In the mood for some cooking?

Published 5:14 pm Saturday, May 2, 2009

Springtime always puts me in the domestic mood.

I dust, mop and vacuum every inch of the house, organize and weed out my closet. And then when I get a free day I’ll pull out the pots, the pans and all those seemingly useless kitchen gadgets my mom has stocked my kitchen with and I’ll actually cook a real meal, one that requires time and patience.

In the past, cooking was always a family oriented activity for me. Practically all of my memories of my grandmother center on her being in the kitchen, and now with my mom it’s the same way.

I’m sure it’s the same for others as family and food always seem to go together.

There was a time that I enjoyed cooking; no scratch that, there was a point in my life when I HAD time for cooking.

When you get home at 7, 8 or 9 at night, there just doesn’t seem to be a point in going through the trouble when I can make a sandwich, a salad or run to the nearest restaurant in five minutes.

Despite the lack of time to cook, I still collect recipes I might want to try out in the future. They slowly stack up on my recipe book until I get tired of looking at them and eventually file them in the book.

A friend of mine sent me this recipe awhile back and gave it a rave review.

I’ve been meaning to try it and maybe this weekend I’ll get around to it. However it might be lunch at the office on Monday since it makes eight servings.

Sage Baked Macaroni and Cheese

makes 8 servings

1 & 3/4 cups half-and-half

3/4 cup milk

8 oz. cream cheese

3 tbl. unsalted butter

2 cups grated provolone cheese

1 & 3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

2 oz. prosciutto, chopped

1 tbl. finely chopped fresh sage

1 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the half-and-half, milk, cream cheese, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter and cream cheese have melted – about 10 minutes. Toss the provolone, 1 & 1/2 cups Parmesan, prosciutto, sage, pepper, and salt with the macaroni. Add the hot milk mixture and stir until well-combined. Grease a 9 x 13 pan (I use PAM) and pour mixture into pan. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan over top. Bake uncovered until set and golden brown – about 25 minutes.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.