Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

Is macaroni and cheese a vegetable?! Do not answer that… I am not sure I would want to hear the answer. It does not matter though, because this recipe is the perfect side dish, no matter what the main course is.

Several people have written to me and wanted to know if I have a recipe for macaroni and cheese. Yes! I do. It is simple, easy, old-fashioned and so good you will want to make it again, and again, and again…

Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese Blaise the Baker

Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound (about 6 cups cooked) elbow macaroni
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
1 stick (4 oz.) salted butter, cubed
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Next, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Salt the water generously, before adding in the pasta, for added flavor to the pasta.

Once the macaroni is cooked – drain well and return to pot over low heat. Stir in the grated sharp cheddar cheese and cubed salted butter. Stir until the cheese and butter have completely coated the warm pasta.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the large eggs, sour cream, whole milk, salt and black pepper until thoroughly combined. Pour this mixture over the cheese and butter coated macaroni and stir until well mixed.

Place the macaroni mixture into the prepared baking dish, and top evenly with the grated mild cheddar cheese.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love peanut butter – I love chocolate. These cookies combine both into a beautiful soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, cookie perfection.

These are really best if made in advance, put in the refrigerator (for a few hours) or the freezer (for a couple hours) and then baked. Why? The flavors really blend together, and I think they are better… but you can make them straight from stirring them up, if you want. There are no rules.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Blaise the Baker

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (12 oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F, and line three large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter, creamy peanut butter, white granulated sugar and dark brown sugar together until light and fluffy.

Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Then add the pure vanilla extract.

Next, add the white all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Stir just until combined, being careful not to over mix the dough.

Gently fold the chocolate chips into the batter.

When ready to bake, place tablespoon size amounts of dough on prepared baking sheets about 1-1/2 inches apart. Place in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool on the baking sheets before removing.

Enjoy!

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Foolproof Marinade

Today my family and I are celebrating Father’s Day with a cookout, or a “BBQ” I call them, and I whisked together my “foolproof marinade” that I just know will be delicious with the ribeye steaks we have. I have used a variation of this recipe for years with all of my marinades for steak, pork, chicken… and it is fabulous!

Adjust the flavorings to fit your taste buds. I like mine a little sweeter than most.

Blaise the Baker Foolproof Marinade

Foolproof Marinade

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup pure honey
1/4 cup yellow squeeze mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, pure honey, yellow squeeze mustard, white vinegar, salt and black pepper until combined.

Rub on steaks, chicken, pork, etc. and allow to marinade for 2 hours minimum.

When ready to cook, wipe off excess marinade and cook accordingly.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Simple Strawberry Pie

Strawberry season is here! (or gone, depending on who you ask…) and this pie is the perfect way to use those delicious, tender, ripe berries…

The 2nd best way!? My “Simple Strawberry Jam”, here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/06/04/simple-strawberry-jam/

This pie uses a homemade crust (this most delicious pie crust recipe is inspired by my Grandma Barbra) and strawberries, almost made into a “jam” filling. This is not your typical strawberry / strawberry glaze recipe…it is so much better!

Try it today…

Simple Strawberry Pie

Simple Strawberry Pie

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 21st 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Strawberry season is here!
Blaise Doubman

Strawberry season is here and there is nothing more (aside from homemade strawberry jam) that I love more than strawberry pie! Usually strawberry pie is just simply strawberries and strawberry glaze, all poured into a pie shell and topped with whipped cream. I wanted to create something more than that. I wanted to create something that would be simple to make, have depth in flavor and was something that reminded me of the old-fashioned pies of my childhood. My Grandma Barbra makes the best strawberry pies, and that is because she makes them using a homemade crust, and lots of sugar.

I still remember when I was younger, my Grandma Barbra and I stopping at the Farmer’s Markets in New Castle, early in the season, and stocking up on strawberries, asparagus and peaches. I would always help prepare the strawberries by rinsing them in water (before cutting into them because my Grandma said they wouldn’t absorb water that way), and then cutting off the tops. Naturally, I would be so excited that I would end up almost cutting the strawberry in half in order to take off the green stem and leaves. After all of the strawberries were prepared, we followed along with her recipe. I loved eating a cold piece with vanilla bean ice cream, and sometimes a homemade shortcake biscuit on the side. It was the perfect dessert in celebration of the coming summer months!

Simple Strawberry Pie

This can be made with a store bought pie shell, but may not taste as good. I really wanted an old-fashioned feeling for this pie, and homemade crust is the only way to properly do that. The amount of sugar in this recipe really depends on how sweet your strawberries are, so please taste as you go along. You may need to add a little more – or even a little less. When starting to cook the strawberries over the stove, feel free to mash some of them up before adding in the sugar. It will help “loosen” some of the pie. It’s really all about preference. The pure vanilla extract gives a warm back-note to the strawberries. Also, the cornstarch and water mixture is called a “slurry” – a thickener for the pie. This pie is delicious eaten alone, but feel free to serve alongside some vanilla ice cream. Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

For the strawberry pie filling…

1 quart fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and diced
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cup water

For the pie crust…

1 cup white all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.

Make the pie crust first, by combining the white all-purpose flour, shortening and salt with a fork until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Next, add the ice water and mix together until a dough forms.

Once the dough is formed, form a ball and place on a piece of floured parchment paper. Take another piece of parchment paper, place on top, and roll out the dough to the size of your pie dish using a rolling pin.

Carefully remove the parchment paper from the top and flip the dough that’s on the parchment paper dough side down into your pie dish.

Remove the parchment paper, and smooth out the dough. If there’s any excess on the sides, remove. If part of the pie tears, repair it with your finger and a little water. This works almost like a glue for the pie shell.

Once the dough is in the pie pan, using a fork, poke holes all over the bottom of the pie dough so that it will not puff up when baked.

Place in preheated oven for 27 minutes exactly and then remove to cool slightly.

Next, take the diced strawberries and place them in a large pot over medium heat. Mix in the white granulated sugar and bring this to a boil, stirring often.

Once the mixture is at a boil, allow to boil for about one minute.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, and pour it into the boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and stir continuously for about five minutes, until the mixture has thickened.

Once the mixture has thickened, incorporate the pure vanilla extract, and then pour it into the baked pie shell.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.

Top with your favorite whipped cream and enjoy!

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Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Who does not love a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie? This recipe is an old-fashioned flavor that will take you right back to your childhood. I am personally more of a fan of the dough (do not tell anyone) than the cookie – but these really are the best recipe I have come up with for this type of cookie.

Try them and let me know what you think…

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Blaise the Baker

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking oats)
1 cup raisins, mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon white all-purpose flour (to prevent the raisins from sinking to the bottom of the cookie)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F, and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter, dark brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light and fluffy in texture.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the pure vanilla extract.

Next, add the white all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt all at once and stir until just combined.

Finally, gently stir in the oatmeal and raisins.

Using a tablespoon or tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, place dough on prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch in between each cookie.

Place cookies in preheated oven (one sheet at a time) for 15 minutes exactly.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing.

Enjoy!

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TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…










Sprite Biscuits

When my Grandma Barbra and I first made these, we both fell in love with them! So tender, delicious and quick – you will not believe there are only 4 ingredients – and perfect for breakfast (with butter and jam) or dinner (with butter and honey). No rolling pin? No problem – for this recipe, one is not required.

Try these today…

Blaise the Baker Sprite Biscuits

Sprite Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose baking mix, plus more for sprinkling (I use “Jiffy” brand)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Sprite
5 tablespoons salted butter

Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F.

Put the five tablespoons of salted butter in a 9-inch square pan and place in oven to melt gently, while you prepare the biscuits. Be sure to keep an eye on it. You want the butter melted – not burnt. If the butter burns, throw it out and start again – with a better eye on it the second time.

In a large bowl, “cut together” the all-purpose baking mix and sour cream with a fork or two knives. Be careful with this part, and have a light hand about it. Do not over-mix the dough – very important.

Next, gently stir in the 1/2 cup of Sprite. Stir until a soft dough forms together.

Take about 1/2 cup of additional all-purpose baking mix, and spread it on a clean work surface, in preparation for rolling out your dough.

Knead and roll the dough in the all-purpose baking mix, until well coated. Use your fingers and hands to pat the dough out. Using a biscuit cutter (or the bottom of a drinking glass – which is what I use), to cut out the biscuits. (This recipe makes nine biscuits total.)

Take the 9-inch square pan from the oven, place the cut biscuits right in the pan, on top of the melted butter and return to the oven, until brown, which will take about 13 minutes total.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!

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Redesign!

I am loving the fresh new look of my website – and I am so excited about this “new beginning”! I can not thank you all enough for your love and support (not to mention your loyal dedication and amazing feedback). It means everything to me. Please also check me out on…

Facebook (http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker)
Twitter (http://twitter.com/blaisethebaker)
Instagram (http://instagram.com/blaisethebaker)
Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/blaisethebaker)

And again, THANK YOU! Onward we go…

Blaise

Cooked to Death Green Beans

This is a recipe from my Grandma Barbra that has been enjoyed by everyone in the family for several years. The secret in this delicious side dish, is the boiling. You must boil these for 1 hour – 60 minutes – no less. You can not just walk away and leave these either. You need to keep a close eye on them, because you will need to add about 5-6 cups of water, to the beans, over the course of the hour they are boiling. Believe me though – they are out of this world incredible!

You can use fresh green beans, frozen or canned. Just use the same amount of fresh beans, to canned or frozen. Also make sure you use the beef bouillon cubes for this recipe. They are what some consider “old-fashioned” cooking – but that is really all that will work here, for this particular recipe.

Cooked to Death Green Beans Blaise the Baker

Cooked to Death Green Beans

4 (14.5 oz) cans cut green beans
2 beef bouillon cubes
Black pepper
Water

Empty contents of cans into a large pot over medium heat. Do not drain the cans of green beans. If you are using fresh or frozen green beans, add 3-4 cups of water to the green beans in the pot.

Add black pepper to taste and the beef bouillon cubes, then stir.

Increase the heat to high and allow beans to boil for at least 1 hour – 60 minutes.

When ready to eat, reduce heat to medium and then serve.

Enjoy!

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Grandma Barbra’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes – but this one is not new. It is an old old favorite of my Grandma Barbra. She has had the recipe taped to the inside of her kitchen cabinet ever since I can remember. I wanted to keep with the traditional recipe and I wanted the “old fashioned” taste that I remember – so I followed the recipe exactly. Try these the next time you want a nostalgic bite from the past…

Grandma Barbra's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies Blaise the Baker

Grandma Barbra’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz. total) margarine, melted
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose white flour
1 (12 oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating the oven to 375-degrees F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the melted margarine, white granulated sugar and brown sugar together until thoroughly combined.

Next, add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract before stirring again.

Add the baking soda and salt, stir and then dump in all of the white all-purpose flour at once, and stir until just combined with the other ingredients.

Finally, fold in the flour covered semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoon size amounts on the parchment lined baking sheets, and bake each sheet (one at a time) in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool on baking sheets.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake

Everyone has some “social media” recipes that they just can not wait to try. From my research, a lot of them need a lot of improvement. Some not even including the proper baking (or cooking) temperature or time. I have taken a popular recipe for chocolate pudding cake, and transformed it into “Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake” that is so easy and flavorful you will not believe it… Perfect for a picnic, pitch-in, family reunion or birthday.

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake Chew This Blaise Doubman

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 7th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Testing out those social media recipes…
Blaise Doubman

At least a dozen times a week, someone sends me recipes they have found on various social media outlets. Sometimes it’s Facebook, sometimes it’s through a blog email they’ve signed up for, Twitter, Instagram…you name it. Depending on the week, sometimes all recipes sent to me are a variation of one or the other. I have a folder that I keep labeled “social media recipes” that I dive into every once in awhile. Honestly, more times than not, the recipes are a failure. There’s always something missing, an off time or the ingredients just simply don’t go that well together. I always tend to make notes in the margins of the print-outs about what I think the flavor combination should be, what I would like, and how long I think it would take to cook or bake. I’m not an expert, but I know what most people like…and have developed a sense as to how a recipe should read.

My latest adventure into my folder of “social media recipes” was a recipe for a chocolate pudding cake. The picture made it look so good, and I couldn’t wait to try it. I should have known better…the taste fell flat. I decided I was going to make some changes, and make it my way to see how much I could improve the recipe. I decided to use chocolate fudge cake mix, as well as pudding. I wanted to add even more chocolate flavor, so I added chocolate milk to the pudding mix instead of just white milk. Adding instant coffee granules really makes the chocolate flavor even deeper, and topping off the cake with just Cool Whip would round out the cake and not make it too heavy. The final result was amazing! I made notes, typed it up and decided to share it here with all of you…

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake

This recipe is perfect for reunions, cookouts, potluck dinners and gets togethers. Just make it the night before, cover it, and refrigerate it and the next day you have dessert ready to go. I find this cake delicious with crumbled up chocolate cream cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, or even crumbled up chocolate brownies! The sky is the limit when experimenting with this recipe. If I’m serving it for a potluck dinner, I usually just sprinkle the top with candied sprinkles. That way it’s festive and fun.

1 box (3.4 oz) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
2 cups chocolate milk
1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
8 oz. tub of Cool Whip
Crushed chocolate cream cookies or colored sprinkles (optional)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spray a 13×9-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the instant chocolate fudge pudding mix with the chocolate milk until thickened.

Next, add the chocolate fudge cake mix to the pudding and stir to combine.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for exactly 31 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely.

Finally, frost the top of the cake evenly with the Cool Whip, and add desired topping of crushed chocolate cream cookies, or sprinkles.

Refrigerate for at least six hours (or overnight) before serving. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to three days.

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