Hate-Me Mac&Chz, Southern BBQ, blog award/contests!

Monday, April 6

Listening to "Happier," Guster.

First of all-- thanks for all your comments on my recipe blogroll! I can't wait to get started and all of your advice/support has definitely helped. But before I start on your fantastic recipes, I must provide...

As promised:
The mac and cheese + bbq post!

A couple weeks ago, Matt put in a dinner request. He usually doesn't, letting me experiment with this new cooking hobby on my own, but he expressed a want for some baked mac and cheese.

I went to Smitten Kitchen first.
Of course, she had a recipe.

In the description, she wrote:
"Sadly, finding a good recipe [for macaroni and cheese] was not that simple, and seriously, when did mac-and-cheese get so gussied up? Bacon? Onions? Mushrooms? Blue cheeses? Heavy creams? Bechamel sauces with low proportions of mild cheeses?"

When I read that... I got to thinking.
How can I gussy up macaroni and cheese?!?!

I know, I know, that's not what she meant. I was an English major, and I can interpret the author's tone: Smitten Kitchen was telling me to keep it simple. But I didn't listen to her advice... or her recipe. I kinda listened, but mostly improvised (that's why I'm such a bad baker!!!)

Here's what Smitten Kitchen told me to do... I crossed out what I didn't do and bolded what I added, just so you could see the craziness...

You'll-Hate-Me Macaroni and Cheese

Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
I used: red pepper flakes
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
I used: 1 pound of the 5-cheese italian cheese from Harris Teater, 1/2 pound cheddar
elbow pasta, uncooked.
I added: 8 slices of yummy deli turkey, chopped into small squares
I added: A mix of Bread Crumbs, red pepper flakes and a splash of milk (used food processor for a second to really get it mixed!) to go on top!

1. Heat oven to 375»F and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

2. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper together.* Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture, turkey and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan.

Before the bread crumbs...
I made a little too much :)
M&C is a fantastic leftover food,

3. sprinkle heavily with bread crumb mixture, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

3. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle heavily with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

So I took a mac and cheese recipe... which, let's face it, isn't included in many healthy cookbooks... and made it more fattening. Right before bathing suit season I'm throwing around a more-fattening-than-necessary recipe.

And it was SO good.

Sorry! I plan on making a healthier (no breadcrumbs, less cheese, and even some veggie!) version next time that Knitting Knoobie pointed me to. Find it here.

Also, the BBQ:
This is my step-mom's recipe. I am so glad to finally make it!

NOTE: BBQ up North and BBQ down south are about as different as Elton John and Tim McGraw. This below is a recipe for the southern kind of BBQ, the vinegar-style pulled pork. If you've never had it, try not to think of it as northern BBQ. Because it's not. But it's reallllll good.

Southern-Style Crock Pot BBQ

You Need:
3-4lbs pork shoulder (or butt!)
4 cups Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup OJ

1. Rub the pork with salt and pepper flakes. Stick the pork in the crock pot with the cider vinegar and red pepper flakes for at least 8 hours. Don't get rid of the cider vinegar mixture when you're done!
Look at that beauty!!
Gotta love the Crock Pot!

2. Shred the pork with a fork *should fall right apart!*
3. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of cider vinegar (from the crock pot!), ketchup, oj and red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy, less if you don't).
4. Pour mixture over shredded pork. Add to bun and enjoy!

Yum. Yuuummmm.

bbq m&c plate

Felt guilty about the (so yummy)
M&C that I skipped the bun on
the bbq. It was all sooooo good.

Blogging News:
Now, I wanted to continue this post with additional blogging news, a shoutout to ACE as thanks, thanks, thanks! for giving me a blog award, and a point to Mom on the Run since I just won one of her really fun contests!

BUT Matt is sick!!! Like really, really sick. Poor guy... he almost never gets sick... but when he does, it's bad.
So I'm going to go be a good girlfriend and pour him some gatorade, find him an extra blanket, maybe even put on some episodes of The Office.

Is it just me or is some crazy spring sickness really going around??!

So, I will catch up on the blogging excitement next post, promise!!

Hope you're all having a great week so far!

-Your southern-bbq-loving,

New Girl Blogger


Ace on April 7, 2009 at 9:57 PM said...

Oh, that pork looks great!

And thanks for playing my lyric quiz!

Donna-FFW on April 8, 2009 at 12:35 AM said...

LOVE that crockpot dinner. It looks so delicious. And congrats on your win!!

Susie on April 8, 2009 at 7:05 AM said...

My husband is a great cook. Here's something that he does when making a new recipe. The first time he'll go by the letter, making the dish exactly as the dish calls for. The next time he'll add, or subtract, what he thinks will be better components depending upon his taste.
You're doing great though. Hope Matt gets better soon!

Mary on April 8, 2009 at 11:27 AM said...

That mac and cheese looks yummy~ I know about sickness - my family just got over the stomach flu!

Tamela on April 8, 2009 at 2:07 PM said...

Spring Fever?! Okay that was really cheesy. I hope he feels better too. I am still trying to get over the funk I had.

Sarah on April 8, 2009 at 2:37 PM said...

Everyone's getting sick around my area.. I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but we've been getting some pretty funky weather up here. Warm, sunny, and beautiful one day, and practically a blizzard the next. I myself am feeling a little bit sick today, got a scratchy throat and a bit of a cough... hopefully I can bypass it, though.

That Mac&Cheese does look so good! You know what you're doing to me? Every time I look at your blog I see a new recipe that I absolutely HAVE to have. These cravings are just too powerful.

Looks like I'll be having Mac&Cheese tomorrow! :D

LiLu on April 8, 2009 at 3:07 PM said...

You? Are a genius. GENIUS I TELL YOU!!!

The Duo Dishes on April 8, 2009 at 3:18 PM said...

Wonderful dinner! Southern pulled pork is a beautiful thing. We've got a mac & cheese craving now...

B on April 8, 2009 at 3:31 PM said...

Just came across your blog through 20 something bloggers. I LOVE IT! The layout is so cute. Look forward to future posts!

Stephanie on April 8, 2009 at 3:32 PM said...

I do like the vinegar based BBQ, but I have to say it is the one thing I do not like about the Raleigh/Durham area. Boyfriend and I wish we could find a nice BBQ place that isn't vinegar based. By the way, I think the vinegar sauce is not specifically Southern, but really more just Eastern North Carolina. Boyfriend is from Western North Carolina in the mountains and had never had it before going to UNC.

Chad on April 8, 2009 at 8:40 PM said...

Congrats on your successes! See, it's not that hard. You even improvised and it still turned out great. If that doesn't build confidence then I don't know what will.

Kim on April 9, 2009 at 10:13 AM said...

I love mac and cheese.... so much. I've been craving it so much here and have made it at least one a week since I've been back from Georgia. I'm actually eating it right now! I like throwing in finely diced garlic cloves in mine and sprinkle with chives at the end. I definitely keep in the cayenne, though.

Miss you!

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