Five Cheese Pasta

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This was a throw together meal that Rory came up with after looking through the fridge and seeing that we had a few different kinds of cheese leftover from various other meals.   It was delicious.  It's basically just white sauce with cheese in it!  Don't be freaked out though ... white sauce is EASY to make.  I'm going to teach you how!

You will need:
Pasta, whatever kind you like.  We had vermicelli in the house and used that.
1/4 cup (50g) butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 small red onion, finely sliced 
A couple cloves of garlic, crushed
white wine (optional) It was the bottom of the bottle.  My guess would be about 1 or 2 Tablespoons
salt and pepper
We didn't measure the cheese ... we just had a bunch of bits and pieces left over so chopped them up and threw them in.  You could grate it if you wanted but it's not necessary.  You can use whatever cheese you want ...we used: 
Tasty (white cheddar)
Parmesan (fresh)
Jarslberg (like swiss)

Cook your pasta.  While that's happening, make the sauce.

The trick with white sauce is to have everything ready and beside your cooking area because once you start stirring, you can't stop.  So ... once you've go everything ready, throw the onions, garlic and the butter in a pan, over medium heat and cook til onion is soft.  Add the flour and stir until it's completely mixed into the butter.  It will be kind of like a paste.  That's good.  That is how you want it.  Now, start adding the milk.  Just a little bit at a time.  Stir so that the milk mixes into the paste.  Add a bit more.  Stir.  Keep it up til you've added all the milk.  Your paste will not be so much like a paste anymore but more like a sauce.  If you are adding wine, do that too.  Cook, continuing to stir, til the sauce thickens a bit.  Add the cheese.  Stir til melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste.  Adjust seasoning. 

Serve over cooked pasta and eat immediately. 

Crock Pot Honey Chicken

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As with so many of the recipes I try these days, I found this one on pinterest.
I didn't really change much. 

1 kg chicken breast, no bones, no skin
salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 onion, diced
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon olive oil
garlic, minced (to your liking ... I did about 4 cloves)
pinch red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons cornstarch
sesame seeds

Sprinkle chicken lightly, on both sides, with salt and pepper, and lay in the bottom of the crock pot.

Mix honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. I didn't have a heap of time and did it on high.  It was great but I'll try it on low next time to see if there is any difference.

Take chicken out of the crock pot, leaving the sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce.  Cover and cook sauce on high for ten minutes or until slightly thickened.
Cut chicken into bite size pieces, throw back in crock pot.

Serve over rice, with a drizzle of the sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

I served baby green peas on the side ... I think steamed broccoli would go well too.

Sundried Tomato Hummus

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We went to visit some family a few months ago and my sister in law served the most amazing hummus that I've ever eaten.  It was sundried tomato hummus and she just made it up.  I asked her to list out the ingredients to the best of her recollection and I've been playing with it since.  This last batch I made was the closest but still not as amazing as hers!  But .... I like it well enough to share and well enough that I'll make it this way from now on. 
Don't be alarmed by the vague measurements, just taste as you go.  Put into a food processor the following ingredients.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), 2 cans, drained
Garlic, 4 cloves, roughly chopped  (more or less, depending on who garlicky you like things)
Juice of one small lemon
Honey, 1 teaspoon
Sun dried tomato, I used a small jar (again, adjust to taste)
Some but not all of the oil in the jar of SD tomatoes
Soy sauce, start with 2 teaspoons and adjust to taste.  I did end up adding a bit more the other night.
Sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons (and you got it ... adjust to taste)

Whiz it up in the food processor.  I let it go for a few minutes until everything is pretty well smooth.  There were a few small chunks left in mine.  I didn't mind.  You can adjust that to your preference.  Taste it, if you think it needs salt, add a little bit more soy sauce.  Whiz a bit more. 

Serve with crackers of your choice.  I used plain and seaweed rice crackers.