Whoel Grain Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

On those nights that you feel you just don’t have the time or the energy to make a great meal, boxed whole grain macaroni and cheese will speed things up and taste great.

I love mac-n-cheese just as much as the next ten year old does, but as you grow up you come to find out that it isn’t so great for you…most boxed mac and cheeses are loaded with preservatives, coloring, and fake cheese! Who really wants to eat that? That is why I started using organic boxed mac and cheese from my local grocery store.

I have turned macaroni and cheese into a nutrient powerhouse boasting calcium, protein, complex carbs, and veggies full of those wonderful vitamins. Macaroni and cheese is a perfect base to create a one-pot meal.

What you will need:

*boxed organic whole wheat macaroni and cheese

* a small head of cauliflower, chopped

*sriracha

*turkey bacon

*sliced brown mushrooms

*pepper and cumin to taste

Do it:

Take a box of the cheddar and shells. Cook it according to the directions on the back(I use NF milk instead of low fat). Once the water is boiling, throw in the noodles and half a small head of chopped cauliflower.

While the pasta is cooking, cook up some turkey bacon and mushroom in a pan over medium heat. The fat from the turkey bacon will help cook the mushrooms- no oil is needed.

After draining the pasta, add the chopped bacon and mushrooms to the mix. Squirt some sriracha and mustard into the pasta. Add the milk and the cheese sauce…eat it! Serve it with a side salad and some fruit to complete the meal.

* If sriracha is too hot for you use a packet of Fire sauce from Taco Bell. It works great also.

* Another great combination is broccoli, a little bit of oyster sauce and chopped almonds.

Source:

  1. Whole Grain Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – NYT Cooking
  2. Stovetop Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese | Whole Foods Market

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Christmas 2007 Hottest Food and Gourmet Gift Ideas

If there’s one thing that you must not be without when you’re surrounded by family and friends during holiday celebrations, it’s food. The holidays are filled with enough mouth-watering dishes to make you loosen your belt a notch and hit the treadmill for an extra 45 minutes. Edible gifts are becoming increasingly popular and giving the gift of food never goes out of style. Throughout the years, I have witnessed and gathered various gift-giving ideas that incorporate food in them. My top 5 favorites are:

1) Give a home-made coupon that’s good for one free and fully prepared dinner to any of your busy relatives or friends. A gift like this can be especially helpful for parents with children who can’t gather up enough time to cook up a healthy meal every night or are just plain too tired. Make sure to tell them to call in advanced!

2) Bake some of your favorite family recipe cookies, stack them, and then wrap them in some holiday-orientated cellophane with red or green curly ribbon. These are great treats for neighbors, coworkers, and friends. Add small bells and other trinkets to the ribbon for added decoration!

3) Throw all of the ingredients of a romantic dinner in a festive tote bag. This is a wonderfully unique gift that is suitable for virtually anyone and perfect for newlywed couples. Try pasta or tortellinis with a jar of zesty tomato sauce for an easy option.

4) Get a hand woven basket and fill it with fresh seasonal fruits and veggies such as chestnuts, grapefruits, oranges and tangerines, radishes, lemons, leeks, and turnips. This is my personal favorite and it makes for a fun and colorful holiday gift.

5) Give a food gift basket. With such a variety of gift baskets available, it’s no task at all to find one that fits your gift recipient. Hickory Farms, Harry & David, The Swiss Colony, and Delightful Deliveries all sell a variety of superb gift baskets.

These top five favorites will put a smile on any face and less of a strain on your bank account. There are of course countless other ideas that integrate food as the main gift. Get creative and spread the cheer as you give edible treats to all of your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

Source:

  1. Oprah's Favorite Things
  2. Amazon.com: Gourmet Gifts: Grocery & Gourmet Food

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The best most Inexpensive Malt Liquors

Ah, beer. You and I have had our ups and downs, haven’t we?

We’ve tried being exclusive. (Aka the ‘Budweiser Rules’ phase.)

We’ve tried calling it quits. (I know. I know. My heart was never really into it.)

We’ve even tried experimenting just to liven things up a bit. (Thou shalt not pass judgment upon the Vaulted-Beer unless ye hath tried-eth the Vaulted-Beer.)

But no matter where my wandering takes me, I always find my way back to you, beer. There’s just something about you that can’t be replaced.

Sure, you make me flabby and lethargic and you give my liver a hard time and sometimes in the morning I wish I’d never met you. But just like any other long-term relationship, what matters most is that we’re committed to making this thing work.

This time his name is Steel Reserve 211.

I first met ‘Steelie’ at the neighborhood grocery store about a month ago. I’d probably rolled past him at least a hundred times before that night without even bothering to look his way. But this time I was low on cash and in the mood for something different.

Pabst Blue Ribbon was my usual standby during a cash crunch situation. Priced at around $6.00 a 12-pack, PBR had helped me through some hard times. Still, I wasn’t convinced that we were ‘exclusive material’.

That’s when I saw him: tall and striking, with cryptic red scrawl against a titanium background. I was hesitant. At $5.19 a 12-pack, I was slumming it-even by the PBR standard. But when I read the Steel Reserve label, I discovered the most glorious truth I’ve ever known:

Steel Reserve 211 has almost double the alcohol content of regular beers. Steel Reserve manufacturers use nearly double the ingredients of the average beer and also brew their beer more than twice as long as the other guys do.

More ingredients equals richer flavor. Longer brewing time equals smoother beer. Higher alcohol content equals…well, you get the idea.

From the first slushy mouthful on that sweltering summer night, I knew that Steel Reserve 211 and I would be together for a long, long time.

Tips for Brewing Stout at Home

The word stout is an old English or Irish word meaning simply a strong beer. The first recorded reference of the word stout was found in a 1677 document on brewery matters.

Over the years stout has developed its own distinctive taste and look being a much darker and fuller beer than most available ales. Guinness has become world famous for brewing such a beer. A sweeter alternative can be found in Mackeson Beers.  

To brew your own Stout you’ll need some equipment, mainly a plastic bucket capable of holding five gallons. You will also need yeast, sugar, funnel, and bottles complete with caps.  In addition you’ll need sterilisation fluid as all the equipment you use will have to be spotlessly clean.

 A traditional Irish stout is made from roast barley and should have a gravity of 1,070 up to 1,090. Roast barley is the main ingredient and gives the beer that lovely dark appearance and beautiful foamy white head. Only roasted barley will produce a white head on the beer, other barley will not produce a white head.

Roasted barley can be purchased from specialist shops and should not be mixed with other barleys or oats. Tip about a pound of barley in the scrupulously clean five gallon bucket and fill with water and two pounds of sugar. Stir with a suitable sterilised utensil until well mixed. Then add a sachet of yeast. Depending on the temperature of the room the stout could take between one to two weeks plus to ferment.

The brew will need a constant eye to ensure the progress of the beer. The fermentation is complete when bubbles cease to come to the surface and the smell of yeast is not as strong as it was. The beer will need to be left to settle for a couple of days before siphoning off into individual bottles. When all the bottles are filled they will need to be capped. It is advisable to store new bottles of stout in a suitable room because if there is some yeast still fermenting in the bottles they could blow their caps making a considerable mess.

Remember the yeast can be saved from the bucket and dried for further use later on. The beer should be left for a further two weeks before sampling. Stout should be served cool and poured slowly into a dimpled glass. A good stout shoud have a brilliant white head at least an inch thick on the surface of the glass.

The above is the traditional ways of brewing but if you prefer the modern approach there are heaters, thermometers, carbon drops and a host of other brewing enhancements including kits which take away all the guesswork and minimise the risk of disappointment.