Sheet Pan Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Chicken and Broccoli

This recipe is for those who love the crispy bits in their homemade macaroni & cheese. Baking macaroni and cheese on a sheet pan creates golden crispy bits. For even more crunch, sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs tossed in melted butter just before baking.

Sheet Pan Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Chicken and Broccoli


Serves 4-6

  • Butter, for the baking sheet
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 T. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 3 packed cups)
  • 12 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 2 large crowns broccoli (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut into small florets (about 5 packed cups)
  • 2 cups shredded roasted chicken (rotisserie chicken works well)
  • 4 oz. sliced Havarti (about 5 slices)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 450°F. 

Generously butter a large rimmed baking sheet.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the milk, flour, mustard, thyme, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stir in about two-thirds of the cheddar.

Cook the pasta for 5 minutes, then stir in the broccoli. Continue cooking until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is just tender, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Drain the pasta and broccoli, and return them to the pot. Add the chicken and the milk and cheddar mixture, and toss gently. 

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly. Tear the Havarti into pieces, and top the pasta with it. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheddar.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Deep Dish Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza 


Photo Credit: Lydia’s Kitchen 

One could call this dish pizza bread, and it is a cross between a focaccia and a pizza. This my favorite types of pizza.

For the Dough:

  • ½ teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 (2 1/4 tsp) Packet Instant Dry Yeast
  • 3 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour + more for kneading
  • ½ cup fine Cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, + more for bowl and pan

For the Topping: 

  • 4 ounces provolone, sliced
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Note: you could use any toppings you would like. 

For the Dough:

  1. Pour 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm (90 to 110 degrees F) water into a bowl, then stir in the sugar and yeast. Let sit until the yeast begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, cornmeal, and salt on low to combine while still mixing. 
  3. Once the dough comes together, switch to the dough hook, and knead on medium-high speed to make a smooth dough, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add a little more water or flour as needed to make a soft dough. 
  4. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, from 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.

Pizza:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Punch down the dough, and press it into a 14-by-10-inch oiled baking pan or an 12-inch cast-iron skillet, gently pressing the dough up the sides to make a shell.
  3. Fill the shell with an even layer of the provolone and mozzarella, then spread the sauce to cover the cheese completely. Top with the pepperoni, and sprinkle with the grated cheese and oregano. 
  4. Cover with foil, and bake 45 minutes. Then uncover, and bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the pizza is bubbly, about 20 minutes more. Let sit about 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Loose-meat Sandwiches

What other restaurant can you think of that serves its sandwich with a spoon? The Tendermaid sandwich is more like a sloppy joe than any burger: ground beef – not saucy – served in a steamed bun. You’re welcome to order it with cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onions, too. It’s a simple concept that has stood the test of time, if the restaurant’s retro look is anything to go by. Do stop in to try this unique sandwich next time you’re in Austin Minnesota, the Spam capital. 


It’s back to school time so this easy dinner is a real time saver. Enjoy my version of a Tendermaid Sandwich! 

Loose-meat Sandwiches


Serves 4-5

  • 1 lb. 85/15 ground beef (could use 80/20 – just not super lean)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 beef bullion cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pepper 
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons steak sauce
  • 4-5 hamburger buns
  • Optional: American cheese, pickles, fried onions, ketchup, & mustard

Meat: Sauté beef and onions until cooked then drain and return to pan. Add the rest of the ingredients then simmer for 30 minutes.

Steamed Buns: Start a little water boiling in a double boiler or Chinese bamboo steamer and put the buns in the top part with no water for about 20 seconds. That’s all they need. Or take a sheet of paper towel and lightly sprinkle it with water until about 20% of it is wet. Wrap the buns in the moistened paper, and microwave for about 10 seconds.

Serve: Scoop onto buns & serve with condiments of your choosing. And don’t forget to eat with a spoon.