Grown up bacon mac and cheese

SO I came across this recipe while visiting one of my hilarious folk from Twitter’s blog and thought I should share it with you guys since I’ll be trying the recipe this weekend. Now is a perfect time to try this while im not counting calories and im sure my fetal friend will be pleased LOL anyway here goes..

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Excerpt From her website:

DO NOT USE PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE!!!

Please for the love of all things gooey, do not buy packs of pre-shredded cheese for this recipe. It just doesn’t melt well at all and has that weird anti-caking powder all over it. Always shred the cheese yourself. Always. I shredded an 8oz. block of cabot newyork extra sharp cheese which you can find just about anywhere — but any extra sharp white cheddar will work. I also shredded some whole milk mozzarella (the low-moisture kind, ask your deli guy to help you find it if you don’t see it out), and I used a little finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. It was perfection. I know it may seem weird to add nutmeg to a recipe like this, but to be completely honest — it really enhances the dish in way that doesn’t leave you saying “Hey! I totally taste nutmeg”. It’s super subtle despite adding a nice punch. It provides more of an aroma that really brings out the flavors all of the other ingredients and ties them together in a deliciously cheesy bind. It doesn’t make it sweet at all, it’s just an earthy essence that makes this dish so special. You only need a generous pinch here, about 1/8 teaspoon or less. One note about the garlic, please don’t use that pre-minced crap in the jar. It’s not yummy and it won’t be good for this recipe, so please use real garlic cloves that you have to peel and mince yourself. This dish is about real, grown up flavors…no shortcuts. The little bit of extra effort is so worth it here.  I’m serious…it’s got a great big bite, it holds sauce well and it’s pretty.

This recipe is super easy, pretty damn fool-proof, and can be done in less than an hour. To reduce “kitchen panic” and hysteria, prep beforehand. Have your cheeses shredded, your herbs chopped, garlic minced and ready to go. You can also fry your bacon ahead of time! Again, this is beefed up to be eaten as a main course — you could serve it as a side dish though, totally up to you.

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Ingredients

  • ½ lb dried cavatappi pasta
  • 3 cups half & half
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Cabot New York Sharp Cheddar, shredded (sold as an 8oz. block of cheese)
  • 1 cup whole milk mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup parmigiano-reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1½ to 2 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced (not the stuff in the jar)
  • generous pinch of nutmeg (about 1/8 tsp or less)
  • generous pinch of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp or less)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 slices of semi-crisp hardwood smoked bacon, chopped (feel free to use more if you’d like)
  • ¼ cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (optional)
  • *Salt to season the pasta water

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with foil and lay each slice of bacon down with at least an inch of space between each slice. Place the baking sheet full of bacon on the lowest rack of your oven and let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp but still pliable. It will crisp even further once it’s baked, so don’t crisp it too much at this stage. Drain on paper towels and chop into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

In a large pot, boil water for your pasta. Once it starts to boil, season with about a tablespoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Add the pasta and boil for 5 minutes. Reserve one cup of the pasta water just in case. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Don’t toss the pasta around, just let it sit while you rinse it — this helps keep some of the starch in place. Drain the cold water and let the cooled off pasta hang out on the sidelines while you make the cheese sauce.

Rinse the pot you boiled the pasta in with cold water to cool it off completely then place back on top of your stove over medium heat. Add the butter to melt — once it starts to foam/sizzle, it’s ready for the flour. Add the flour and whisk vigorously until smooth and lump-free. Let this cook for 1 minute to get that “raw flour” flavor out. Add 1 cup of the half & half, and continue to whisk vigorously until smooth, about 20 to 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 cups of half & half and continue whisking. Add the rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and minced garlic — mix well. Taste it! Adjust the seasoning as you need to. Increase the heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to come up to a simmer — whisking the whole time. The mixture will thicken very quickly so don’t walk away from it. It should take about 5 minutes to start simmering. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat completely. Add the parmigiano-reggiano and cheddar cheese and stir gently until it’s melted and smooth, about a minute or two. Either in the same pot or in a separate large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled off pasta with the cheese sauce. Gently fold together until it’s completely coated. Mixture should be slightly loose but very creamy and easy to work with, if it’s too thick, thin it out with a little of the starchy pasta water. Fold in the basil and green onion at the last minute.

Transfer half of the pasta and cheese mixture to a lightly greased baking dish (I used about 4 quick sprays of PAM cooking spray). Sprinkle ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese over the first half of the pasta/cheese mixture, then pour the remaining pasta/cheese mixture on top as a second layer — add the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Gently swirl a spoon or butterknife thru the mac and cheese mixture to ensure the mozzarella cheese is evenly combined throughout the dish. Sprinkle the top with the bacon and breadcrumbs.

Bake in a 400 degree oven on the middle oven rack for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bubbly all over.

Allow the dish to cool for about 10 minutes before you dive in (trust me, it’s molten-lava hot!).

Enjoy.

For more yummy recipes from Reesha you can visit her site at  CarnalDish.com

So..

I just had lunch..

#youcare

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10 Things im over

  1. Fast food drive thru worker’s attitudes– ok so like I try not to have an attitude at the drive thru because only God knows what would happen to my food by some disgruntled employee but  regardless, I’ve been encountering a lot of pissy moods lately and I’m a little perturbed as to why.
  2.   This heat- Its hot, I mean its been hot as HELL literally and I’m so over walking in the heat whether its to my vehicle or to a store the first bead of sweat always seems to be tricklin down my sweater pups I hate hate hate boobs and sweat, combine the two and you have one pissed off Dani.. moving on..
  3. Bad breath-  whats the problem? when in doubt don’t speak to someone 4 inches away from their face, why is this ok? why can you not smell the funk you’re emitting from your suck? this is not ok, and as of lately I haven’t been able to hold my tongue on this matter.. at all.
  4. Beyonce stans- I dunno why folks cannot let this girl be, they spent 9 months in her vagina swearing she wasn’t even pregnant, swearing she had a surrogate, swearing her baby was the anti christ, she decides to release pics of the child, omg beyonce is wearing braids God forbid the girl do something normal like wear flats while pushing a stroller, people really need to get a life. Same goes for the KimYE stans!
  5. Duck lips in photos- I don’t know who told women this was sexy, I’ve even witnessed a few guys doing it as well, stop the madness!
  6. Family stick figure stickers on vehicles ughh
  7. Pube like hairs on my food- I can’t even begin to describe what my hunger is like when I leave work for the day, so on my way home I tend to hunt for food, half the time the food makes it home, the other half im stuffin my face while driving with my thighs. But to finally open up your meal and see this curly substance staring back at you? wtf is happening here? are people scratching their crotches then preparing your food? are you wiping my hamburger bun on your jewels then neatly wrapping it up like seriously how does this happen, and don’t tell me it’s not a pube cause I know what pubes look like! *crickets* anyway..
  8. Phony people and brown nosers at work- lmao the fake smiles and hellos… #overit
  9. Laundry- ha! dear future husband, we will have a maid for this sole purpose, that is all.
  10. People who spit publicly- you’re gross and should be stoned to death with fish tank rocks, for women that do it? there’s a special dept in hell for them as well.

Sunday Dinners

;

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Sevenyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa bagithi babaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Sunday dinners are rather lame when you aren’t cooking for a family of 4 *sigh* furthermore at least I can be extremely generous with the cayenne pepper today LOL i miss my kiddos! Hope you guys had a great weekend! seems like it just started ;(

Today I learned

  • Covering my face with my braids during clinic training to take a nap does not fool anyone but myself
  • The heat turns me into a raving psycho bitch
  • You can’t wipe correctly with press on nails
  • The town I live in is entirely too damn small
  • I feel way more rested when I sleep alone
  • Theres no sexy way to eat wings
  • If someone is holding their iPhone up while you’re singing something stupid to them, chances are they’re recording you
  • According to my emails, I have a penis… its little.. and needs enlarging
  • I can drink a whole container of Almond Milk in one sitting
  • Cutting a donut in half and sharing it with a coworker doesn’t mean its ok to have two more
  • I have absolutely no life when my kids are away for the summer
  • Siri really is my best friend
  • When my co-worker tells me I BETTER use the bathroom before she goes in there, it’s not a game
  • Unless life also hands you sugar and water? your lemonade is gonna suck
  • I attract weirdo men with mommy complexes

Have a great weekend! ♥

Bacon Unwrapped

So, according to current news everything we eat is bad for us and we’re either gonna get cancer from it or just flat-out die mid chew or something to that effect right? I mean I freakin love bacon who doesn’t? substituting for turkey bacon was cool when I was on the South Beach diet but the cardboardy flavor later on became annoying. I mean we all want to extend our lives for as long as we can without adding extra crap to our bodies putting us on the HOV lane to death. Lets look at the facts and make an informed decision. When you think about how gross pigs are to begin with, that alone should deter you from wanting to eat it but, as humans we just… don’t give a damn lol seriously. We’re like and?…

Nutrition Facts
One slice of regular cut-bacon (about 1-ounce) has 35 calories, 3 grams of total fat (1 gram of saturated fat), and 145 milligrams of sodium, which is about 6 percent of the daily recommendation. Not-so-healthy preservatives called nitratesare often added to packaged bacon to prevent growth of bacteria and to maintain color. You may be able to find nitrate free bacon at your local butcher, farmers’ market or high-end grocer if it’s that serious to you I mean then again you’re eating part of a pig so.. yea

“In January, researchers from Sweden claimed that eating just 50g (1.7oz) of processed meat a day – the equivalent of one sausage or two rashers of bacon – raises the risk of pancreatic cancer by a fifth.

And another study claimed that a diet high in these processed meats may also lead to bowel cancer and heart disease.

But, as nutritional experts attest, pork is the most unfairly maligned of meats and a few good-quality rashers or bangers could do us good, if eaten in moderation.”

Basically eating bacon, is not gonna do your waistline any favors, I think when you eat anything in moderation, you should be fine, so what you’ll get a lil cancer here and there *scoffs* Now people who save and reuse their bacon grease? Now that is not of God and I don’t know whats gonna happen to yall but I can’t bring myself to reuse any kind of grease in my house, we just don’t do that. I dunno, I tend to do sausages more than I do bacon but I’m pretty sure you’re gonna die from eating sausage too so its a lose lose situation. I quit eating red meat a while back and apparently bacon is considered a red meat *more than the visual aspect of it of course*  Even turkey bacon falls into this category despite its name! fudge we’re all doomed.