Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cheese makes everything better

It's been a long week here at our house.

Won't bore you with the details.

Bergen, though, has slept all night for 2 nights in a row. For those not keeping up, he's 3 and gets up every night around 3:00 am and tries to get in our bed. I thought we were done with the middle of the night calls. I've tried bribing him with stars - 10 stars means a trip to the dollar store. That worked for 10 star's worth, then we were back to getting up. For some reason though, he's slept 2 nights in a row. I should be rejoicing - and I am.

But Tuesday night/Wednesday AM I woke up at 2am convinced the Smoke Monster from LOST was at my window. Turns out it was the trees scratching the window from the wind. Nonetheless, I laid there for the better part of an hour freaking out, checking my email, Facebook, etc until I fell asleep again. With my glasses on. And a phone beside me.

"Hello, 9-1-1? Yeah the Smoke Monster from LOST is outside my window. Could you please send someone to check it out? Tell them to bring a sword and to pierce it in the heart. He must act quickly...don't give Smokey a chance to speak or it's all over and you'll lose the cop to the dark side."

It's kinda scary, yes? Especially when you hear it - tikatikatikatkatikatka- *shudder*

So I found myself a little stressed yesterday. I took my B12-under-the-tongue treatment, which seems to help in most cases. But I had a grumpy 8 year old, and potentially bad thunderstorm brewing and I didn't really eat a good lunch. Or any lunch, for the record. I told the boys I would make spaghetti. To which P-Diddy said, in his *most* whiniest voice

"But I haaaate spagheeeeeeti. I want piiiiiizza! Pleeeeeeeeease!"

So I said "how about mac and cheese?" and he begged for pizza, and I said no, and this went on for about 15 minutes. And I made the mac and cheese. I've been trying to find a recipe to make homemade, instead of from a powder. Even the "organic" powders, while taste good, aren't the real thing. I have tried 3 times and failed each time. I was a little nervous because it's all I had to offer, and it was 6:45pm and there was a storm brewing.

I thought this turned out nicely. It's from the Pioneer Woman. I didn't bake it, no time for that. And I wanted it creamy. I'm still wanting to find one that's a bit creamier, without the use of processed cheese. This was still grainy. But it was good. Biggie B and I loved it. P-Did ate only enough to earn him a mini ice cream sandwich.

And I'll also mention that when I put the mac and cheese in front of him, he said - and I'm not lying here - "I thought we were having spaghetti?" Heavens to betsies - this child!!!

Next time I'll add some broccoli - I think that would be so good.
It took the stress away. For a little bit, anyway. And Smokey didn't show up at the window last night. So I slept well. All is good! And mac and cheese for leftovers? Yay!!!

Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman (it's her recipe, and her photo)
  • 4 cups Dried Macaroni
  • ¼ cups (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ cups Whole Milk
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten
  • 1 pound Cheese, Grated
  • ½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme
Preparation Instructions

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain. (since I wasn't baking it, I cooked it al dente)

In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.


Honeyed Hashette said...

Yum! I would like to know how to make it creamy too. I have only tried once because it was a big FAIL! There must be a trick....

Steve Bezner said...

That 911 call made me wheeze I was laughing so hard. Awesome. I am more hooked on Lost now than ever.