Loaded Mac & Cheese

Add a lot of kick to an old favorite.

Loaded Mac & Cheese

1 (1 lb) box elbow pasta
1 (14 oz) pkg smoked sausage, sliced (I used McCormicks Grill Mates Montreal Steak)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbl season salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cups milk
6 cups shredded cheese (I used *Beechers No Woman and Sharp Cheddar)
1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies, **drained well
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies, drained
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced olives, drained

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta in large pot as directed on package. While pasta cooks, saute sausage and onion; set aside. Prepare cream sauce by melting butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over butter, mix and cook 2 minutes. Add season salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in milk, cook and whisk over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, remove from heat. In the large pot with pasta drained, throw in sausage, Rotel, green chilies, olives and cheese. Pour hot cream sauce over top of cheese and gently stir all together as cheese melts. Pour into sprayed 13″x9″ baking dish and bake about 15 minutes, just until heated through. Buttered bread crumbs or crumbled french fried onions can be added as a topping before baking if desired.

*Beechers is a Seattle based company but their award winning cheeses are sold in many locations including Costco. No Woman is flavored with Jamaican Jerk spices, so it adds a lot of flavor. You can substitute any flavorful cheese you like.

**Squeeze as much liquid out as possible so it doesn’t thin down the thickness & creaminess of the your mac & cheese.

Other flavorful main dish ideas:

Chile Relleno Casserole

Zucchini Crust Personal Pizza

Italian Meatballs


Baked Frittata

This is a perfect throw together, use what you’ve got in the fridge and pantry kind of dinner (or breakfast or brunch). Use the basic recipe and add ingredients and spices to taste. It can be meatless or not, make the full recipe for a 13″x9″ pan or half it in a smaller dish for fewer servings, it’s all up to you!

Baked Frittata

12 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 baking powder
1 tsp salt (or season salt)
fresh ground pepper
fresh herbs, chopped or spices (optional)

Some ideas for added ingredients (this is what I did): Sauté onion, peppers, spinach. Browned sausage and/or bacon. Grated Swiss and sharp cheddar cheese. Diced tomato. Chopped green chilies. Sliced or chopped olives.

Preheat oven to 350°. Sauté vegetables if using. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and other herbs or spices. Stir in all other ingredients. Pour into well sprayed 13″x9″ pan. Bake 35-45 minutes, until set in center. Remove from oven and let cool and set up for about 10 minutes. We also like a little salsa on top!

One Year Ago: Chewy Peanut Payday Bars Chewy Peanut Payday Bars

Two Years Ago: Frosted Almond Oatmeal Cookies Frosted Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Three Years Ago: Creamy Lemon Oat Bars Creamy Lemon Oat Bars

Four Years Ago: Dinner Rolls with a Twist Dinner Rolls with a Twist

Cheddar Wafers

It’s time to think game food, the big football games are here. Homemade cheddar crackers, something a little different and fun! Buttery and flavorful.

Cheddar Wafers

2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp celery seeds
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp season salt
salt for baking sheet

In standing mixer or food processor, mix cheese, butter, celery seeds, Worcestershire, dry mustard, and cayenne. Add flour and mix or process until combined. Gather dough into a ball and knead on a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a 12″ log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle two baking sheets with salt. Slice the log into 1/4″ thick slices and place 1″ apart on baking sheets. Bake wafers for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom and around edges. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool before serving.

One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Reeses Cookies Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Reeses Cookies

Two Years Ago: Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Three Years Ago: Cheese Bread Cheese Bread

Sausage & Potato Breakfast Casserole

I am not big on breakfast, I rarely eat in the morning. Yes, they (don’t know who they are) say it’s the most important meal of the day. I figure if I am not hungry, why consume the calories? But, on rare occasions when I do eat breakfast, I love something like this sausage and potato breakfast casserole. Anything with sausage in it is usually alright with me, add peppers and green chilies that’s even better. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, substitute a different cheese, use ham or bacon instead of sausage, add different spices…make it your way.

Sausage & Potato Breakfast Casserole

Sausage & Potato Breakfast Casserole 2

2 Tbl olive oil
1 lb ground sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 bag frozen hash browns with peppers
1 can green chilies
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 eggs
1 tsp salt
dash white pepper
1 Tbl dried basil leaves
1 Tbl dried parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown sausage in olive oil, drain. Add onion and peppers to skillet, cook until veggies are tender, remove from heat. In large bowl, combine hash browns, green chilies, cottage cheese, and shredded cheese. Stir in sausage mixture, Spread into sprayed 9″x13″ baking pan. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley, pour over potato mixture in pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until egg is set. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Can be put together the night before, covered, refrigerated, and baked in the morning. Keep leftovers in the fridge, it is delicious warmed up in the microwave the next day.

One Year Ago: Orange Cranberry Scones with Orange Glaze Orange Cranberry Scones

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools such as the Silpat & Perforated Baking Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Mac & Cheese & More

One can never have too many macaroni & cheese recipes.  This is not my life’s motto, but, I believe a true statement.  The green chilies give this a little kick and who can resist bacon.  I cannot take credit for this recipe, I can’t remember where I got it, but thanks to someone creative.  It’s easy and delicious.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (14.5 oz) corn, undrained
1 can (14.5 oz) creamed corn
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used Mexican Blend)
2 cups dry macaroni
8 oz cooked ham, cubed (I used 8 slices cooked, crumbled bacon)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 13″x9″ baking pan.  Melt butter in large microwave safe bowl in microwave.  Stir in onion, corn, creamed corn, tomatoes & chilies, milk, cheese, macaroni, and ham.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 30 minutes more.  I did sprinkle more shredded cheese on top with 5 minutes bake time remaining.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Sunflower Seed & Cheese Swirl Bread

I mixed up some bread for dinner with my boys and plain bread just didn’t cut it tonight.  So, here’s what happened while I was chatting.  I went to shape the loaf, rolled it out to a rectangle, covered it with sunflower seeds, then Italian blend shredded cheese and then sprinkled seasoning salt over the top.  All rolled up, baked to a crunchy crust on the outside and tender salty cheesy inside with nutty crunch of the seeds, yum!  We liked it, think you will too!

2 cups warm water (110°)
1 pkt (2¼ tsp) dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbl olive oil
4½ cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 425°.  In large bowl of mixer, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Stir in olive oil, flour, and salt, mix until dough becomes soft but not sticky.  Knead.  Let rise 30-60 minutes.

Divide dough in half.  Roll out into 12″x6″ rectangle (approx).  Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup shredded cheese, and seasoning salt.  Roll up, pinch seam, seal ends and transfer to baking sheet sprayed or lined with Silpat or Silform Bread Tray.  Repeat with other half of dough to make 2 loaves.    Let rise 20-30 minutes.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bread internal temperature is 200°.  Watch during baking and lay foil over top to stop from over browning if necessary.  Delicious as is or dipped in olive oil with balsamic vinegar.

One Year Ago Today:  Sweet & Salty Chunky Cookies

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Silform Bread Tray please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Salami & Roasted Red Pepper Stromboli

I posted a recipe for Whole Wheat Refrigerator Rolls and I used some of the dough for rolls to go with chili last night.  Now, the next day, I am using the dough for Stromboli, how convenient this dough is!  I took the dough out of the fridge, punched it down, and cut off 2 pieces each about the size of my fist.  Put the rest of the dough back in the fridge for something tomorrow.  Now, assemble the Stromboli, let it rise for about an hour and bake.


Pizza dough or bread dough, in 2 pieces (white or wheat)
20 slices of salami (I use light, 55% less fat, 40% less calories)
2/3 cup sliced or chopped roasted red peppers (in a jar, marinated)
2-3 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
1 egg, beaten (optional)
Jar or homemade Marinara for dipping

Roll out dough to 6″x12″.  Layer ingredients, dividing evenly between the 2 stromboli:  sprinkle cheese over dough, 10 slices of salami, roasted red pepper, and more cheese.  Roll up, pinch to secure seam and ends, lay in bread tray or on sprayed sheet. Repeat with second piece of dough.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Make three diagonal cuts per stromboli for steam vents.  Brush with egg wash if desired.  Bake in preheated 400° oven for 30-35 minutes.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools such as the Silform Bread Tray & Perforated Baking Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.


Sausage & Cheese Muffins

Sausage makes everything better, so why not muffins.  I saw a picture of these on Pinterest and had to try them for dinner.  They are wonderful.  This is adapted from plainchicken.com, great idea, great recipe.


1 lb ground pork sausage (mild or hot, your choice)
1 cup chopped onion (I use frozen chopped)
1 cup chopped peppers (green, red, & yellow, I use frozen strips)
3 cups baking mix
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monteray Jack cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk)
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup

Cook sausage, onion, and peppers in large skillet over medium to med-high heat, stirring until sausage is no longer pink. Drain and cool.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in large bowl.  Mix together soup and buttermilk, add to sausage mixture, stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Scoop unto Demarle muffin tray or sprayed muffin pan, filling to tops of cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Makes 12.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware such as the Muffin Tray and Perforated Sheet please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.


Onion Potato & Feta Oven Omlette

We have had this twice for dinner this week, just switch up the ingredients!  Easy to throw together and a little different taste depending on what you add or take away.  First night we had onion, potato, and feta cheese, the second night onion, peppers, ham, and feta, both good.  Change up the type of herbs, cheese, meat and/or vegetable to make all different flavor combinations.  I love the ease of frozen chopped onion, frozen peppers, and frozen hash browns, always on hand for quick meals.

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup small cubed potato (can use shredded)
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2-3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 large eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream (or half & half or milk)
1 Tbl fresh thyme
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray fry pan with non-stick spray (or can use oil and/or butter) and saute onion, potato, and peppers until browned and tender.  Place veggies in bottom of sprayed 9″ pie plate, round or square pan, I use a Demarle mold (no spray or prep necessary).  Whisk together eggs, cream, thyme, and salt & pepper.  Pour over veggies in pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is just set.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Cheese Bread

Oh my, the combination of two of my favorite foods…cheese and bread!  This is wonderful!

3 cups flour
1 Tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper (optional)
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into little cubes
2 oz swiss cheese, cut into little cubes
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup sour cream
3 Tbl butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray 9×5 loaf pan.  In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper.  Stir cheese cubes into flour mixture.  In another bowl, whisk milk, sour cream, melted butter, and egg.  Fold wet mixture into dry ingredients.  Stir just until combined!  Spread batter into loaf pan.  Bake for 45-50 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes in pan, then cool on wire rack for 1 hour for nice slices.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.