These two recipes are great for parties–The Macaroni and Beef Casserole is full of great flavor and the Cheesecake recipe is traditional made simple.
While this casserole recipe calls for ground beef, ground turkey can also be substituted. Also, if Panko bread crumbs are not available, regular bread crumbs work just as well. As a topping, the bread crumbs add a nice crunch to the otherwise creamy macaroni mixture.
For dessert, try this quick and easy recipe for cheesecake, which only takes about an hour to bake and even the novice baker can make!
Macaroni and Beef Ingredients:
- 2 qt. water with a little salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp. chopped oregano
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or italian parsley
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 tsp. finely grated nutmeg
- 2 cups elbow macaroni (more if desired)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped pepper
- 1 lb. ground beef
- dash pepper
- 1/4 cup crushed, canned tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
- Panko bread crumbs (for topping)
Macaroni and Beef Preparation:
- In a separate saucepan, bring water to a boil and add macaroni. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse.
- In a large skillet, heat oil and saute onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook until wilted.
- Add beef, salt, and pepper. Cook until beef loses its red color.
- Add oregano, basil, and tomatoes. Cook and stir about 5 minutes.
- Add cooked macaroni and mix well.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour with a wire whisk until blended.
- Add milk, stirring rapidly.
- Simmer, stirring about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese, nutmeg, and add extra salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir until cheese melts.
- Spoon macaroni mixture from earlier into a 10 x 7 x 2 1/2 inch pan.
- Pour on cheese sauce.
- Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs.
- Place under broiler until bread crumbs are browned. Macaroni mixture should be bubbly.
- Serves 4 or more depending on the serving size.
(Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before preparation)
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- (5) 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1/2 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- For the crust, melt the butter and add to the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well and put in a springform pan (to prevent the cake from sticking, spread Crisco on the inside of the pan). Lightly pat the crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- For the filling, in a mixing bowl, put the cream cheese and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each.
- Add the flour.
- Add the almond or vanilla extract.
- Then add the heavy cream.
- Blend well and pour into the graham cracker crust.
- Bake at 500 degrees for ten minutes. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR!
- Turn temperature down to 210 degrees and continue to back about 55 minutes
For best results, serve chilled. Serves about 8.