Mac ‘N Cheese

Mac ‘N Cheese

If you mention you had Mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner amongst my work colleagues there would be gasps of horror! “oh my goodness, so much cheese”,” so many carbs”….”I just could not indulge like that”.  Any of those comments sound familiar?

So if you want to avoid those types of comments, just don’t mention it, or call it something else!

It was my birthday last month, and as we were not able to eat out, I figured I could treat myself to this family favourite – and somewhat classic dish!

Ingredients:

  • 250grams macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 3 cups Tasty or Colby cheese, grated
  • 4 slices streaky bacon, chopped roughly
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs, Japanese breadcrumbs

Bring a large pot to the boil with a dash of salt, and add dry pasta. Cook until al dente – or cooked ‘firm to the bite’. Drain and add a little olive oil to the cooked pasta to ensure it does not stick to each other.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat then add the flour and cook for three minutes. Add the milk, stirring constantly until thick and smooth – I use a whisk for this. Add two cups of grated cheese, and your seasoning. Remove from the heat, and set to the side.

Add a little cooking oil and over a medium heat sauté the bacon and onions for 10 minutes or until they’re starting to colour. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for two more minutes.

At this stage, I combine the bacon and onion mix with the cheese sauce in the pot with the cooked pasta. Mix it well.

Transfer to an oven-proof dish. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes – or until the cheese and breadcrumbs are golden.

Serves 4

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You can whip up a big dish of Mac ‘N Cheese very economically, which is also a great benefit for those of you with a tribe of teenagers to feed. A packet of dry pasta is less than $2, and this will go a long distance. Leave out the bacon, and add extra vegetables – you can chop up a broccoli, or grate a carrot and zucchini into this, and get away with it!

Don’t wait for a special occasion to treat yourself and the family to a delicious Mac ‘N Cheese dinner; add it to a family menu for a quick and easy week night meal the teenagers will devour in a flash. One word of warning however; make plenty as they will be back for seconds!

Happy teen – happy mum xx

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Apple & Berry Crumble – my quick version for the busy cook

IMG_0044This is a very quick and easy Apple & Berry Crumble that can be made in less than 10 minutes – it takes just 25-30minutes to bake in the oven.

Now what makes this particular recipe quicker than most is that you use canned apples rather than peeling, chopping and cooking some Granny Smith apples!

I know this is kind of cheating for the traditional home cook however I work full time, & there would be little to no chance of a fresh fruit dessert coming out of my kitchen at the end of the day – as well as a main meal!

And if you have a teenage boy in your home, then I guarantee you that they are always hungry! One lesson to learn is that dessert is a good tummy filler – and made with fruit, a healthier option than bread & butter on the table as was the case at my mother-in-laws house in the 70’s and 80’s.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 415g sliced apples
  • 3/4 cup of frozen berries of your choice
  • 1 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 50 g melted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cups rolled oats

Place the apples into a oven proof dish – I have learnt that the best dish for a crumble is a flatter one so the crumbs are a thinner layer. Mix through the lemon rind.

Mix all the other ingredients together – and then sprinkle over the apple and press down lightly.

Bake at 190°c for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp! Serves 4-6

Now wasn’t that easy?

I added 3/4 cup of frozen raspberries to our Apple & Berry Crumble last night – (another ingredient I always have in the freezer) –  you could leave out the berries and add sultana’s or raisins and whole cloves for a change; more like a strudel taste!

Try this with ice-cream as a dessert or with a dollop of yoghurt (to soothe your conscious) and as a hot breakfast on a cooler Winter morning.

Happy cooking xx