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With Mother's Day this weekend, we wanted to celebrate with a little food (as if we need an excuse), so we brought it in Mary Berg and her mom, Myra, to show us how to make a couple classic Mama Berg recipes.

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Baked Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked macaroni
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 20 butter crackers
  • ¼ cup ground Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni noodles just until al dente then drain and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk the egg, milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. When the noodles are cooled, transfer them to the prepared baking pan. Scatter 1 cup of the cheddar cheese on top and gently give it all a little mix to distribute the cheese. Pour the milk mixture over the noodles and set aside while you prepare the topping.
  4. For the topping, place the butter crackers into a large zip top bag and crush them up a bit. Add in the ground Parmesan cheese and butter and mash it all up to combine. Finally, add the remaining cup of cheddar cheese to the bag and toss it around a bit to combine. Scatter the topping over the macaroni and bake for 23–28 minutes or until set in the middle and golden brown on top.

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Molasses Cookies

Makes 10 to 12 large cookies (or 24 regular cookies)

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup turbinado or white sugar, for rolling

 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy, scraping down the bowl at least once midway through. Add in the molasses and cream together followed by the egg and vanilla extract, again, scraping the bowl at least once.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined.
  4. Sprinkle the turbinado or white sugar into a shallow dish and scoop 1oz or 2oz balls of the dough into the sugar. Toss to coat the dough with the sugar and place them on the baking sheet. Each baking sheet will hold six large 2oz cookies or 12 small 1oz cookies. Do not press the cookies down at all or else you won’t get that lovely crackly top.
  5. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 15 to 16 minutes for large cookies or 10 to 12 minutes for small cookies. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.

 

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Brandy Alexander

Makes one cocktail

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 1 ounce crème de cacao, white
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground ginger

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker about halfway with ice and add the brandy, crème de cacao, and heavy cream.  Shake well for 15-20 seconds until well chilled and strain into a coupe.
  2. Top with some freshly grated nutmeg and a small pinch of ground ginger and serve.
  3. This cocktail can easily be multiplied so feel free to shake up a few at a time and enjoy with Molasses Cookies for a grownup version of milk and cookies!