Friday, June 10, 2011

Yummy Taco Mac

So this little tasty surprise came out of another one of mom's Taste of Home Cookbooks, but I altered it some. It was originally called Chili Cheddar Penne, but I like Taco Mac better.   We ate it as a meal itself, but this meatless dish would be a yummy side, too.  This is my version:

Taco Mac 
3 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
3 cups (12 oz) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 teaspoons taco seasoning
1-1/2 cups fresh corn, removed from the cob*
1 large can chopped green chilies, drained (mine was 7.5 oz)
large handful chopped cilantro
corn tortilla chips (optional, but yummy!)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Three minutes before pasta is finished cooking, add the corn to the boiling water.  Bring back to boil for remaining time, and drain the corn with the pasta. 

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for three minutes or until thickened.

Reduce sauce to medium. Stir in the cheese, taco seasoning, and green chilies.  Drain the corn and pasta; stir into the cheese sauce. Cook and stir until heated through. Add half of the chopped cilantro.

Garnish with crumbled corn tortilla chips and remaining cilantro. 


Notes:  The original recipe called for frozen corn that was thawed, so you could use that, too.  I just happened to have some delicious fresh sweet corn and used that. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sugared Cherry Jewels

These were from one of Mom's cookbooks... The Best of Country Cookies.  Crisp and buttery on the outside and chewy in the middle these are quite the tasty treat.  Instead of vanilla flavoring, almond compliments the cherry nicely.  These are pretty at Christmas, but are delicious anytime of the year!

Sugared Cherry Jewels

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks) 
1/2 cup sugar (+ more for rolling) 
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 eggs, separated 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) extract
2-1/2 cups flour
1 (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in corn syrup, egg yolks, and flavoring. Gradually add flour. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until it is easy to handle. Roll into 1" balls. Beat egg whites until foamy.  Dip the balls in the egg whites, then roll in sugar.  Place about 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke a whole it the top of the cookie.  Place a cherry half in the hole.  Bake for 14-16 minutes in a 325 degree oven or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.