Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stephen's Birthday Cake

So... I realize just how little amount of brain I had last year- being pregnant. I found this draft when I was looking through my blog posts... I have forgotten what type of cake we made. I remember it being too dense, so I was probably wondering if I should share it anyway... but I really don't remember. Anyway, Stephen helped make it and he wanted to decorate it. He had me help by putting a few leaves in, as his birthday is in the fall and he really enjoys making his cakes fit the season.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken Mac & Cheese

Creative name, isn't it? Let me know if you have a better one. Ok- 2 out of 4 kids didn't like this. It's because they don't like homemade mac & cheese- specifically: melted cheese. But the rest of us thought it was wonderful! I've been fasinated with homemade mac & cheese for the last few months. I made it once several years ago, following a recipe online (because I had never had it before- ever, only the boxed junk), it called for a sauce to be made, poured over the pasta and baked. It was gross- the sauce clumped up and didn't taste good either. So when Titus was born, I knew my midwife could make Mac & Cheese- so I asked her to make it while she was here. It was delicious. But this was her husbands preferred recipe, so she told me how she likes- basically, there are a bunch of different ways.

I started watching the food network when I nurse Titus... and they were making mac & cheese- everyone had their own twist, so I started experimenting. I haven't made a bad one yet! Ok, I'll admit that Jesse and Stephen haven't enjoyed my experiments- but Luke has been loving it. Guess it's payback for all the rice dishes I make that they love and Luke despises. So here's my latest and honestly, I think it's my best!

Chicken Mac & Cheese
16 oz pasta, cooked in salted water to al dente, drained (I used Cappelletti this time)
1/3 c. sundried tomatoes, diced (in olive oil- I have the julienne ones, so I had to chop them up some more)
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes and cooked in frying pan, until done.
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. shredded cheddar (sharp is good for this, but Med. or Mild is fine too)
3 slices white bread
2 TB parsley flakes
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 TB butter*

Toss pasta and sundried tomatoes, then mix in cheese and chicken. Pour into 9"x13" baking dish.
In food processor:
Tear up bread and put in, add the parsley and parmesan- blend until fine.
Sprinkle bread crumbs over the pasta, dot with butter*, bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes. Broil for a couple minutes at the end- just to brown the top.
*ok, this time I dotted the top with butter- but next time, I'm going to freeze the butter, after I cut it into a couple smaller pieces and then mix it in the food processor with the bread crumbs. The purpose of the butter is to help the bread crumbs brown pretty.

Meal Cost
Pasta; $1.33
Chicken: $1.88
Mozzarella Cheese: $.82
Cheddar Cheese: $1.00
Parmesan Cheese: $.40
Sundried Tomatoes: $.66
Meal total: $6.09
We had enough for 5 big eaters, Naomi and 2 leftover servings: $.87/serving.

I did buy my cheese, Sundried tomato, and Pasta at Costco, which cuts the cost of this dish.


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