Pizza Mac & Cheese. New Music From Pizzagirl.

Last night I ate inside of a restaurant for the first time since late February 2020.

I was uncomfortable the entire time and couldn’t even have a cocktail since I had to drive 2 1/2 hours home.

I know it will get easier, but I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even fully appreciate eating a lovely meal that I hadn’t prepared, with fun people who weren’t in my immediate family. Man, what a messed up time this has been. I hope you are being very kind to yourself.

If, like me, you have done a ton of kitchen duty over the past 15 months you may be feeling a bit burned out. Here’s an easy and fabulous casserole to feed the crew with hardly any effort.

Pizza Mac & Cheese cuts some corners by using prepared macaroni and cheese. Pile on some ground beef and pizza toppings, bake, then dig in.


Pizza Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

1 (7-1/4 oz) package macaroni and cheese dinner mix or 1 (12 oz) package of frozen macaroni and cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
14 ounces pizza sauce
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni

Directions:

1. Prepare the boxed macaroni and cheese according to package directions. If using the frozen kind, microwave according to package directions.

2. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

3. Transfer prepared macaroni and cheese to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Top with the beef mixture, pizza sauce, pepperoni and remaining cheeses.

4. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 6

Recipe from Taste Of Home



Liverpool-based artist Pizzagirl (aka Liam Brown) has a new album ‘softcore mourn’ coming out this July. “Bullet Train”, the second single released, is pure electro-dance goodness. It’s technically sad, but it makes me very happy.

“Oh no, you kissed your plastic surgeon
With lips I know he’s working on”

Check out Pizzagirl on his Website where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Main Courses, Pasta | Tagged | 2 Comments

Brown Butter Blondies With Caramel Almonds. Listening To Ellis.

If the title of today’s recipe didn’t make you smile, then that grinning possum surely must have. What a cheeky looking little guy.

These blondies are incredible. Salty-sweet caramel soaked almonds top a dense cake layer rich with the nutty flavor of the browned butter. Yum.


Brown Butter Blondies With Caramel Almonds

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cups sliced almonds
½ cup butter, cubed
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup honey
⅓ cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Continue cooking until butter is a golden brown and gives off a nutty smell, around 5 minutes. Pour browned butter into a heatproof bowl and let come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

3. Use an electric mixer to beat brown butter with brown sugar until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Continue beating until smooth. Fold in flour and salt. Do not overmix.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until middle is set, about 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel almonds. Toast almonds on a baking sheet in oven until just starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes.

6. In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, honey and cream. Cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 116℉ on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes. Carefully add nuts and stir to coat. Remove from heat.

7. When blondies are done baking, immediately cover with an even layer of the caramel almonds. Bake 10 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into squares to serve.

Makes 16

Recipe from The Wall Street Journal


Not a smiling possum but for today’s music we go to Fat Possum (Records, that is). The arresting track “Embarrassing”, from Ontario-based artist Ellis, oozes darkness and the sadness of regret. Making it bearable is her lovely vocals and the swirl of music around it.

“Maybe you were right
when you said I love to play the victim
Maybe you were right
I’m always looking for attention”

Check out Ellis on her Website where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

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Morning Matzo. Listening To Kosha Dillz.

Happy Passover!

Got some matzo hanging around? Try this Pop Tart-like spin to sweeten up your morning.

Just sandwich some strawberry jam and cream cheese between matzos and spoon on a simple glaze and some pretty sprinkles.

Morning Matzo

Ingredients:

4 matzo sheets
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs strawberry jam
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 Tbs water
1 drop red food coloring
Coarse sugar or sprinkles

Directions:

1. Break each matzo sheet in half.

2. Combine cream cheese and jam. Spread mixture between matzo halves and sandwich together.

3. Make glaze by whisking the confectioners’ sugar with the water and food coloring.

4. Spread some glaze on each matzo sandwich and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Recipe from Food Network

Ready to rap with Kosha Dillz?

You bet you are.

The artist’s name, the song title, every lyric, the threads of klezmer…all make me smile.

Check out Kosha Dillz on Bandcamp where you can buy his music.

Cheers!

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Rainbow Spaghetti. Listening To Black Pumas.


Back in 2011, I was really into rainbows in my recipes. There was the Tiered Rainbow Cake, Rainbow Cupcakes, Graffiti Rainbow Layer Cake (one of my favorite cakes ever), Rainbow Cheesecake, and Rainbow Pancakes.

A few years passed and then I made checked Rainbow Cakes, a Rainbow Sprinkle Cake, Rainbow Cookies and Miniature Rainbow Pancakes.

Fast forward another bunch of years and I was flipping through BBC Good Food magazine and came across this Rainbow Spaghetti. Pasta struck me as such a strange thing to give the rainbow treatment that I immediately knew I had to try it.

And try it I did.

It’s colorful and weird (and evidently a huge sensory play item…just Google it).

I loved it.


Rainbow Spaghetti

Ingredients:

1 pound spaghetti
Gel paste food color (I used red, orange, yellow, green and blue. I love this brand.)
To serve: some melted butter, Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper

Directions:

1. Cook the spaghetti following package instructions. Drain, then divide between resealable bags or bowls.

2. Add a drop of food coloring to each bag. Mix well, adding a splash of water to help distribute the color, if needed. Leave for 5 minutes, then rinse the spaghetti under cold running water to set the color.

3. To serve the spaghetti, toss with the melted butter, cheese and a few grinds of pepper.

Serves 4

Recipe from BBC Good Food


A rainbow dish needs a colorful song.

‘Colors’ by Austin-based Black Pumas packs a soulful punch. It is unifying, powerful and wraps me every time in a bluesy hug.

“All my favorite colors
My sisters and my brothers
see them like no other”

Check out Black Pumas on the band’s Website and Bandcamp where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

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Leprechaun Cookies. Listening To Adrian Crowley.

Aren’t these guys adorable?

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a plateful of Leprechaun Cookies that only require a little cutting and pasting to decorate. So fun.


Leprechaun Cookies

Ingredients:

Milano cookies
Vanilla icing
Orange food coloring
Orange sprinkles
Green gumdrops
Green fruit slices (I had to use spearmint candies since that was all I could find…looked as cute)
Candy eyes
Chocolate sprinkles

Directions:

1. Use food coloring to tint vanilla icing orange.

2. Spread a thin layer of the tinted icing around edges of cookie to make the beard. Cover with orange sprinkles.

3. To make each hat, cut off the bottom of the gumdrops (this will allow it to stick to the hat’s “brim”), then cut the gumdrop in half vertically and stick it onto a fruit slice.

4. Use icing to attach the hat to the top of the cookie. Attach mini candy eyes with icing and a chocolate sprinkle for the mouth.

Recipe from Parents


Obs we should go to Ireland for music to accompany the leprechauns.

Dublin-based Adrian Crowley has put together a little story in this dreamy tune crooned in that warm, deep voice. It’s an incredible song.

“I am thankfully thankful”

Check out Adrian Crowley on Bandcamp where you can buy his music.

Cheers!

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Short And Sweet. Easy Chocolate-Almond Toffee.

And this simple toffee is mighty fine.

Just make a quick caramel, pour over tea biscuits, spread with some dark chocolate and sprinkle with almonds.


Easy Chocolate-Almond Toffee

Ingredients:

4 ounces butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
20 tea biscuits (I used Social Tea)
3 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

Directions:

1. Combine butter, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown in color (305℉ on a candy thermometer).

2. Arrange tea biscuits side by side on a large, non-stick foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Pour the sugar mixture on top of biscuits and sprinkle with chocolate. Let sit briefly for chocolate to melt, then spread. Top with almonds.

4. Chill until firm then break apart.

Recipe from Food Network


Here’s a short song dedicated to those roads.

Check out Ewan Macintyre on Bandcamp where you can buy his music.

And a sweet song. It’s oh so dreamy with maybe a hint of murk.

“Sure and further more into the night,
you make it alright,
you make it light.”

Learn more about JEEN on Bandcamp where you can buy her music.

Cheers!

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Nacho Chicken Bake. New Music From Subp Yao.


C’mon…..You know you want this creamy, cheesy, cozy casserole for dinner. It’s so easy and the assorted toppings make it fun for everyone to customize their plate.


Nacho Chicken Bake

Ingredients:

2 (7-ounce) bags nacho cheese tortilla chips (such as Doritos) (about 8 cups)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup picante sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
Toppings to serve: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 325℉. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

2. Cover bottom of prepared baking dish with the crushed chips.

3. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, soup, onion, picante sauce, 1 cup cheese and the chiles.

4. Pour the chicken mixture on top of the chips.

5. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

6. Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with your choice of toppings.

Serves 8-10

Recipe slightly adapted from Casseroles cookbook




C’mon…..You know you want a cool song to warm you up.

“C’mon”, from Netherlands-based Subp Yao, gives off such satisfying and menacing electronic passion. I also love the AHS vibes it gives me. (Now Siobhán, don’t you dare roll your eyes).

Check out Subp Yao on Bandcamp where you can buy his music.

Cheers!

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Raspberry Cheesecake. New Music From Kolby Knickerbocker.

“I once fell in love with someone who only knew 4 vowels. They didn’t know I existed.”

You are going to fall in love with this cheesecake.

Ina Garten once again works her recipe magic to create an ultra-creamy cheesecake lightly scented with lemon and piled high with jelly-glazed raspberries.


Raspberry Cheesecake

Ingredients for the crust::

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the filling:

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for the topping:

1 cup currant, raspberry, or strawberry jelly (not jam)
3 half-pints fresh raspberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. To make the crust, combine graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Press crumbs into the bottom and about 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

3. Increase oven temperature to 450℉.

4. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225℉ and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes.

6. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. (The cheesecake will not be completely set in the center). Allow it to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

7. Remove cheesecake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cheesecake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

8. To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, gently toss the raspberries and the warm jelly until well mixed.

9. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 14

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style



We all want to be loved this much.

Oregon-based artist Kolby Knickerbocker knocks it out of the park in this soulful promise to his wife. Very moving.

“There is nothing you could say
Nothing you could do, to turn me away
I will love you in every way
Over and over again”

Check out Kolby Knickerbocker on his Website where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Cake, Dessert | Tagged | 3 Comments

Naan Pizzas. Listening To ⣎⡇ꉺლ༽இ•̛)ྀ◞ ༎ຶ ༽ৣৢ؞ৢ؞ؖ ꉺლ.


Naan Pizzas use the pillowy Indian-style flatbread as the base for toppings with an Indian slant. Paneer, kale and cauliflower are baked until the veggies are crisp then finished with a drizzle of mango chutney. Fresh and quick.


Naan Pizzas

Ingredients:

6 mini naans
3 cups kale, sliced, tough stalks removed
½ head cauliflower, sliced, thick stalks removed
1 red onion, thinly sliced
226g paneer, sliced
2 Tbs olive oil, plus extra to grease
2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbs mango chutney
Green salad to serve (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 220°C/425°F.

2. Place the naans onto 2 greased baking sheets.

3. In a large bowl, toss the kale, sliced cauliflower, red onion and paneer with the oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide evenly among the naans and sprinkle with the crushed red pepper.

4. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked through, the kale is crisp and the paneer is golden.

5. Transfer the naan pizzas to a cutting board. Mix the mango chutney with
a little hot water, then drizzle over the pizzas. Serve with a green salad on the side, if you like.

Serves 6

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

This song certainly has an intriguing title as well as tune. The band is a bit of a head scratcher to pronounce (But it might very well be this lad).

Just let the cool beat flow over you

Check out ⣎⡇ꉺლ༽இ•̛)ྀ◞ ༎ຶ ༽ৣৢ؞ৢ؞ؖ ꉺლ on Bandcamp where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Main Courses, Snack | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Upside-Down Waffle And Egg Cups. New Music From Condescending.

Your morning mug of whatever will love being joined by these Upside-Down Waffle And Egg Cups. Each cup is chock full of egg, sausage and cheese baked over a mini waffle. Bonus…they can be made ahead and quickly reheated for a hot breakfast bite on a busy day.


Upside-Down Waffle And Egg Cups

Ingredients:

12 frozen mini waffles, toasted
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (9-10 ounce) pkg frozen cooked breakfast sausage links, thawed and chopped
6 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Maple syrup, to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups.

2. Place mini waffles in prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Top with sausage and remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.

3. In a medium bowl combine next five ingredients then spoon over filling in muffin cups.

4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until set and golden. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Drizzle with maple syrup before serving.

Note: To make ahead prepare as directed, except remove egg cups from muffin tin and cool completely. Store the egg cups in refrigerator up to 5 days or freeze in an airtight container up to 3 months. To serve, microwave one egg cup at a time until heated through, about 15 to 20 seconds if chilled or 30 seconds if frozen.

Makes 12

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens


I don’t mean to be condescending, but I’m certainly gonna be playing it. Condescending doing Condescending. So brilliantly perfect to play while starting your day.

Check out Condescending on Bandcamp where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

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