Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

On long days of changing diapers, playing with the kids, making breakfast and lunch, running errands, doing laundry and a bit of housekeeping it is HARD to be motivated to do just one more thing, especially making dinner.  I grew up on this homemade macaroni and cheese dish -you start it in the microwave to speed up the process and if you want a crispier finish, let it bake in the oven when you are done.  It is a classic, it is simple and it is comfort food!

To start, get whatever noodles you are going to use for your dish, I used fusilli ...

Start a pot of water and once it has been brought to a boil, add your noodles to cook.

Now, grab a microwave safe dish, I used my 9x13 Corning Ware.  In the dish, put 1/3 c butter to microwave for 1 minute, melting the butter.  Once the butter is melted, add 1/2 c bell peppers to microwave with the butter for 2 more minutes.  I always keep TJ's 3 bell pepper blend in my freezer for tons of recipes, this being one of them.

Now that the bell peppers have cooked into the butter, add 1/3 c flour, 1/4 tsp of pepper and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.

Stir the flour and seasonings into the butter and bell peppers-  once well combined, microwave again for 1 minute.  Then add 2 c milk and stir well.  Again, once it is smooth, place in the microwave for 6 minutes. 

 During these 6 minutes, I get my cheese ready.  You can use whatever cheese you want- cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, today I used pepper jack.  I LOVE pepper jack cheese and it gives the dish a bit of a kick as well.  Whatever cheese you decide to use, make sure you have about 3 c of it prepared or shredded.

Your water should have been ready to boil by now and your noodles should be well into cooking.  Once your milk has cooked into your dish for 6 minutes, add your cheese.  If you add the cheese quickly to the  dish, the heat from the milk and butter will melt your cheese when stirred together.  


Once your noodles have cooked, drain the water and let them cool for a moment.

Now, add the noodles to your dish and stir them into the cheese.

I then create my bread crumb topping.  You need bread crumbs and 1 tbsp butter.

Melt the butter in a bowl and then pour 1/2 c bread crumbs into the bowl to mix together.

Top evenly over the macaroni and cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the crumbs are crispy and the cheese begins to bubble.

Let it cool a few moments and then serve!

Valentine's Day Cards
Our morning came, quickly as usual and when we woke Daddy was already at work for the day.  Rather than getting to our chores for the day, we decided to begin our day by playing -we played ball for a bit ...

 tickled ...

 Braydon played with the light switches and turned the fans on and off, on and off ...

and then we pretended to take naps :)

Of course, that didn't last long so I got the boy's Valentine's Day cards out and put them in the boy's mailbags to address for today.

Cole lined them up, like he does with EVERYTHING ...

and we got them all ready to mail out to our LOVES!

To burn a little energy and get some fresh air, the boys played in the backyard for a bit.

Between the wind and the crispness in the air I decided to bring them in after only a short while outside after noticing their drippy noses and chapped lips- lovely, I know.  The boys headed in for a warm bath and I am now headed to my chores ... all good things must come to an end ... at least for this morning!

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