So, if you’ve been following my blog over the past couple of weeks, you’ll know that I have been competing in Kraft’s Real Women of Philadelphia casting competition. My last post will fill you in if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Yesterday, the second set of finalists was announced (for the side dish category) and guess what? I’M IN!!!
I am absolutely elated to have been selected. I’ll be competing in a cook-off in Toronto in July against 15 other finalists for four prizes of $20,000 and the honour of hosting Kraft’s Real Women of Philadelphia website. The recipe that won me a spot in the side dish category is called Cauliflower Creme Brulee, and you can find it here: http://luvcrumbs.org/2011/04/25/cauliflower-cr%D1%90me-brulee/.
Before being chosen as a finalist, I submitted two other recipes to the competition that I thought I would share with you. One is an entrée, the other is a dessert, and they are both totally decadent.
First off, here is my recipe for Fully Loaded Mac and Cheese. It combines creamy, gooey mac and cheese with your favourite baked potato toppings. Holy delicious! This recipe serves about 6 people and takes roughly 45 minutes from start to finish.
- 6 slices of bacon
- 4 cup(s) of dry pasta
- 1 tbsp. of flour
- 2 cup(s) of milk
- 8 ounce(s) of Herb and Garlic Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 3 cup(s) of shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 cup(s) of sour cream
- 1/2 cup(s) of chopped green onion
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place six slices of bacon in a large skillet, and cook on high heat for 5-10 minutes until crisp.
- While your bacon is cooking, place a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil, chop your green onion, and grate your cheese.
- When water boils, add dry pasta, and cook it
- When bacon is well cooked, remove it from the pan, and chop it into small bite sized pieces. Leave the bacon drippings in the skillet.
- Reduce the heat under your skillet, and to the drippings, add your flour and stir quickly. Once flour is incorporated, slowly add the milk and continue stirring. Now add your cream cheese, and raise heat to medium, until it is well melted.
- Cook your sauce mixture on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it thickens. Add 1/3 of your grated cheese (about 1 cup), and stir until melted.
- In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, cheese sauce, and another cup of grated cheese. Add sour cream, bacon, green onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until pasta is evenly coated.
- Pour mixture into a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and cover with remaining cup of cheese. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then broil for 5 additional minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
- Remove your mac and cheese from the oven, serve, and prepare to accept the accolades of your friends and family as they bite into your delectable concoction.
- 1 cup(s) of fresh fruit per person
- 2 cup(s) of various toppings (cookie crumbs, chocolate chips, coconut)
- 1 cup(s) of chopped Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1/2 cup(s) of milk
- 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 12 ounce(s) of white chocolate
- Cut fruit of your choice into bite sized pieces, roughly one cup per guest
- Select a variety of cheesecake inspired toppings that you think will pair nicely with your fruit. Choose as many of as few toppings as you like, and pour them into serving bowls. If you wish to make your own cookie crumbs for dipping, pulverize about eight cookies in a food processor to yield one half cup of crumbs. You should have a total of about 2 cups worth of different toppings. Arrange the table with your fruit and toppings so they are ready for your fondue when it’s nice and hot.
- Zap your cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then place it in a medium pot over low heat.
- Whisk in milk, lemon juice, and vanilla, and continue stirring the mixture until the cream cheese is fully melted (3-5 minutes).
- Light the burner under your fondue pot so the pot is nice and warm when you pour in your fondue mixture.
- Add white chocolate to your cream cheese mixture, and whisk until it is all melted. Pour the mixture into your fondue pot and serve immediately.
- To eat, dip pieces of fruit into your cheesecake fondue, and then roll them in as many toppings as you like. And remember, don’t drop any fruit into the pot, or you’ll have to lay a wet one on your neighbour!