Oven Macaroni and Cheese

This is one of the easiest macaroni and cheese recipes I have come across! There is no boiling and draining the macaroni and everything is just simply layered and baked. Shoutout and special thanks to my Aunt Stacey for sharing this recipe!

Oven Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 stick unsalted butter, sliced
6 oz. sliced processed cheese, torn
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. shredded colby cheese
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
5 cups whole milk
Salt and pepper

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Layer in the uncooked elbow macaroni, sliced unsalted butter, torn sliced processed cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded colby cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Pour milk over all. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and return to oven and bake 15 more minutes.

Carefully remove and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cutting.

CHEW THIS! Family Secret Potato Casserole

Family Secret Potato Casserole 

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 19th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Sharing Family Secret Recipes
Blaise Doubman

I am sharing family secret…recipes! Ha! I try to check my email messages at least once a day that are filtered through from my website, http://trailblaise.com and lately most of the messages have been wondering if I have any “secret family recipes” that I would be willing to share. Well, I have written two cookbooks, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and “Blaise the Baker Celebrates” that share quite a few “secret family recipes” but there are a few that I just cannot, for whatever reason, to get myself to share! Mocha brownies, my brown sugar and ketchup glaze for meatloaf, cinnamon toast with vanilla drizzle, butterscotch pie, chocolate pudding pie and cheesy potato casserole are just some of the few recipes that have made an appearance nowhere in my recipe collections. I figure, what is the joy in having “secret” recipes if I am not going to share them? So, I am going to start sharing them with everyone so that everyone can enjoy the “secret” recipes and wonderful flavors the recipes bring!

The first “secret” recipe I want to share with everyone is a recipe that I am positive everyone has tried at their family reunion at one time or another and wondered what it was and more than likely tried the recipe themselves and failed. Most of the time people forget that one essential ingredient that makes this dish work on a flavor profile level. Now, do not get me wrong, there are a few people out there who know what I am talking about and do add it to their dish and if you are one of them, good for you! What am I talking about? Dijon mustard! Yes! Dijon mustard must be added to this cheesy, party, fabulous potato casserole! Why? The secret here is the Dijon mustard makes the cheese taste more like cheese! True story. Same thing goes for coffee bringing out the flavors of chocolate. Add the Dijon mustard to this dish and be prepared to be blown away and be prepared to share with others this “secret” recipe.

Family Secret Potato Casserole

This can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator for reheating later. The best thing about this dish is that it can be served hot, room temperature or even chilled. It lasts for days and reheats wonderfully!

32 ounces southern-style hash browns
2 cans condensed cream of potato soup
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, diced fine
Grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the hash browns, cream of potato soups, sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, finely chopped onion, Dijon mustard, salt and black pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with diced butter. Sprinkle top with grated parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and remove aluminum foil. Place back into the oven and continue to bake, at the same temperature, for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve hot. Can also be served room temperature or chilled.

Ask and Answer: Lots of people wonder what my favorite cookbook is, and I usually tell them that would be like picking a favorite child! Ha! I do have a few favorite cookbooks though that I always recommend. Anything by Ina Garten is a must! Her “Barefoot Contessa” cookbooks are by far my most used cookbooks of any other collection. Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart are also some of my favorite and often used cookbooks. “Butter and Chocolate” by Shelia Maines and any of the cookie cookbooks written by Elinor Klivans are also fabulous.

CHEW THIS! Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 18th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Warm and comforting soup, perfect for colder months ahead…
Blaise Doubman

Growing up I was never really a fan of soup, but gradually as I matured, I learned (and was taught) that making soup was really an art, and I grew to love and respect it. Looking back, the art of making soup was really in my genes. My Grandma Barbra makes the absolute best potato soup, my Mom makes the best chili (isn’t chili a soup?), my Grandma Deloris is known for her oyster soup, and my Grandpa Max used to make the best beef stew that ever hit my lips. With all of this delicious soup-making in my history, you would think I would have grown up loving it! But that wasn’t the case… Maybe I didn’t think it was substantial enough to consider it a meal, or even to give it a try.

Over the years though, I’ve learned a lot of the tricks of the trade, so to speak, when making soups. I have learned that each person makes their soups a little different than the person who taught them before, and I’ve learned that you have to have patience! Patience is defined as, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay” which I have had to really work hard on over the years. I find now though, that making soup is a stress reliever! Standing, stirring and watching the pot slowly simmer, is just about the perfect way of taking your mind away to a less stressful place. There’s also something about a warm bowl of soup that just hits the spot on cold and blustery days. They may not be here yet, but they’re coming believe me, and when they’re here you will want to have this recipe handy!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This soup is the perfect combination of broccoli and cheese. You would think that the cheese would overwhelm the delicate taste of the broccoli, but it doesn’t in this recipe. Boiling the broccoli first ensures that the broccoli will be tender and flavorful in the final soup. Serve with crackers if desired.

1 small bunch of broccoli
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
2 ½ cups whole milk
½ pound (8 oz.) Velveeta-brand cheese, cubed
4 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup sour cream

Start by removing the tops of the broccoli, discarding the stalks and chopping the tops into fine pieces. Place the chopped broccoli in a large pot, with one cup of the water and teaspoon salt and place over high heat. Once brought up to a boil, cover the pot with a lid and allow to boil on high for five minutes. This will tenderize the broccoli.

Once the broccoli has boiled for five minutes, add the chicken broth, whole milk, cubed cheese and butter. Adjust the heat to medium, stirring to incorporate everything, making sure the soup doesn’t come to a boil.

In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch with the remaining ½ cup of water and stir until no lumps are visible.

Add this mixture to the soup and stir until thickened.

In a separate bowl, combine sour cream with one cup of the hot soup mixture and stir until evenly combined. Add this mixture to the soup, and stir well.

Bring the soup up to a near boil, lower the temperature slightly and serve warm.

CHEW THIS! Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 4th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Generational Casserole Recipe Wins Approval…
Blaise Doubman

I love recipes that have history around them. Recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation are not only some of the best, but some of my most popular recipes. No matter what food trends come and go (peanut butter flavored pickles, or coconut popcorn sorbet, anyone?) true and trusted “heirloom” recipes, are hard to beat. The recipe I’m sharing today has been in my family for years and years. I remember first learning about this from my Mom, Darla, when I was about five years old. It amazed me how such simple ingredients could come together to make such an incredible dish.

My Mom was taught this recipe from her Mom, my Grandma, Deloris Bolinger – who was in turn taught the recipe from her Mom, my Great Grandma, Viola Davis. Are you adding that up? That means this recipe is a four generations-old recipe! The stories and memories that go along with each recipe handed down to the next generation are some of my favorite growing up. Listening and watching my Mom teach me this recipe will then be shared with future generations and now here with all of you. I hope this recipe brings memories and stories to share with the ones you love – just like it’s done with mine.

Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage Casserole

This casserole can be made ahead and placed in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, just remove from the refrigerator, place in preheated oven and bake. There really is no substitute for “Velveeta” – brand cheese. If you’re not a fan of using this type of cheese, give it another try. The taste and texture of this cheese has really improved, compared to other types of “processed cheese”, and the delicious “melting” of this type of cheese just can’t be beat…

2 pounds of Idaho baking potatoes
4 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound (16 oz.) Velveeta-brand cheese
2 small packages (or 1 large) mini sausages (28 oz. total)

Start by preparing the potatoes. Peel the potatoes, cut them into medium-sized cubes, and place in a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat until tender.

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the salted butter, white all-purpose flour, whole milk, salt, black pepper and Velveeta-brand cheese until melted, smooth and creamy. If any lumps are present, whisk with a wire whisk to remove them.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F and lightly grease a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the cooked potatoes in the dish, and spread out evenly.

Next, pour the cheese mixture over the potatoes, being sure to distribute evenly.

Before placing in the oven, spread the mini sausages, evenly, over the top of the cheese and potatoes. Place in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Remove and allow to cool very slightly before serving.

Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” June 30th, 2015

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…

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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!

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” April 28th, 2014

I have heard of “Noodle Bakes” for years from my Grandma Barbra and also recently while leafing through some of my old Church cookbooks that I have bought over the years. Each and every one of them are unique to the person making them. Enter Ree Drummond (The “Pioneer Woman”) and her version of the noodle bake, which she calls her “Sour Cream Noodle Bake”. Her recipe is very much similar to one of my favorite recipes for the noodle bake, which I found in an old 1980’s Church cookbook. Is it safe to say that the 80’s was the “Generation of Casseroles”?!

A lot of people do not care for casseroles anymore – but I can not see or understand why. Casseroles can be delicious and easy to make. Let’s bring back the casserole!

The following recipe is my version of the ever popular dish…

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Sour Cream Noodle Bake

1 pound ground beef
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups grated Sharp Cheddar cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 baking dish) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet and the drain most of the fat.

Add the can of tomato sauce to the browned ground beef along with tablespoon of fresh basil, tablespoon of fresh parsley, teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of pepper. Stir together and simmer mixture on low for about 30 minutes.

Next, cook the egg noodles until al dente. This should take about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.

In a bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Stir together and then add teaspoon of pepper and sliced green onions to the mixture. Add this to the cooked egg noodles and stir.

When you are ready to assemble (and the pasta sauce has simmered about 30 minutes) add half the noodle mixture to the baking dish. Next, top with half the meat mixture – spread out evenly over the noodles. Then sprinkle on half the grated sharp cheddar cheese. Repeat until the final top layer is a layer of the rest of the sharp cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. The cheese will be melted and the inside middle, hot.

Leftovers (if you have any) are even better the next day…

Enjoy!

Beef and Sausage WonTon Cups

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” March 26th, 2014

“Blaise the Baker” is COOKING! Ha!

Today’s recipe is inspired by a dear friend and family member. Her name is Paula Arnett and she is a sweetheart.

I have always loved wonton cups and I find these simply incredible! They do not need much improvement, but I changed them a little to suit my tastes – which you can do as well! That is the beauty of this recipe…it is not only delicious, easy and simple…it is also very versatile!

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Beef and Sausage WonTon Cups

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound “hot” sausage
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 16 oz package WonTon wrappers (larger 3 1/2 inch squares)

You can locally find the WonTon wrappers in your local produce department.

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ground beef and hot sausage. After fully browned, drain the fat.

Spray muffin tins lightly with cooking spray.

Line muffin tin (little or larger size tins will both work – just adjust the cooking time depending on the size. This recipe was used with the “larger” – regular size muffin tins) with the WonTon wrappers. Be sure to only use ONE wrapper – they are thin and sometimes tricky to work with. Just lay the wrapper over the tin and push it gently into the muffin tin creating a “flute” around the edge.

Place into the 350 degree preheated oven for 6 minutes to bake the shells.

Combine the cooked ground beef and sausage mixture with the cheese, Ranch dressing and chopped green pepper.

After the shells have baked 6 minutes, remove from oven and spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture into each cup.

Return to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes.

Enjoy!