Coconut & Lime recipes & cooking tips by cookbook author Rachel Rappaport Thu, 28 May 2020 20:14:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Coconut & Lime 32 32 176983765 Seafood Orzo with Lemon, Dill & Olives Thu, 28 May 2020 20:06:09 +0000 This whole dish came together in about 30 minutes and uses very pandemic-friendly pantry and frozen ingredients.

mixed seafood orzo

Seafood Orzo with Lemon, Dill & Olives

Pantry staples and frozen seafood really shine in this easy yet super flavorful weeknight meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean


  • 2 small to medium zucchini, cut into half-moon slices
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 scallions, whites and greens chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives
  • 12 oz orzo
  • 3-4 oz crumbled feta
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon refrigerated dill paste look for a tube in the produce department near fresh herbs
  • 1 lb frozen "seafood mix" I used a mix of raw shrimp, bay scallops, squid and mussels


  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook the orzo according to package instructions until almost al dente (around 9-10 minutes) and drain.
  • Meanwhile, saute the shallot, scallions, garlic, and olives until the shallot is translucent. Add in the orzo, feta, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt/pepper and saute until the orzo is well coated.
  • Add the STILL FROZEN seafood mix and dill, cover, stirring occasionally until the raw seafood is is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


  • For best results, use a seafood mix that has raw ingredients in it, don't use a mix that is all fully cooked seafood. 
  • Don't defrost the seafood! We are using it straight from the freezer for this recipe. 


Since the coronavirus, I’ve really stepped up my efforts to shop less frequently, shop smarter, and reduce waste. I already was pretty good at the food waste part and I’m an excellent shopper but shopping less frequently can be challenging. I posted some tips here but it’s still tricky. The biggest change food-wise for me is not going out to eat or getting takeout. I know takeout is considered “safer” but I don’t really feel comfortable putting the workers in danger just because I don’t feel like cooking. It also seems like a hassle to pick up the food, worry about other people waiting, worry about the staff, come home, and then have to decant everything into serving bowls or plates anyway. It’s a huge failure of our government that they aren’t making it easy for businesses to stay closed and keep their employees safe. But I digress! We are doing most of our grocery shopping in person, once every 3-4 weeks, we get the same produce delivery we’ve gotten for 6 or 7 years now during the growing season (and it’s finally starting to be more than lettuce and onions) and have made a few orders of shelf-stable staples.

Making every meal we’ve eaten for the last 75+ days and for what will surely be many months to come is tiring but it is an opportunity to try some new things! I’ve been trying to get into using more frozen seafood in my meals. So far there haven’t been any supply issues for it and even Aldi sells a ton of reasonably priced, wild-caught, sustainable fish. One thing you might not know is that unless you live near water (and even if you do and are shopping at say, Safeway instead of a local market) most seafood sold at seafood counters in the US is previously frozen anyway. Now you are just defrosting it (or not! I cook my tuna steaks and this mix from frozen) yourself.

I impulse bought this mix at Aldi last month and didn’t have any idea in mind. I googled recipes for it and didn’t find anything good. Frozen mixed seafood is gross! It’s rubbery! It’s flavorless. This was disappointing to see! I mean, I thought it might be a mixed bag (ha!) but the reviews were pretty much universally negative. I was undeterred because I don’t want to waste food and I knew my bag had a mix of what seemed to be par-cooked seafood (the mussels) and raw (the rest of it) which make a big difference. I also knew that no matter what the bag says, you can cook small pieces of seafood (like shrimp or tuna steaks that you want a little rare inside) from frozen just fine. So that’s what I did.

I basically made the whole dish then dumped in the blob of frozen seafood, covered it, and cooked it for around 5 minutes until the shrimp, scallops, and squid were all just cooked through. No rubbery seafood here! It was great! The seafood still had a ton of flavor, the texture was perfect and it was so easy! I’m never going to buy a 1/4 pound of 4 types of seafood to make a weekday (night) pasta dish so why not use frozen? Even the mussels were pretty good. Would I buy frozen mussels to recreate the bucket of mussels I had on the streets of Belgium? No. Were they tasty and fresh-tasting in this dish? Yes. The trick is not to overcook them.

Other pandemic friendly things I did in this dish were to use dill paste instead of fresh dill. Dill does not keep very long and I find that by the time fresh herbs get to me in my produce box (and some greens) even though it is local, they really need to be used that day if possible. The tube is basically dill in some olive oil and a dash of citric acid to keep it fresh looking (and tasting). Dried pasta like orzo of course lasts years, jarred olives are a staple, and lemons can last a month or more on the counter. Feta is another long-lasting cheese that adds a lot of flavor even in small quantities.

Carrot-Ginger-Walnut-Yogurt Muffins Wed, 27 May 2020 02:33:01 +0000  


Carrot Yogurt Muffins

Ginger is carrot's best friend and I use two types of ginger in this recipe for maximum flavor--both freshly grated and ground.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword muffins


  • 1 3/4 cups grated carrots
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 inch knob ginger grated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 wells in a muffin tin. Set aside. (I actually ended up making about 15 muffins but I think I underfilled some as some of the muffins came out pretty dinky. You might want to have a second muffin tin ready just in case.)
  • In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the carrots, flour, yogurt, oil, egg, gingers, baking powder, and salt until a fairly smooth, uniform batter forms. Fold in the walnuts.
  • Evenly divide the batter between each well. Top with a walnut bit (for decoration) if desired.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center muffin comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack in the pan for 5 minutes then remove the muffins and cool completely.


  • Muffins are easy to freeze! Place in an airtight container or resealable bag for up to 3 months. 
  • I like to put a nut or oats on top of muffins that contain them to make it clear what's inside. This is especially helpful if you are making a lot of muffins and freezing them. A lot of muffins look the same and sometimes I like to freeze a mixed bag for variety. 

Are we tired of muffin recipes yet? I hope not but I can’t hear you answering anyway so I will assume you said no. Since we are on day 75 of staying home and I don’t really see that changing, I’m back baking muffins. I’ve said it before but they are great for our stay at home lives because they not only keep my husband from eating eggs and/or toast for breakfast each morning (two items that are in short supply when you are trying to only shop every 3-4 weeks) and they are a great way to use up odds and ends that might be getting a little dodgy. This week it’s plain yogurt that expires tomorrow that I had bought to marinate a chicken with but that chicken turned out to be a monster and could not be contained by a gallon bag and some getting-soft carrots. Tada!

Carrots and ginger go together so well, I don’t know why it isn’t considered a classic combination like peanut butter and jelly or strawberry and rhubarb. The spiciness of the ginger really jazzes up can-be-boring carrots and accentuates their earthy sweetness. Yogurt adds a tang to the muffins but I also think it gives muffins a lighter texture.

Cod & Potato Gratin Fri, 22 May 2020 20:50:57 +0000 Come From Away.]]>  


Cod & Potato Gratin

Cod and potato gratin inspired by the Broadway play, Come from Away.


  • 2 1/2 lb Russet potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2/3 loose cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onions, greens and whites, chopped
  • 1 1/3 lb cod filets
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded gruyere
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs we've been making crumbs with the heels from white and rye swirl bread and freezing them


  • Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain, and remove the potatoes to a large bowl. Mash the potatoes with the milk and butter. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, saute the onion, garlic, parsley, and spring onions until the onion softens in a bit of olive oil. Add the cod. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the cod is cooked through. Flake the cod with a fork or the back of your spoon. Add the mixture to the potatoes. Add the spices and half of the cheese. Stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.
  • Scrape mixture into prepared bowl, top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


If you'd like your bread crumbs extra toasty (I didn't bother myself but it's a good idea), brown them in a dry skillet before adding them to the topping. 


About a year ago we went to see Come From Away at the Hippodrome Theatre here in Baltimore. I honestly didn’t know what to expect–a musical about rerouted planes on September 11th??–but was delighted by what we saw. Being who I am, I was very interested in the mentions of food in the play. As soon as the curtain went up, I googled “cod au gratin” a dish they mentioned as being a classic up in Newfoundland. I found a tweet on the official Come From Away twitter account that included a recipe. It was pretty much what I expected (cod, cheese, and breadcrumbs) but I had sort of been expecting it to include potatoes. Possibly because potato and cod are linked in my mind thanks to our own local cod dish, coddies, which are fried potato-salt cod cakes. Or I just like potatoes.

I filed the idea away for a future meal but clearly it took a pandemic and being stuck in the house for 70 days to get me to make it. This May has been freakishly chilly and damp so, despite the late date, it is totally casserole weather. I haven’t been grocery shopping since April so I had some aging potatoes to use up, half a bag of frozen Alaskan wild-caught cod, some shredded gruyere (from Aldi!), breadcrumbs we’ve been making from heels of bread and freezing and some parsley and green onion from this week’s produce delivery. What better day to make my dream cod au gratin?

The finished result is a little easier than the “official” version– I think, no roux, and I think hardier thanks to the addition of the potatoes but I’m sure more flavorful. To keep it from being too bland (honestly, I rarely buy cod because it is bland and unlike the people of Gander, I am not fishing for it myself), I added a healthy dose of paprika, a sprinkle of rosemary, garlic, onions, and spring onions. The parsley and spring onions also added some much-needed color. The result was really good! Gruyere is a fairly assertive cheese (maybe try a sharp cheddar if you don’t have any) which added a lot of flavor but didn’t overpower the cod. It was homey and very comfort food-y, something I think we all need right about now. I’m sad it took me a whole year to make this! It’s worth tracking down fresh (or frozen) cod.


Sweet Potato Spice Muffins Mon, 18 May 2020 22:10:39 +0000  

sweet potato muffin

Sweet Potato Spice Muffins

These muffins remind me of sweet potato pie minus the pie crust. 
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword muffins


  • 1 cup roasted sweet potato, cooled (about 1 medium sweet potato)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground anise


  • Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 wells in a muffin tin. Set aside.
  • Place the sweet potato in a medium bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the sweet potato until smooth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Evenly divide the batter between each well.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center muffin comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack.


  • Roast sweet potatoes for about an hour at 400 or until fully baked. Allow to cool to room temperature before scooping out the flesh. 
  • Freeze leftover muffins in an airtight container. Defrost overnight in the fridge in foil. Bake for about 5 minutes at 350. 

Another week at home (day 67!) means another muffin. They really have been great for breakfasts during this time. One batch lasts my husband a week or so and they all freeze well. They don’t use as much flour as bread and only one egg. We are still trying to stick with grocery shopping only once every 3-4 weeks (you can see what we are eating and how we are doing this over here) so eating toast and eggs every day really isn’t feasible.

Muffins are also a great way to use up odds and ends we have. I don’t love sweet potatoes outside of pie but we’ve gotten a few the past few weeks in our produce delivery that I had to do something with. I roasted two and ended up only needing one for this so I froze the other one for more muffins or bread. Last time I had a ton of carrots to deal with so I made carrot-ginger muffins and they ended up possibly surpassing zucchini muffins as his muffin of choice! Muffins come together very quickly and since they are made with oil, not butter, you don’t have to wait for any ingredients to come to room temperature you can just mix and pop them right in the oven. I do recommend beating the potato before adding the remaining ingredients so it is smoother and you don’t end up with any big chunks in the final muffin.

The flavor of these is very similar to sweet potato pie but without a crust!

Green Garlic Hummus Mon, 18 May 2020 14:26:25 +0000  

green garlic hummus

Green Garlic Hummus

Green garlic is typically only available a few weeks each year. Make the most of it in this deeply garlicy dip.


  • food processor


  • 2 stalks green garlic (whites and greens), finely chopped
  • 2 15- oz cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice and zest of two lemons
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pinch garlic powder
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth, scraping down the walls of the food processor as needed. Add additional oil or water as needed to thin out the mixture. Refrigerate leftovers.


Serve with warm pita. Garnish with sesame seeds, olive oil or paprika.

Green garlic is normally only available for a very short time in the spring. Not to be confused with garlic scapes which is a shoot from a mature garlic plant, green garlic is more like a scallion or green onion both in appearance and that they are harvested before the bulb fully forms. (note: some varieties of scallions or green onions never grow bulbs and spring onions are mature green onions or scallions) Think of it as baby garlic. Unsurprisingly, it is quite green and has a fresh garlic flavor that is a little more herbal than a mature bulb.

The green bits are a bit woodier than that of a spring onion or scallion so take care to finely chop them if you are using them raw or not pulverizing them as you do for this hummus.

I did add some regular garlic to the mix and our secret ingredient, a pinch of garlic powder to the hummus so this is for serious garlic lovers only, vampires beware!

Every time I make hummus, I wonder if this is the time I am going to peel the chickpeas before using them. The answer so far, as always been no. However, if you are more patient than me, peeling the chickpeas does make for a very smooth hummus.

I served with it with homemade pocketless pita, stuffed grape leaves, and tomatoes with eggplant from Trader Joe’s and homemade lamb-green garlic kofta for a snackies, tapas at home type meal.

Peanut Pretzel Cornflakes Bars Mon, 11 May 2020 14:45:14 +0000  


Peanut Pretzel Cornflakes Bars

A sweet and savory version of 7-layer bars (aka Hello Dolly Bars or Magic bars) featuring chocolate, peanuts, cornflakes and a pretzel crust. 


  • 1 3/4 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 2/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a small pan. Stir in vanilla Remove from heat and stir in pretzel crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press, using the back of a spoon or the bottom of a measuring cup into the bottom of the buttered pan taking care to reach all corners.
  • Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips, then the peanut butter chips, peanuts, and finally the cornflakes over the pretzel layer. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top, and spread with the back of a spoon or spatula until the mixture is evenly coated.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown and the bars look “set”.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack completely before slicing. This seems to take forever but resist the urge to cut them when they are even remotely still warm. You can refrigerate them before slicing if you are a clean lines fanatic. Store in the refrigerator or on a cool counter in an air-tight container.


Freeze leftovers up to 6 months if desired.

There is a place about an hour or so away in PA that purports to be the birthplace of hard pretzels. We visited the tiny museum last summer and my husband fell in love with the pretzels, specifically the horse and buggy shaped ones. As we learned on the tour from our must-be-in-high school-musical-theater tour guide, the pretzels have a bit of malt in them which gives them a distinctive flavor. We bought several bags on our first trip and then returned (it’s a cute little town with a Main Street lined with cafes and shops) in the fall to restock. We seem to go through about 1 bag a month. When we’ve bought them in the museum shop, the expiration date was always about 6 months away. We ran out of pretzels recently and of course, we aren’t taking any day trips to PA anytime soon so I got in contact with the museum and they confirmed that they were still shipping out pretzels direct from the factory. I wanted to order a cute tin but oddly they only came with a little over a pound of pretzels (the regular bags are 14 oz) so that didn’t seem like enough or the economical choice. So Matt decided we should order a case of the horse and buggy pretzels. Which is 12 bags. They don’t have half cases, although you can order a split case but Matt only likes the horse and buggy ones and I can’t eat six bags of sourdough myself. So a full case it was! The price seemed somewhat reasonable (and we aren’t spending much money on anything else right now so why not a pretzel treat?) so I placed an order which arrived less than 36 hours later.

Unfortunately, they arrived with an expiration date of July! Of course, we had no way to check this (one of the many reasons why I haven’t been having groceries delivered) but we had hoped since it was factory direct they’d have far off dates like the ones we’ve bought at the museum. 12 bags of pretzels in what we hoped was six months was a lot more than the rate we had been eating in but now we are both having all meals and snacks here every single day so it seemed somewhat reasonable.

This was a very longwinded way of saying that we have a ton of pretzels we now need to consume in the next three months. I dropped a bag over the fence for our next-door neighbor. Then I had the idea to make 7-layer bars (aka magic bars) using pretzels instead of cookies for the base layer. It was rather clever of me, I thought. I had been thinking about making the bars for a while because they seem perfect for the pandemic. Besides the butter, every single ingredient is shelf-stable and easy to find.

These are the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Peanuts is the natural pairing for pretzels so I used those and peanut butter chips to really bring it all together. I suggest you use your darkest chocolate chips to cut the sweetness a bit. Cornflakes were my husband’s suggestion. I had bought a big box with another recipe in mind but haven’t made it yet so we had some on hand. They added a lot of crunch, some sweet corn flavor and really helped keep that sweet-salty-savory balance.



Kale-Wild Rice Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Lots of Baby Leeks Sat, 09 May 2020 23:08:28 +0000 My weekly goal during the pandemic: use up all the ingredients from my produce delivery. It’s still spring and was 35° this morning so that means a lot of kale, onions of all sorts, and turnips.

kale wild rice soup

Kale-Wild Rice Soup with Lemon-Pepper Chicken Meatballs

A hearty soup featuring chicken meatballs, spring vegetables and wild rice.
Course Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword kale, meatballs, soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs I used breadcrumbs we made from the heels of white and marble rye
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 3 baby leeks, whites and greens, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, whites and greens, chopped
  • 1 bunch baby Hakurei turnips, diced
  • 1 big bunch red kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 8-10 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 8 oz cooked wild rice I used the parcooked wild rice they sell in vaccum-sealed packets at Target


  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the chicken, breadcrumbs, lemon pepper and marjoram. Form into roughly a dozen 1 1/2 inch balls. Arrange on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, saute garlic, leeks, turnips, onions, and kale until the vegetables are softened. Add the broth, meatballs, spices, and wild rice and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender.
  • Serve immediately.

One of my goals for 2020 was to really get good at making homemade soup. I grew up in a canned soup family (although my grandfather did make beef stew somewhat regularly) which is fine, I still eat a fair amount of canned soup (as evidenced by my posts over on Cooking in Isolation) when I don’t have a lot of time or options for lunch but homemade really is better 99.99% of the time. Normally this time of year is way too hot for soup but last night I  had to wear socks to bed so here we are. Soup.

I had some beautiful red kale to use (literally beautiful, what a lovely shade of purple it was) plus some baby turnips, baby leeks (as cute as they sound), and some spring onions from a couple of weeks ago. I like to use the tops of my leeks anyway but with baby leeks (you might need a CSA or farmers market for those) they are really tender, to begin with, and cook up pretty quickly. I think to think of them as another vegetable and not just an onion substitute.

Chicken makes great meatballs for soup because it is so light and non-greasy but it does require a bit of seasoning so I was heavy-handed with the lemon-pepper. It can take it. The par-cooked packets of wild rice Target oddly sells are a real-time saver and you can dump them right in the soup without heating them up. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen them so if you have to, just make some wild rice separately the night before or wait until you have some leftovers. They had a nuttiness that really brings out some depth to the kale. Or toss in some tiny pasta instead.

Carrot Coconut Ginger Muffins Sat, 09 May 2020 01:25:50 +0000 Moist, delicious carrot muffins with a spicy hit of ginger and a touch of coconut.


Carrot-Coconut-Ginger Muffins

These super moist muffins are a great way to use up an excess of carrots.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced candied (crystallized) ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrot


  • Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour 12 wells in a muffin tin.
  • In a large bowl, mix (using a mixer or a big spoon) all ingredients together until a thick batter forms. Divide evenly among the wells in the muffin tin. Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the center muffin comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack.

We oddly ended up with a huge amount of carrots. I bought some back in March and we honestly don’t eat that many carrots and they last forever. Then our produce box started up again and we ended up with about a pound of carrots a week (not much is in season here). Then my brother bought my parents a five lb bag of carrots at Costco. We aren’t seeing them right now because of the coronavirus but my husband did a quick trip up to their house to leave some magazines for my mom and to pick up some Easter presents and a birthday present for my husband they left on the porch. They also left us a pound of carrots. So many carrots! So so many carrots. I still have a couple pounds left.

I’m still making muffins each week for Matt’s breakfast so I had him grate the really old carrots first (they were still fine! just a little sad looking) then some mega-carrots we got in our produce delivery last night so I could make muffins today after lunch. I had added shredded coconut to our produce delivery a couple of weeks ago and I had the ends of a package of candied ginger so why not toss it in? I love carrots and ginger together and coconut goes well with both. The result was a super moist muffin with a ton of flavor. No bland muffins here!

Old Bay Mac & Cheese Thu, 07 May 2020 18:26:27 +0000 I was tempted to call this “Mystery Ingredient” macaroni and cheese because my mom likes to invite me over, have me try something she makes and then guess the secret ingredient. The secret ingredient is always Old Bay. What can I say? We live in Baltimore. It’s always Old Bay.

Old Bay Mac & Cheese

Old Bay Macaroni & Cheese

Classic two cheese mac & cheese gets a Baltimore twist by adding lots of Old Bay.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword macaroni and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 3/4 cup dried elbow macaroni
  • 1 3/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
  • 1/3 cup shredded gouda
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra cheese and Old Bay to sprinkle


  • Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Set aside.
  • Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in the pan. Add the flour and Old Bay. Whisk until it forms a paste, about 1 minute. Pour in the milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the cheese and whisk until thickened 3-5 minutes. Stir in drained noodles.
  • Pour into baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and Old Bay. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

My thoughts: 

Another day staying home! I’ve been trying to make our “main meal” during the day so I can relax in the evenings. Today I was feeling a little overwhelmed but somehow managed to make this and hand-breaded chicken tenders using bread crumbs we made from the heels of bread for lunch. In under an hour. I don’t know what came over me. I didn’t make a vegetable (although, I’d argue that mac & cheese is a vegetable because it is always one of the “threes” in a meat and “three” plate) so I’ll have to make something this evening but still! Homemade mac & cheese at lunch is one of the few perks of not being able to leave the house.

As you may have noticed I’ve switched from Blogger to WordPress. I’ve been on Blogger literally since the late ’90s so it is a little weird but I’m hoping it will help you all save and print recipes more easily and make the recipes more searchable. Please let me know if you have any issues! I’m slowly editing some old posts, tagging and making new categories and all new recipes will be in the recipe card format.

Watermelon Syllabub Wed, 06 May 2020 16:13:44 +0000 A local restaurant we’ve dined at many times has been keeping afloat with takeout and boxed lunches and once a week offering a box of various ingredients for $50 for a sort of “Chopped, Quarantine Edition” challenge. This past week it included soft crabs so I signed up. Matt picked up the box and in it was 2 small soft crabs, 4 shrimp, chicken thighs, Kool-aid(!), 2 ears of corn, 4 baby red skin, potatoes, cream, 4 eggs, a watermelon slice, butter, wine, 2 kumquats and a tiny bit of shredded cheese. We were allowed to add spices and minimal other ingredients (like cooking oil–I also used sugar and flour in my recipes) but mostly only use the ingredients in the box. This was the dessert I came up with.

watermelon syllabub

Watermelon Syllabub

Bring this 16th century treat into the modern age!
Course Dessert
Cuisine European
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Rachel Rappaport


  • mixer


  • 1/4 cup pinot grigio
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • ~1/2 cup sized chunk fresh watermelon (seeds removed)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

garnish (optional): sugar (I actually used SharkleBerry Fin Punch Kool-Aid and sugar) and kumquat


    • In a bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together all ingredients until the cream thickens to nearly stiff peaks.
    • Dip small glasses or ramekins into water then into sugar (or sugar/Kool-Aid mixture), spoon in syllabub and top with a kumquat.



    My thoughts:

    I really couldn’t think of anything to do with the Kool-Aid or as a dessert when I thought of making posset but didn’t think it would work. The lack of any real citrus really was working against me in this box. Then I remembered posset’s old friend, syllabub. Syllabub is a dessert (its origins were a very similar drink of curdled cream and lemon juice with the same name) that had it’s heyday during the 16th to 19th centuries and is rarely seen today.

    It’s traditionally made with sweet wine or sherry and berries or citrus but why not watermelon and pinot? Why not indeed. It was worth a try! As it turns out, it was actually very very good. Rather rich (yet deceptively light tasting) since you are basically eating boozy cream but very tasty and I’d totally make syllabub again.

    The watermelon flavor came across wonderfully! At first, I was going to juice it but then I just tossed a chunk in (I have reached the “why not?” stage of quarantine) and it totally worked. The fruit got pulverized as the cream got whipped and tiny bits of watermelon flesh was nicely distributed throughout.
    As it turned out, I won the second prize but seriously, I was a winner because this was a delicious meal!
    My entry below (not pictured, lemon-pepper corn and chicken fritters)


    Pan-fried soft shell crab and shrimp with smashed red skin potatoes, paprika roasted carrots, and a creamy Old Bay corn, tomato, cheese sauce 


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