This week I tried three different recipes from The Can’t Cook Book by Jessica Seinfeld: Baked Egg Noodles & Cheese (which by the way is one of Jerry Seinfeld’s favorites), Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta (this is on constant rotation at her house), and Flourless Fudge Cake with Whipped Cream (a new favorite at our house). Again, all these recipes are VERY easy, but they are fresh and kid friendly. All of her recipes that I’ve tried are very good but lack a bit of seasoning, I think that is because this cookbook is for beginners and people that are just afraid or feel like they can’t cook, hence the name. So I add a bit of seasoning here and there which I will point at as we go. Let’s start with the first recipe…Baked Egg Noodles & Cheese.
Baked Egg Noodle & Cheese
I love how easy this cookbook is to use. The photos are beautiful and it gives you a good idea before hand of what you are cooking and how it should turn out. Her step by step instructions are so simple and easy to follow.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and coat the inside of a 2 1/2-qt. baking dish with cooking spray.
After preparing oven and pan, I boiled a pot of water with some sea salt to cook 1 bag (1lb) of wide egg noodles, I always cook my pasta with salt but Jessica’s instructions did not call for this. I think it is important to cook your pasta with salt, it adds a nice flavor to it. As the water was boiling I grated 1 1/2 c. (6oz.) sharp white Cheddar cheese and 1 1/2 c. (6oz) sharp yellow Cheddar cheese. In the book she does this by hand, I find it easier to use my Cuisinart Food Processor. Put cheese in a medium bowl and mix together.
Next, in a large bowl I whisk together 3/4 c. 1% or 2% milk, 1/2 c. sour cream (I used whole sour cream, the recipe calls for reduced-fat sour cream), and 2 large eggs.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and pass under cold running water to stop the cooking. Add the noodles to the large bowl with the sour cream mixture and stir.
Add 2 c. of the grated cheese to the noodles and mix.
At this point, I sprinkled on some sea salt and grated black pepper to taste and I think that added to the recipe, but you could season with anything you like, I think it needs a bit of something added to it.
Pour the noodle mixture into the prepared pan. Add 1/4 c. bread crumbs to the remaining 1 c. cheese, toss together and sprinkle over the top of the noodles.
Bake until golden brown and crispy on top, 15 to 20 minutes. We like ours nice and brown so I did 20 minutes and it was perfect.
Here it is all golden brown, fresh out of the oven…
Ready to serve…
It’s much lighter than the usually Macaroni and Cheese. It had a nice texture and consistency to it, not super saucy but with just the right amount of moisture. It definitely needed some added seasoning though or I think it would have been a bit bland.
I served it with a mix of salad greens with a light vinaigrette.
We followed this up with the Flourless Fudge Cake with Whipped Cream and it was a lovely meal enjoyed by the whole family.
Baked Egg Noodles & Cheese
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 c. grated sharp white Cheddar (6 oz.)
- 1 1/2 c. grated sharp yellow Cheddar (6 oz)
- 3/4 c. 1% or 2% milk
- 1/2 c. reduced-fat sour cream (I used whole sour cream)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 bag (1 lb.) wide egg noodles
- 1/4 c. dried bread crumbs
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Fill a large pot with water (I added some sea salt) and bring to a boil. Coat a 2 1/2-qt. baking dish with cooking spray. Grate the cheeses and place in a medium bowl, and mix together. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, sour cream, and eggs. When the water comes to a bowl, cook the noodles for 3 minutes. Drain and pass the noodles under cold water to stop cooking. Add the noodles and mix well. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Add the bread crumbs to the remaining 1 c. cheese and toss together with your hands, then sprinkle over the top of the noodles. Bake until golden brown and crispy on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
Flourless Fudge Cake with Whipped Cream
Buy this cook book just for this recipe. I know a lot of people that are gluten free so I try and find good recipes for when they come over. This cake was so delicious. Gluten free or not it was just a great cake. It was rich and moist and when you add the homemade whip cream on top, absolutely scrumptious! Plus, I felt like a real pro making this and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make, in fact it was so easy, I made two so I could give one to my niece Kelli who’s husband eats gluten free.
So moist and creamy, it tasted a bit like chocolate covered almonds to me, but my daughter Skye thought it tasted like brownies. We both agreed it tasted GREAT!!! I probably should have cooked it a bit longer. The recipe called for 40 to 50 minutes, I did 40 but maybe 45 would have been better. I always lean toward under cooking a bit because dry cake is just not good.
Here are the ingredients for the cake and the whip cream…
The butter melting on the stove, then you add the brandy and the chocolate chips. So yummy!
Whisking up the ingredients with my handy-dandy pink Kitchen Aid mixer. How I love that mixer.
Going into the oven. I felt so elated to be making a cake from scratch and honestly it was so easy.
Finished cake. It will crack a bit on top, but it’s suppose to. As it cools in the pan, it settles down. It’s not the prettiest looking cake, but when you put the whip cream on top, it looks a whole lot fancier. I also would suggest leaving it in the pan until ready to serve. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t cook it long enough but it was hard to get out of the pan (fell apart a bit), so I served it out of the pan and it was fine. I’ll be making this cake many more times I’m sure, so I will follow up with results of cooking it longer.
So easy, I made two.
While the cake was cooling I made the homemade whip cream. Couldn’t have been easier and luckily I’ve seen it done on a few cooking shows. You just whip it until it forms peaks and you can keep it nicely in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. I will never buy store bought whip cream again. This was so worth making.
Good to the last bite…
I didn’t post the recipe, but if you really want it. I’ll do another post, just let me know in the comments, but I would suggest the cookbook, there are enough good recipes to make it worth the investment.
Lastly I made Jessica’s Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta that is one of her family’s favorites and a recipe that she says in in constant rotation at her house.
Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta
This was another very easy recipe, all done in one pot which makes clean up a breeze. Very kid friendly. I did feel it needed a bit more seasoning so I added some dried Oregano, I just sprinkled it in on top and mixed it in while cooking. That added some much needed flavor. I also served it sprinkled with a blend of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan grated cheese. My daughters friends spent the night and they ate all the leftovers and loved it because in the morning all I had left where empty bowls. Nothing over the top about this but good for a quick and easy meal.
That’s it for this addition of Tasty Tuesday and The Cookbook Series. I’ll be wrapping up Jessica Seinfeld’s The Can’t Cook Book next week and announcing the next cookbook I’ll be trying out. Hint: she just might be barefoot.
Hope you enjoyed this. I know I’ve had lots of fun trying all these new recipes and my family is having a great time being taste testers. Have a Tasty Tuesday and see you tomorrow with some muffin news.
All the best,