Even though my babies are all in their teens, I still get excited to be at home with them.. It will be short lived when they get up and are wrestling in the living room, but for now they are sleeping like sweet cherubs! Ahh…the peace and quiet! The glow of my fireplace, toasty and warm as I pour out my heartfelt words to you, to me, this is heaven! I love being at home and mothering. One of the many ways I do this is by cooking. I’m Italian after all and that’s how we Italian’s equate love, with food! Amongst other things, wink, wink! This will be a test today as I am three days now into my cleanse, down 4.5 lbs. Super slow metabolism, but its all good. So I will be tempted by the good eats so I will just double down on my juice and soup. The boys are wrestling now so they are in a constant state of working out, cutting weight and gorging. I will limit the temptation I put before them, but they will be burning a copious amount of calories shoveling snow so I will feed them some tasty grub!
Today I’m thinking Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, and Sausage and Peppers with sweet potatoes, which I roast to yummy goodness on a sheet pan. It makes it taste like traditional street fair, Italian neighborhood style, but lower in fat, because you are not frying in oil, and roasting gives the same subtle nuisances, I promise this will be your go to method. Did I mention one sheet pan? I am going to use sweet potatoes instead of the usual white potatoes since the carb splurge will be in the mac and cheese. For dessert, I will be making a chocolate mousse, which has no heavy cream and gets its denseness from egg whites. You will never make it any other way once you taste it this way. It’s simple, and oh so good! I’ll top it with some fresh homemade whip cream and there will be some happy snowbound kids in my house today!
I hope you and your family will enjoy these tasty recipes as much as my family does.
Creamy Stove Top 3 Cheese Buffalo Mac
A comfort food classic, with a sultry zip!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/ Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 lb. of elbow or pipette pasta I use Barilla, it’s my preferred pasta
- 8 oz. of sharp cheddar, 4 slices of yellow American cheese chopped. 4 slices of provolone cheese chopped
- 3 tablespoons of homemade or store-bought blue cheese dressing
- 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons of unbleached all -purpose flour
- 3 cups of whole milk warmed
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- one egg yolk
- 1 tsp. each of smokey paprika, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce,
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken, I am using leftover mahogany fried chicken from the other night. Diced, skin removed.
- 1/4 cup of hot sauce I use Texas Pete, I like it better than Frank’s but use what you like
- salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large stock pot boil water for pasta. Cook according to directions on box.
- In a microwave safe Pyrex measuring cup, or similar vessel, warm milk for about 1.5 min. or 2 depending on your microwave.
- In a large sauce pan on med. high heat, melt butter, when butter is melted add flour to make a roux. Heat for two minutes to cook out flour taste. Add warmed milk and whisk until incorporated. Add you spices, salt and pepper. Heat until slightly thickened, about 10 to 15 min. on low heat, when slightly thickened add heavy cream, whisking for another minute then carefully and continually, whisk in egg yolk, add the Worchestirshire sauce and all the cheeses including blue cheese dressing if using, continue cooking about 5 to 10 more minutes, or until pasta is done.
- While the sauce and pasta cook, in a separate bowl add diced chicken, season with salt and pepper and some Cajun seasoning, trust me on this. Add hot pepper sauce with a tablespoon of melted butter. Add to cheese sauce and heat through.
- Drain pasta. Add to a large serving dish, top with cheese and chicken sauce.
- Mix well to incorporate, you can add more hot sauce if you like it spicy.
- Serve immediately. Devour!
Sexy Sheet Pan Sausage, Peppers, Onions and Sweet Potatoes
A simplified version of an Italian Classic, that's easy, and oh some satisfying!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 1/2 of spicy and sweet sausage or whatever mix you prefer I usually do both
- 2 sweet potatoes medium diced
- 2 med. red peppers, 4 med green, sliced thin
- one whole onion sliced thin
- 4 cloves of garlic whole
- 1 1/2 tsp. each of dried basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning, and garlic powde
- salt and pepper to taste
- A few whole sun dried tomatoes if you have them on hand, which I always do.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large sheet pan drizzle olive oil, add sausage. Roast for 20 min. then remove, from sheet pan, keep warm. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees, add whole, peppers, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes. Top with herbs, salt and pepper, drizzle with more olive oil, let roast for about 20 min. until veg are cooked and carmalized. I like to start my sausage first on the sheet pan, then roast the veggies and continue cooking. I like to have the sausage get some browned goodness on it before I add the veggies, so it gets that Italian Sausage Jersey Boardwalk taste without all of the grease and extra fat! Last 10 min. of cooking add back into the veg mix and finish cooking until heated through.
- Remove from oven and enjoy on your favorite Italian rolls or simply spoon onto a plate, to cut carbs!
- This is a sexy kiss on a plate! Enjoy!
Danielle's Favorite Chipoltle Chili Spiked Chocolate Mousse
A French Classic dessert lightened up, with a bit of heat, but oh so satisfying!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 5 oz. of dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- 5 eggs separated
- cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 tsp. of Chipotle chili powder
- sprinkle of Chipotle chili powder for garnish
- 2 tablespoons of cold black coffee
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- In a stand mixer, add the five separated egg whites, about two tsp. of cream of tartar, which will making this whip fluffy to a meringue, a pinch of salt, begin on low-speed with whisk attachment, gradually increasing speed to whip until firm peaks appear. You will know you have reached nirvana when you place the whisk into the meringue and it holds its shape firmly.
- Set aside.
- On the stove top in a medium saucepan, melt butter, when butter is melted add the chocolate heating until well melted. Add egg yolks one at a time whisking well so as not to scramble the yolks, cook one minute and remove from stove top. Add in 1 tsp. of vanilla, the coffee, and chipotle chili powder. Mix well. Let cool about 5 min.
- When chocolate has cooled slightly, begin adding it to the meringue mixture.
- Now this next step is key in proper technique or you will lose the sexy denseness that you created in the egg whites. With a rubber spatula, begin to fold in the chocolate mixture to the meringue, coming up from the bottom to the top. Do not whip it with the whisk from side to side as you will lose volume. Fold well to incorporate all of the chocolate so as not to see the white meringue.
- You can do two things at this point. You can add to another bowl and chill for at least three hours, more if you are able. Or spoon into individual cups for serving.
- One chef’s note: Anyone with a compromised immune system is usually advised against eating raw egg products, while you cook the egg yolks the whites are not cooked. Our family has consumed this mousse without any issues, but anyone undergoing treatment for cancer or having undergone organ donation, should not consume egg products in this way.
- When ready to eat I top with chocolate whip cream and dig in!
For the Chocolate Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- In a stand mixer bowl add heavy cream
- I like to chill my whisk attachment for a bit to making whipping the cream a breeze it is not necessary to do this but it helps
- Begin whisking on medium speed, when light peaks appear add powdered sugar and cocoa powder, on low speed to mix so you are not bathed in cocoa and powdered sugar, begin to gradually increase speed whisking at high until stiff peaks appear. Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use. I like to pipe the whip cream in a pastry bag using a star tip for presentation and it’s flippin’ fun!
- ***This is perfect for any dessert and I even use it with fresh raspberries in puff pastry Napoleon desserts. Delish!