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Patti LaBelle -- Really Cooking

Patti LaBelle, already a superstar singer, is seeking to make her mark in the culinary world.

The Grammy-winner is launching a brand called "Patti LaBelle -- Good Life" with a line of hot sauces and relishes, to be followed early next year with her third cookbook and an instructional cooking CD.

She's a whiz in the kitchen, as she's already demonstrated on such programs as "Oprah" and "The Martha Stewart Show."

After passing out on stage during a concert more than 12 years ago, LaBelle was diagnosed with diabetes. Since then, she's become a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association, and published two best-selling cookbooks, "Recipes to Sing About," and "Lite Cuisine," targeted at people with diabetes, containing low-sugar and low-fat recipes.

In 2005, LaBelle began appearing in ads for a company that makes blood glucose monitoring systems for people with diabetes.

Since being diagnosed, LaBelle got serious about controlling her blood glucose levels, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, while maintaining an active schedule of performances.

She released an album, "The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle," whose proceeds go to cancer research.

LaBelle has a Christmas CD out, her first in two decades. It contains classics and new songs.

The first item from "Patti LaBelle -- Good Life" is a custom-blended series of hot sauces and relishes that represents the spicy yet wholesome flair LaBelle is known for. It includes five initial products: LaBelle No. 1 -- Diced Fine Jalapenos; LaBelle No. 2 -- Sweet Hot Jalapeno Relish; LaBelle No. 3 -- Rich Red Blended Cayenne & Habanero Pepper Sauce; LaBelle No. 4 -- Hot Flash Blended Habanero & Jalapeno Sauce; and LaBelle No. 5 -- Pepper Clear Mild Pepper Sauce.

The new cookbook will contain recipes and anecdotes that reflect LaBelle's philosophy that good cooking and entertaining come from the heart.

She's developing additional kitchen items and food products.

LaBelle spoke about it all onThe Early Show Thursday, and prepared Macaroni and Cheese with Lobster and Shrimp.


Macaroni and Cheese with Lobster and Shrimp


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1-1/2 to 2 lb. lobster
1 pound of shrimp
2 pounds small elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (2 sticks optional)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Provolone Cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Mozzarella Cheese
1 pint half-and-half
1 cup (8 ounces) Velveeta, cut into small cubes
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons LaBelle No. 5 Mild Pepper Sauce (optional, once it comes out!)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole dish.

Steam the lobster.

Saute the shrimp and the lobster with one tablespoon of olive oil and the fresh garlic until the shrimp are done.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is tender (not soft), about 7 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.

In a small saucepan, melt one or two sticks of butter. Stir into the pot containing the drained macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild and sharp Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Provolone and Mozzarella cheeses.

To the macaroni, add the shrimp, lobster, half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta, and the eggs. Season with the seasoned salt, pepper and LaBelle No. 5 Mild Pepper Sauce. Mix all the ingredients together.

Transfer to the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese (mozzarella and cheddar) and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle the top with paprika.

Bake until it's bubbling around the edges, approximately 40 minutes.

Serve hot.

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