Friday, September 1, 2017

Mac and Cheese, Bowling, Sailing Story,

My email frequently contains recipes for Mac and Cheese. Why? I thought everyone in North
America made it from packets!! I must admit I haven't made Mac and Cheese in years but I used to make the sauce with onions and then layer a dish with canned corned beef and tomatoes piling the mac and cheese on top and then baking in the oven until it got a good colour on top. Matt even got his young offenders to make it on a camping trip they went on with him. But I have NEVER made it from a packet. However, guess I shouldn't be too scathing as there are things I have made from packets in recent years. Risotto comes to mind. I really can't stand at the stove too long to do the stirring any more. Even the packet version requires quite a bit of stirring.

Had another really good game at Victoria Lanes today. Matt did a bit better too. I would love to think I could bowl as well in the weeks to come at Towne Bowl.

Birgit asked me to tell some tales of when I was a kid living on a Thames Barge. It was a very long time ago now, but I will include them as and when I think of them. One thing I do remember was the first time my father sailed the barge to the Continent, not quite sure which particular country, but I suspect it was Calais, France, which we visited first of all our trips. I remember we went into a café for
coffee or maybe tea, and they had the most wonderful cakes (to me anyway) remember this was just after the war and rationing was still in full swing in the UK. I certainly had never seen cream cakes of any kind and so I went nuts. I always remember one which was a chocolate cone and filled with cream, real cream that is, not the weak substitute we get in this part of the world. I remember I called it a chocolate marlin spike. A marlin spike was an item which was very familiar to me because they are used on boats for all kinds of jobs, for instance unknotting ropes.. The sad thing about this story, I had ordered two cream cakes and ate the first one and regretfully I didn't have room for the chocolate marlin spike. I might have found it somewhat too rich. I am not sure what happened to it. We didn't have doggie bags in those days. I have never seen anything similar since that time.

I know I have at least one vegan reader so when I came across this recipe, I thought I would share it.

Vegan Chocolate Pie  

1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
3 Tbs whole cane sugar (or brown sugar)
3 Tbs prune puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached white flour
dash of salt

2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
2 24.6 oz boxes extra firm low-fat silken tofu
3/4 cup whole cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt

1 cup thinly sliced almonds
1/4 cup maple syrup

Raspberry Sauce
1 10 oz bag frozen unsweetened raspberries (thawed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. To make the crust, place the 1/2 cup of cashews into a food processor and process them until they resemble fine meal. Add the whole cane sugar, prune puree and vanilla extract, and then process the mixture until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

2. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing, add the cashew mixture, and then stirring, and or using your hands, mix all of the ingredients to thoroughly combine them. Evenly press the dough into the bottom of a lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan, and then bake the crust in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust is light brown. Remove the crust from the oven and set it aside.

3. Place the chocolate chips into a double boiler and melt them over barely simmering water. Place the tofu in a food processor and process it until it is smooth. Add the whole cane sugar, vanilla extract and salt, and then process the mixture to combine all of the ingredients. Add the melted chocolate to the processor, and then process the mixture until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, and the filling is smooth and creamy.

4. Lightly oil the sides of the springform pan, above the baked crust, add then transfer the filling to the springform pan, on top of the crust. Smooth the top of the filling, and then bake the pie in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes.

5. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the springform pan to loosen the sides, allow the pie to cool to the touch, and then cover the springform pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before serving. Remove the side before serving.

6. Meanwhile, place the maple syrup into a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and cook the maple syrup, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to very low, add the almonds, and continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the syrup has crystallized onto the almonds, and the almonds appear dry. Transfer the maple syrup-coated almonds to a rimmed nonstick baking sheet and allow them to cool to room temperature.

7. Place the raspberries and sugar into an electric blender, and process the mixture until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Strain the sauce through a fine strainer, stirring often, to remove most of the seeds. Allow the raspberry sauce to sit in the strainer for at least 1 hour, to allow most of the seeds to be removed. Discard the remaining sauce with the seeds. Pour the raspberry sauce into a covered container, and refrigerate it until ready to use.

8. Cut the pie into 8 to 12 wedges, place them onto dessert plates, and then sprinkle each serving with a few of the maple syrup- coated almonds. Drizzle each serving with a small amount of the raspberry sauce and serve.

Servings: 8-12

Author Notes
The maple syrup-coated almonds can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container.

Source: WW Recipes

Have a great day


  1. Love your both the dishes. Nice to know about your memories:)

  2. Now you are making me hungry. I haven't made mac 'n cheese in a long time. Usually only if my kids asks for it. Way too rich. I should figure out a way to cut some of the calories out of my lobster mac. I don't know how anyone can eat that packet stuff, though my boys liked it when they were young and didn't like my homemade version.

    1. How funny that the kids preferred the packet stuff Denise. I remember seeing someone in the store, a few years back, and her cart was loaded with packets of it. I bet Cooking Light has a lower calorie version.

  3. I don't eat it now, but I've always made macaroni and cheese from a box - Kraft.

    Tofu is a great substitute for those kinds of pies.

    1. No real comment there Diane.

      I like Tofu anyway.

  4. I love homemade mac and cheese! Although I only put breadcrumbs on the top, nothing inside. Occasionally I'll like a Kraft dinner but I haven't had one in several years.

    1. Admittedly I have never tried the Kraft dinner JoJo, but I haven't made any mac and cheese in years.

  5. We only eat the packaged variety but I know a lot of people who make it from scratch.

    1. I'm ashamed of you Mrs. Weaver. Making it from scratch is delicious and well worth the effort.

  6. We haven't had macaroni cheese - which is what I've always known it as - for quite a while. I'm not sure why because it is delicious. Never used the packet variety though, but then there's very little I don't make from scratch because of health issues that mean I have to analyse every ingredient in a packet or can. I've never added extras like you did - just a rich cheese sauce stirred through the macaroni, and the lot topped with more grated cheese, breadcrumbs and tomato slices. I confess I used to add bacon on top as well before I became a vegetarian. Bacon and ham are about the only meats I miss but every time I think about those factory style piggeries and no, couldn't do eat it.

    1. Probably what we called it in the UK too Helen. Mac and Cheese is very North American. We are the same haven't made it in forever. Well adding bacon and tomatoes is much the same as I did just no onions. The way animals are bred for food consumption is dreadful I agree, but.......

  7. packaged variety but I know a lot of people who make it from scratch....