Saturday, May 23, 2015


Summertime isn’t official until June 21st, but if you ask me Memorial Day should be the first day of summer. Summer always brings lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and it’s time to start grillin’! If you’re looking for ideas for your classroom today, you need to turn off your computer and PLAY! Come back tomorrow for teacher talk, but today I'd like to  share some of my favorite summer recipes. These are good for a cook out, potluck, or a family treat. 

Around holidays I like to remember what most nutritionists advocate: ALL THINGS IN MODERATION! Splurge a little this weekend and then get back to the rabbit food on Tuesday. 

Bon appetite!

P.S. I LOVE to try out new recipes, so if you have a favorite summer dish please send it to me.

Mac and Cheese from Heaven
(Yeah, I know everybody thinks their mac and cheese recipe is the best, but this rivals anything I’ve ever tasted.)
1 16 oz. box rigatoni noodles
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack
4 oz. grated fresh Parmesan
2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Season with salt (til’ it tastes like sea water). Add the pasta and cook until just tender - about 12 minutes. Drain well in a colander without rinsing.

Transfer pasta to a large bowl. Add half the cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan, reserving the remaining half of the cheeses for the top. Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer the noodle mixture to a medium gratin dish or casserole. Sprinkle remaining cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan on top. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 30 – 45 minutes.

Brownie Pie
(This is so yummy and simple, and it’s made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. It’s really good served warm with a scoop of ice cream on top. Or, if you want to send someone into a coma, drizzle hot chocolate sauce on top of the ice cream.)

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter (softened)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bake a deep dish pie crust at 350 for 6-7 minutes.
Mix ingredients together. Pour into the pie crust. Bake about 30 minutes.
(The original recipe said 30 minutes, but it takes a lot longer than that in my oven. You can tell when it’s done with the toothpick trick.) 
Vidalia Onion Pie
(Vidalia onions are the best, but you can use other sweet onions.)
1 ¼ cup cracker crumbs (Ritz)
6 TB. melted butter
2 cups Vidalia onions thinly sliced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup milk
¾ tsp. salt – dash of pepper
½ cup mild cheddar cheese, grated

Mix together crumbs and 4 TB of butter and press into an 8” pie plate. Chill. Saute onions in 2 TB of butter. Spoon into the crust. Mix the eggs and milk with the spices. Pour over the onions. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (Sprinkle with cheese for the last 10 minutes.)

Cowboy Beans
1 16 oz. can pork and beans
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 large onion chopped
1 small pepper chopped
½ cup barbeque sauce
¼ brown cup sugar
1 TB Worcestershire sauce, 1 TB mustard
1 lb. ground beef, browned

Mix all together. Bake at 350 for an hour or for 6-7 hours in a crock pot.