Friday, January 22, 2010

Momou's Baked Macaroni

So how do I even begin to write about one of my most favorite and cherished dishes that has ever passed my lips? A recipe that I have loved since before I can even remember and a recipe that probably has more memories than any other. It is time for "that" blog...Momou's Macaroni. I need to stress to you that this is not, I repeat NOT your normal macaroni. Unless the macaroni dish that you bring to mind has sugar and evaporated milk in it. Because my friends...this one does.

There is nothing like this macaroni. Pure creaminess topped with pure sweetness. I have spent so many family dinners/holiday meals with this very macaroni present. If you called Momou right this second and asked her what Leesha's (that's how she refers to me) favorite Momou recipe was, she would know. Her Momou's macaroni.

I have to share 2 particular memories about Momou and this macaroni because this is "that" kind of recipe. One with many stories attached. First of all, when I was younger Momou would frequently come to stay the night with us. What precious times those were. I can remember how exciting a school day was just knowing that Momou would be waiting in the carpool line to pick us up. She would then take us to get a snack, our usual ICEE and bag of chips. Once back to our home, she would pop her trunk and there would be her glass 9x13 dish with all of the macaroni ingredients stacked up in it. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Another sweet memory of Momou's sweet macaroni is that every single Sunday during hunting season I would know that I would be having macaroni for dinner. Do you want to know how I know this? Well, my dad, uncle and grandpa would hunt each and every weekend from Friday to Sunday and then head to Momou's for Sunday lunch. And every Sunday she would make her famous Sunday lunch. Chicken Fricassee, tomato gravy, rice and gravy, rolls and SWEET MACARONI! And that meant that Momou would always send some home to me. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So how do you make this treasured macaroni? See below for this secret and get ready to fall in love...

Momou's Baked Macaroni
1 (12 oz.) package of long macaroni (Yes, this exists! The fancy name is Perciatelli. You may have to search hard but it is worth it. Try Kroger or Brookshires)
1 (12 oz.)can of evaporated milk
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons sugar OR MORE (you can bet that I add at least 1/4 cup)
6 to 8 oz. Velveeta cheese

In a large pot put water to boil. Salt to taste. Put in macaroni. (Momou breaks hers in half before adding to boiling water.) Boil until tender. Drain. Pour macaroni and all other ingredients into a 9 x 13 glass dish. Stir well. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Now here's the HAVE to keep a watchful eye on the macaroni. Once the evaporated milk is just about gone you have to turn off the oven right then and there and let the macaroni sit. And then you will be assured of creamy and sweet macaroni.

A favorite pastime of mine, my aunts, sisters and Momou is to "try" the macaroni once it was out of the oven. We did this without barely anyone noticing. We did this by grabbing a lose edge of a noodle whose end was a little toasted at the top of the dish. Just simply pull this toasted end and it will just slide right out all creamy and yummy on the other end.

I hope this dish finds its way onto your table over the next Sunday lunch or holiday dinner. Or even a random weekday night! I assure you that your day will be much better knowing that Momou's macaroni is at the end of it. Enjoy!

P.S. The picture above is of Momou, my husband and I on our wedding day. We were showing Momou the goblets that we were using. They were the goblets made especially from Momou and Grandpa's 50th anniversary party. Jason had the larger goblet that was engraved "Lut" and mine was the smaller goblet engraved "Narcille". Priceless...

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate? Good... Mayonnaise? Good... Put them together? Even better! I'm so serious about this. I am not lying to you even one little bit. Chocolate and mayonnaise make a delicious combo. So what do we have here? CHOCOLATE. MAYONNAISE. CAKE. Oh, did I forget to mention that last little part about cake? Well you heard right!

Last Saturday night was a much needed girls night. First thing first... was to get the men (precious as they are) out of the house. Which is exactly what we did:) Then settle in over lots of food and talk nonstop. Which is exactly what we did:) Then came the main event: dessert time with a good girly movie. And this is where our Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake came into the picture...

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
1 package chocolate cake mix (with pudding)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup water
3 eggs
confectioners' sugar

In large mixing bowl, blend all ingredients at low speed for 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar.

Why add mayonnaise you might ask? Pure moistness! Imagine this sweet chocolate cake sprikled with powdered sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream. Now I don't mind bragging on these recipes because they are not mine. They belong to Momou.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Quick Bread

I hate that it has been over a month since my last post! But what a perfect time to pledge to be more faithful to my blog but than the new year! I just watched Julia and Julia again and this time with my hubby (who had never seen the movie). Watching Paul and Julia Child and Julie and Eric Powell with my hubs made me so happy. I realize that I am married to my own Paul, my own Eric. Paul and Eric supported their wives in their other true They supported their dreams, ambitions and desires all having to do with food. And Jason is just the same. He can't wait to see what life might have in store for me and my passion of cooking and for that I am so so so grateful...and lucky.

Speaking of my wonderful man, I made him a special dinner as part of his Christmas present. Not just any dinner but all of his favorites. Portabella Mushroom Tortellini and Angel Food Cake...all by candlelight at that! I decided to throw in a Momou twist and make a Momou recipe somewhere in that menu. And I found JUST the right recipe. Now the name is kind of bland BUT the taste is delicious and perfect for my man. The recipe was for Quick Bread but it was truly biscuits that had ranch dressing in it! Biscuits AND Ranch dressing...more of his favorites!

The other best part is that this recipe calls for three ingredients! ONLY three! And it took just a few minutes to whip up! So break out that muffin pan and get ready to use this recipe very often. These zesty muffins go with ANY dish!

Quick Bread
1 cup self rising flour
2 Tablespoons salad dressing (I used Ranch Dressing of course!)
1/2 cup milk

Combine all ingredients and mix to a lumpy batter. Spoon in a 6-cup muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Muffins will be white. Oh and I did add a dash of cayenne pepper for good measure. What can I say? I just like spice in my life!

There you have it folks! Nothing to it! This is one of the few Momou newspaper recipes that have the name of who contributed it. So thank you Mrs. Jimmy Ray Everett. Your recipe is delish!

And to my husband: As someone once said, "You are the bread to my butter and the breath to my life." I love you.

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