a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

I haven’t made homemade mac and cheese in a very long time so I decided it was time! I found this recipe a few years ago in the Macaroni & Cheese cookbook put together by Joan Schwartz (easily obtained on Amazon!) I like this one because it has some spice!

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups salsa – I used Frontera (Rick Bayless) Chipotle salsa
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • 1 lb dried pasta (I used elbow macaroni but can also try cork-screw cavatappi or the spiral rotini or fusilli)

 

Pour 4 quarts of water into a large pot, cover and set over high heat.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium heat (or in a glass measuring cup or bowl in the microwave), warm milk for about 1 minute.

Add the warm milk and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 or 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from the heat, then stir in cheese. Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted. Taste and season generously with salt, usually 1 1/2 teaspoons. Cover to keep warm until the pasta is done.

When the water has come to a boil, add the dried pasta. Stir well to keep the pasta from sticking together and boil until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and add the pasta to the sauce. Stir until all the pasta is covered in the salsa cheese sauce.

You can eat it this way. But I decided to put the mac and cheese in a baking dish and top with some fried onions (or buttery bread crumbs could work as well) and bake in a preheated 375 oven for 10-15 minutes, until browned and crisp on top.

macncheese

 

 

My first week of football was all crazy! I had 3 players in my Fantasy team playing in Thursday’s game. I HATE that! Because then I have to stress going into Sunday’s games that I didn’t build up enough of a cushion. I also hate when all of my players finish up on Sunday but my opponent has a player left in the MNF game. Stress!!

Yahoo Sports projected 51 points for my 3 players (DEF, K and WR) and I got 62.75. Although I was stressing going into overtime as Ward got his 100yd bonus in OT! Whew..although Santonio Holmes stole some of my points! :) Yahoo! also projected 62 points for Brees which I felt was optimistic of them even against the DET defense. Turns out – Drew rules again this year :) 100 points! I needed that since a lot of my other players didn’t do as well as projected. I ended up with 273.05 in total points. The person I am playing has 211.40 at the half. I just need Aaron Rodgers to throw the ball and not run it with Ryan Grant to win my week since neither of us has players in tomorrow’s games!!

Also made it through week 1 of Survivor Football. First week I generally take a “sure thing” as I haven’t seen what the teams are playing like (pre-season games simply don’t count.) So I chose New Orleans at home over Detroit. Big gambler eh? :) Hey! Anything can happen, right? Any Given Sunday…But yes… I survived Week 1! Whew…

My weekly pool picks choked. I decided to get a little crazy and pick TB and CAR who were both underdogs…and they played like it. Although TB did a MUCH better job against DAL than CAR against PHI. What the heck happened to Jake Delhomme?? And the dominating CAR D from a couple years ago?? Whoa..Although they did take McNabb out. Not good though. I actually like him (even though my FF opponent was playing him!) so do not want to see him hurt. Especially with Vick salivating in the wings for Week 3.

So I won my FF week and survived Survivor week 1. Tanked on my weekly picks. Not so bad for Week 1. And now on to stressing about week 2!! :)

In honor of the first NFL weekend, I decided to make some homemade mac & cheese to go with a grilled ribeye! I chose an easier one – “Today’s Macaroni and Cheese” by Rick Bayless (chef and owner of Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.)

It’s actually a fairly simple recipe. All basic ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Just a few add this, stir in that’s for the cheese mixture:

Cheese mixture

Cheese mixture

And it has some spice so that’s different for mac&cheese! Once you finish boiling the pasta till al dente you mix it all together and then put in baking dish and top with a melted butter and bread crumb mixture. I used a bit more butter than called for in this part of recipe but cut it back on buttering the dish. I was channeling my inner Julia!

Ready to bake and brown!

Ready to bake and brown!

And voila! Baked, yummy “Today’s Macaroni and Cheese” brought to you by Rick Bayless and me :) The cheese and butter are bubbling…oh yeah baby…

bayless mac&cheese

bayless mac&cheese

Husband grilled the ribeye. Yum. Along with a glass of bubbly…a perfect dinner :)

Yum

Yum

My mac&cheese cookbook was quite a purchase for me. Very happy with it. If you are a fan of macaroni and cheese, I highly recommend it:

Angelus wondered where his was…

Don't I get some?

Don't I get some?

and Storm was attempting the Jedi mind trick…

This is the puppy you want to feed...

This is the puppy you want to feed...

It’s a gorgeous night out. After dinner the sun has set but not dark yet. The sky has some dark clouds, and blue sky and these create a great color mixture. It’s chilly out which reminds me of fall. You can smell forest and maybe a hint of fireplace (?) in the air. I LOVE that. Autumn technically doesn’t start until 9/22 but between chilly weather and football, it makes a nice start to fall for me! Maybe I’ll break out the pumpkin/fall/Halloween stuff…

All in all, a good first NFL Sunday :)