Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Macaroni and a meme

Macaroni and Cheese
Better Homes and Gardens New Dieter’s Cookbook Copyright 2003

2 ½ cup dried radiatore, rotelle, or elbow macaroni (8 ounces) I used Dreamfiled rotini
2 cups reduced-fat milk I used super skim
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
2 ounces American cheese, cubed (about ½ cup)
½ cup coarsely crushed purchased seasoned croutons
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan.
2. Meanwhile, in a large screw-top jar combine 1 cup of the milk, the flour, mustard, salt, and pepper; cover and shake until combined. Pour into a medium saucepan. Stir in remaining 1 cup milk. Cook and stir over medium heat just until bubbly. Reduce heat to low. Add cheddar cheese and American cheese, stirring until melted. Pour sauce over pasta, stirring until combined. spoon into 1 ½ quart casserole.
3. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. In a small bowl stir together the croutons and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This was not the world's best macaroni and cheese but for a lighter version it wasn't bad. This recipe doesn't use any butter and only uses 1 cup of cheese but it was still satisfying. I served it as a side dish along side ham and carrots.

This wasn't terribly exciting but, if you haven't heard, there are less than two weeks until Christmas! Dinner is that last thing I need to be spending time on. I'll throw in a Christmas Meme here to spice this post up. I was tagged by both Claire from Cooking Is Medicine and VeuveClicquot from Sugar Delirium.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I like both but don't drink too much of either.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He sits them unwrapped, each person has their own pile.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White on the tree inside and white, red and green on house and trees outside (some trees are green, some are red, the house is white, etc - the strands aren't multi-colored.)

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.

5. When do you put your decorations up? As soon as I get to it after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? There isn't one dish in particular. I enjoy the traditional Christmas Eve meal of pierogis, fish, cabbage (or sauerkraut), etc that both my family and my husband's family serves.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: I could never pick a favorite. I've always loved Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. I loved when Santa came on the firetruck on Christmas Eve - still do.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember exactly when but I picked up on various clues (such as toy boxes in the trash) and figured it out myself.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not anymore but I did when I was younger.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? White lights and an eclectic array of ornaments I've acquired over the years.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love it on it's own but mixed with travel, I despise it.

12. Can you ice skate? Nope.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I've enjoyed many gifts over the years. No one gift stands out as a favorite.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Celebrating with family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cookies and my mom's rice pudding (a baked custard, really) which I don't get very often anymore since that was a Christmas Eve thing and I spend Christmas Eve with my husband's family now.

16. What tops your tree? A cheap metallic red star with sparkles that I bought in Wal-Mart for about 99 cents when we first started putting up a tree a few years ago. I can't bring myself to replace it with anything else.

17. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Neither anymore. Except for my son (whom I can't stop buying for!), I'd rather not have to exchange gifts with anyone anymore. It's the most stressful part of the holiday - trying to find appropriate gifts.

18. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Gosh, I can't think of just one right now. Someone burned me a CD of Christmas music a couple of years and that's about all I listen to around the house at Christmastime anymore.

19. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Nice to look at but not to eat.

20. What do you serve for Christmas dinner? Nothing - one of my sisters cooks Christmas dinner. It's usually a spiral ham (or is that Easter? - I can't remember but it's always something good.)

Blast From the Past: Horn and Hardart's Baked Macaroni and Cheese from November 2005. Only a bit more decadent than today's recipe and probably my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe that I've tried so far.

Question of the Day: Where will you be on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?


Anonymous said...

I'll be traveling to TN, where my parents recently moved, on Christmas Eve. Then I'll be there for about a week.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a light mac & cheese? I'll give it a go.

I don't celebrate Christmas (I'm Jewish), so I can usually be found with friends or family eating Chinese food and seeing a movie, or volunteering to serve Christmas dinner somewhere. Unfortunately this year, I will be sucking popsicles and recovering from a tonsillectomy.

Wanda said...

Right here at home, except for when we go to Mass.

ThursdayNext said...

I love this meme! I may steal it. ;) Oh, I think any mac and cheese dish is exciting. Period.

On Christmas day we go to my brother-in-law's side of the family and on Christmas Day we will be at my sisters. I am so excited.

Anonymous said...

Christmas Eve is at my Aunt's this year (45 min drive from home - just far enough that if we put the boys in jammies, they will sleep and stay asleep when we get home). Christmas Day will be spent at my inlaws and in the early evening we head to my parents to do another "Christmas Morning" on Boxing Day.