Jun 172016
 

This is a family favorite I posted some time ago and finally added a couple pictures. I’m still trying to remember to take pictures when I make some of the variations, but we don’t have this recipe often due to the high-calorie content.

I also discovered something after making this recipe many times. If you stir the mixture after 30 to 45 minutes of cooking, it resembles more traditional baked macaroni and cheese. If you don’t stir, it comes out more like layers with the top being a fluffy cheese layer.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  2. 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  3. 12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
  4. 4 oz. mozzarella cheese
  5. 5 cups milk
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Layer macaroni, butter, and cheeses in a 9-by-13 dish. Pour milk over the top layer.
  3. Bake for one hour. Do not cover.
Notes
  1. To prevent this dish from becoming too brown and crusty (I like the brown and crusty myself but I know some people don’t), cover with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  2. Experiment with other cheeses!
  3. You can turn this into an entrée by adding your favorite meats and veggies!
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Some variations:

 

Baked Mushroom Cheeseburger Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb hamburger
1 diced medium onion
8 oz fresh, sliced mushrooms or 12 oz can mushrooms

Brown hamburger with onion and mushrooms. Drain and add meat mixture before cheese layer. Reduce milk by 1/2 cup. Follow remaining directions above.

 

Baked Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb hamburger
1 diced medium onion
6 slices bacon, crumbled

Brown hamburger with onion.  Drain and add hamburger and onion mixture before cheese layer.  After cheese layer, sprinkle with crumbled bacon.  Reduce milk by 1/2 cup.  Follow remaining directions above.

 

Baked Ham and Cheese Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb ham and choose any combination of the following veggies:
Onion
Mushrooms
Broccoli
Cauliflower

Fry ham and veggies to remove excess liquid. Drain and add before cheese layer. Reduce milk by 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Follow remaining directions above.

This is a very versatile dish. Try using leftover taco meat, chicken, peppers, or any number of variations to make a completely different dish every time. Let me know what you tried, what worked and what didn’t!

Jun 032016
 

This salad is especially good when using garden tomatoes. Wonderful addition to backyard BBQs, picnics and gatherings.

I try most recipes first without salt and add it later if needed. This salad seems to need the salt. You could probably do without it if using home grown tomatoes, but I haven’t tried it.

Sometimes I have to adjust the herbs depending on how strong the basil is. My basil is stronger some years than others, so if you grow your own basil, you might want to take a taste test before serving and add more if needed.

Tomato Macaroni Salad
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces macaroni noodles
  2. 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  3. 2 green onions, chopped
  4. 1 cup cubed or shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  5. 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  7. 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  8. 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni as the package directs. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Mix/toss together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours or until chilled.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Tomato-Macaroni-Salad

May 132016
 

Slightly smoky and full of flavor, this easy baked beans recipe is great for a small meal or can be doubled, tripled or more to feed a crowd. If you double the recipe, it just fits in a 1.5-quart slow cooker.

Make sure to add extra time to the minimum if you double, triple or quadruple the recipe. The sauce will thicken the longer it cooks.

You can use your favorite BBQ sauce. I use KC Masterpiece because that’s what I usually have on hand.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (16 ounce) can pork and beans, undrained
  2. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  4. 2 teaspoons dry minced onion
  5. 2 sliced crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
  6. 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  7. 2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce
  8. 2-4 drops liquid smoke (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a 1 or 1.5 quart slow cooker.
  2. Stir and cook for 4 to 8 hours.
Notes
  1. Sauce thickens the longer it cooks.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Apr 222016
 

Easy, creamy and disappears like magic!

This is a great recipe for large meals, holidays and potlucks. At potlucks, I’ve never had leftovers and sometimes didn’t even get a bite of it because it was gone before I got my food.

Want to make it extra special? Try adding ham and mushrooms, ham and broccoli or top with crumbled bacon. Even hamburger and green beans are yummy in this versatile dish.

Hash Brown Casserole
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of mushroom, chicken or onion soup
  2. 1 cup sour cream
  3. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  4. 1 (30 ounce) bag frozen hash brown potatoes
  5. 1 medium onion, chopped
  6. 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  7. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1/2 cup crushed corn flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir soup, sour cream, butter, potatoes, onion and cheese in a 9x13 casserole dish. Season with the black pepper. Sprinkle evenly with the crushed corn flakes.
  3. Bake for 1 hour or until the mixture is hot and bubbly.
Notes
  1. Try adding ham and mushrooms for a yummy entree.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Hash Brown Casserole

Mar 182016
 
Creamy Grape Salad
This is a really good kid friendly salad. What kid does not like grapes and there are lots of grapes in this one.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  2. 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 2 pounds seedless red grapes
  6. 2 pounds seedless green grapes
  7. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  8. 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. 1 In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until blended. Add grapes and toss to coat.
  2. 2 Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans just before serving. Yield: 21-24 servings.
Notes
  1. I made half of the recipe.
  2. Will try cutting the grapes in half, using only red grapes and adding cooked chicken for a sandwich next time.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Adapted from Taste of Home
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Mar 072016
 
Baked Cheesy Bacon Grits
Serves 6
If you like breakfast, casseroles, grits, cheese, and bacon this is the dish for you. Very cheesy and rich in bacon flavor.
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
  2. 1 1/2 C. water
  3. 1 1/2 C. chicken stock
  4. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  5. 1 C. quick-cooking grits
  6. 6 oz. process cheese (velveeta), cubed (little over 2 C.)
  7. 1/4 C. butter, cubed
  8. 1/4 C. milk
  9. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  10. 1 C. (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, cook b acon over medium heat until crisp. Stir occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  2. Add water, stock, garlic powder and pepper to bacon drippings. Bring to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat to med-low. Cook covered 5-7 min. or until thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Add process cheese and butter. Stir until melted. Stir in milk. Slowly stir in eggs until blended.
  4. Transfer to a greased 8" x 8" baking dish. Sprinkle with bacon and shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 40-45 min. until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted.
  5. Let stand 10 min. before serving.
Notes
  1. Can be frozen unbaked - cool, cover and freeze. Remove from freezer and refrigerate night before. Remove from freezer 30 min before baking. Bake as directed except increase time to 50-60 min. Thermometer should register 165° near center of casserole.
Adapted from Taste of Home - Fall 2014
Adapted from Taste of Home - Fall 2014
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Mar 012016
 

In the spring, as a part of spring cleaning, I make and freeze tons of pasta to save on cooling during the summer. I always freeze several bags with 2 cups of macaroni so I can make this recipe. My little 1.5 quart slow cooker doesn’t heat up the kitchen much, so this gets made often when the temperatures soar.

Consider adding crumbled bacon or ham for a yummy main dish.

Serves 2-4 depending on how much you love macaroni and cheese.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
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Cook Time
2 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups al dente cooked macaroni noodles
  2. 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine, melted (or 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil instead)
  3. 1 cup evaporated milk
  4. 1 cup shredded cheese
  5. 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Grease 1.5 quart slow cooker with butter, margarine or olive oil.
  2. In a lidded bowl, toss cooked macaroni with butter, margarine or olive oil.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stir and pour into slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 hours.* Stir every 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. *Not all slow cookers heat the same. It's a good idea to check it at 2 hours and see if the cheese has completely melted into a creamy, not stringing, sauce. If you overcook it, the cheese starts clumping together forming little cheese balls.
  2. You can use any cheese you like. I use a colby and jack mixture most of the time. I've also used Italian blend, Mexican blend, half cheddar and half provolone, but my favorite was sharp smokey cheddar.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
slow-cooker-mac-n-cheese

Jan 112016
 

Whenever I grill, I stand outside having fun playing with fire while my wife makes all the side dishes in the house. So, I decided that I wanted to make the side dishes myself on the grill so she could actually have a break from cooking.

This is one of the first sides I tried to go with hamburgers and we liked it so much that I kept making it. We’ve tried different toppings and are anxious to try even more, so let us know if you come up with something good we haven’t tried.

Grilled Cheesy Fries
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Cook Time
27 min
Cook Time
27 min
Ingredients
  1. 14 ounce bag seasoned steak fries
  2. 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  3. 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  4. 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
  5. 2 Tablespoons crumbled bacon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.
  2. Toss fries with melted butter
  3. Tear off two 12 inch sheets of aluminum foil.
  4. Place half the butter tossed fries in the center of each sheet of foil.
  5. Loosely fold foil to make a boat. Leave a big hole at the top so steam can escape.
  6. Place boats on grill over indirect heat. Cover grill and cook for about 25 minutes or until crisp, stirring once.
  7. Top each with 2 ounces of cheese and cook until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes and remove from grill.
  8. Sprinkle with green onions and bacon before serving.
Notes
  1. Other toppings to consider; sour cream, jalapenos, green chilies, monterey jack cheese (instead of or in addition to cheddar), ham, BBQ seasoning, fresh garlic...
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Nov 082015
 

When I have zucchini and need an easy side for a meal, I like to make this skillet zucchini recipe. It’s especially good as a side for Italian meals, but works with many different entrees.

The original recipe was passed down in my family and has been copied and recopied, modified and remodifed many times. This is my personal modification. It’s a simple side, but sometimes the simple recipes can be the most coveted.

I don’t usually cover the skillet, because the cast iron skillet I use doesn’t have a lid.

Skillet Zucchini
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, sliced
  3. 2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  6. 2 teaspoons basil
  7. 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  8. 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, heat olive oil in skillet.
  2. Add onion and sauté until tender.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover (optional: will make zucchini more tender) and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Oct 122015
 

Several years ago, our doctor placed us on a low GI (glycemic index) diet. Strangely enough, I had just been researching GI and GL (glycemic load) so I already knew what he was talking about. I felt like a smarty pants! Hur, hur!

One of my biggest hurdles was pasta. I didn’t think I could live a life without pasta. I didn’t know about Dreamfields Pasta in the beginning, so I started looking for alternatives. With all the cost of some of the alternative choices, I decided to give zucchini pasta a reluctant try.

While zucchini pasta doesn’t taste like pasta and isn’t exactly the same texture as pasta, I found it worked beautifully as replacement in some dishes. I just didn’t think if it as a pasta dish anymore, but a new concoction. Spaghetti made with zucchini pasta is really good. It’s especially good when you add plenty of veggies like fresh mushrooms, peppers and onions. I tried calling it Zughetti, but it didn’t catch on.

So, if you’re looking to eat low GI or just healthier, give zucchini pasta a try. We found it works well with some things and not others. I think we tended to like it better with tomato sauces and we use Dreamfields for everything else.

Zucchini Pasta
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Ingredients
  1. Zucchini (amount depends on size of zucchini)
  2. Salt
Instructions
  1. With a knife or vegetable peeler, cut or peel strips of zucchini. Make them as wide or as narrow as you need depending on what type of pasta you're replacing. Wider strips for fettuccine or linguine and thinner for spaghetti. Stop when you get to the seeds in the center.
  2. Place zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1 cup of zucchini strips. Toss to coat the zucchini with salt.
  3. Place a bowl under the colander and a small plate inside the colander on top of the zucchini strips to squeeze out the liquid. Place a weight on the plate. Several cans of canned goods work well as a weight.
  4. In 30 minutes, remove the weights, plate and stir the zucchini. Replace the plate and weights. Leave for another 30 minutes or longer if you want the strips to be more solid. I've never left them out for more than 12 hours, but you can leave them for up to 24 hours.
  5. Rinse off the salt and replace the plate. Press down to remove excess liquid.
  6. Do not cook the zucchini strips. They become mushy and do not resemble pasta anymore. You can heat them up a little, but I usually use the food I'm serving them with to eat up the strips.
Notes
  1. Zucchini pasta works well with low GI diets.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
zucchini

I didn’t take pictures last time I made zucchini pasta, but I took pictures of the zucchini before I made them into pasta. Not sure why. I’ll try to remember to take pictures next time.

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