January 11, 2011

Making Spirits Bright!

The Maine House is hosting a Wintertime Sleigh Ride!

 All over Maine, there are places to explore in Winter!  Just imagine a magical woodland tour in horse-drawn sleighs. From Waterford, Harrison, Sumner and Kennebunkport, you can find farmlands offering packages of winter fun!

Wintertime in Maine brings with it elegance and serenity that can only be seen from a horse-drawn sleigh being pulled through the tranquil winter wonderland atmosphere.

Enjoy the snow sprinkled pine trees and frost tipped fields while you glide leisurely with family, friends, and others enjoying this special time spent together.

Upon completion of your ride what better way to top off your journey than to warm up next to a crackling fire enjoying the simple pleasures of hot chocolate and conversation. Step back into the way life should be, if only for a day, and experience a true Maine adventure.

As we arrive back at The Maine House...Estelle's has prepared some of our favorite comfort food from a recipe from Heirloom Cooking! This recipe stood out to me immediately as I devoured this delightful book.  Marilyn stated that this recipe came from the Mother of  "The Girls". When Marilyn and Sheila began their antique business in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "the girls" were their first customers. At the time, they shared an apartment in that gorgeous, ornate Victorian known as "The Lowell" in Cambridge. This was the savory dish they served for dinner...rich and decadent!

Billionaires' Macaroni and Cheese (circa 1950's)
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/4 cup softened butter
14 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
8 ounces of extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 t. salt
1 t. coarse ground black pepper
1 t. paprika
2 T. grated onion
3 beaten eggs
1 cup whole ricotta cheese
1 cup half-n-half
8 ounces of Provolone cheese, cut into strips

1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup softened bread crumbs
5 ounces Parmesan Cheese, grated (1 3/4 cup)
Mix melted butter, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Remove pan from heat, add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined to make a beautiful roux. Set the pan over medium heat and cook the roux until bubbles form around the edges, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add milk, stirring until well blended. Return pan to heat and cook stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat again and add Cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, paprika and onion. Stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.

Fold cheese sauce into the cooled macaroni. Whisk eggs. with ricotta and add the the bowl of macaroni. Add half-n-half and stir until well combined.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and place half of the macaroni mixture in baking dish. Cover with strips of Provolone cheese. Top with remaining macaroni and bread crumb topping. Cover your dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking for 10-15 additional minutes. Macaroni will be nice and brown and bubbly!

"Little January
Tapped at my door today.
And said, "Put on your winter wraps,
And come outdoors to play."
 Winifred C. Marshall

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