Homemade Shells and Cheese

I’m going to start tonight’s post with a disclaimer. This site has ads on it. There have been some recent ads that imply you can print this recipe. Those are just ads and not part of my site. I don’t want to mislead anyone who might click on something accidentally. Thank you.

Now, onto the food. I was planning on making some pasta and cheese sauce for a few weeks, but I got busy making and eating other foods, and didn’t buy the ingredients I needed until this past weekend.

I started by heating up some water over medium-high heat. I added a little butter and garlic powder to it, but that is optional. Once it was boiling, I added a box of pasta – my choice for today was shells. As soon as I put the pasta in the water, I knew I had between 8-10 minutes to make the cheese sauce.

I started by making a roux. With the burner on medium, I melted 1/4 cup of butter and then added 1/4 cup of flour (should be equal parts). As soon as the flower was incorporated and the bubbles started going, I was ready for the next step.

I added in 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of milk. I constantly stirred this until the roux and the liquids were completely incorporated. It’s also important to frequently stir the pasta, to prevent any possible clumping.

I then added in 2 cups of shredded cheese. I used some extra sharp cheddar today, but there are days when I go with a milder cheese and there are days when I go with something with a little more tang. I turned the temperature to low and stirred in the cheese. It was right at this point that the pasta was done, so the timing couldn’t have been better.

I drained the pasta and then added it to the cheese sauce. I turned off the heat and mixed it in and it was ready to be served.

This was a lot of creamy, cheesy goodness. I only added a little pepper to it, but could easily have added more. This had a nice, smooth flavor. It was a bit mild, but still really good. This was a great way to get the week started with a positive frame of mind.


Chili and Cheese Baked eggs

Last night, I decided to try something new. I had some leftover canned chili from the day before (chili burgers for National Cheeseburger day). I decided that I wanted to bake it with some eggs and cheese in ramekins. I have had a set of ramekins for more than 10 years, but this is the first time I actually used any of them.

I set the oven to 350. I combined the chili, 2 eggs, milk (eyeballed about 2 tablespoons) and shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl. Once mixed, I buttered the ramekins and portioned out the mixture. I added some spicy sauce and gently mixed it in. I put it in the oven and baked it for 20 minutes. The center was jiggling a bit too much, so I put it in for another 5 minutes. The center had just a slight jiggle, so it was good to come out. I topped it off with a little sour cream. It turned out pretty good in terms of taste. The sauce added the perfect kick to it. The texture could have been a little better. I think that the next time I make something like this, I will whisk the eggs first, then whisk in the milk, and then combine the rest of the ingredients. I feel that it needed some more consistent fluffiness, and combining all the ingredients at once did not get me the desired result.

Now, onto the spicy sauce. I don’t know if this is still in production. It’s called Scotty B’s Ghostly Garlic sauce and is probably the best spicy sauce I’ve had. There is a nice kick due to the Ghost Peppers, but the flavor is what wins me over. It doesn’t burn the tongue or back of throat, so you are able to enjoy the combination of flavors of the garlic and the Ghost Peppers.

When I lived in California, I first encountered this at Whole Foods. My sister and I went on one of our long runs/walks (about 8 miles) and we stopped at Whole Foods for a food and coffee drink break. We got their breakfast pizza, which was really good, by the way. When looking for something to go with the pizza, I looked at the different sauces and this one stuck out. It only took a little bit of the sauce to enhance the flavor. My sister cannot stand spicy food at all, but even she would continue to eat this sauce.

I left California just over 4 years ago, and missed out on the sauce. One of my other sisters found these on-line a couple of Christmases ago, so I’ve been savoring them as long as I can before my supply runs out.

So I had some good food and some good memories last night. That makes for a positive experience. Missing things and people can bring on moments of sadness, but as long as I focus on the positive aspects, everything is all right. Stay positive and enjoy!