Friday, July 8, 2011

Blueberry Jam

I found a great recipe for blueberry jam. I made my first batch this week. It was easy and it turned out great.  For the recipe and great pictures to help you along follow this link:

Smack Yo' Mama Mac & Cheese



1 lb box elbow macaroni cooked

Blond Roux (White Sauce)
1 stick butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cheese Sauce
6 cups milk
1/2 cup blond roux (made in advance)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 large onion)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
5 cups white cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (reserve 1 cup for topping)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

Blond roux:
Melt 1 stick of butter in small saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of flour. Blend well. Cook while stirring constantly, about 3-5 minutes, until flour and butter are well blended and start to dry slightly. Reserve for cheese sauce.

Cheese sauce:
In a large saucepan, bring milk to simmer over medium heat. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the roux. Continue to whisk over heat until smooth and sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Saute diced onion in oil over medium heat until soft. Add onion to roux. Next add Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to incorporate all ingredients. Begin to add cheddar cheese, gradually, in small amounts. Whisk constantly to help dissolve. Add remaining cheddar and 1 cup of Parmesan. Whisk until smooth.

Mix cheese sauce with cooked macaroni. Place in a large buttered oven-proof dish. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until hot. To brown, place under the broiler until top is evenly browned; watch carefully.

Blue Hawaii

How to make your very own Blue Hawaii... The distinctly-colored beverage also shares the name with the Elvis movie from 1961. Cheers!

1 oz. Vodka or Rum
1 oz. Blue Curacao
3 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
1 cup Ice
Splash of Pineapple Juice

Combine all ingredients with ice in a blender, blend until smooth and firm. Pour into 14 oz. glass and garnish with pineapple and orchid. Voila!

Mama Lisa's Pizza Pie

1 pizza crust (store bought or homemade)
1 jar of sauce (store bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Italian Seasoning
Toppings of your choice

For homemade sauce (which is worth the effort) watch this video:

In my world, homemade pizza crust is a lot of work and I typically stick to store bought. You can buy the kind in the can in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or they sell packets of dry mix on the baking aisle close to the jiffy cornbread. I usually use the kind in the can for calzones and stick to the flat crusts that they just have hanging up by the peperoni. If I use store bought sauce, I prefer the Boboli that comes 3 packs to a box. It is much easier to use and keeps longer than the jars, however, I have not found them in all stores.

Homemade pizza is pretty basic. You preheat your oven to 400 degrees, rub the olive oil directly on the top of your crust, spread the sauce on the pizza dough in a circular motion, add the cheese and toppings and bake it. The most important thing is to make sure you season it with either an Italian blend seasoning or oregano. This will make or break your pizza. I season mine on top of the cheese before I add the toppings. Also, when spreading your cheese, spread it along the outside edge first and try to make sure all your sauce is covered, then cover the center. The bake time will depend on your crust so follow the package directions (usually 10-14 minutes).

Tips for success:

* If using thin crust, spread the sauce to the edges, for hand tossed or deep dish, leave one inch around the edge uncovered.

* If using sausage, buy hot (I use Tennessee Pride). Cook the sausage thoroughly and dry on   paper towels before putting in to in the pizza. Pepperoni is greasy and the sausage needs to be as dry as possible.

* Bake pizza directly on the wire racks instead of on a pan for a crispy bottom crust.

* Let pizza sit 3-5 minutes after removing from oven, allowing it time to set, before slicing it.

Here's mine.....