Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baking Bits: Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni

First off, I want to apologize for missing yesterdays post. Its still been one of those weeks. I’m still playing catch-up with dishes, laundry, cleaning and just life in general. I was on a roll yesterday morning but was quickly de-railed by my own exhaustion. UGH!!! It’s getting MUCH better though and so are the littles.

That being said, my 21mos old daughter (or at least she’ll be 21m on Friday) is having tubes put in on Friday. We’ve just finished a 4-week course of TWO different antibiotics to get rid of an ear infectionher 12th since January 2011. So, this momma decided it was time to be done with the antibiotics and just get the tubes. So, this Friday our 3rd child will undergo anesthesia and get tubes. So, if you don’t mind, please be praying and thinking about us this weekend as we comfort her.

Sometime last year I decided to do away with the boxed dinners. You know...Hamburger and Tuna Helpers? So, I searched the internet and found this YUMMY recipe. It quickly became one of our MOST favorite recipes. Wellactually its two recipes that you can combine for one FABULOUS dish. The Hubster absolutely LOVES these two dishes. They were both inspired by this and this from Heavenly Homemakers. We’ve just tweaked them to make them what we want. So, here’s how I tweaked them. ENJOY!!!

Creamy Mac ‘n Cheese
2 1/2 cups any pasta you like (my kids prefer Elbow noodles, but any will work)
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
2 cups shredded cheese (I use cheddar, but you can use whatever you like)

Pour milk and water into large sauce pan. Heat thoroughly on medium-low heat, so you don’t burn the milk (and so you don’t have to stand there stirring constantly). Just before it starts boiling, pour in the pasta and continue cooking over medium-high heat STIRRING ALMOST CONSTANTLY until the pasta is tender (10-15 minutes). You’ll want to watch the level of milk as you cook. Be sure it doesn’t fall below the noodles too fast. About 12-14 minutes is usually how long I cook it. At that time you’ll want the milk just below the noodles. (Don’t let the noodles soak it all up, because you’ll need it to mix in the cheese.) Remove from heat.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Serve immediately.

Cheeseburger Macaroni
½ - 1 Pound Ground Turkey (I use ½lb because I felt the meat over-powered the noodles.)
1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning (I use this homemade recipe)
1 Recipe of Creamy Mac and Cheese (from above)

Okay, are you ready for these tricky directions???  Make the Creamy Mac and Cheese. Meanwhile, brown the meat.  Once the meat is fully cooked, sprinkle in the taco seasoning and 
¼ cup water.  Stir the seasoned meat into the Creamy Mac and Cheese.  Done!!  Yep, that’s it!!!

This recipe is so versatile. You can substitute Ground Beef or even Tuna for the Ground Turkey. Now, if you do the tuna route, I would definitely take her advice and use White Cheddar!! That way it looks just a little different than your Cheeseburger Mac (and you’ll family won’t even know you’re using the same recipe).

This is one of our absolute FAVORITE recipes! Once you make it for the first time and know about how long to cook it and what it will look like.

NOTE: The noodles will not taste like ones you’ve cooked in water. They do soften, just not as much in milk. Just test-taste them to make sure they’re not too firm. Trust me, cooking them longer doesn’t make a difference. (at least not past 20 minutes)

So, I hope you’ll try this recipe one day and let me know how it goes. Let me know if you change anything!!

Happy Cooking!


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