Rachel's Recipes

Posts Tagged ‘Cheese

Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated to figure out how you can make mac and cheese using just one pot by cooking the pasta in a skillet! (Although I cheated and used my dutch oven because I didn’t trust myself not to splash things everwhere.) This is a really tasty, creamy, easy, and quick recipe to put together! Eric said next time he wants to try just sharp cheddar cheese, but I thought it was pretty tasty as is.

3 1/2 cups water
12 oz can evaporated milk, divided
12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
Ground black pepper to taste

Bring the water, 1 cup of evaporated milk, macaroni, and salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.

In a small bowl (or in your measuring cup), whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard, and hot sauce together. Stir into the pasta and continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the cheeses a little at a time until the cheese is fully incorporated. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes)


For Christmas dinner every year, my grandmother makes homemade lasagna. It’s a family favorite and a nice change during a season filled with turkeys. You can also prepare this ahead of time and freeze it for an easy meal later.

1 pound ground beef
2 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt (my spice blend doesn’t have salt in it so I add some of that too)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 package spaghetti sauce mix (Lawrey’s and McCormick make them–they’re near the taco seasoning and gravy packets)
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded (I use one package of preshredded)
1/2 pound cottage cheese (the small container)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Brown the meat in a Dutch oven or deep kettle. Mix in seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce mix. Stir thoroughly and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, boil the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

In a 9×13 pan, pour 1/3 of the meat sauce. Cover with the lasagna noodles, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Repeat layers ending with the meat sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

To freeze, prepare as for baking. When ready to cook, thaw and bake.

While this lasagna does not beat my grandmother’s recipe, it is one of the best meals that I’ve ever had prepped and cooked in 30 minutes.

15 oz ricotta cheese
4 ounces baby spinach, chopped (I used frozen since I had it on hand)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, reserving 1/2 cup
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
24 oz marinara sauce
6 no-boil lasagna noodles

Combine the ricotta, spinach, 1-1/2 cupsmozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

In the bottom of a microwave-safe 8 inch square baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce. Top with two lasagna noodles, 1/2 cup of sauce and half the ricotta mixture. Repeat, rotating the direction of the noodles. Top the lasagna with the remaining two lasagna noodles and the remaining sauce.

The recipes says to then top the lasagna with the 1/2 cup remaining mozzarella and 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan. However, mine ended up sticking when I covered it with the wax paper in the next step so I would wait to add the cheese until the last couple minutes.

Cover lasagna with wax or parchment paper, then place a plate on top on top. Microwave on high power until the noodles are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Real Simple

1 box jumbo shell pasta
15 oz. part skim ricotta (You can also make your own!)
4 oz. shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup basil pesto
1 large egg
2 cups fresh spinach (this can be adjusted according to taste)
1 jar pasta sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a bot of water on the stove to boil. When boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box. Once pasta has finished cooking, drain and rinse with cold water.

Mix the cheeses with the pesto and the egg. Tear or roughly chop the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture. Filling can be prepared ahead of time and refridgerated until ready to use.

Spoon the cheese mixture into the center of each shell. You may have some leftover shells.

Spread pasta sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Pack the shells into the dish tightly in a single layer. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly.

Source: Budget Bytes

This mac and cheese is a bit different from your traditional mac and cheese, but Eric and I gobbled the whole thing up and it was just as an afternoon snack!

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Source: Alton Brown

round of brie
1/3 cup candied pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Place brie in bottom of stoneware.

In a food processor, chop up candied pecans and cranberries. Place them on top of the brie.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2.

Serve with sliced apples and/or your favorite crackers.

Source: Stephanie O’Dea

This is a very impressive appetizer, but only take a few minutes to throw together.

4 medium vine ripened tomatoes
3 T balsamic vinegar
log of goat cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T sesame oil (could substitute olive oil)

Swirl the balsamic vinegar on the bottom of your crockpot.

Slice the tomatoes into thick slices and top with slices of goat cheese.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with dried cranberries. Pour the sesame oil evenly over the top of the tomatoes and goat cheese.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the goat cheese has melted and the tomatoes are starting to pucker.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with baking it to speed up the cooking time. I’ve been successfull with putting it in the oven at 325 for 25-30 minutes. The vinegar will dry up a bit so you will want to add a splash of balsalmic once it comes out of the oven.

Source: Stephanie O’Dea


This blog is a way for me to keep track of all the recipes I have tried and want to make again, and a few I've come up with myself.