I missed our annual holiday potluck at work last week because I was in the Outer Banks visiting relatives and finishing my holiday shopping. Don’t feel too sorry for me, though – I had some great crab cakes made with my stepfather-in-law’s crab from his summer crab pots (he freezes a bunch). I also had tasty gumbo and the best Dom Ka Gai soup and fresh rolls ever at the Thai Room on the beach road.
But we have a recipe contest with the potluck every year and from what I understand, the winning recipe was a real treat. Editorial assistant Danielle Dunaway took first place with her bacon macaroni and cheese, and she was kind enough to share that recipe with us (see below). It looks pretty darn easy!
Another recipe I’ve been wanting to share originally came from my friend Libby Rackleff. She brought these peppermint-patty brownies to our house for a Christmas gathering and they were so good that my other friend/editor, Kathy Lu, made them for the work potluck last week.
These are easy, too. All you have to do is make your favorite brownie recipe, with our without chocolate chips in the batter, and then frost them with melted York peppermint patties. You can use a 12-oz. bag of peppermint patties or more, depending on how thick you want the icing layer to be. There is no need to mess with a double boiler — just put the peppermint patties in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke them for one minute. Stir, then nuke them for another 30 seconds. Stir again and they should be ready to spread on top of the brownies. If not, microwave in 15-second increments until they are spreadable.
Alternatively, I have seen recipes that say to bake the brownies, then layer peppermint patties on top of the brownies and put them back in the oven for 5 minutes, or until melty enough to spread around on top of the brownies.
For some reason, I liked these brownies better than recipes that have the whole patties embedded in the brownies. As an added bonus, York peppermint patties are fat-free. Of course, they contain a bunch of sugar. But oh well, see the holiday party rules for my response to that.
Has anybody discovered a great new recipe since we last shared our latest cooking adventures?
Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
2 boxes Velveeta shells and cheese
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 ½ cups of shredded cheese (Danielle used a Colby shredded mix. You can use whatever cheese you want)
One pack of Oscar Mayer bacon bits
A few dashes of garlic powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook and drain the pasta. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Temper the eggs by whisking them with ¼ cup of lukewarm water.
3. Combine Velveeta cheese, tempered eggs, garlic powder, bacon bits, salt and pepper. Stir bacon mixture into the pasta.
4. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half of the pasta in a layer in the dish and top with half of the shredded cheese. Spread the rest of the pasta over the cheese layer, then top with the remainder of the shredded cheese.
5. Bake the casserole until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.