The best mac and cheese you’ll ever put in your mouth….

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Was that title too long? 🙂 LOL. In all seriousness, this is really the best mac and cheese I have ever had. I found it on one of my all time favorite blogs Pioneer Woman Cooks. I’ll admit, I’m in love with Ree. Her blog is full of witty commentary and informative cooking entries, plus she has the cutest family ever. If you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing her blog before please go check it out, you’ll be hooked!

PW’s Spicy Mac and Cheese
(source: Pioneer Woman Cooks, my changes are noted in bold)

Ingredients
4 cups cooked macaroni or cavatappi
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 finely diced red onion
Equal amount diced red bell pepper
1 finely diced jalapeno
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup half and half
1 generous cup grated Pepperjack cheese (I sometimes use half pepperjack and half mild cheddar)
2 Tbsp butter
Salt
Pepper

Directions

Boil pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and vegetables over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add in canned chilies and stir around, then turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it to skillet. Pour on cream, add cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. At the end, add 2 tablespoons butter and stir again. Check seasonings and serve.

Cajun Chicken Pasta and Paula Dean’s Cheese Biscuits

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** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

My friend was raving about this delicious dinner she had, so, of course I asked for the recipe. The funny thing was that when I was making my weekly menu and writing out my grocery list I realized that I had the EXACT recipe in my “to try” folder. Great minds think alike I guess. Her liking it was the kick in the butt I needed to make it.

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Recipe from allrecipes.com-

4 ounces linguine pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into thin strips
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 green bell pepper, chopped [I used orange bell pepper instead]
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced [I omitted because I forgot to get them, oops]
1 green onion, minced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream [I used half and half]
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl, and toss to coat.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chicken in butter until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add green and red bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and green onions; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat, and stir in heavy cream. Season the sauce with basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper, and heat through.
In a large bowl, toss linguine with sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Paula Dean’s Cheese Biscuits (from The Lady and Sons cookbook)

2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup crisco [I used butter flavor]
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder and sugar together with fork; cut in shortening until it resembles cornmeal. Add cheese. Stir in buttermilk all at one time just until blended. Do not over stir. Drop by tablespoonfuls (or and ice cream scoop, I used my Pampered chef scoop) onto well greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.