Chicken Mac and Cheese

I like to watch cooking shows to get ideas for things to cook. Among the show’s I like is Rachel Ray. A couple of weeks ago, she had an episode where they made a bunch of different dishes starting with a Rotisserie chicken. So, I thought that it might be good to add a Rotisserie Chicken to Mac and Cheese – and I was right.

So, I went to Food Maxx and picked up a Rotisserie Chicken, and deboned it (of course, I nibbled all the while, lol), and boiled water to cook 2 1/2 cups of Elbow Macaroni.

We picked up some fresh Corn on the Cob – I put it to boil in some salted water.

After the Macaroni was cooked and strained, I set it aside for now. Then, I started working on the sauce for the Mac and Cheese. I made this sauce based on the Bechemel Sauce I made for the Croque Madame Sandwich – starting by melting some butter (about 1/2 pound), then adding 3/4 cup of AP Flour – and stirring until brown and “clumpy.” Then I began to add the milk and the Velveeta Cheese – (2/3 of a brick). I let it simmer until the cheese was blended and incorporated into the mixture – adding milk until reaching the consistency that I wanted.

Then, I added the cooked Elbow Macaroni and the Rotisserie Chicken to the Cheese sauce and stirred until thoroughly mixed.

Now, it was time to eat, lol. We served the Chicken Mac and Cheese with the Corn on the Cob – which I finished with some Butter, Grated Parmesan Cheese ,and Cayenne Pepper.

This an amazingly delicious meal that is relatively simple to make. There are not many ingredients, and in the time it takes to boil the Corn on the Cob – you can make the rest of the meal.

The Chicken Mac and Cheese is super creamy and smooth – yet, incredibly cheesy. The flavor combination, with the addition of the Rotisserie Chicken and the super creamy sauce of the Mac and Cheese is as though is was always supposed to be together.

Then, with the Corn on the Cob – Bitter makes everything better – then add some Grated Parmesan Cheese, and some Cayenne Pepper – you have a sweet, yet with a nice bite, of Corn.

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#macandcheese #chickenmacandcheese #rotisseriechicken ##foodmaxx #velveetacheese #cornonthecob #cayennepepper #smoothandcreamy #goodeats #goodfood #easymeals

Croque Madame Sandwich

About 6 months ago, I saw a sandwich on tv that look very good – and intriguing – so, yesterday I decided to give it a try. It is a classic French sandwich, called a Croque Madame. The Croque Madame starts out with Sourdough Bread, Ham, Gruyere Cheese, covered with a Bechemel Sauce, and topped with a Sunnyside Up Egg. There is also a sandwich called a Croque Monsieur – with the only difference being that a Croque Madame has a Sunnyside Up Egg on top of it. The significance of the Sunnyside Up Egg is the fact that some women wear fancy hats – which is what the egg represents.To start with, I made the Bechemel Sauce – which to me, looks like a fancy gravy – but tastes like a cheese sauce. I put 1/2 pound of Butter in a sauce pan and melted it. Once the Butter was melted, I added 3/4 cup of AP Flour and wisked until it had turned brown and had clumped up. Then I added half an onion, some Salt, Peppercorns, and a Bay Leaf, and added milk and wisked until smooth. I then added the Nutmeg. I let it simmer until the starch had cooked out (or until it no longer tasted like flour) – about 12 minutes.Then I started to build the sandwich. I applied a liberal amount of Butter on one side of each of the pieces of Sourdough bread, then added 3 slices of Deli Ham, then some Shredded Gruyere Cheese, then the other slice of bread. I put it on the griddle at a Medium -High heat, and cooked until golden brown. Then, I strained the Bechemel Sauce, and covered the sandwiches with it.Then I put it in the oven on the Broiler setting until it started to Crisp over, then I removed it from the oven.Then I cooked the Sunnyside Up Egg, and layed it on top of the sandwich. Now, it is time to give it a whirl.

This is an amazing sandwich – well worth the time and effort. You definitely are not going to pick this sandwich up and eat it – it is a knife and fork sandwich, lol.

It was a lot to eat – I probably should have only eaten half of it – but, I couldn’t resist – I ate the whole thing, lol. This is a sandwich that is definitely worth making again. As you bite into it, you get the nuttiness of the Gruyere Cheese, the crispness of the Sourdough Bread – along with the “cheesy” taste of the Bechemel Sauce (even though there is no Cheese in it).

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#croquemadame #frenchfood #frenchcuisine #sunnysideupegg #sourdoughbread #bechemelsauce #goodeats #goodfood #foodie #amazingsupper #grilledcheese #grilledcheesesandwich #knifeandforksandwich

Stained Concrete Bench

My Sister-in-law gave us this little concrete bench a few years ago, and my wife wanted to stain it. So, that was my project yesterday. Here are some before pictures and videos.

She picked out a “Golden Oak” stain – so I applied it with a brush. The seat portion of the bench seemed to the stain better – presumably due to the fact that it is a “horizontal” surface that takes more abuse from the elements than “vertical” surfaces.

In theses pictures, the seat portion looks much darker – partly because it is in the shade and the pedestals are in the sun. When I put it back in place, it looked pretty good. Here is the final picture and video.

Overall, I like the way it turned out. It definitely looks better than before.

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A Poem I wrote in 1983

This post is a little different – we are getting ready to move in about a month and a half – and I was going through some stuff in the garage – and I came across a booklet with my poems in it. I especially like this one – let me know what you think.

“’If’ For Boys”

If you can respect yourself as well as others
Be kind as well as strong when necessary
Treat all acquaintances as sister of brother
And help those whose burdens are too large to carry.

If you can dream dreams, with the willingness to pay
Whatever consequences or prices are involved
Or give your best, whether at work or play
And strive to have all troubles resolved.

If you can stand tall, although defeated
And maintain composure when victorious
Or accept criticism without becoming heated;
Knowing when to laugh and when to be serious.

If you are able to treat those you hate
With the same respect and understanding
You give to those you love, or when with your mate
Be not too giving, nor too demanding.

If you can balance weakness with strength
Never giving up, but instead compromising
Or take up the slack in the proper length
And live your life without stereotyping.

If you have the ability to admit you’re wrong;
Not to mention your many inabilities
And keep in mind, you cannot always be strong
Because being a man requires great sensitivity.

If you can be honest with all those that surround you;
And pay no mind to untruths that may affect your mood.
You’ll be a man… And all those around you
Will be the richer for your manhood!!!

Written by Matthew Liphart
November 3, 1983

Let me know what you think, and if you want to see more of them.

Kristy’s Family Restaurant

Yesterday, my granddaughter, Leana, and I went to Ridgecrest – and we stopped at a local restaurant called Kristy’s Family Restaurant. It was a nice place. The portions were substantial (neither of us completely finished our Fries), the food was good, and the service was good, as well.

We started with some Buffalo Wings – which were amazing. They were not super hot – but incredibly tasty.

Then, for the main course, Leana had an Avocado Jack Burger, and I had a Mushroom Swiss Burger. Leana’s Burger had a bunch of Avocado on top of the patty – and Jack Cheese.

My Mushroom Swiss Burger was pretty self explanatory – some Sautéed Mushrooms, with Swiss Cheese – and it was cooked to perfection. The buns were very soft – and had a good flavor to them. The French Fries had a nice “crunch” to them, and not over-cooked.

It was a nice experience – a nice, local restaurant – with good food and service. If in Ridgecrest, I would highly recommend Kristy’s Family Restaurant.

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#kristysfamilyrestaurant #avocadojackburger #mushroomswissburger #frenchfries #buffalowings #familyatomosphere #goodfood ##foodie #goodeats

Chocolate Profiteroles

Well, yesterday, I tried something new again. I saw these Chocolate Profiteroles on TV – and I thought “they look good” – so, I gave it a try. To start with, I gathered my ingredients – AP Flour, Cocoa Powder, Sugar, Butter, 2 Medium Sized Eggs, and Water. I put the Water and the Butter in a saucepan on medium heat until the Butter was melted. While that was on the stove, I combined the dry ingredients. I then added the dry ingredients to the saucepan, and stirred with a wooden spoon until it had all pulled together and away from the edges.

I removed the pan from the stove and let it cool some – not totally cool – but enough that it doesn’t cook the Eggs when added. Then I added this dough to the Stand Mixer, and started the mixer. As it was running, I added in the 2 Eggs and let it mix for a few minutes – until thoroughly mixed.

Then the real fun began – trying to create the little pastries with the pastry bag. I found out that my dough was too thick – and I blew the side out of the bag.

Then, it was time to life them. I was mediocre, at best, in this part of it, lol. Part of the problem was that I blew out the side of the first Pastry Bag – so we had to go get some more. By then, the Profiteroles were a bit harder than they should have been. But, here is my attempt.

First, I made some homemade Whipped Cream with just Heavy Whipping Cream and Sugar. The Whipped Cream was amazing – very smooth, yet full of flavor.

Here is where it gets interesting – the way I saw them made on TV was that they were covered with melted White Chocolate. I’m not a big fan of White Chocolate, so, I decided to cover them with a Glaze – made from Powdered Sugar, Milk, and Vanilla Extract. I thought they were good – but my wife thought the White Chocolate would have been better.

All in all, I would call it a success – but definitely not perfect, lol. I will make some changes next time – like maybe going with some White Chocolate – or maybe some Powdered Sugar – time will tell.

I definitely learned that it takes a bit to get used to using a Piping Bag – but, I will work on it.

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Family Get-together

This past Saturday, July 6th, we had a nice family Get-together – our Son Robby, Daughter-in-law Salina, and Grandson Malachi, were here from Montana – so, we all got together. We made some BBQ Chicken, Pork Chops, Corn on the Cob, Baked Potatoes, Green Salad, and French Bread.

I started by Marinating the Chicken Thighs in Beer, and putting my own rub on the Pork Chops and putting them in the refrigerator.

Then, we removed all of the husks from the Corn on the Cob and wrapped them in aluminum foil, and rubbed the Potatoes with Olive Oil, and sprinkled them with Salt and Black Pepper.

I put 2 Tri-Tips in the smoker, with Apple, Hickory, and Oak wood. I by those in bulk (when on sale), season them (with Montreal Steak Seasoning, Seasoning Salt, and Cayenne Pepper) – wrap them individually, and freeze them. I smoked them for about 2 hours.

I put the Baked Potatoes in the oven at 425 degrees for about an hour – and they were absolutely perfect – fully cooked, tender, and add a little Butter, Bacon Bits, and Cheese – amazing!

I put the Corn on the Cob on the top shelf of the Smoker (what wouldn’t fit, I put on the top shelf of the Gas grill) for about an hour. That was some of the best Corn on the Cob that I have ever eaten.

Our son, Robby, is one of the best Chefs/Cooks that I have ever known – and he said the Tri-Tip was excellent – that it had great flavor, tender, with the right amount of smoke. Coming from him – that was a huge compliment.

The BBQ Sauce that I put on the Chicken starts with a base of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, then I add some Beer, and some Chalula Hot Sauce – and I baste the Chicken several times while it is cooking.

The Pork Chops were seasoned with Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, Thyme, Ancho Chili Powder, and Ground Mustard. I got busy, and forgot to take a picture of the Pork Chops on the grill, lol.

But, here is the picture of my plate as I sat down to eat.

We had approximately 25 pieces of Chicken, 2 Tri-Tips, and approximately 12 Pork Chops – and there was not much left after dinner – which is a sign that everyone liked the food.

Overall, it was a great dinner, and we had a nice visit with the family. They will be here for a few more days – so we will be able to see them some more.

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#familyfun #BBQ #smoker #applewoodsmoking ##kingsfordcharcoal #smokedtritip #tritip #bakedpotato #smokedmeats #bbqchicken #sweetbabyrays #beermarinade #cornonthecob #familygettogether #porkchops #grilledporkchops #greensalad #frenchbread #Chalula