Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Here’s another delicious recipe by another fantastic food blogger friend of mine, Deanna from Seduction In the Kitchen! You’ll love this…

This Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese debut here on Seduction in the Kitchen on 1/16/2014. It is my 3rd most looked at recipe on here. I think it is because this version of Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese doesn’t involve adding cream cheese to make it. Other Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese uses cream cheese.

This recipe was one of the first recipes that I stopped using an iPhone with and went with a regular digital camera. I had just got the eBook on food photography. So I was applying the lessons I learned.
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My styling back then was the rose. I used that rose in every photo from that pain out. Why? I liked it. I wanted people to know that was my photo, I guess it would be my signature was what I was thinking back then.

I was happy about how that photo came out. I remember I posted in a recipe group on Facebook the link to this Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese and some woman replied, “That’s a fake photo, This is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.” I can’t remember her exact wording but it was something like that, she went on to say how Velveeta shells were the best. That was my first taste of comments that make you laugh. The woman never even read my post. Had she just went to the post, she would have seen I use Velveeta shreds to make this cheesy dish.

Like Chicken Watermelon Salad with Casa Noble Tequila Lime VinaigretteEasy Brownies, and  Crock Pot Cheesy Bacon Potatoes, I decided this recipe needed a makeover. This recipe is favorite of mine, the basis is actually my mother’s recipe. It is she who uses the secret ingredient, cream of celery soup.
When I told her originally on the phone that I am making her mac n cheese, only I am doing it in the slow cooker, she makes on the stove.  She said to me make sure you have it very juicy, you do not want to be dry. So I made a small adjustment to it Instead of using all milk, I added the addition of heavy cream to it. The heavy cream would help in keeping is gooey. It turned out to be a good choice to do.

There is something special about that feeling of comfort. That is maybe why we always have a special place for certain foods and that is why we call it comfort foods. A helping of a special dish, it fills you up with not only good taste but memories as well.

Macaroni and Cheese is one of those comfort foods many of us hold dear. For most, it is a great family dish that is served. It is filling, the gooey cheesy macaroni, it made with love and taste so good.
Yes, you can make a box kind, but there is nothing like a good homemade mac and cheese. Plus the one you make for your family sometimes is a recipe handed down to you from your mother. For most, it is a great family dish that is served.

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese


  • 1 16 oz box elbow macaroni
  • 1 8 oz can of chicken stock
  • 1 can of cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of Velveeta shredded cheese


  • In a pot add the chicken broth and add enough water to fill the pot 3/4 of the way of the pot, bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook it till it is done.
  • As the macaroni is cooking, combine the cream of celery soup in a crock pot.
  • Take the can that the cream of celery was in and fill it up with milk. (appx 1 cup) Add it to the crock pot
  • Then do the same with the heavy cream, Fill the can with it and add it to the crock pot.
  • Stir it all together.
  • Add the cheese and the butter to the mix in the slow cooker.
  • Put the crock pot on low and cover it until the macaroni is done boiling.
  • When the macaroni is done boiling, drain it and then add it to the cheese mixture in the crock pot.
  • Stir it all together then cover it back up.
  • Continue to cook the macaroni and cheese on low for about 3 hours. Every once in a while just give it a stir.
  • When it is done, spoon some out and ENJOY!
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Reubenesque Reuben Sauce

Right now I’m in the middle of moving! I sold my house and starting a brand new chapter in my life (kinda, sorta). However, you’re in luck! A couple of my very talented food blogger friends will be guest posting on Dixie Chik Cooks this week. I’m such a lucky girl to have such kick ass friends! Today, Michele from Bacon Fatte is guest posting. 

I wanted a Reuben sauce that didn’t get lost in the sandwich. It had to hold its own against the dark, rich pumpernickel bread and the bold, tart sauerkraut.

When I finally decided to make my own Reubens, I also decided to make my own Reuben sauce. There are a million different recipes out there, and after playing around with just about every one of them I finally came up with a version that I really liked.

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Of course, it also had to play nicely with the corned beef or pastrami – whichever one happened to be the deli pick of the day. And I like a Reuben sauce with a little texture, so it had to have an ever so slightly chunky consistency amid all the creaminess. Tasty dried onion flakes and plenty of finely chopped cornichons add just enough “bark” to the “bite” of this Reuben sauce. And a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice brighten and balance the rich tomato paste and Worcestershire.

What I ended up with hit all the important points on my list, and then some.

The name of the recipe, of course, implies what it’s intended for. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying reuben sauce in other ways, such as:

  • A tasty chicken, turkey and fish sandwich spread
  • a zingy dip for chicken tenders and fish fingers
  • sauce for grilled or roasted chicken, fish and pork
  • sauce for grilled or roasted vegetables such as potatoes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, etc.
  • sauce for tacos; excellent with carnitas (just add a few splashes of your fave hot sauce)

The name of this recipe is also a bit tongue-in-cheeky because one wouldn’t exactly call this a light recipe, but then again, we’re not pairing it with carrot sticks. It’s meant to be good… And it is!

Reuben sandwiches are the kind of thing you crave (at least, I do…), and when you have one, you want it to be really good. They’re meant to be bold and tangy. They’re supposed to have a lot of flavor – pleasant, pungent “in your face” flavor.

Because classic reubens have relatively few ingredients, good quality ingredients make all the difference. Start with a fresh baked pumpernickel. Get the good pastrami or corned beef, and if you can find the stuff with the peppered edges, even better! The same goes for the Swiss cheese – the nice, thick deli slices that melt unapologetically when you toast your reubens are the best.

And let’s talk about the kraut, y’all. Reubens need good, tart sour kraut with some crunch – not some whimpy, wilted wannabe cooked cabbage salad. I cut my teeth on my German grandmother’s home-grown, homemade sour kraut. It had plenty of pucker power which set the bar pretty high when I started looking for store bought versions later in life. After a few trials, we found Frank’s Kraut and we love it. I think even my grandmother would approve. She’d probably question the teaspoon of celery seeds (per 32 ounce jar) that I toss in when I make kraut, but I think she’d get it after she tasted it. {Wink!}

As for how you put the whole thing together, that’s another story. Just like the ingredients used (and, yes, the aforementioned “must haves” are my personal faves but you may very well have other ideas…), the end result is all about personal preferences.

But, details matter here, my friends… Details. Matter.

7 Steps for a great Open Face Reuben

Like open face sammies? (Me too!) A good open face sammy is all about balance: Not too sparse so it’s more of an app than a long-awaited main course, but not so heavily piled that you end up with a big soggy blob. You call the shots with your sammies, but for a little bit of crunch, and a whole lot of tangy, melty, reuben deliciousness without too much bulk, here’s my “7 Step Reuben Program”:

  1. Slather copious amounts of reuben sauce on the bread (because it’s all about the sauce here!)
  2. Pile on a healthy amount of beautiful pepper-crusted pastrami
  3. Sprinkle on a nice helping of kraut (make sure to squeeze out the excess liquid first so you don’t end up with saturated bread). See above note about adding celery seeds to your kraut… Just sayin’.
  4. Finish with strips or shreds of good Swiss rather than just laying a slice on top.
    1. In my experience, if you just cover the the sammy with a thick slice of cheese, the heat doesn’t distribute well enough through the ingredients below. Break it up a bit, and all the flavors warm and come together beautifully.
  5. Place sammies on a baking sheet, and toast under the broiler for 3 – 5 minutes or so.
    1. I determine “doneness” when I see the edges of my bread darken as they toast, the color of the reuben sauce intensifies as it caramelizes, and the Swiss becomes a beautifully melted mess on top of it all.
  6. When ready, pull the pan out of the oven, top with more sauce and – if you’re a crazy garnish fanatic like I am – sprinkle more finely chopped cornichons on top.

Full-On, Pan-Toasted Reuben ‘Melt’

If you want even more of the good things that make reubens so crave-worthy, go all the way:

  1. Pre-heat a pan on the stove top over medium-low heat.
  2. Butter the “outsides” of two pieces of bread, then lay bread – buttered sides down – on a plate, and follow steps 1 – 4 above.
  3. Once layered, put the top piece of bread on your sammy and place the whole thing – buttered side down – into the pre-heated pan.
  4. Cook the first side for a minute or two until bread is toasted to your liking. Then flip the reuben over with a spatula, and repeat the cooking process.
  5. When both sides are toasted, remove from pan, plate, and devour while warm, crunchy, melty and unabashedly delicious.

Think about it… After you’ve gone through the trouble of getting all the good stuff to make the best tasting reubens to cure your cravings, a lack luster sauce just wouldn’t do. Don’t risk it… Whip up a batch of this reuben sauce instead, and as always…


Reubenesque Reuben Sauce

Yield: 2 cups

This wonderfully complex, easy to make “Reubenesque” Reuben Sauce will make all your reuben sammy dreams come true! Also great on chicken, fish, pork and veggies… Take a look!


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons cornichons, finely chopped (about 6 cornichons)
  • 1 teaspoon capers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worchestershire
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • In a small glass mixing bowl, combine the ingredients and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so to allow flavors to marry before enjoying.


Can be refrigerated in an air tight, glass/non-reactive container for up to 24 hours. It’s fine for a couple of days, but definitely starts to lose it’s luster after that.

Other ways to enjoy this sauce:

  • chicken, turkey and fish sandwich spread
  • dip for chicken tenders and fish fingers
  • sauce for grilled or roasted chicken, fish and pork
  • sauce for grilled or roasted vegetables such as potatoes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, etc.
  • sauce for tacos; excellent with carnitas (just add a few splashes of your fave hot sauce)!


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Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Stuffed Burger

Don’t even act like you didn’t know this was coming.

If you know me, you know me. Remember when I posted my most favorite pimento cheese in the entire damn world?

Yeah, I stuffed my burger with that.
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I grilled an onion roll, slathered the top with more pimento cheese, AND…I topped it with fried onion strings. Can you ever really have too much cheese?

That would be a big no.

I’m currently in pursuit of the perfect burger for World Food Championships, and this is one of my trial runs. Not sure if it will be going to competition with me, but damn, it’s so good.

Add extra condiments, if you wish. But I didn’t need them.
Here’s your printable-

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Stuffed Burger

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Stuffed Burger



  • Make the pimento cheese and fried onions.
  • Combine ground round and marinade; form into 6-8 thin burgers.
  • Place about a tablespoon of pimento cheese in the middle of half of them, and top with the other thin burgers, pressing to seal the edges.
  • Grill or pan fry until done, being careful as you flip - You don't want to lose the cheese filling!
  • Build the burger by placing lettuce on bottom bun, followed by burger, tomato and onion strings.
  • Slather top buns with more pimento cheese and top.


Feel free to add ketchup, mustard, etc. I found that the pimento cheese was plenty from a taste standpoint, but you may want a little more.

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Jalapeno Popper Beer Can Burger

That wasn’t a typo. It’s not beer can chicken.

It’s a beer can burger.
Basically, you’re forming a burger patty and shoving a can of beer in the center, and wrapping the sides around the bottom of the can to form a well.
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It’s actually fun, and what you stuff it with it is only limited by your imagination. After you wrap the meat around the beer can, remove the can and fill it with whatever the hell you want to.

This one I decided to stuff with jalapeno popper goodies.

I didn’t use bacon because my experience with using it as a stuffing hasn’t exactly been fantastic – it became kind of limp and weird. I still achieved the taste I was looking for, however, with black forest ham, jalapenos, cream cheese and white sharp cheddar.
I probably should have actually wrapped them in bacon, but I didn’t think about it until these were made. Soooo, I’ll definitely be doing that next time to see how that works out.

After you fill your little “well”, you make another burger and carefully place it on top, sealing the edges.
Then grill or pan fry. If you pan fry, make sure to cover it after you flip it so the center gets done.
I discovered this stuffed burger using a beer can from Kelly at Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen. She’s a good friend and fellow food blogger that makes some pretty amazing food. Check her out.

This burger is exceptional.

I’ve made so many, I know, but this one truly is special.
The filling in this burger held together very well. I was a little worried about it, mainly because of the cream cheese, but it did amazing.

I also made this amazing buttermilk cilantro lime sauce, and although you don’t need it for this particular burger, it’s damn good.
Jalapeno Popper Beer Can Burger

I almost piled a bunch of things on like lettuce and tomato, but I decided to taste it as it was, and it really was enough. I think if I added anything else it would have taken away from the taste.

Sometimes I have to reign myself in when it comes to overdoing the condiments.

Here’s your printable-

Beer Can Jalapeno Popper Burger

Beer Can Jalapeno Popper Burger


    For the Burgers
  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 2 tbsp Moore's Original Marinade
  • 1 "beer can
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temp
  • 4 oz sharp white cheddar, shredded or chopped
  • 4 oz Black Forest ham, chopped
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 burger buns, toasted
  • For the Cilantro Lime Sauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp sea salt


    For the Burgers
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine ground chuck and marinade, and form into 4 burgers, reserving enough beef to form a cap (or small, thin burger) for each burger.
  • Smash the beer can in the middle of each, and wrap the meat mixture around the bottom of can, forming a well in the center.
  • Combine the rest of ingredients, and add an equal amount to each burger "well".
  • Top with smaller burger and pinch to seal.
  • Add burgers to a large oven safe pan over medium high heat, splash each with Worcestershire and sear on each side for 1-2 minutes to brown.
  • Add to hot oven, cover and broil for 7-10 minutes on each side.
  • For the Cilantro Lime Sauce
  • Combine ingredients in a jar and shake it.
  • Serve burgers with or without sauce on a toasted bun.

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Sous Vide Carnitas


Well, tacos.
Carnitas | Dixie Chik Cooks I want a taco truck!! I think I would do fabulously; I would never run out of taco ideas.

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Since sous vide cooking is my latest method addiction, I had to go and sous vide this. I just can’t get enough of it.

Remember this?
So, today I made my carnitas sous vide, then threw them on a hot ass grill to get a nice sear before I chopped it all up.

Sous vide is so easy because really all you have to do is babysit it. You set the temp, throw your food in a tightly sealed bag in the water and set a timer. I LOVE it.

I used Smithfield Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast – it was so tender.

After the pork is done, these are very easy to put together. This isn’t a mandatory thing, but I like to grill my tortillas – it gives the taco another texture dimension that I just love. The slaw is so good and can actually be used for lots of things, you could put it on a burger or eat it as a side with BBQ. (Yes; it has jalapenos in it).
Carnitas Don’t forget to squeeze extra lime!

Here’s your printable-

Sous Vide Carnitas

Sous Vide Carnitas


    For the Carnitas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder (also known as 'pork butt')
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • For the Slaw
  • 1 bag angel hair slaw
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 cup pickled jalapenos, diced
  • For the Sour Cream Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • Flour tortillas
  • White cheddar, shredded
  • Fresh limes, quartered
  • Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


    For the Carnitas
  • Combine the oil through lime juice to make a rub.
  • Rub the pork shoulder, place in a gallon size zip lock bag and sous vide for 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature is 145 degrees.
  • Remove from bag, heat sunflower oil over medium high heat (or grill) and sear carnitas on each side about 1-2 minutes.
  • Chop pork.
  • For the Slaw
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly; refrigerate until ready to use.
  • For the Sour Cream Sauce
  • Combine ingredients in a shaker or jar.
  • Assemble tacos by adding pork, white cheddar, slaw and sour cream sauce. Squeeze more lime juice, if desired.

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