Monday, July 26, 2010

The Ultimate Comfort Food....Macaroni and Cheese

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted anything.  This summer is flying by.  I just got back from a wonderful trip to South Carolina.  My husband's brother invites us to his lake house in the summer and what a wonderful time we always have there. 

I made this Macaroni and Cheese a few weeks ago but I also made 2 casserole dishes on our trip.  Perfect when feeding a crowd and it heats up well for leftovers.  You can't go wrong with homemade Mac & Cheese.  It is simply THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD! (for me anyway)

There are a trillion Macaroni and Cheese recipes.  This one comes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  Really good, really yummy and really satisfying.  A family and crowd pleasing dish that can be eaten as the main meal or a side dish.

My way:  The recipe calls for a pound of cheese.  I use half mild cheddar and half extra sharp white cheddar.  I put aside around a 1/4 cup of each and sprinkle on top before baking.  I also add 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce when seasoning the mac and cheese mixture.  


Yellow Branch Falls
Walhalla, SC

After taking an hour long hike to this beautiful waterfall and.......

My husband and I tubing for the first time.......

It was time for some warm, comforting Macaroni and Cheese!


Mom's Cooking Club:  To change up this macaroni and cheese, try different cheeses.  You could add some pepper jack, swiss or use all extra sharp cheddar.  Use a combination of different cheeses for your own unique mac and cheese flavor.    

***We picked a winner from the July Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club Cookbook Giveaway.  Sorry it took awhile to announce it but we had to wait for confirmation from the winner.  Congratulations to Nicole from Seaside Smitten.  Thanks for all the readers that left comments.*** 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Grilled Greek Vegetables in Foil Packet

Since many of us are grilling these days, I wanted to share a delicious and easy way to add grilled vegetables to your meal.  What could be easier than putting some sliced vegetables, seasoning and a little olive oil  sealed in a foil packet, then heated on the grill?  When done, sprinkle some feta cheese on top for a quick and healthy side dish.  Oh, and easy to clean up too!  

Grilled Greek Vegetables in Foil Packet
Recipe by Jamie from Mom's Cooking Club 

(printable recipe)


2 zucchini, sliced
2-3 small yellow squash, sliced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Greek Seasoning ( I used Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning)
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


Mix zucchini, squash, tomatoes, olive oil, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper in bowl.  Place vegetable mixture on a large piece of aluminum foil.  Bring up sides of foil.  Fold top and sides to form a foil packet.  Leave some air in packet for air circulation.  

Place foil packet on grill, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Place foil packet on plate/platter, open carefully and sprinkle feta cheese on top. 

I like to serve the entire foil packet on a plate at the table.


***There's still time to enter for the Cooking Light Cookbook, Cooking through the Seasons.  Click HERE for the information and detailsDeadline is Wednesday, July 14th, 2010.***

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  You can also make these foil packet vegetables in the oven.  Place sealed foil packet on cookie sheet and bake in 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.        

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

cooking light cookbook giveaway......grilled romaine with blue cheese dressing......and the 1 year aniversary of the cooking light virtual supper club


Welcome to July's Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club.  It's an exciting month for us 5 bloggers (Jamie, Shelby, Val, Patsy and Sandi) as we celebrate our 1st year anniversary of the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club.  This group started a year ago to share recipes from Cooking Light on a monthly basis with a specific menu theme.  Our group has changed some over the last few months with Aggie and Helene leaving and Patsy and Sandi joining.  We are still very excited to continue sharing this with our readers every month.  

We're also very excited that Cooking Light has generously provided their newest cookbook, Cooking Light, Cooking through the Seasons, for a giveaway to celebrate the 1st year of the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club.  Thank you Cooking Light.  Before I get to the details of the giveaway, I want to share our July Menu.....Barbecue/Picnics.

Summertime is here which means it's time for all your favorite barbecue and picnic foods.  So, get out the grill and the cooler/picnic basket to enjoy the flavors of summer.

For our July gathering, I made Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese Dressing. (click here for recipe)  When I told my family I was going to grill lettuce, they all looked at me like I had 2 heads.  I've never grilled lettuce before.  This recipe was super easy.  You can make the blue cheese dressing ahead of time and the lettuce only takes a couple of minutes on the grill.  The lettuce gets slightly wilted and it has that smokey grilled flavor.  It is a really good change to your "normal" salad and will go perfectly with any of your grilled foods.  My girls don't like Blue Cheese dressing so they used Ranch dressing instead.  The blue cheese dressing is chunky and thick.  If you like it thinner, you could add more water. 

Now, come take a look at the rest of the menu.  Click on each recipe to go to the other members site.    

Jamie (me) brought Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese Dressing
Sandi from Whistlestop Cafe Cooking brought Herbed Potato Salad
Shelby from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch made Honey Chipotle Baked Beans
Patsy from Family, Friends and Food made Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Val from More Than Burnt Toast brought Rum Spiked Grilled Pineapple with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Hope you all enjoyed the Barbecue/Picnic Menu.  See information below on how to enter the Cooking Light Cookbook giveaway.

To earn an entry in the Cooking Light cookbook giveaway, you must visit the website, find a recipe that fits our theme of Barbecue/Picnic and leave a comment with the link or name of recipe. 

To earn up to 4 more entries, visit each of the other Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club members blogs and leave a comment on their blog with the same or different Cooking Light recipe.

The giveaway will end on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010.  We will compile all the comments and randomly pick one winner.  We will notify the winner by email.  Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. 

DisclosureCooking Light is providing the cookbook, Cooking Light, Cooking through the Seasons, but they are not a sponsor of the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club.  This is something that 5 bloggers enjoy doing together and sharing with our readers on a monthly basis.  It's simply about adding more healthier, lower-fat and tasty meals for our families and for all of you. 


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  When cutting the Romaine lettuce in half lengthwise, I kept the stem end on to help the lettuce stay together on the grill.  Before serving, I just cut the end pieces off.   

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Greek Panzanella.....bread salad

I saw this salad recipe awhile ago from Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network.  A wonderful change from your regular salad.  My daughters said, "Where's the lettuce mom?"  We're sort of bread freaks around here so let's just say this bread salad was a huge hit.  Even though my daughters don't like all the veggies in this salad, they picked out what they liked.  I hoping if I keep giving them meals with different vegetables, they'll try it and like it.  The vinaigrette is excellent.  This has become a favorite salad for all of us.  

This salad is perfect for a cookout or a summer meal.  It's easily doubled for a crowd.  Try it out this 4th of July holiday weekend or anytime this summer.


Happy 4th of July!

***Come back on Wednesday, July 7th, for our monthly Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club menu and a Cookbook giveaway!***

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  This recipe uses a hothouse cucumber.  I used a regular cucumber.  Either one is fine.  Also, while browning the bread cubes, I added a little more olive oil for flavor and to help brown them more.
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