Macaroni & Cheese

mac n cheeseThere are so many mac and cheese recipes out there! So why make this one? Simply put, it’s GOOD! Very creamy, easy to make, and it doesn’t require baking time in the oven. Plus, it doesn’t call for any special fancy ingredients. Look in your pantry and fridge and I’m sure you’ll have everything you need to make this side dish. Annnndddd…. no heavy cream. Yet, it’s delectably creamy. Yes, it’s possible to have that consistency WITHOUT all that fat. Your thighs just thanked me!

P.S. If you’re having a BBQ this holiday weekend, this is the side dish to make!

Macaroni & Cheese

  • 10 ounces elbow macaroni noodles
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups of milk (I use 1 %)
  • 1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash of cayenne powder
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I used an 1/8 tsp.- 1/4 tsp. each)

Heat a pot full of water to boiling. Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. In the same pot, add butter over medium heat. Melt the butter and then add in the garlic, as well as the rest of the seasonings. Saute for a few minutes and then add in the flour. Stir using a whisk and let cook for about 1 minute. Add in milk, whisking as you pour. As the sauce heats up, it will start to thicken and bubble. Make sure to stir occasionally during this. When the mixture just comes to a bubble, add in the cheeses, stirring until the cheese melts. Add the noodles back into the pot and stir together. Turn off heat and taste, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.

mac n cheese 8mac n cheese 7mac n cheese 6mac n cheese 5mac n cheese 9mac n cheese 4mac n cheese 3mac n cheese 2This stuff also reheats pretty well, so if you have leftovers, don’t throw them away!

It’s the Best Soup Ever!!!

corn chowder 3So if you replace the word “soup” with “day” in the title of this post, do you know which kids’ show that’s from? If not, it’s from SpongeBob! And I am as happy as SpongeBob is when he sings “It’s the best day ever….” when I think about this soup. By far, this is MY favorite when it comes to soup. And I have Pioneer Woman to thank for that. So thank you PW!

Corn & cheese chowder. She had me at chowder. It’s comforting, creamy, filling and delicious. Great served with a French baguette. Just typing this makes me crave this soup. And it comes together so fast, but has so much flavor, you’d never know how quick it was to make. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m passionate about this soup!!!

I have adjusted this recipe slightly to cut down on calories and to work with what I usually have on hand. However, if you want full fat and to see how PW does it, check out the original recipe. Of course, she has amazing step by step pictures.

Corn & Cheese Chowder (original recipe at Pioneer Woman)corn chowder 4

  • 3 15.25 ounce cans of corn, drained
  • 1/2 stick of butter (4 tbsp.)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped into pieces
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely diced or a small jar of pimientos, drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1%)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 c. pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook until almost crisp.Then add diced bell peppers or pimientos and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add corn.

Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in milk and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so.

Stir in cheeses and green onions. When cheese is melted, add salt and pepper to taste, with a dash of cayenne. It’s now ready to eat!

corn chowder 2And you should seriously make this. TONIGHT!!!!!!