Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Can Dinner be Crafty?

   Tonight I created dinner- and yes, I do believe it is a crafty endeavor.  I envy those people that can throw together a meal without blinking an eye and have everything come out at the same time, perfectly.  That said, here is what I made: Ms. Jules' Macaroni & Cheese and Roasted Brussell Sprouts. 
   The mac & cheese is a favorite of my niece, Julie, hence the name.  I call her Jules.  This is her dish.  She used to ask me to make it for her for Christmas and her birthday, which was perfect because it's great for cold weather and her birthday is in January.  I discovered the recipe when I lived just down the road from her and so I got to perfect it.  I switch it up every once in awhile, using two cheeses or mild instead of sharp, which is what I did tonight.  Derrick doesn't like the sharp cheese flavor.  I think he's nuts, but once in awhile I give in and he gets it his way!
   The brussell sprouts are another recipe that I found in Southern Living magazine.  I didn't follow it to the T because it called for pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes and I didn't use either.  I was really looking forward to the fresh taste of the brussell sprouts because I grew them for the first time this year and had just picked them.  I was a little disappointed.  It was ok, and all I can think is that brussell sprouts apparently need to be dressed up in order to be enjoyed.  If that's not true and someone has a recipe to prove it, please share!
   I'm sharing my mac & cheese recipe.  Hopefully it brings you the warmth of the comfort food that it does me, and maybe it'll become your favorite too!

Ms. Jules Mac & Cheese
2 cups pasta - I use shells, sometimes rigatoni or telli
1 small onion
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cup milk
8 oz. sharp cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cook pasta as directed.  Cook and stir butter, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until onion is tender.  Stir in flour.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir one minute; remove from heat.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Add pasta and stir.
Place in greased casserole dish*.  Bake 15-20 minutes.
*You can add breadcrumb topping before placing it in the oven, but my girl Jules doesn't like it that way.

So there you go.  It's an old recipe so if anyone thinks it's a lot like theirs, sorry.  Enjoy!

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