Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Many of us have grown up eating Macaroni and Cheese out of a box. The image of a cardboard box with two plastic bags inside of the ingredients they call mac and cheese. Around our home we try to stay away from these processed foods, we actually take the time and make our own homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole. Believe it or not even the grandchildren love our macaroni and cheese casserole. It is so good this is one of our main side dishes at the holidays.


  • 3 cups of uncooked macaroni
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs or panko
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of grated monterey jack cheese
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsps. of salt


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Bring about 6 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 tsps. of salt to the boiling water. After water came to a boil add the uncooked macaroni and cook till the pasta is al dente.
  • Drain pasta and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and add heavy cream and milk. Mix these ingredients well.
  • In a separate sauce pan melt butter and add the cheeses and stir continuously. Once cheese is melted and mixed into the butter add the eggs, milk and cream. Whisk constantly and add pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Take a 9×13 casserole dish coat interior with cooking spray.


  • Melt a ¼ cup of butter and add bread-crumbs or panko in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook till brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes the cheese should be bubbling after about 20 minutes time.

For a little variation:

  • For a little different taste add some chopped onion or ham pieces or fry off some bacon and crumble the bacon and mix into the cheese. Anyone one of these three will give the baked macaroni and cheese a different flair.
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Posted by Tom in Recipes
Southern Red Eye Gravy

Southern Red Eye Gravy

Nothing says country more than Red Eye Gravy.  According to Wikipedia Red-eye gravy is a thin sauce often associated with living in the Southern United States. The gravy is made of drippings left in a pan that has cooked sausage, bacon or country ham. Red-eye gravy is also called bird eye gravy, poor man’s gravy, red ham gravy or muddy gravy.

Today most people associate red-eye gravy with good ole country style ham. This ham is very salty and once the ham is cooked in a pan the grease is removed and black coffee is poured into the pan, this process is called deglaze the pan. The coffee and grease are then poured in the same container and mixed together to make the gravy.

Here are a couple recipes for making Red Eye Gravy.

Food Network

All Recipes

North Carolina Recipe


Let us know if you have tried this or not. If you have give us your opinion on if you like Red eye gravy or not. We would love to hear from you.

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Posted by Tom in Recipes
Dear Ole Mom’s Apple Crisp

Dear Ole Mom’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is one of those desserts that people love year-round. For our family we love this desert especially in the cool fall days. Nothing taste better than hot delicious apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over the dish. This old fashion apple crisp recipe is a hand down from my mother’s mother and it is so amazing you will love it.


For the apple filling you will need:

4 large granny smith apples that are peeled and sliced thin

3 Tbsp. of butter, softened

2 Tbsp. of flour

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 Tbsp. of milk

3/4 tsp of vanilla extract

2/3 cup of brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

Just a dash of salt

For the crumb topping:

½ cup of flour

½ cup of oats

2/3 cup of brown sugar

½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp of cinnamon

1/3 cup of unsalted butter cubed.

Just a dash of salt


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Mix in a large bowl all the ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork. Mix till the ingredients looks like small crumbs then put in the refrigerator.

In a small bowl melt the butter and flour until well mixed. Then add the lemon juice, milk, and vanilla and mix very well and then add the brown sugar and cinnamon and salt. In large bowl pour this mixture over the apples and mix together so all the apples are coated. Take the apple mixture and put in a 8×8 baking dish and spread to an even layer. Now take the crumb topping from the refrigerator and spread over the apples.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit to settle for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Posted by Tom in Homestead, Recipes
Oven Roasted Wild Boar Recipe

Oven Roasted Wild Boar Recipe

Oven roasted wild boar recipe

Living here in the south one of the more famous animals to hunt is wild boar. Wild boar also called razorbacks, wild pigs, wild hogs and Eurasian boars these wild animals are creating some major problems in the southern states especially here in Florida.

These animals were brought into the United States back in the 1500’s for a food source for the early settlers. Then in the 1900’s the Eurasian boar was brought into the United States from Russia for sport hunting. Over the years these wild hogs got with the domesticated pigs and now we are stuck with a combination which are becoming very invasive and causing property damage and other environmental issues.

The good out of these invasive animals is the meat. Wild boar is different than other types of meats both domestic and exotic, wild boar is very low fat and it needs to be fully cooked before it is served.  

One of my favorite recipes is oven roasted rack of wild boar ribs.


  • Rack of Wild Boar
  • Fresh sage
  • French shallots (5 or 6 heads)
  • Mirepoix made of chopped onion, carrots and celery
  • ¼ cup White sugar
  • 2 Apples peeled and diced
  • 2 tbs. Butter
  • 2 oz. Maple syrup
  • ¼ cup semi dry white wine
  • 1 cup Beef stock

Cooking Method

Preparation of the meat.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Score the wild boar ribs crosswise, next season with pepper on both sides and rub both sides with fresh sage.

Prepare pan with your Mirepoix and rest of the sage.

Let it sear at medium high heat on each side to a golden brown for two minutes each side.

Remove the meat.

To make the Glaze

Place in the pan at medium high heat and caramelize the shallots to a light brown.

  • 2 tbs. butter
  • French shallots
  • Sugar

Add the white wine

Reduce the liquid by half

Add the maple syrup

Add the beef stock

Once you have your reduction it is time to add your chopped apples. You must add the apples last so that they retain their crunch. You don’t want to end up with apple sauce.

Make a fairly large quantity because you will baste your wild boar about 10 times

Add the apples at the end of the cooking process so they retain their crunch.

Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Baste all the meat with the mixture.

Put in the meat thermometer into the thickest section of the boar and put in the 375 degree oven.

Cook the meat for 5 – 6 minutes remove and glaze baste again do this every 5 to six minutes

Once the meat thermometer reaches 158° on the meat thermometer for a medium well done meat remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Finish off with another drizzle of the apple glaze mixture.

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Posted by Tom in Recipes
Simple Venison Jerky Recipe

Simple Venison Jerky Recipe

Venison Jerky Recipe

There are many great venison and jerky recipes on the web, but I came across this recipe a few years ago that I fell in love with for making venison jerky. Venison is a great substitute for beef and pork and it gives you a little different taste than the normal meat.


  • 4 lbs. venison
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp homemade chili powder
  • 2 tsp homemade garlic powder
  • 2 tsp homemade onion powder
  • 1 tsp Hungarian hot paprika, more if you want it hot
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup homemade brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup homemade soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup homemade teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup homemade Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 TBS homemade hot sauce (or to taste)


Directions for cooking:

Trim fat from the meat (if there is any) and slice into 4 inch strips. The meat pieces should be between 1/4-1/2 inch thick. It is easier to slice this meat if it is partially frozen. Pound meat lightly and set aside.

Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour this marinade over the strips of meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, line cookie sheets with foil. Place strips of meat on the sheets – do not overlap the meat.


oven to 150-175 degrees; or the lowest temperature it has. Bake for 3 hours; turn the meat over and bake for an additional 3 hours. Jerky is cooked when meat is dried out.


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Posted by Tom in Recipes
Classic Southern Deviled Egg Recipe

Classic Southern Deviled Egg Recipe

Creamy Southern Deviled Egg Recipe

Living in the south there is nothing better than the Southern Creamy Style Deviled Eggs. Of course since we raise our own chickens this is a classic dish at all our family gatherings. I remember the good ole days when we would gather with friends and families and have potlucks or have church luncheons on Sunday after worship services with the church family. One of the easiest dishes to make for a potluck is deviled eggs.

Now there is many different combination but the southern style straight classic mixture is the one that I still opt out for.

Southern Style Classic Deviled Eggs


  • Six large hard boiled eggs
  • Three tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon of prepared yellow mustard
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Paprika
  • Sliced baby dill pickles


  • Boil six eggs till they are hardboiled and remove the shell.
  • Cut the hard boiled egg without the shell in half.
  • Remove the yolk and place in a small mixing bowl.
  • Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir mixture together till the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Place the mixture in a piping bag with a large round tip. Squeeze the mixture into the hallowed out egg whites. Sprinkle the paprika till pretty and garnish the deviled eggs with a pickle slice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as well as my family and friends. We would love to hear how you make your family’s favorite deviled egg dishes.

Posted by Tom in Recipes
Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Pumpkin Bread Recipe


Awesome Pumpkin Bread Recipe With Canned Pumpkin

Nothing warms the soul than fresh baked bread, especially on those cold winter days. The smell floats through the house and everyone comes running to grab a fresh slice of homemade bread when it first comes out of the oven. In the fall I love to cook homemade pumpkin bread. I do not take the time to use fresh pumpkin, I cheat and use canned pumpkin instead. Now some of you may call me a trader for using canned pumpkin, if I have the time to process my own pumpkin puree then I will, but most of the time I do not have the free time so I will use canned pumpkin instead.


We all know that time saved in the preparation of a meal is time better spent enjoying the process or the company of your family or guests.

This recipe makes one large baking pan’s worth. You can cook it in a couple of smaller pans if you wish. The ingredients below makes roughly two regular sized loaves.


10 oz. pumpkin puree (canned)

2 eggs (medium)

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preparation Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F (That’s 180 C).

2. Lightly grease your baking pan(s), and sprinkle a light coat of flour on top.

3. Combine eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and pumpkin puree in a bowl and mix until they’re completely blended together.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and the spices.

5. Mix all the ingredients together into one larger bowl using a whisk.

6. Pour your batter into your greased and floured baking pan.

7. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 F. Inspect the bread in about 35 minutes. Once you can poke it with a toothpick without anything sticking to the toothpick, your bread is finished.

But of course who can resist the urge to try a piece of this delicious bread right when you pull it out of the oven. Now no one needs to know that you did not use fresh pumpkin and cheated a little by using store bought canned pumpkin. Your guest wont know unless you tell them, you secret is safe with me.



Posted by Tom in Recipes
Easy To Make Homemade French Fries

Easy To Make Homemade French Fries

Homemade French Fries

During this time of year grilling and picnic season is just starting to take which means hamburgers, chicken and other forms of meat will be grilled and what goes better than a big plate of French fries.

Stores are stocking up on bags of frozen French fries but nothing taste better than good ole homemade fries. Store bought fries have all sorts of chemicals and additives added to the potatoes in order to make them last while sitting in the freezer waiting to be purchased. Wouldn’t you rather know what your family is eating and take a few extra minutes and make your own French fries. For my family we love going out to the garden and dig up some fresh potatoes and slice them into our own homemade fries.

What potatoes work best?

This is an age old question that has been kicked around for generations. For many people they use the classic russet potato while others prefer to use the popular red potatoes. For us we like using the Yukon Gold potatoes for making our own fries. Another option to try that I love is using sweet potatoes, these make wonderful tasting French fries.

Bake or deep fry?

Another question that gets bounced around is, what is best baked or deep fried French Fries. I personally love eating fries that I have just pulled out of the deep fryer but my body does not like this. I am over weight and have high cholesterol and high blood pressure so for my I only eat French fries that are baked. Baked fries are healthier and they are tasty and crispy just like fried fries but they are not dripping with grease.

Cooking and Seasoning Fries

After you either have bought the potatoes or dug them out of the garden all you really need to do is wash them thoroughly and slice them with a potato slicer. Once this is done either put them in hot grease or oil that is preheated to 375 degrees and cook them till they are golden brown. Or layer the sliced fries on a cookie sheet and brush them with oil. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for around 20 minutes. Once you take them out of the fryer or oven season them with salt or if you have some special mixture of seasoning then this is the best time to season the fries.


French Fries are an all American tradition especially when we have backyard BBQ’s and parties. Nothing can beat the taste of all natural homemade French fries that are served with your favorite cut of meat.

Do you and your family make your own French fries or do you still purchase them frozen from the store? We would love to hear from you.

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Posted by Tom in Recipes
Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches cake is popular in Latin America and gaining popularity in the US. The origins of the tres leches are disputed, and are usually attributed to Mexico or Ecuador, the two places where it appeared earliest. Mexico does, however, appear to have had recipes very similar to that of the tres leches, which probably led to the now famous dessert being created there, which then possibly migrated to Nicaragua.

A Tres leches cake, or Pastel de Tres leches (Spanish, “Three milk cake”), is a sponge cake-in some recipes, a butter cake-soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and either whole milk or cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.

Following the same recipe for the cake, but soaking it in a mixture of water, rum or brandy, and sugar, it is called “pastel borracho” (drunken cake). It is popular throughout Central America in this form.

In the Caribbean, cream of coconut is occasionally used instead of condensed milk. As in the pastel borracho, rum is sometimes added.

In addition, fruit or nuts are added in some recipes, as well as many other kinds of alcohol. Cherries are most commonly used as decoration, but other fruits or berries are sometimes used instead.

At some restaurants in Texas and Florida, the addition of cajeta creates what is known as a cuatro leches cake.

Tres Leches Cake

By Ingrid Hoffman From the Food Network


  • 1 pound cake, loaf-style
  • 6 ounces evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Chocolate covered candies, all in 1 color (recommended: M&M’s)
  • 1/2 cup crushed skittles


With a fork, punch some holes in the cake still in its loaf pan.In a medium saucepan, mix the 3 milks and heat over low heat. When the milk mixture is hot, remove it from the stove.

Pour the milk mixture slowly over the cake, being sure to fill all the holes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Whip the heavy cream slowly adding sugar until soft peaks form. When the cake chilled, cover the cake with whipped cream. Using the chocolate covered candies and skittles, craft out a design of your own.



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Posted by Tom in Recipes
Make Your Own Pemmican Recipe

Make Your Own Pemmican Recipe

Pemmican for emergencies

Probably a majority of you have never heard of pemmican, this food was created by the Native American Indians and then it was discovered by the European explorers that settled this land. When it was first discovered by hunters and trappers it was commodity that was in high demand. The reason it was sought after was because Pemmican was great for traveling and it was easy to store for the cold hard winters.

The idea behind pemmican is to make sure that the meat is separate from the fat, some people call this rendering the fat from the meat. Once this is done the pemmican be stored without refrigeration in airtight containers and if done correctly it can be stored for years.

Steps for making your own pemmican

  1. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting. While this is being done trim off all the fat from the meat and slice the meat as thin as you possibly can. Once sliced place the strips of meat on the oven rack and place in the oven. If you are looking for the meat to last a long time add a layer of salt to the meat. Once the meat is dry from the oven you will be able to crack the meat when you bend the pieces. Basically you are dehydrating the meat. Lean meat should be dehydrated somewhere between 100 – 115 degrees.
  2. Grind the meat is the next step. You will need a food processor or a good blender in order to do this. You will want to grind the meat to a powder. You may want to mix in nuts or dried fruit into the meat at this time. Just remember that if you do this it will reduce the shelf life of the meat.
  3. Render the fat. Take the cut off fat from the meat, or take pork lard and heat it on the stove in a pot or put it in a slow cooker and cook for several hours on low. Stir occasionally and keep cooking until the fat stops bubbling. Take the liquid and pour through a mesh strainer.
  4. Add the liquid fat. At this time slowly add one part fat to two parts meat and mix thoroughly. Do not use to much liquid fat as this could cause the meat to go rancid, the key is to mix just enough to moisten the mixture.
  5. Form the mixture. The way that I form my pemmican is to spread the mixture in a 9×13 casserole dish about the same thickness across the bottom of the dish. Let the mixture get firm and cut into bar size pieces. Some people like to take the mixture and form it into ball shapes. Taste the pemmican and if needed you may add salt to the bars or balls.
  6. Storage is easy. Once the bars are cut place them in airtight containers and store them in a cool, dark and dry location. If you prefer to store them in the freezer you can use storage freezer bags.

How much easier can it be. If you choose to make your own pemmican let us know how it went. If you have other options for your recipe feel free to add them in the comment section below.

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Posted by Tom in Off The Grid, Recipes