Macaroni and Cheese
8 oz. macaroni noodles (makes about 6 cups cooked) that have been cooked according to package directions
12 oz. evaporated milk
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
pepper to taste
½ tsp. dry mustard (optional) – I love the slight mustard taste in mac and cheese but it’s not necessary if it’s not a preferred flavour
½ tsp. ground nutmeg (optional) – I like to use nutmeg in any kind of recipe that has a sort of cream or Bechamel type sauce in it which is sort of what is in mac and cheese
½ cup sour cream (optional) – this adds an extra creaminess and a bit of a tangy flavour to the mac and cheese. I use it sometimes but not always – depends on my mood!
4 cups shredded cheese (I generally use whatever I have on hand but prefer a blend of such cheeses as sharp cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, brick, Havarti) – Note: You can also just cube the cheese if you prefer. It’s still very tasty but it doesn’t blend in with the sauce quite as much as the shredded cheese does.
Instructions: I like to spray the interior of my slow cooker with cooking spray so the mac and cheese doesn’t stick. Some people prefer to rub the inside with a bit of oil or butter instead. I like to whisk the milks, eggs, and spices (and the sour cream if you choose to add that) together in a bowl. I put half of the cooked macaroni in the slow cooker, then dot on half of the butter, and sprinkle on half of the flour. Top with half of the cheese. Dump on the rest of the macaroni, dot on the remaining butter, and sprinkle on the rest of the flour. Top again with the rest of the cheese. Now pour the milk mixture over the entire mac and cheese casserole in the slow cooker. Cook on low for about 5-6 hours. It’s best not to take the lid off the slow cooker during the cooking process.
Note: adding some cooked spinach broccoli into the layering process can be really delicious too and makes this into more of an all in one meal. If you don’t need a meatless meal, some cooked bacon, pancetta, ham, or turkey is also tasty in this recipe!
Maple Ginger Bean Bake
3 cans (15 oz. each) of beans – choose from great northern, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, butter beans, or navy beans or use some of several kinds mixed together!
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
¾ cup maple syrup (I use the real kind but you can certainly substitute the maple flavoured syrup instead if you wish to reduce the cost)
2 T. mustard
2 T. vinegar
1 tsp. grated gingerroot
pepper to taste (I like the bourbon pepper blend in this recipe)
Note: You may wish to chop up an onion and throw that into the recipe. It adds some delicious flavour to this. Also, if you aren’t looking for a meatless meal, you can always add about ¾ cup of diced cooked ham, bacon, Canadian or peameal bacon, or even pancetta (the last one is my fave!)
Instructions: So easy – just throw it all into your slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 hours.
I’ve had to create a slow-cooker folder to keep all these yummy recipes in!