Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sunny's Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life {Pass the Cookbook Club}

Comfort foods. I love them.  Especially when sick. I had a cold start creeping up on me last weekend and all I wanted was something warm and comforting to eat.  Good thing I had a mac and cheese recipe all ready to go that was exactly that kind of dish.

This month for the Pass the Cookbook Club, the cookbook of choice was Sunny Anderson's new cookbook Sunny's Kitchen:  Easy Food for Real Life.  The three recipes were loaded puff pastry sticky buns, honey BBQ short ribs, and spicy mac and cheese.  If it weren't for me being a bit under the weather I totally would have picked the loaded sticky buns. They sounded delicious and there was pumpkin in the recipe. It seemed only fitting. 

But then came the cold and I was not in the mood for something sweet.  The mac and cheese was always going to happen too. Just not for the official post.   I had all the ingredients already.  Pasta, cheese and a kick of spice. Yes, please.  

This recipe was amazing. I had never made mac and cheese with this method before. It was super easy.  The pasta was very cheesy with just a little hint of hotness from the cayenne pepper and pepper jack cheese. Mr. J and I ate so much in the first sitting that we didn't have nearly as much leftover as we should have had.  Oh well, I guess that is a good sign. After making this recipe, I am going to have a hard time not buying Sunny's Kitchen:  Easy Food for Real Life. 

If you want to become a part of the cookbook club read this post and click for the Facebook group. Come join us in the fun!


Spicy Macaroni and Cheese

Adapted from Sunny Anderson
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients (serves 8)
For the Croutons:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 slices white bread cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • Kosher salt
For the Pasta:
  • 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente
For the Custard:
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cup 1% milk
For the Croutons:
In a skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter.

Toast the bread cubes in the butter until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
Season with a bit of salt, and set aside.

For the pasta:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Butter a 9x13 casserole dish, making sure to get the bottom and sides.

In a medium bowl, toss together the Cheddar, Colby and Pepper Jack cheeses.

In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta and two-thirds of the mixed cheese and set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard, onion powder, and nutmeg. Then add the sour cream, egg, onion, and milk. Whisk together until smooth.

Pour the custard over the pasta and cheese blend and mix well folding together with a rubber spatula.

Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake the macaroni and cheese, uncovered, for about 35 minutes until the cheese is just about set and top is beginning to brown.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle on the croutons and return back to the oven for another 10 minutes or so until everything is golden brown.
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  1. I like seeing that it came out well with lower fat dairy too.

  2. I can't get over how how gooey and delicious everyone's mac recipes came out! I didn't make the mac (made the sticky buns), but I really need to now that I'm seeing everyone's.

  3. I opted to do the ribs, but will definitely give the Mac'N'Cheese a try after looking at all of the posts. Yum!

  4. Nothing like comfort food when you're feeling down, got to love all her recipes for the club, it was tough to decide which but my sweet tooth won out like always :D

  5. That's what I thought too after making this: How can I not buy this book? We loved this mac and cheese!

  6. This looks like it could make any sick day better! There is nothing like a good macaroni and cheese recipe! I will be trying this soon!

  7. Oooh, I love the idea of a spicy mac and cheese! Pure comfort. Hope you're feeling better, Emily!

  8. Hope you are feeling better! This mac and cheese was the ultimate comfort food.


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