Friday, November 8, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese, Please

Do you remember that advertisement jingle? It is niggling in my mind but I can't find the source. I'd venture a guess and say that is was probably a Kraft mac and cheese advertisement. What other kinds of mac and cheese are there besides Kraft and store brands? 

But before we get to my world class mac and cheese recipe (insert unladylike snort here), how about a life lately update?

It has been colder and drier here in the Mitten. The trees passed the threshed from colorful to rusty brown. There are more and more bare trees, and more and more leaf covered lawns.

It was a much better week for me this week than last. If you are my FB friend, you know that I was struggling. I was whipped from the conference. Just exhausted. This girl doesn't do multiple 4-5 hours of sleep nights very well. Plus we had two drizzly grey days. And my mood was sunk. Friday I spent in bed, reading and crying. I'm not joking. Friends prayed for me and counseled me to take a day off and rest. To let go. It was what I needed.

Like I said in this post, the clamoring voices aren't just my voices, but the voice I have to be listening for is God's voice. Of peace and "come unto me" rest.

Mr. Hippie is good at holding his girls when they need to cry. Even holding me, if need be.
We have completed 10 weeks of school! I can't believe how quickly September and October flew past. Now we are marking off the days until Thanksgiving, a trip to TX and then hauling out the advent calendar.

I have so many things running through my mind right now. I am planning my first ever business venture. It is a big deal. There are lots of technical details to be thought out and executed. And technical is not my forte. I will hopefully be announcing some things come the first of the year. Pray that I keep going and don't give up because it is a lot of work. It is a lot of work in the set up, but a very manageable amount once I get it off the ground.

Now aren't you curious?!

Meres has a new job. Putting the silverware away after it has been washed in the dishwasher. She has decided that the spoons don't belong in the slot they have been in for over 12 years. They go where the forks were. Basically everything has moved over a slot. Which is throwing us all for a loop when we reach without looking into the drawer for a spoon, but end up with a knife.

LC also has a new job. Scrubbing the toilets. She has been begging me to let her scrub the toilets for a while now. It even induced her to eat her oatmeal in record time this week. So she could scrub the toilets. We-eird. 

So, who has a go-to recipe? A recipe that is quick and everyone likes it? A recipe that you always have the ingredients for? A recipe that speaks goodness to your belly?

For the Barefoot Hippies, that recipe is Macaroni and Cheese. It is nothing fancy, but it is amazing. We eat this entire recipe in one fell swoop. Which is so good, but so not good for you. But, you know, it is packed with carbs and protein and is great runner food.

My mom used to (actually probably still does) make this with whole wheat noodles. I'll have you know that whole wheat noodles are an abomination. Mac and cheese is like cinnamon rolls-they aren't supposed to be healthy. So don't try and make them healthy, you will ruin them. 

The tomato adds a unique pop of flavor. And it's the healthy component. I add the tomato whenever I have fresh on hand.

Macaroni and Cheese, the Barefoot Hippie Way
16 ounces pasta (I prefer rigatoni or cavatappi)
1 large onion, chopped
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 t salt
3-3/4 cups milk
6 cups shredded cheese-cheddar, colby, feta, monterey jack, gruyere
          *use all or mostly cheddar or colby, and add up to a cup each of one of more of the others
2 medium tomatoes, sliced (optional)

Cook pasta according to packaged directions. Drain. Place in a greased 5-6 quart casserole dish.

While the pasta is cooking, sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat until softened. Add the flour to coat the onion, the immediately add the milk. Whisk until smooth. Heat until thickened. Add black pepper, salt and cheese and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and pour over noodles.

Arrange tomatoes over all if desired, and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until the sides are golden.

Btw, this is amazing with my tomato soup. (here) Just sayin'.

What are you eating this weekend!