December 31, 2012

My Top 10 Recipes of 2012


Well, 2012 has gone by much too fast, but I am beyond excited for 2013! So many exciting things happened to me this year including getting married, moving to Louisiana, and having a baby!  
What will the new year bring?! 
Check out my 10 most popular blogged recipes from 2012 below. 
Happy New Year! 
 
10. Ashton's Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/08/ashtons-creamy-chicken-enchiladas.html
 9. Red Velvet Brownies
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/10/red-velvet-brownies.html
8. Fried Green Tomato BLT
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/08/fried-green-tomato-blt-in-mississippi.html  
 7. Salmon and Rice Gratin
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/10/salmon-and-rice-gratin.html
 6. Candy Corn Bark
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/11/candy-corn-bark-and-nurses-thank-you.html
5. Coconut White Chocolate Oreo Truffles
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/08/coconut-white-chocolate-oreo-cookie.html
 4. Blueberry Maple and Raspberry Crumb Pies
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/10/gender-reveal-party-with-baked.html 
 3. Parmesan Creamed Spinach
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/08/my-famous-parmesan-creamed-spinachfor.html 
2. Copeland's of New Orleans Chop Salad
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/09/copelands-chop-salad.html 
 And my #1 most viewed recipe of 2012 was.....

1. Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup
http://www.4theloveoffoodblog.com/2012/09/engagement-dinner-olive-gardens-zuppa.html  
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December 29, 2012

Crunchy Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

For years, I have tried to create a recipe for the perfect Macaroni and Cheese. Well, finally my friends, I did it! This recipe is creamy, cheesy, crunchy, and savory! Everything you want in the perfect Mac and Cheese. I made it for our holiday party and then again for Christmas dinner and it was a hit everyone: kids and adults. Hope you enjoy as much as we did! 
This recipe feeds a lot! Great for parties, potlucks, or family gatherings! 
About 12-14 servings.
Ingredients:
  • 16 oz. macaroni pasta
  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  •  1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 5 cups milk
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mixed cheese (I used Mexican style)
  • 8 slices bacon (add a spicy kick with peppered bacon)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
Directions: 
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan you boiled it in.    Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Over medium heat, melt the 6 tablespoons butter.
  4. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and paprika. Stir constantly over medium heat for about three minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk.
  6. Keeping on medium heat, whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  7. While the sauce cooks, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain and chop into small pieces.  Set aside.
  8. Remove from heat, and stir in 4 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and toss gently until all noodles are covered.
  10. Add the noodles to a large casserole dish, about 9X13.
  11. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on pasta, then cover with bacon crumbles.
  12. Bake for about 25 minutes, until it is bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and turn on broiler to low.
  13. In a small bowl mix panko and the 4 tablespoons melted butter. 
  14. Sprinkle topping over mac and cheese and broil until the panko is browned                            and crunchy, about 2-3 minutes.
  15. Remove from oven and enjoy!
Lots of cheese and milk make this delicious gooey sauce.
Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package.

Bacon makes everything better!
Make the crunchy panko topping by mixing melted butter and 1 cup panko together 
then sprinkling it on top. To get the golden brown color make sure you put the Mac and Cheese under the broiler for a few minutes after it is done cooking.
Take the Mac and Cheese out of the oven and add the panko topping.
Cook under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until golden.
Perfect! Crunchy, Cheesy, and Delicious!
Grab a fork and enjoy!

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December 25, 2012

Festive Christmas Party Punch


First off, Merry Christmas! I hope you and our family had a wonderful holiday! My husband and I, along with our baby girl and 2 pups, travelled home to Florida to celebrate Christmas with my family. It was so nice to relax at the condo in Destin and cook and spend family time with the ones I love! 

I made this delicious drink twice this holiday season and it has been a hit both times! 
It's best if you mix all the ingredients (but the ginger ale) and let sit in the fridge for a couple hours before serving so the flavors blend together nicely. 
Ingredients:
8 cups of lemonade
  (I use a can of frozen lemonade concentrate mixed with approx. 4 1/2 cans of water)
2 cups orange juice
4 cups cranberry juice
1 liter ginger ale
1/2 orange, sliced

Directions:
Mix together lemonade, oj, and cranberry juice. Add orange slices on top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Add ginger ale right before serving. 



 Our little potted Christmas tree at the condo in Destin, where we were staying with family.
My baby's 1st Christmas!

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December 23, 2012

Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies


 When I was pregnant I craved peanut butter. I mean I could sit down with a spoon and a whole jar a peanut butter and finish it in under 20 minutes! So when I came across this recipe for PB cookies I knew I had to try it! The original recipe is for peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies, so if you'd like those instead just simply spread a layer of your favorite jam in between two pb cookies and enjoy! 

Ingredients
  • 8 oz creamy peanut butter 
  • 6 tbsp softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Instructions
  1. Line two baking cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats
  2. Small dice the butter and put it into the mixing bowl.
  3. Place it in a mixing bowl with the sugar and mix until creamy.
  4. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined.
  5. Beat in the egg.
  6. Slowly add the flour combined with baking powder and mix until the dough forms a ball.
  7. Divide the dough in 30 small balls. Place them on baking sheets, gently pressing with a fork.
  8. Chill the cookies for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  9. Meanwhile heat the oven to 350F.
  10. Bake the cookies in preheated oven for about 12 minutes.


 
 
You can also make Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich cookies by adding your favorite jam!
 

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December 22, 2012

Christmas Crockpot Hot Chocolate


I made this Hot Chocolate at our Holiday party this year and it was a hit!
Also I loved the idea of making a big batch of this creamy drink and serve marshmallows (check out my adorable gingerbread marshmallows!)  and whipped cream on the side and letting people serve themselves. I kept my crockpot on warm and the Hot Chocolate was the perfect temp the whole party!

Ingredients:
 1 1/2 cups heavy cream,
 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (12-14oz)
 2 cups milk chocolate chips
 6 cups of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Makes a large batch- perfect for a party!
Mix together and heat.
Serve with marshmallows and whipped cream.
Baby Ava all dressed up!
Pictures with Santa. She was not happy...
until Santa sang to her and she calmed right down!
My husband was Bomb Suit Santa with his robot reindeer at the
 EOD Company Christmas party this year.
Check out my newest tree: a cooking tree!
 I found my ornaments at Sur La Table and William Sonoma!


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