DON’T WORRY, EAT HAPPY HOLIDAY

Let’s Play!

Be sure to check our Facebook and Twitter pages for daily updates or email mindy@mealsonheelsbymindy.com to schedule your individual phone consultation for specialized cooking lessons and family-friendly pantry make-overs.

Celebrate the season stress-free with three of my favorite go-to recipes for entertaining friends and family: Merry Merry Mac & Cheese with Panko Crusted Topping, Mediterranean Meat Pie and my empowering Pomegranate, Clementine and Frisee Salad.

EAT WELL. FEEL WELL. ENTERTAIN WELL.

LOVE your life!
CELEBRATE your culinary creativity!
PLAY with a renewed vitality!

Exercise!  Breathe Fresh Air!  Exhale Sunshine!  Listen to INSPIRING TUNES WHILE COOKING!

  • Let’s Have a Kiki, Glee Cast
  • Some Nights, Fun
  • I’m Gonna Make This Place Your Home, Phillip Phillips
  • Let It Snow Let It Snow, Rod Stewart
  • Holocene, Bon Iver
  • Silent Night, Il Volo
  • Carol of the Russian Children, The Singers Unlimited
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Michael Buble
  • Fa La La (feat. Boyz II Men), Justin Bieber
  • Joy to the World, Faith Hill

MINDY’S MUST-HAVES
MINDY'S MUST-HAVES

 

SEASONAL EATS & RECIPE SPOTLIGHT
For New Year’s Eve, make these big, impressive pasta and pie recipes ahead of time to snack on throughout all the festivities or as a comfy, satisfying meal any hour.

 

MERRY-MERRY MAC & CHEESE WITH PANKO CRUSTED TOPPING
Prepared in 20 minutes or less plus 1 hour to bake.
MERRY-MERRY MAC & CHEESE WITH PANKO CRUSTED TOPPING

Ingredients

For the Topping:
2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 cups panko, Japanese breadcrumbs or substitute 1½ cups country bread cut into cubes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the Macaroni:
3 Tbs unsalted butter
4½ cups extra-sharp Cheddar cheese grated, plus 1 cup, coarsely grated for topping
2 cups Gruyère cheese or Fontina cheese
3 Tbs unsalted butter
½ cup flour
Quart of whole milk
1 lbs macaroni or corkscrew pasta
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp nutmeg
Salt to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Grease a non-stick 10 x 13 inch baking dish**.  Combine cheeses into a bowl and set aside.  Boil a large pot of salted water.  Add pasta and cook until al dente (just tender).  Drain then pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Heat butter in a separate saucepan and whisk in flour.  Cook on low heat for approximately 2 minutes.  Whisk in warm milk then remove from heat.

Stir in cheeses to the milk mixture.  Once cheese is melted, stir in cayenne, nutmeg and salt.  Pour cheese mixture over pasta in the large bowl and gently toss until pasta is well-coated.  Transfer pasta into greased baking dish.  Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes.  Remove and set aside

Raise oven heat to 400°F.

In a food processor, combine all topping Ingredients except for butter and extra-sharp grated cheese.  Pulse until combined.  Sprinkle panko topping and grated cheese evenly over the macaroni.  Dot topping with remaining pieces of butter.

Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes more until sauce is bubbly and crust is golden brown.  Serve immediately.  Serves 8-10.

**Don’t Worry, Eat Happy:  Bake macaroni inside 8 small ramekins for a fabulous party appetizer or easy get-together meal served with a tossed green salad.
NEW YEAR’S DAY MEDITERRANEAN MEAT PIE
Prepared in 15 minutes or less plus 1½ hours to bake.
NEW YEAR'S DAY MEDITERRANEAN MEAT PIE

Ingredients

For the Filling:
2.2 lbs of beef, cut into cubes
1 lbs pork thigh, cut into cubes
1 cup yellow rice
½ cup long grain white rice
1 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
2 beefsteak tomatoes, minced
3 yellow onions, peeled and minced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup Amaranth or anise liqueur
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, rinsed and chopped
8 twigs fresh marjoram
½ tsp cinnamon powder
Salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the Pie Crust:
1 lbs hard wheat flour
1 lbs all-purpose soft flour
1 cup vinegar
1 cup oil
Dash of salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 200°F.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and add 2 cups of water.  Set aside.

In a large skillet pan, pour hard flour and soft flour.  Combine with a whisk.

Dig a hole in its center and add the vinegar, oil and salt.  Knead with hands and add lukewarm water if necessary until mix becomes a solid dough.  Divide into two equal parts and roll out to make two equal sized pastry sheets.

In a size baking pan, put one pastry sheet on bottom, add meat mixture then cover with remaining pastry sheet.

Bake for 1½ hours.  Serves 4 as a main course.

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE POMEGRANATE, CLEMENTINE AND FRISEE SALAD
Prepared in 15 minutes.
NEW YEAR'S EVE POMEGRANATE, CLEMENTINE AND FRISEE SALAD

Ingredients

3 Tbs walnut halves
4 clementines, juice 2 of them
3 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cups frisée lettuce, coarsely chopped
2 cups Boston lettuce, torn
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Preparation

Toast walnuts over medium heat in a skillet, turning occasionally, until lightly toasted, 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove peel from 2 of the clementines; divide fruit into sections and remove as much white pith as possible. Juice remaining clementines over a small bowl; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, clementine juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Add frisée and Boston lettuces, onion and clementine sections, tossing to coat.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and walnuts.  Serves 4-6.

DID YOU KNOW?

WINTER FRUIT HAS ENERGIZING POWER AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AGENTS!
Pomegranates, whose seeds and juice are both high in antioxidants, fight winter fatigue and skin-damaging free radicals.  In fact, medical experts at the University of California at Davis rank pomegranates as one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidants, with 5 times the level of any other fruit.  These magical compounds help reduce cellular inflammation that can drain energy and lead to belly-fat storage. Take note, Mr. Ho-Ho-Ho.

KITCHEN AND ENTERTAINING INSPIRATION

“Life itself is the proper binge.”
Julia Child

Host Your Very Own New Year’s Eve Pajama Party
Want to host your very own New Year’s Eve Pajama Party? Here’s how:

On December 4, Meals on Heels by Mindy visited the set of The Daily Buzz with some incredible holiday entertaining ideas. Find out more about our Incredible Edible Dreidels!

 

 

One Comment

  1. Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    that mac and cheese looks sooo good

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