Happy Friday! It’s been a fabulous week in the Confessions House. There’s been sparklers…
Zumba, golf, yoga… and more!
Today I’ve got a special dish to share with you… hearty comfort food. YUMMM…
This is the latest in my Dixie-Style Dining Series that I started working on this summer. Now technically, this is macaroni and cheese. However, in my family, we call it “Yummy Stuff.” The story is, we were visiting my grandparents in Philadelphia for a few weeks in the summer. During this particular summer, my grandfather was on a special diet—a low-sodium diet. He was not a happy camper. I think it was made even worse because my grandmother was making all of her best dishes and he couldn’t eat most of the food we were eating. So this one night, she made macaroni and cheese. We all piled our plates high (except for you-know-who) and sat down to eat. We said the blessing and suddenly my youngest sister said, “Hey Grindaddy, how come you’re not eating any of that yummy stuff?” Well, that broke the tension and from that moment on, the macaroni and cheese was called “That Yummy Stuff.”
So here you go.
“That Yummy Stuff”
This is not an exact recipe… you can adjust the amounts depending on how many you are serving and what your tastes are.
- 1 box of macaroni (I used whole wheat)
- 1 large block of cheese, shredded (We think that the cheese of choice was Vermont Sharp White Cheddar by Cracker Barrel. However, tonight I didn’t have that on hand so I substituted a blend of mild and sharp reduced-fat cheddar. I plan to try this again using the white cheddar.)
- seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1-2 pats of butter cut into small pieces
Topping (Optional): canned diced tomatoes, hopped onion, minced garlic, chopped pepper (Sautee onion and pepper until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add canned tomatoes. Heat to boiling and then simmer for a few minutes.)
Preparation: Cook noodles to the firm side of al dente. Put 1/3 of the noodles in the bottom of a baking dish. Then 1/3 of the cheese over the noodles. Repeat for a 2nd and 3rd layer. Pour milk into the dish until you can see the milk (just below the top layer). Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and then place the butter pats on top of the breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until milk thickens. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving. Add topping to individual servings if desired.
I love the addition of the tomato-onion mixture on top. It adds something different and I think makes it a more grown-up variety of mac and cheese. This “Yummy Stuff” is so hearty that I think it could be a meal in itself. You could add bacon pieces to each layer if you like, or leave it as-is. I plan to make this again and use the Vermont White Cheddar, just to see the flavor difference. But this was still delicious tonight!
Do you have fun weekend plans? Have a great, restful weekend!