Thursday, April 14, 2011

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Who can so no to a comforting bowl of ooey gooey homemade macaroni and cheese, especially when there is bacon! One of my good friends, blogged about how she was craving some stick to your bones homemade mac and cheese so a midnight she started making it, and it was horrible. After reading her post I wanted mac and cheese so bad I decided to make it for dinner tonight and I'm making enough for her and her family so her craving can be satisfied as well!  It's a classic and a good one!

1 lb bacon, diced and fried
1 T bacon grease
7 T butter
3/4 cup flour
1/3 Cup cream cheese
5 cups milk
2 lbs cheddar cheese grated
1/2 medium onion with core still attached
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 large bag elbow macaroni

Add the bacon grease and butter to a pan and melt, add flour to make your rue. Cook for about 3 minutes, add about a cup of milk and mix well with the rue. Add Remaining milk and seasonings. Add the onion and a bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes so that the rue is thickened. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cheese in small amounts so that it melts completely. Meanwhile cook the macaroni till al dente`. Add the cheese sauce to the noodles and toss well, add the bacon and place in a baking dish. Top with either more grated cheese or bread crumbs or even crushed potato chips, or leave it plain. Bake for about 15 minutes so that it gets crispy. Serve hot.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oh the Popcorn...

So for Christmas we got a Popcorn popper like this...
West Bend 82306X 6qt Popcorn Popper
I admit I hadn't opened it until this past weekend. The kids LOVE popcorn, but the convience of a microwave had prevented me from opening it from it's packaging until Conference weekend. Now for family home evening we do things alittle different than the traditional family. You see having four and a half kids under the age of six one can imagine they RARELY sit still let alone not touch and pester one another for more than five minutes... Enter two items, laundry baskets and popcorn. We place each kid in their own basket, complete with pillow and blanket if requested and give them each a bowl of popcorn. This allows us to get through a still brief lesson with out arguing about so and so is touching me, breathing on me, looking at me etc.... 
So Conference seemed like it called for laundry baskets and popcorn. They did pretty darn good for being under 6! We got them to watch quietly 1/2 of the Saturday morning session(holy cow temple being built in my home town! Fort Collins!! AWESOME) and they watched all of the Sunday morning session! Good job kids. Now on Sunday I made my good friend Michelle's AMAZING caramel popcorn, recipe is top secret and (tear) will not be shared here, as it is top secret, held under lock and key and I kid you not I could eat a bath tub full of it and still want more of the gooey caramel goodness... drooling yet? however I thought I would share a few tried and true wonderful popcorn recipes, my children's favorite, regular buttered and salted popcorn and plain M&M's. Here is one of my favorites,
Garlic Parmesan Popcorn
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder *more if you want more garlic flavor
dash of black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 T melted butter

Pop the popcorn according to machine's specifications. Toss the popcorn in the melted butter and then toss with the spices. Serve immediately.

Another tasty popcorn idea is popped corn melted butter and dried ranch dressing mix, toss and serve.

What are your favorite Popcorn ideas and recipes? Now that I've busted out the popper I just can't seem to stop! :)