April 18, 2013

Southern Staples and Easter!

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that since S was out of town with his family over Easter, Lindsey and her hubby took me in for the day. I had a great time spending Easter with great friends and it made me feel so grateful to have friends that are like family.

That day, I made a Smoked Gouda Mac N Cheese and a Caramel Apple Cake. Two southern staples that I felt must be included in any holiday dinner. Here are the recipes!

Smoked Gouda & Cheddar Mac N Cheese



4 cups Dried Macaroni 
4 Tablespoons Butter 
¼ cups All-purpose Flour 
2-½ cups Fat-free Half-and-half 
2 teaspoons Dry Mustard 
1 whole Egg Beaten 
⅓ pounds Smoked Gouda
½ pounds Cheddar Cheese (any Kind You Want)
¼ pounds Aged Cloth-bound Sharp Cheddar 
½ teaspoons Salt 
½ teaspoons Fresh Grated Pepper
½ teaspoons Cajun Seasoning (any kind)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Boil macaroni in a pot of water until very firm, for only about three minutes. Drain off the water and rinse macaroni with cool water.
3. Grate up all of your cheeses and set them aside..
4. In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter then sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for about five minutes or until the mix is light brown, whisking constantly.
5. Mix the half-and-half with mustard in a small bowl then add it a bit at a time and whisk until smooth each time. Once all of the cream has been incorporated cook the mixture until very thick. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
6. In a small bowl, beat egg. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs.
7. Pour egg mixture back into the sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth and uniform in color.
8. Add in about a pound of the cheeses and stir until melted, then add salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Taste sauce and add more seasoning if desired. Mix should taste salty, add more salt if needed.
9. Add the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

10. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish (I used a 9×13), top with the remaining cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top. Serve and enjoy!

Caramel Apple Cake


Cake Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups canola oil 
1-1/2 cups sugar 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
3 eggs 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
3-1/2 cups diced peeled apples 
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Caramel Icing:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup half and half cream
1/4 cup butter, cubed
Dash salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Chopped pecans, optional 


In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugars and eggs until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture until blended. Fold in the apples, walnuts and vanilla. 

Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325° for 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

In a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir the brown sugar, cream, butter and salt until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl; cool to room temperature. Beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth; drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired. Yield: 16 servings.



Mrs.B said...

That cake looks delicious!

Sarah at LOVE, sje said...

That mac & cheese just made my mouth water.

Lori Vann said...

The mac & cheese just set my tummy a growling!

Elizabeth @The Better Belle Project said...

Um, that mac and cheese looks to-die-for!!

Kerr said...

Yum! Two of my favorite things!

Blogging tips