapple juice instead of water with a cream cheese frosting! YUM!!! I’ll blog my cake secrets another time.

What’s for dinner?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2010 by tamishields

I am sitting and watching Dinner: Impossible. Chef Irvin is having to cook with dorm food. It inspired me to clean out my kitchen cabinets and when cleaning, I found this…

…a 1 1/2 pound bag of friend onions! On top of that, we haven’t even opened it! So that gave me an idea. Since we often shop warehouse style which means we buy bigger bags of things than 2 people could really consume, I’m going to give myself a challenge, Dinner: Impossible style. Each week, we are going to purchase a bag of something that we don’t use every day to cook with. Then each night of that week, we are going to use said item in some way to make dinner. So this week…it’s fried onions! I will blog each night about what we’re making, pictures included of course and let you know if it works.

Anyone have any ideas for what to do with these babies, OTHER THAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE??? Bring on the ideas!!!

Facing a Giant

Posted in my life, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 19, 2010 by tamishields

This morning I re-read the story of David and Goliath. Not on purpose but because it was the next chapter in 1 Samuel, which is the book of the Bible I am currently reading. While I was reading the very familiar story, I had a few “ah-ha”s.

1st: Sometimes people will convince you to do something because they think you will fail, even when you think it’s completely plausible that you will succeed. In this case Saul let David go out there cause he wanted him dead, not because he thought he could defeat Goliath. The best part of this is that when you succeed, people are blown away 🙂

2nd: Don’t wear other people’s armor, cause it won’t fit…even if it seems like you’ll be safer. Saul offered David, the shepherd boy,  his armor for the battle. David put it on a quickly realized, it didn’t fit and was going to hinder more than help. Often people offer us what works for them and we want to put it on cause it seems so much better than the “nothing” that we came to the battle with. But if you can’t walk in it because you are not used to it, there’s no use.

3rd: Don’t sell yourself short. You’re probably really good with a sling-shot! David was not only offered Saul’s armor but his helmet and sword too. What else would he fight with? He quickly put down the sword, removed everything else, picked up his shepherd’s staff and 5 smooth stones. He knew what he was good at and decided to play to his strengths.

4th: When giants taunt and come at you, know who’s got your back, run toward your target and aim high! David was confident, not because he was a good shot (although apparently he was) but because he knew that God was in his corner. Sometimes that’s hard because God’s up there somewhere and the people who think we’re crazy are here, telling us what they think. But when you’ve got God in your corner, nothing else really matters.

So, tonight I say to face your giant you must:  1) identify your battles 2)choose weapons from your own arsenal 3) play to your strengths and 4) trust in the one who desires only the best for you always.

Get Up!

Posted in my life with tags on February 18, 2010 by tamishields

There are times in life when we spend so much time making sure everyone around us has all that they need and has that warm and fuzzy feeling but in doing so neglect all that we are supposed to be. So, for Lent this year I’ve decided deal with my inner demons, instead of the outer ones. Often Lent has been about giving up food items or taking on an exercise routine for me. I usually add in a little devotional or two and feel like I’m observing Lent.

I began Lent this year opening a professional door. I am not sure I will walk through that door, but I have opened it. Just touching the handle was a huge step and actually opening it was a minor miracle. But yesterday, to start my Lent season off right, I did it.

For the next 38 days, I will stop thinking about doing what I feel like is right, and start actually doing it, no matter how hard it is. I will stop looking for answers that have already been given, and guidance that has already been handed. I will get up and do something with what has been given and handed to me. It won’t be easy because I can find a crisis in each day that will stop me in my tracks if I let it. I will remind myself in those times that each day seems like such a huge deal while we live it, then it gets replaced…with tomorrow and all the new that it brings.

Dragonflies

Posted in my life with tags on February 17, 2010 by tamishields

So this weekend I added a new charm to my bracelet. I got to help out with a friend’s wedding at Tybee Island. I did the cake, photography, decorating and the flowers and was pretty much told to just do whatever. The bride wanted turquoise and that was about the only thing she knew she wanted.

It ended up a beautiful (although cold) day at the ocean and I was thrilled to be able to do some fun additions to make the wedding theirs. One of the things I did was put a turquoise dragonfly in her bouquet. She has a dragonfly tattoo on her foot cause she loves them so much and she squeeled with glee when she saw the one seen here (kind of ) in her bouquet.

So, in honor of the Mederos’ Wedding, I got a dragonfly charm to put on my bracelet. Now, if only I could figure out a way to make a living doing weddings. It was SO much fun!!! I would love to do it again!

Recovery

Posted in my life with tags on January 24, 2010 by tamishields

Today I took dinner to a friend who is recovering from a double mastectomy. She is an incredibly strong person who had the surgery on Wednesday and was texting us all on Thursday and has been answering the door for us the past 2 days since she got home from the hospital. It is amazing how quickly her body is healing and how good she looks.

I am often in awe of what doctors are able to do to make us “better”. I am also often in awe of how much we take being “better” for granted. When I think about my friend recovering, I am so grateful for detection of the cancer early enough to do something and for a quick recovery. When I think about Haiti and the time it will take not just for the people of Haiti to heal, but for the nation to heal, I am unsettled. I wonder how long it will take for them to recover. I think of the roof over my head and the extra beds in my house and wonder why I am “better”. But then I see images of people rejoicing at receiving water or finding a friend alive and I don’t want to be here. I want to be there, helping. And then I think, my house isn’t “better”, it’s just not as hard. I live an easy life compared to the people of Haiti…compared to a lot of people.

So in the midst of people recovering from a variety of things, may I be His hands and feet. Taking food to the recovering, sending money so food can be given to the recovering…while my life is easy. For when it is hard, I will need someone to help me recover too.

Are you recovering or are you helping someone recover?