It’s true — the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be. Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.
One of the most fun things about this time of year for my family is getting to cheer on our favorite sports teams. High school, college and professional — there’s always a favorite to root for or an underdog to cheer on.
I like to serve up game time food that scores big on flavor. Pepper Jack Cheesy Mac puts a little kick into a family favorite with zesty southwest flavors. And Prime Time Pepperoni Pizza “Pie” is a touchdown when it comes to finding a meal that is easy to make and that everyone will enjoy.
And for all those at home get-togethers during the holidays, from the neighborhood potluck party to brunch with the in-laws to the “big game”, find all the delicious recipes in a free holiday recipe guide (while supplies last) at VeryBestBaking.com.
Pepper Jack Cheesy Mac (Makes 6 servings)
2 cups (8 ounces) dry elbow macaroni 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Pepper Jack cheese, divided 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 to 1 cup broken tortilla chips (your choice of color) 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 2 1/2- quart casserole dish.
COOK macaroni in large saucepan according to package directions; drain. Return to saucepan.
ADD cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, evaporated milk and black pepper to macaroni; stir until combined. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Combine remaining 1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese, tortilla chips and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Sprinkle over top. Cover tightly with foil.
BAKE for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Nutrition Information per serving: 520 calories; 260 calories from fat; 29 total fat; 19g saturated fat; 85mg cholesterol; 560mg sodium; 37g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 7g sugars; 25g protein; 15% vitamin A; 70% calcium
Prime Time Pepperoni Pizza “Pie” (Makes 8 servings) 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) frozen pie shell 1 package (8 ounces) shredded Italian-blend cheese, divided 2 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni (about 20 to 30, 1 1/2- to 2-inch diameter slices), cut into quarters, divided 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk 3 large eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
SPRINKLE 1 cup cheese and half of pepperoni pieces onto bottom of pie shell.
WHISK evaporated milk, eggs, flour, basil and garlic powder in medium bowl until blended. Pour mixture into pie shell. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Decorate top with remaining pepperoni pieces and any other topping you like. Place quiche on baking sheet (if pie pan is made of aluminum foil).
BAKE for 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
TIP: Choose 1/4 cup of any of your favorite toppings (such as chopped onions, red or green peppers or sliced black olives) and add as topping with the remaining pepperoni pieces.
Nutrition Information per serving: 290 calories; 170 calories from fat; 19 total fat; 8g saturated fat; 120mg cholesterol; 520mg sodium; 15g carbohydrate; 0g fiber; 5g sugars; 15g protein; 35% calcium
Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.