Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts

23 October 2015

Perfect Pot Roast (It's Beer Wot Does It)

This pot roast is my easy-peasy, totally not fancy but fabulously delicious go-to recipe. I've been making it for years, but never bothered to blog about it properly because it seemed ... too easy. Too not-special-enough for the interwebs. And yet. I've made this pot roast nearly a dozen times now, which means it must be good and good is always worth sharing, right?

This pot roast always cooks up delicious. Sweet and tender. Beefy and rich. Quite definitely the best pot roast I have ever made and I think the mildness of the beer had a lot to do with it. Previously, I always used bottles of Heineken in this recipe because Heineken's what I had on hand. Except, this time, we were all out of Heineken and I ended up using one of the pint bottles of Bud Light Platinum one of The Husband's poker buddies left behind. It's a mild, innocuous beer which is exactly what I want in this pot roast. Combined with the meat juices and the vegetables, the beer creates a mouth-watering smell which always leaves me desperate to lick the oven door long before the roast is ready.

Perfect Pot Roast

Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lb beef chuck underblade pot roast
  • Garlic powder, salt, and pepper, as desired
  • 1 bottle pale lager beer
  • 8 small potatoes, halved (I used a mixture of red and yellow)
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
  • 5 carrots, cut into large chunks (peel if you're fussy)
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into large chunks
  • Penzeys Tuscan Sunset or McCormick Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning (or similar salt-free seasoning), as needed


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Heat olive oil in bottom of French/Dutch oven. Liberally season roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sear all sides of beef roast. Turn off burner.

  • Put carrots, celery, and potatoes around beef. Scatter onions over beef. Pour a bottle of beer over it all. Sprinkle liberally with your favorite salt-free seasoning.

  • Cover tightly and bake for 3 hours. Serve with pan juices or make a gravy from them.

Before I owned a fancy pot, I used to make this in a broiler pan tightly covered in foil, so don't worry if you don't own a French/Dutch oven. An oven-safe covered casserole would work fine, too, if you have one.

28 June 2013

Kale Knows No End

The giant bag of kale knows no end! I've eaten kale twice a day all week and there's still so much left. I think I'll have to break down and make soup. Or kale chips? Mmm, kale chips.

I did make a snazzy kale scramble twice this week, it was that good. Sautéed chopped kale in coconut oil with red onion and garlic until it was wilted and tender (about ten minutes) and then I added two eggs (beaten with a splash of milk) and gently stirred everything 'round until the eggs had formed lovely big curds. A little salt, pepper, and sriracha and it was good to go.
Kale Scramble

I also made a Waldorf-style kale salad. Twice. I'd forgotten how much I love Waldorf salad and, while mine pales before my uncle's traditional version, I liked mine enough to eat it for lunch and supper two days running.

Kale Waldorf(ish) Salad

Kale Waldorf(ish) Salad
Serves: 2

2 packed cups chopped kale
1 apple, diced and tossed w/ lime juice to prevent discoloration
½ cup halved seedless grapes
½ cup roughly chopped dried cherries
¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp slivered almonds

Toss dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Add to salad and toss well. Let sit until ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with slivered almonds, if desired, just before serving.

26 June 2013

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Bowl

Southwestern Chicken & Rice

As with many of the dishes I've made lately, there's no real recipe for the above -- it's just beans and rice, sliced grilled marinated chicken, and guacamole. It's yummy, though, and worth posting about simply so I remember to make it again.

The rice is my first attempt at beans and rice and I think it turned out pretty well. Maybe not restaurant-worthy, but I wouldn't be ashamed to feed it to supper guests.

Start a pot of rice. Sauté chopped red onion and garlic in olive oil. Add one can drained, rinsed black beans and a splash of broth. Season with salt, pepper, and Penzeys Arizona Dreaming. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are heated through and broth has evaporated. Give them a bit of a mash and set aside. When rice is done, add to beans and stir well. Sprinkle with cilantro and adjust seasonings as desired.

A bit of lemon or lime juice would be a nice brightener. Oh! A little lemon zest mixed in with the cilantro?

Southwestern Chicken & Rice

24 June 2013

My First Kale Salad

I know kale's been the hot green for ages now, but (slow boat that I am) I only just discovered the deliciousness that is raw kale. I like kale in soups, stews, and casseroles, but raw kale? In a salad? I don't know. Might be a bit ... chewy? Bitter? Weird? Didn't help that many of the recipes I saw instructed me to blanch the kale leaves or, godloveaduck, massage them. When it comes to salads, all I want to do is throw ingredients in a bowl and go "yum!" So I've been making kale salads sans blanching and massaging ... and they're fine. Maybe even a little bit fabulous.

My first kale salad

The above is my first salad and, while it's pretty simple, it's also ridiculously delicious and I strongly recommended this combination of ingredients. I didn't measure anything, mind you, but just went by "feel" so it's very possible the next time I make this salad, it may taste very different.
grated carrots
apple, diced fine & tossed w/ lemon juice to prevent discoloration
slivered almonds
red onion
dried cherries
ginger-sesame dressing

Combine all (including dressing) and let sit until ready to eat.

12 March 2012

Lazy Day Chicken w/ Tomatoes & Mozz

Even on lazy spring-like days, when the back garden is full of too-early miniature irises and the shrubs are atwitter with robins and it feels the whole world is saying "come sit in the sun with that ridiculously fluffy novel you've been flirting with," a girl's got to eat ...

Bake two Whole Foods' seasoned chicken parmesan cutlets in a 450°F oven for 20 min. Top with sliced fresh mozzarella and diced cherry tomatoes. Broil until golden and bubbly. Serve with steam-in-bag green beans tossed with butter, salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder. Nom.

Mozz & cherry tomatoes

Making lazy chicken parm

Lazy chicken parm w/ green beans

Follow with cheesecake brought home from the Cheesecake Factory oh-so-conventiently located next to Whole Foods.

Cheesecake to go

Go for a brisk walk. Figure it all balances out in the end.

They see me walkin'

09 February 2012

Lunch by Bush's Beans

I was pokin' 'round the internetz, looking for black bean soup recipes, when I found Bush's Black Best Bean Soup Meal and thought "there is nothing on that page I do not want to eat and cannot make rightnowthisminute" so I did.

Lunch :)

Best work lunch since I made that delicious curried pumpkin-vegetable soup a few weeks ago!

I did end up modifying the black bean soup a bit to keep with the pantry challenge, but it still came out pretty darn delicious.
Pantry Challenge Black Bean Soup

1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans, undrained and pureed
1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups reduced-sodium fat-free organic chicken broth
½ cup Green Mountain Gringo Roasted Garlic salsa
1 Tbsp Penzeys salt-free Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend

Add beans, chicken broth, salsa, and seasoning blend to pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until some liquid has evaporated and soup is thickened to your liking. Serve topped with a sprinkle of dried cilantro.
I like to crumble the corn muffin into the soup and stir them together, but I am bit of a barbarian.

28 January 2012

Tomatoes All The Time w/ Amazon Subscribe & Save

I wasn't joking when I said we've been going through a lot of tomato products since I started the pantry challenge. Oh, I mean, I must have known we normally go through a lot of them as it feels as if I'm always buying more, but I never really tracked usage as obsessively as I have since I started the challenge. I'm thinking I should really start buying tomato products -- diced, crushed, and fire-roasted -- by the case.

Back in 2009, I talked about buying Muir Glen products through Amazon's Subscribe & Save, but I whussed out because buying groceries from Amazon seemed like the height of laziness. I'd probably still think that if I hadn't broken my ankle and been off my feet for six months -- Subscribe & Save became The Best Thing Ever at that point as all the things I needed came to me. So, yes, maybe I should subscribe to some tomatoes already!

What have I been making with all these tomatoes? Many delicious things! Most recently, I made a heavily adapted version of Rachael Ray's "Gemilli with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce" for the pantry challenge. It came out really well, but I should really try the original one day!


Easy Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Chicken

1 large shallot, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
6 oz frozen cooked chicken strips, halved
1 cup low-sodium tomato sauce (leftover from other recipes)
½ cup white wine
2 tsp Penzeys Tuscan Sunset (salt-free Italian-style seasoning blend)
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz whole wheat fusilli, prepared as directed
Parmesan, as desired

Puree red peppers using whatever appliance you prefer -- I used my immersion blender, because I am obsessed with it and must blend all the things.

Heat oil in a French/Dutch oven. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent and a little gold around the edges. Add pepper puree and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes. Add tomato sauce, wine, chicken, and seasoning blend. Cover and cook at a low simmer for about 10 minutes (or as long as it takes you to make the pasta). Season to taste. Toss with pasta. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan. Eat. Serves 2 hungry people.

15 January 2012

Scratch Silver Dollar Pancakes

As a child, pancakes were the first thing I learned to make. I wasn't actually allowed to cook them, of course, but I could be trusted to get out the Bisquick and follow the instructions on the back of the box. Even now, as an adult who is comfortable in her kitchen, I still turn to mixes when I want pancakes. Until today.

Today I woke up craving buttery, maple syrup-soaked silver dollars of deliciousness. But I had no pancake mix and couldn't be arsed to leave the house. What to do? With more than a little anxiety, I pulled out my trusty red-and-white Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book and made a batch of silver dollar "Buttermilk Pancakes." They were awesome. And easy. Too easy, maybe, for I can see myself making them every Sunday!

Silver Dollar Pancakes

I suspect some of my success was to do the quality of the ingredients I used -- King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour, Butterworks Farm Organic Cultured Nonfat Buttermilk, and Farmer's Cow eggs. Obviously, you can make these pancakes with whatever brands you prefer, but I am superstitious and am going make them exactly the same way next time.
Easy Silver Dollar Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup buttermilk

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, beat egg and whisk in buttermilk and oil. Dump egg mixture into flour mixture and whisk until just moistened, but still lumpy.

Heat a heavy non-stick skillet. Add a dab of butter and slide it around until melted. Pour about 1 tablespoon of batter onto the skillet (mine held 4 tablespoon-sized splodges) and cook over medium heat about 2 minutes until the pancakes were dry around the edges with bubbly surfaces. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until pancakes are golden brown.

Drizzle with melted butter and warm maple syrup. Eat!

Making Sunday Pancakes
Yep, thirty-five years old and only just now learning how to make pancakes from scratch.

24 December 2011

Hello, Coquito! Good-bye, Eggnog!

Last week, one of my coworkers gave me a wee little Mason jar full of coconut-rum deliciousness. While I love a little spiked eggnog at Christmas, I swear to cake this stuff beat it flat. It is truly the nectar of the gods and I knew I had to have the recipe.

Happily, my coworker is a generous person and was pleased to share her recipe with me. It makes a lot, but she says it will keep about a week in the fridge. Not that it will remain undrunk for so long! I've made a batch for Christmas Eve and I expect it to all be gone by the end of Boxing Day!

Coquito Ingredients

A Librarian’s Coquito

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 cans cream of coconut
1 tsp vanilla or coconut extract
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg or mace
½ tsp cloves
2 cups white rum

Blend first seven ingredients together with an immersion blender. Blend in 2 cups white rum. Serve well chilled. If you think the coquito is too thick, thin it with a little milk before serving.
While my coworker recommended Coco Lopez cream of coconut, I only found Goya cream of coconut in my grocer’s ethnic aisle and had to make do. Similary, I couldn't find coconut extract (just coconut "flavor") so I used Penzeys Mexican vanilla and its strong, rich fragrance and flavor did not disappoint. I also used Pineapple Jack Pineapple Coconut Rum as my coworker recommended a pineapple or coconut flavored white rum and I thought "why not both?"

17 December 2011

Easy-Peasy Peas & Potatoes

Threw this side dish together one night after work, when I realized I didn't have quite enough frozen peas to go 'round. So simple and tasty that I wonder why I didn't think of it sooner!

30 Minute Supper

Place potatoes in a small saucepan, barely cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat until just tender. Add frozen peas, cover, and cook until tender. Drain, add unsalted butter, black pepper, dehydrated chives, and parsley flakes. Return saucepan to warm burner and toss vegetables gently until butter melts and vegetables are evenly coated.

01 November 2011

Clean Out the Kitchen With Soup

Soup is one of the best ways to use up odds-and-ends I'm sick of seeing or are getting a bit manky or just too close to their use by date. Making this soup rid me of an open container of low-sodium chicken broth, a can of lower-sodium beef broth I bought who knows when, and a lonely can of turkey broth. It also allowed me to use up an ancient package of frozen ground turkey, a nearly-as-ancient package of frozen mixed vegetables, and the last two packages of ramen The Husband likes to buy, but doesn't eat so much.

Making Soup

Odds 'n Ends Soup

1 pound lean ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 gloves garlic, smashed
6½ cups broth
14½ can Muir Glen organic fire-roasted adobo-seasoned petite diced tomatoes, undrained
16 oz package frozen mixed vegetables, not thawed
2 3.0 oz packages beef-flavored ramen noodles
Parsley, as desired

In French/Dutch oven or large whathaveyou, brown ground beef, onion, celery, and garlic over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked. Add broth, tomatoes, vegetables, and seasoning packet from ramen package; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduced to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Smash ramen noodles and add to soup. Stir in parsley, if desired. Simmer 5 minutes or until ramen is tender.
Left overnight, the ramen will soak up a lot of the broth so you may wish to pour in a little more broth when you reheat the soup. Or just recategorize it as stew.

16 September 2011

Friday Night Delicious: Crunchy Turkey Cutlets w/ Sauteed Tomatoes

First proper meal we've eaten since we returned from England and, I must say, an excellent recipe for easing back into regular cooking habits. Don't like lemon? Use a salt-free Italian seasoning blend and fresh basil. A little crumbled fresh goat cheese might be also nice, mixed in with the sauteed tomatoes.
Friday Night Deliciousness

Crunchy Turkey Cutlets with Sauteed Tomatoes

2 cups small-fruited (currant) tomatoes
1 pound turkey breast cutlets
½ zested lemon
black pepper
olive oil
egg white
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning blend

Toss the tomatoes and lemon zest together with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a shallow dish (pie plate works well), whisk together the egg white and lemon juice. In another dish, combine cornmeal and salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning blend. Heat  a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan.

Dip a cutlet in egg, then in cornmeal, and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove cooked cutlets to a warm oven. Add tomatoes to hot frying pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until tomatoes begin to crack.

Serve tomatoes over cutlets.

12 July 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Good Noms

Sunday night I realized I had nothing to take to work on Monday. Sure, my kitchen was full of odds 'n ends, but what could I really do with them? This, apparently:

Kitchen Sink Barley Salad

Kitchen Sink Barley Salad

1 cup quick cooking pearl barley, prepared as instructed
2 scallions, sliced
2 small cucumbers, diced
3 large radishes, diced
6 cherry tomatoes, diced
4 marinated artichoke hearts, diced
1 leftover grilled chicken breast, chopped

½ cup light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp light Greek vinaigrette
1 lemon, zested
black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine first set of ingredients. In a small bowl, combine second set of ingredients.

Add mayonnaise mixture to barley mixture. Stir well. Let sit overnight
How was it? Pretty darn tasty! Certainly, I felt like some kind of genius as I devoured a portion of it at lunch today and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's lunch!

08 July 2011

Quickie Eton(ish) Mess

A few weeks ago, during the great unblogged strawberry palooza (it was delicious), I thought about making Eton Mess but first the universe was against me. Strawberries, but no cream or meringue. Strawberries and meringue, but no cream. Strawberries and cream, but no meringue. And then, inevitably, meringue and cream but no strawberries.

Happily, raspberries are in season here and Thursday I managed to assuage my craving with a raspberry Eton(ish) Mess. It was a "shortcuts all around" kind of Mess and it was all the more delicious for being so easy. If you're freaked out by the idea of eating whipped heavy cream (oh, delicious fat), you could substitute fat free Reddi-wip or Cool Whip, but I cannot then vouch for this Mess's deliciousness.

Quickie Eton-esque Mess
Eton(ish) Mess for 2 Greedy People

½ pint raspberries
½ pint blackberries
1 Tbsp sugar
6 vanilla meringue cookies
Whipped heavy cream, as desired (used The Husband's iSi Whip, but a stand or hand mixer works well)

Wash and drain berries. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and let sit for about thirty minutes.

Make whipped cream.

Break meringues into small pieces and divide between two bowls. Add berries. Squirt with cream (be generous!) and give everything a gentle stir. Devour.

18 May 2011

Homemade Spudulike: Baked Beanz

Baked beans on a baked potato? Trust me, it's better than it sounds.

Homemade Spudulike: Beanz

You need:
1 can Heinz (tomato-based) baked beans
2 large baking potatoes
2 pats lightly salted butter (I used Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery's cultured butter)

Stab potatoes with a fork a few times, rub with a little olive oil, roll in coarse salt, and bake at 425° for about 50 minutes.

Open baked potatoes, top with butter, and allow to melt (I popped mine back in the still hot oven for a few minutes to speed the melting process), top with baked beans, season with black pepper, and eat.

It's a tremendously simple, cheap, and filling supper. I expect we'll be eating this again in a few weeks -- especially if spring remains as dank and dreary as it's been.

13 May 2011

Homemade Spudulike: Tuna & Sweetcorn Mayonnaise

Another week, another spudulike. And, as promised, I went with classic tuna and sweetcorn spudulike. How was it? Pretty darn good!

Homemade Spudulike: Tuna Sweetcorn Mayonnaise

Tuna Sweetcorn Mayonnaise

12 oz solid white albacore tuna, well drained
7 oz low sodium corn, drained
Mayonnaise, to taste
Parsley, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Portion out onto baked potatoes, use as a sandwich filling, spread on crispbread, or serve on a bed of mixed salad greens.
Tuna Sweetcorn Mayonnaise

(This recipe makes enough to fill two large potatoes and spread liberally across six crispbread).

06 May 2011

Salad of Randomness

I had a bunch of odds and ends huddled in the back of the fridge that all needed eating up at the same time. Not knowing what else to do, I made them into a salad.

Empty-the-Fridge Salad

Salad of Randomness

1 generous cup coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
7 diced spicy marinated green olives
5 oz can solid white albacore tuna in water, well drained
2 Tbsp minced red onion
1 Tbsp canola mayonnaise
2 Tbsp light Italian dressing (any vinaigrette might work)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 generous cups baby spinach leaves

Combine first six ingredients and mix well. Plop on plate or bowl lined with the baby spinach leaves. Season with pepper. Nom!

This was seriously delicious and almost worth buying coleslaw mix for. I've been on a coleslaw kick recently -- not that you'd know, as I haven't been blogging about it!

17 March 2011

Repurposed Leftover Roast

I wanted to use up my leftover slow cooker roast, but wasn't in the mood for sandwiches, stew, or shepherd's pie. I needed something that could be cooked in hurry and would also use up all the wrinkly or limp vegetables in our crisper drawer. In the end, I just chopped everything into bits and stir-fried them with leftover gravy. Not a very elegant meal, but quick and tasty.

Repurposed Pot Roast

Sort-of Stir-fry

3 cups cubed leftover slow cooker roast
8 asparagus stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 orange bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1½ cups grape tomatoes
3 ribs celery, sliced
3 scallions, sliced and whites separated from greens
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup leftover gravy
Low-sodium chicken broth, as needed

Heat olive oil in a large pot until hot, add all ingredients except scallion greens and quickly cook until meat is hot and asparagus is crisp-tender, add gravy and toss until everything is thoroughly coated and gravy is hot (add a little broth if the gravy seems too thick). Sprinkle with scallion greens and serve over brown rice or quinoa.

15 March 2011

Splendid Sunday Supper

The perfect supper for a slow, sleepy Sunday -- tender slow-cooked pot roast, buttery cabbage, and garlicky mashed potatoes bathed in rich gravy. While it looks beautiful and tasted so darn good, it took no real effort to make. Which was a good thing, because the time change had me all discombobulated for most of the day and I simply wasn't up for anything complicated.

Sunday Dinner, ftw

The slow-cooked pot roast is my own recipe and I'm pretty proud of how well it turned out considering I just opened the pantry and rounded up everything that looked combinable!

Sauce for Slow Cooker Roast

Tomato-Onion Slow Cooker Roast

1 can Muir Glen Organic fire-roasted roasted-garlic petite diced tomatoes
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 generous handful dried onions, crushed
1 generous handful dried mushrooms, crushed
½ cabernet sauvignon
1 three pound beef roast, well trimmed but with a thin layer of fat on top

Put roast in slow cooker fat side up. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Pour over roast. Cook on Low for 8 hours.
Oh, it was everything I want a slow cooker roast to be -- tender, moist, and flavorful. I served the roast with a gravy I made by thickening the juices in a saucepan on the stove with a little cornstarch-juice slurry. The rich, tomato-y gravy complemented the creamy, garlicky mashed potatoes and I could almost have eaten a bowlful of them all on their own.

Not that the cabbage deserves a snubbing! The buttered cabbage was based on a recipe from Cuisine at Home magazine -- combine a head of shredded cabbage, low-sodium chicken broth, whole garlic cloves, whole cloves, and red pepper flakes in a large covered pot and simmer until tender, then season with butter and liberal amounts of salt and pepper. As the recipe suggested, I assembled everything ahead of time and then refrigerated it until I was ready to cook. I did throw a handful of parsley in at the end for color, but I think that did not harm. Overall, I very much enjoyed this dish and look forward to making it again.

As always, I was amused by how much the cabbage reduced down as it cooked!

Buttered Cabbage, Before CookingButtered Cabbage, Cooked Down

04 March 2011

Super-Cheesy Mac & Cheese Casserole

I've had a package of cocktail kielbasa kicking around in the freezer since Christmas, when I was going to make crescent roll mini weenies. I was getting sick of seeing them so started thinking about ways I could use them up. Eventually, I found a recipe on the Hillshire Farms website for "Lit'l Smokies® Macaroni and Cheese" and thought that, while the recipe showed promise, more cheese would make it better. And it did! Once I was done doctoring it, the macaroni and cheese was so cheesy and creamy I wanted to eat if for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I did, actually, as The Husband turned out not to like this casserole very much.

While he agreed the mac 'n' cheese was pretty okay, he disliked the cocktail kielbasa. He thought they tasted smokey and cheap and I had to agree with him there. They seemed much saltier, spongier, and more hellocornsyrupsweetness! than I remembered, but then when I ate them as a child they were wrapped in pastry dough and slathered with spicy mustard so who knows what I was actually tasting! I liked them so little now that I ended up picking them out of the leftovers before I reheated the mac 'n' cheese for breakfast and lunch.

So what does that mean? It means that, if I were to make this again, I would omit the cocktail kielbasa. If I were feeling meaty, I might replace kielbasa with ground turkey and a can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes.

Mac & Mini Sausages

Super-Cheesy Mac & Cheese Casserole
7.25 oz pkg Thick 'n Creamy Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, prepared according to package directions
½ cup 2% milk
1 10¾ oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
2 Tbsp King Arthur Flour's Vermont Cheddar Cheese Powder
1 generous handful dried parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
4 oz shredded mozzarella-cheddar cheese blend (leftover from the cheesy blaster adventure)
black pepper, to taste
14 oz pkg. Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Polskas® Cocktail Links (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain package of cocktail kielbasa, if using. Combine kielbasa and all other ingredients (except shredded cheese). Pour into a greased casserole and top with cheese. Broil until the cheese is a lovely golden brown and the edges of the casserole bubble.

I can't remember the last time I bought a boxed macaroni and cheese mix! College, certainly. But since then? Twice, maybe. Used to eat it often as a child, drowned in ketchup with a broiled pork chop or leftover meatloaf and green beans.