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    Sep 10, 2012 3:35 AM GMT
    Here's my favorite mac & cheese, my grandmother's recipe. She called it "hobo macaroni" and "Depression macaroni" because it's cooked entirely in a pot, no baking. That's something homeless people living in shantytowns during the 1930s Great Depression could do over an open campfire, and these ingredients back then were inexpensive.

    It's incredibly cheesy, and I only make it in one quantity, so wait until you have friends over or develop a monstrous appetite. There are just 3 ingredients, and I really believe using these same brands is the only way to get the identical taste.

    10-ounce cup of uncooked Mueller's Elbow Macaroni
    8-ounce stick of Kraft Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
    1 can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup


    Boil the macaroni per package instructions. I usually make it 10 minutes with a little salt. I strongly recommend a non-stick pot if you have one.

    Grate the cheese while waiting for the macaroni. Grating will make the cheese melt much faster in the next step. I typically use almost the entire stick, saving a little piece to eat.

    Drain the cooked macaroni, rinse, drain again and return it to the burner at medium heat.

    Fold in the grated cheese, stirring constantly until melted, and to prevent the macaroni from sticking.

    Now blend in the condensed tomato soup to taste. Do not dilute it with water, just take it directly from the can. I may use half the can, sometimes a little more, this is your call. I save the rest for other uses later.

    Serve immediately, as the cheese will begin to harden if it cools, and be difficult to reheat. Fill the empty pot in the sink with the hottest tap water, to also prevent hardening during dinner. It should be scrubbed out by hand later, even if using a dishwasher.

    Hope you enjoy!
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    Sep 10, 2012 6:20 PM GMT
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    Sep 11, 2012 12:57 AM GMT
    Everyone likes my pot roast that I make in the crock pot.

    I start by heating a large saucepan with a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Slice 1 large onion and a container of baby portabello mushrooms. Sautee them - no salt and pepper yet until they get some nice carmelization and color. Salt and pepper once they're close to cooking because the salt will draw the moisture out of the mushrooms and they won't sear. Towards the end of their cooking add 2 or 3 cloves of garlic that you just whack and pull out of the paper, but you don't have to chop it. Let that cook for a minute or two.

    I dump that in the bottom of my crock pot.

    Then I take a 2 - 3 pound beef roast - the leanest I can find and trim as much fat off as I can. Salt, Pepper, and sometimes some dried herbs if I'm in the mood like dried oregano. - Heat a bit more EVOO in the pan make sure the heat is as hot as you can get it. Sear the roast on all sides. Place that in the crock pot.

    Then I deglaze my pan with a cup or so of a good red wine. I like a nice Merlot. Let it reduce down and pull up the bits of flavor from the pan. Dump that in.

    Then I add about 1/2 a box of beef stock.

    Let that cook on high for about 3 hours or low for a bit longer.

    Depending on how rare you like your beef.

    Pull the beef out and let it rest.

    Then I push the liquid and the vegetables through a mesh strainer and the bits from the vegetables naturally thicken the "gravy."

    It sounds complicated, but is really quite easy.

    I would serve it with some roasted butternut squash and a potato gratin.

    I usually make this around the holidays.