Abbie and Sanford really worked up an appetite yesterday. They were both totally bored, on the last few days of their Spring Break trip, and decided to go outside in the fresh air and build themselves a snowman. Because we still have SNOW--aaaargh! I shot these photos of them from my office window--they absolutely SLAY me!:
Abbie's been begging me for my homemade Mac N' Cheese for, oh, I dunno, the last 20 years, so I thought I'd surprise her for dinner last night and whip up a pan, just for her. But this time, I added a twist: SMOKED cheddar cheese, with a panko breadcrumb topping. Lemme tell you what--this was about the best thing we've ever put in our mouths! If you want to see faces like these, make this for dinner, tonite:
To start with, you need some good pasta--any shape you like. I use Barilla's multi-grain pasta:
Cook until al dente in salted water, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine your cheeses (I used a mixture of smoked cheddar, regular cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese), eggs, mayonnaise, milk, salt and pepper:
Toss in the pasta; make sure all noodles are coated. Pour into a greased casserole dish, and dot with butter. Sprinkle on breadcrumbs--I used Panko--they are the best!:
Here's how the dish looks just out of the oven--MMMMMMMM!!!:
And here's how it looks, served with a pretty salad. You cannot go wrong with this scrumptious recipe!:
Here's the recipe:
SMOKY MAC N' CHEESE
1 14oz. box pasta--elbows, penne, bow-tie, whichever shape you prefer
1 cup smoked cheddar cheese
1 cup yellow cheddar cheese OR cheese of your choice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tblsp. butter
1 cup breadcrumbs
Cook pasta according to package directions. In a medium bowl, combine cheeses, milk, egg, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and paprika. Add cooked pasta; mix well. Pour into a greased, shallow baking dish; dot with butter. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and set inside, in a 350 degree oven.
TOP 3 THINGS I'M GRATEFUL FOR TODAY:
1. I'm grateful for the wonderful lunch with my new friend Kate. What a doll!
2. I'm grateful that my husband was able to take the day off, getting some much needed rest.
3. I'm grateful that Abbie's boyfriend is getting his hair cut, as we speak. Very much needed--he is so handsome, and doesn't need to hide underneath all of that Justin Beeber hair!