How-To: Homecookin’ with the Heskett Family!

(Cookie photo courtesy of allrecipes.com and photo of the Heskett Family by Kyle Jane Heskett)

How-To: Homecookin’ with the Heskett Family!

By Kyle Jane Heskett

The Holidays are here and I have got some delicious recipes for you! These recipes are favorites in my home and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Let’s start with dinner… Mac and Cheese! This is a specialty of my husband, Jordan, and I’m not just saying this, but it is the best mac and cheese I ever had.

JORDAN’S MAC AND CHEESE

(About 4 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I use sharp cheddar)

Directions:

  1. Turn crock pot on low.
  2. Pour in milk.
  3. Sprinkle in salt, dry mustard, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Don’t be afraid to put in a little extra paprika, garlic powder, and mustard. Stir.
  4. Put in macaroni and butter and cover crock pot with lid. Stir.
  5. Let it cook for one hour then stir well.
  6. Cook for another hour or until noodles are al dente. Cooking time may vary depending on your crock pot.
  7. When noodles are al dente, drain all remaining fluid.
  8. Add cheese and stir.
  9. Continue cooking on low until cooked to your taste, about 5 to 15 minutes.

NOTE: For larger portions, use less milk. My husband uses about 3 ½ cups of milk when doubling the recipe. This recipe is really flexible on tweaking to your liking. Sometimes we cook it on high so the noodles absorb more of the milk, but every crock pot is different so use your best judgement!

And on to dessert! Peanuts Sittin’ Pretty is a classic Christmas cookie that we make every year. My husband’s mom made it for him growing up and I was introduced to it when Jordan and I started dating. It is my favorite cookie of all time! This recipe is courtesy of allrescipes.com but we add a couple of variations.

PEANUTS SITTIN’ PRETTY

(36 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 can vanilla frosting (we use cream cheese frosting)
  • 1 cup chocolate covered peanuts (we use peanut m&ms)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together butter and sugar until it is smooth. Stir in egg yokes (save the egg whites) and vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt and then slowly mix it in with the other mixture and cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and roll out dough into 1 inch balls.
  4. Dip balls into egg whites and then roll each one in the chopped walnuts. Place on baking sheet at least one inch apart.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and press thumb gently in center of each cookie. Bake for 5 more minutes.
  6. Let cookies cool, top with frosting, and add a chocolate peanut (or a peanut M&M) on each one. Enjoy!