Two Ingredient Pancakes (Banana And Egg)

Supposedly this recipe is all over the internet, but I don’t recall seeing it until yesterday. I was immediately intrigued. Pancakes with only two ingrediants, eh? I guess it is Paleo, though I’m not too familiar with that, so I can’t claim it. It is a simple, no-frills breakfast, allowing for protein and fruit. I’m all in.

There are different ratios, but I went with the simple 1:1.

One banana.

One egg.

I was going to just make 1 batch, but instead I used the 3 black bananas I had and tripled it. I’m glad I did. It was genius  Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I would fail a batch, and need more to work with. In retrospect, pancakes (for me), generally start with one failed ‘cake, and the rest are beautiful, so this worked.

So I took my eggs and bananas and put them in my Ninja. I was going to just use my favorite little chopper, but the more I use my Ninja, the less I use my old faithful chopper. Kind of sad. I feel like I’m cheating on it.

Most people tend to mash theirs by hand – but I thought blending it to a liquid would be better. So I did. People also talked about adding baking powder and such to it – but I wanted to keep it simple. A true Two Ingredient Pancake.This was difficult for me, because I tend to like to experiment. But without starting with the simple base, you never know if your experiments worked. Beyond that, the verdicts for additions to this simple concoction weren’t too outstanding.

I do not like how precariously that is sitting on the edge of my counter. It didn’t fall, but just looking at it makes me think it will.

I heated my skillet to 350. I didn’t even bother with my beloved iron skillets because they aren’t the best behaved for me with pancakes, with their reputation for sticking. I didn’t want a bunch of added oils, either.

A few minutes later the edges looked like they were firming up. I tried to flip, and it gave me the whole accordian pancake look, like, I’m not ready. Soon there was a smell that one can only associate with food burning, and I had to flip it.

Batch #1, failed. Thankfully, Frank likes doughy pancakes.

Batch #2 I decided to turn the skillet down to 250. I read a tip about cooking a bit longer on lower heat, and that working better. I also used some non-stick spray. (I need to find and link to that blog, because she posted some very helpful tips… here it is: secrets to a perfect two-ingredient pancake.)

One worked great. Smelled great. The other, not so much. I think I was a bit jumpy on the gun. Out came my ipod timer.

Batch #3

Set the timer for 5 minutes to force my patience. That was the PERFECT amount of time, only I forgot the dang spray -gah- and had an issue… again. But they were cooked enough, and I saved them regardless. I ate one from #3, putting it on the bottom and topping it with the pretty one from #2. Spread a little peanut butter on them.

Yum.

Verdict: Pretty good. If you don’t like bananas then skip it. If you’re not much for bananas and peanut butter (I’m not, even though I ate it happily) – try syrup, jelly – or nothing. Mine were way sweet enough from the over-ripe bananas. Syurp would have been too much for me. As I ate them, I wondered if sweet potatoes would work in this kind of recipe. Hmm.

They weren’t light and fluffy like a pancake. They were actually a bit gooey, which is how my husband likes them. Kind of crepe-y. I liked that they were warm, and something different, had no egg and no flour. I’d like to make a few and see if they will hold to nuke on mornings where I don’t feel like making anything, and want something warm.

I think I would try these again for something different. They’re less than 200 calories and a relatively quick breakfast fix. A little vanilla in them might be nice. Or not.

Hello My Pretty

Happy Halloween. I have no costume. But I have candy to hand out in my bowl, which I carry around the neighborhood with me.
Actually, wait a minute. The twins are 13. My days of walking the kids around the neighborhood might just be over. See, I am accustomed to following the boys around the neighborhood. Since I’m not at home to hand out candies to the kiddos, I’d carry my bowl of candy with me, partaking in a mobile trick-or-treat.

But, the days of that might be over.

The twins are planning on going with friends. Carlito, too.

Hmm. Lightbulb moment for me.

Ah well. So maybe I’ll stay home for a while and hand out candy. Or maybe I’ll pop over to my girlfriend’s house and hand out candy there. I’ve done that nearly every year now. That’s fun, too. Then we head over to a friends and have chili or pizza, the kids watch TV and go through their loot. It’s great fun. A tradition I don’t want to see end anytime soon.

Yesterday I made these MummyDogs:

Sorry, now that I’m married to my iPod Touch, many of my pictures are snapped with the not-so-great camera. Better than nothing. Those were incredibly easy to make. All you need is a tube of the Pillsbury breadsticks and 12 hot dogs. Open the breadsticks and cut each stick into thirds (length-wise). Wrap the hot dog from “head” to “toe” with each piece of dough, leaving a bit of room for the eyes. Place on a parchment lined sheet (or sprayed pan) and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes and apply the mustard eyes. Go here for step-by-step directions. I blotted off my hotdogs to help the dough adhere better. If you let the dough rest about 10 minutes before handling, it will be more pliable.

The kids ate them. I don’t know that they were appreciated as much as they would have been 5 years ago, but whatever.

I also made some cookies that did NOT turn out as intended (for pictures of how they are supposed to look, visit the website linked in the recipe).

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Oreo Cookies, I used the double stuff

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Serve with a tall glass of milk, enjoy!
Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE Cookies – {picky-palate.com}

The above I hand formed. Painstakingly. It was not a pretty process. The dough was like wet sand mixed with glue. They turned out the size of a small saucepan (see above), or pancake.

I decided to make the rest in cupcake form, using dough-cookie-dough and popping them in the oven.

They leaked butter. Have you seen a baked good leak butter? I knew I had seen this recipe all over the place and the cookies, though seemingly under baked, did not leak butter. I salvaged the tops, baking and re-baking my cookies. But I had to admit: I had done something wrong.

Re-examining the recipe, I can see what I did. I used 3 eggs and only used 3 cups of flour. If you do the same, yours will leak butter, too! Well, if you put them in the muffin tins. If you put them on a pan, they will be extremely hard to work with and will spread like gossip in a girl’s bathroom. I still plan on eating one later. I don’t care. The ones that flattened turned out fine. The cupcake ones that are extremely… chewy Frank will like.

Have a great Halloween!

Therapeutic Baking: Apple Spice Scones

The temperatures are falling. The leaves are falling. It is impossible for me not to be in the kitchen baking with apples, pumpkins, spices. Simmering soups, pasta sauces.

It’s  therapeutic for me.

I’m pretty well stocked in the freezers, both upstairs and down. Stocking the freezer, then using it up can be therapeutic for me, too.
I see dollar bills when I’m able to tuck something in the freezer for later.

Monday I received another vegetable offering from Gramma Marge (yes, there was more eggplant); I baked part of it (the eggplant – more on that in another post), then chopped and froze the green peppers, adding to my freezer abundance. I still need small staples here and there, like milk or eggs, but I feel like I should be able to “shop the freezer” a bit over the next few days.
I refuse to go shopping this week.

Monday was baked eggplant.
Tuesday, spaghetti leftover from the eggplant, while using up 3 chicken breasts from the freezer. Yesterday I baked.
Wednesday is still in contemplation mode.

Back to baking. I found this recipe for Delightful Apple Spiced Scones with Spiced Glaze. I had all of the ingredients on hand, save the second apple and the buttermilk. But I still had some homemade applesauce dying to get used up and a great desire to bake something that smelled like fall.

I replaced the buttermilk with soured milk (milk with lemon juice – or vinegar added to), and used only one apple (skin on). Somewhere along the line I did something wrong, though. I got to the step where you combine everything and “stir until just moist” – that’s where things looked weird. My kneading was more like playing with something the consistency of oatmeal. What really kept coming to mind was the diaper contents of a baby transitioning to solids. But anyway.

I plopped the mess on my prepared pan, unable to score the scones, but not declaring disaster… yet.

The oven worked its magic on my ploppy mess, filling the house with aromas of fall – just what I wanted the boys to come home from school to.

Looked salvageable. It was very moist. I cut it into 18 pieces, and dredged them through the delicious glaze.
It was very moist, not making for an easy task.
The twins dug in immediately.

Sal thought they were good, Franny said good – but less (or no) apple next time.
I set a piece out for myself, warmed some coffee, and sat down to savor a bite.

The flavor was good, the texture… well, I was hoping for something a bit drier and less cake-like.
Since my photos don’t quite match (in the kneading stage), I’m figuring something went wrong in my process.

Today is my day off. Wednesdays are nice that way.
I’ll be doing loads of laundry, dusting, and cleaning. Visiting the doctor (hatehatehate, but a day off is a good day to do it), making dinner – still have to figure that one out, and keeping myself busy so that I’m not tempted to shop. It isn’t that I’m a shopoholic or anything. We’re working on paying our bills down, and I want as much money as possible going to that. With a full freezer, I figure I can lean on that more and keep out of the grocery store.

We shall see.

Chili Lime Pepper Salad (One Bowl Prep)

I have no pictures of this salad. I’ll just preface with that. Sometimes I take pictures. Others I keep as a photograph in my memory (key harp solo).

My father-in-law lives in a retirement community. On certain days different stores will bring day-old bread or donate vegetables and the residents get to “shop” the goods, or they get a parcel of goods – I’m not really sure. In any case, my father-in-law (and his mother, who both live there) will relieve the guilt of not using their share (?) by passing on to me the remainder of that parcel. Generally it is delicious and appreciated. Other times it is a parcel of guilt that ends up in my garbage due to my lack of ability to either use immediately or freeze it. Sounds simple enough for a person to do, but not always. My brain is flighty.

Last time it was eggplant. Frank’s grandma had made a wonderful caponatina with as much eggplant as she could use, then handed off the rest to me. I like eggplant. I sliced it, breaded it, and fried it. It was delicious and fully consumed. Well, a few of the eggplants were consumed. There were leftovers. They went to garbage after rotting in my kitchen for well past their prime. I was done frying and couldn’t stand the thought of doing any more. Seems to me no matter what you fry it always smells ends up smelling like fried fish, and it always hangs in the air like bad news for about three days.

Well this time, Joe came over with a bag (Frank’s family has a thing with bags – you can’t visit without leaving with an old plastic grocery bag of something – even if it is an article, one piece of paper – it’s in a plastic grocery bag). So we talk in the driveway for a bit, me leaning over his car, him sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine running. We talked for a bit, and then he handed me the bag like there were porcelain dolls in it. It was tied at the top. He looked in my eyes. “I think it is eggplants.” My stomach sunk a little at the thought of frying up more eggplants.

Lo and behold, I went inside the house, opened it up and found four jumbo peppers (and tomatoes, but they were immediately ignored for the peppers)! My peppers were green with hints of orangish red, so I knew they were going to turn into beautiful red peppers.

I love red peppers. I love them – have you seen how expensive they are lately? This, my friend, was a bag of delight. I put them in a basket and patiently waited for them to turn. The tomatoes… I made some spaghetti sauce.

Days later and finally my peppers were ready. Almost too ready. Remember my flighty-ness? I wanted to make a pepper salad so they could be the main character, shining in the spotlight. Usually I make an Italian-themed pepper salad, but this time I went for something different:

CHILI LIME PEPPER SALAD

(one-bowl prep)

Ingredients
2 large red peppers
1 cucumber
1/2 red onion
2 T. olive oil
1 T. sugar
1 lime
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
handful of fresh cilantro (or 1/2 T. dried)

Directions
1.) Cut peppers into bite-sized strips (about the size of a pinky, a teensy smaller); place in bowl. Peel cucumbers (I slice the ends off, cut it in half then peel), de-seed, and cut into similar sized strips; place in bowl. Cut onion into same-sized strips. Toss gently in the bowl.
2.) Over your pepper/onion/cuke mix, drizzle olive oil. Cut lime and half and squeeze the juice of both halves into bowl. Toss gently. Sprinkle sugar, cumin, chili powder over; add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in chopped cilantro (I only had dried). Toss gently again. If you can, refrigerate for an hour prior to serving. If not… dig in.

I ate the leftovers with a sprinkle of feta cheese over. Yum. I like a kick, so in the future I might add some cayenne to the mix.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn (In A Brown Bag)

I was going to follow-up with my hair saga. But I got distracted by a craving for popcorn.

It started at work. I was tempted by the stale bags of emergency popcorn in my drawer, but I was able to stave it. Then it came back again with a vengeance, this time for movie theatre popcorn. I fantasised a bit, figuring that technically, I could  run in the closest movie theatre around and get a tub of unbuttered popcorn to bring home.  I have done it before. I mean, why pay for movie tickets when all you really want is the popcorn? Let’s be real here.

Reality set in somewhere and I forgot about the craving… until I got home. Sometimes the best choice doesn’t happen, and at that point you have to go to the alternate better choice.

Example:

Overwhelming craving for movie theatre popcorn. Best choice: ignore craving, munch a veggie, or make air-popped corn and eat that. The BEST choice didn’t sit so well with me. I was either going to sink or come to a middle ground. I chose the middle ground: homemade popcorn with butter and salt. It wasn’t the BEST, but it wasn’t the WORST. I met things half-way.

Which leads me to the whole reason for this post, which is to share the semi-newfound love of microwaved popcorn in a brown bag. As I snapped my pictures, I couldn’t for the life of me remember where this idea came from, but I certainly didn’t pull it out of my own imagination. On a whim I checked my history and found it: squawkfox. I think that’s it. There might be other sources, but that’s what popped up for me. Get it? Popped up?

At any rate, I generally make popcorn on the stove in my iron pot with some oil. But, that’s not something I want really the kids to do by themselves right now. They are more likely to reach for a bag of microwavable corn than to grab my iron pot, oil, hot pad  anyway. I rarely eat the microwaved kind, though, so when I buy it, it is only for the kid’s sake. With two kids that LOVE popcorn (with hot sauce). I was happy to find the brown bag method. This is cheaper, and renders just as good results. I would say better because you can make it and add what you like.

All you need is 1/3 cup of popcorn, a brown bag (lunchbag) and a microwave.

Look mom! I took pictures this time!

1/3 cup of popcorn goes in bag:

Does that make you feel claustrophobic? It does me.

Bag goes in microwave. You can put it upright or sideways with the top folded a couple times. I like it upright (yeah, my microwave could use a cleaning I see):

I have a “popcorn” setting on my microwave (picture of that didn’t turn out so well). I set it to the 3.5 setting and it was perfect when setting the bag upright, and don’t fold it over. If I lay the bag on its side folded over on the top I have to set it to a shorter setting and push +30 to add more time. Every microwave probably has its happy spot for popped corn, and you’ll have to find yours.

Out comes this:

Mmm.

Do you use popcorn salt?

Generally I don’t. I just take my salt grinder and grind some salt into my mortar and pestle, then go at it a bit to make a finer salt. Buying it in a little shaker is convenient. To each their own.

Butter. Yum, yum and yum.

I really, really love popcorn.

No human being should have this many pictures of their popcorn.

But that’s how much I love thee.

Confession: I Am A Lettuce-Eating Freak

The title says it all, really.

I eat lettuce.

I don’t suppose it is too weird that I eat lettuce. It’s maybe just a little odd how I eat it, though. I eat my greens like some people eat potato chips. Or… Oreos. In excess and like a pig. Sometimes I take a bag of naked greens to work to eat. I like to eat them with my hands. Grab a bunch, pinch it together, and cram it in my pie hole. Because I like to eat it this way, it makes me feel like I’m taking a quarter container of Pringles, stacked, and shoveling them in my mouth. I feel guilty.

Sometimes leaves of greens will drop at my feet. My dog Wheezy doesn’t eat them, so it makes it hard to cover my tracks.

I’ve felt kind of weird about this for a while, now. I’d make my salad on the side, sans dressing, and grab bits with my hand when nobody is looking. I don’t think anyone has noticed, but you know, I’ve decided it could be worse and I might as well embrace it.

Yesterday I made this Lentil Chorizo Stew (mother of pearl, you need to make that, like NOW – it is that good), and when I went to put the kale in, I found myself doing the same thing with the kale. I literally backed off to a corner of my kitchen and ate it raw. Twice. For some reason you can’t right-click on the author’s site with the recipe, but essentially the same recipe is right here, too (posted by same poster), so go there if you want to copy/paste it into a printable form. In fact the one below uses 4 potatoes, like I did, to beef it up a bit.

Lentil Stew with Chorizo and Kale
Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Italian Kale, Chopped Into 1″ Pieces (I used bagged and chopped – easier)
  • 1 pound Green Lentils, Rinsed
  • ¾ pounds Chorizo Sausage, Cooked
  • 4 whole Red Potatoes, Cut Into 1/2″ Pieces
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ whole Yellow Onion, Diced Into 1/4″ Pieces
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 leaf Bay Leaf
  • 1 pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • I added  pinch of red pepper flakes

Preparation Instructions
Melt butter over medium-high heat and add garlic, potatoes and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and starting to become translucent. Add chorizo, lentils, chicken stock, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add kale, stir, cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

(I really liked this recipe, and so did everyone else. I did, however, get quite uncomfortable digestive-wise after it, so I don’t know if lentils aren’t my thing or if it was a coincidence. I’m scared to eat the leftovers and find out, but it was tasty enough that I will give it a go.)

Anyway, so I’m making that and shoving kale into my mouth. As I’m doing that I’m wondering why in the world am I feeling guilty?

Today, I’m making dinner, kids are gone, and after I’m done I reach into the fridge like a dirty birdie, pull out the half-empty container of spring mix greens and run downstairs with a glass of wine and a fork feeling like I’m mugged someone. It’s not a flat of doughnuts or cookies. Why the guilt?

Maybe it is just indulgence, period. Then again, maybe it stems from being a kid. I loved sneaking into my mom’s garden and eating the veggies like a famished rabbit. But I wasn’t really supposed to be doing that. So I’d grab them like a burglar and stuff them in my mouth. I distinctly remember hoveling down in the garden, eating peas like they were going out of style, breaking into the cherry tomatoes and stuffing myself to the point of illness. And then there was that time with the rhubarb. Overindulged. Still to this day can not touch the stuff. Rhubarb isn’t something you ever EVER want to sneak in a garden and stuff yourself on.  Word to the wise.

Before my parents retired recently and moved away, my mom, as usual, had a garden. She’s grow tomatoes and peas in barrels and when they were gone for a week or so, she’d have me water them. My savage ways continued. I’d water them, alright. I’d water them and rob them of every ripe tomato in sight. Considering my own black thumb, it was Garden of Eden to me. It was something I could never attain myself, and couldn’t resist either. Inside my mom’s houseplants would be wilting away from neglect, and outside they’d be over-drenched and robbed of their fruit, then parched to near extinction because they had nothing left to offer me. I wonder what my mom does with the abundant bounty of her plants, now?

 

 

 

Curry Chicken Salad – Super Easy

Work.
Home.
Hungry kids.
Hungry mom.

Scanning brain for super easy (available from ingredients I already have at home) food that is healthy and tasty.

 

My father-in-law just happened to drop us off some cherries and grapes the other day. Last time I was at Costco I snagged some canned chicken, mostly on a whim. I’m SO glad I did. I’d rather say that my lunch was all planned, but one thing my mom taught me to do was to shop the kitchen (cabinets, fridge, pantry) and throw something together. I’ve made this before. I hope I haven’t posted it. But oh well.

This is how I made it today. There’s a million and one ways, but I love me some curry in my chicken salad.

Super Easy Curry Chicken Salad

This recipe makes 6 1/2-cup servings (about 200 calories, 5 carbs, 13 grams of fat, and 17 grams of protein)

Ingredients

2  12.5 oz. cans of Costco/Kirkland  Chicken, drained (or equal amount of cooked skinless chicken, rotisserie, leftover breasts, etc.)
4 T. mayonnaise (I used regular)
2 oz. roasted almonds (chop them up)
1 cup seedless grapes (cut each grape in half, or smaller if you like)
1 tsp. curry powder (or less, I love curry)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
dash of salt and pepper

Directions

Drain chicken and put in large bowl, breaking the chunks up with a fork so it is shredded. If you are using breasts or regular chicken, take a couple forks or scissors and shred the chicken. Slice grapes and add to the chicken. In smaller bowl, add the mayonnaise and seasonings (curry, garlic, salt and pepper); mix to combine. Dump mayo mix over chicken and grapes; stir. Crush almonds (I put them in a baggie and beat it with the heavy end of a knife). Add nuts to chicken and stir. If you’d like a little more “wetness” in the mix, add a little milk (about 1/4 cup).

Put on toast or top a salad and enjoy!

Notes: You could use any kind of nut with this, they don’t have to be almonds. You could substitute the grapes for dried cranberries, cherries… the list goes on. Add onion, celery, sweet peppers or water chestnuts for some crunch. Maybe even carrots to fill it out more. For a low-carb meal, I make this and fill a half a pepper with it. Delicious.

 

Avocado On Toast

Another obsession. Avocado on toast.

I love toast. I love avocado. Those two together, harmony.

One avocado makes enough for a couple day’s worth of 1oz. servings. I take 1 avocado, blended with lime and salt and stored it in a container in the fridge. In the morning (or afternoon, or night):

Avocado on Toast
1 piece of whole wheat toast
1 ounce avacado spread
7 grams bacon crumbles (optional, but yummy)

The possibilities are endless. Slide a fried egg under there. Mmm.

Maple Greek Yogurt and Oats

I’ve been on an eat-what-I-want bender for a few weeks now (OK maybe longer) and it needs to stop. I love to cook, I love to bake, I love to try new things and share them with my family. But, some of us need to watch our eating a little more than others. Being supportive of Lootie, who is working on slimming down, reminds me to be supportive of myself (fancy that) and my own needs, and nowhere do I need to eat with unbridled abandon.

It has also been incredibly hot here. Topping off in the 100s, our air conditioning has been going non-stop almost all month. When the air is on, it makes little sense to start kicking on a hot stove for hours, or simmering soups and heating up the kitchen. Many of our meals have been crockpot , stovetop, or toaster oven.

I go in phases with a lot of foods, but a constant is eggs. They make their way into my breakfast 7 times out of 10. Another favorite is yogurt. I think I got a taste for it from my mother. She put it in her cereals and seemed to be eating that (and toast) constantly in the mornings. The verdict is still out whether buying yogurt straight up or making it myself is the best way to go, but considering I’ve purchased 2 non-homogenized, organic whole milk bottles and ended up letting the boys drink it (not being able to make my loving yogurt out of them), sometimes you just have to break down and buy it, I’m figuring.

So I did. This has been my go-to breakfast (and sometimes dinner) over the past week. I like the consistency– thick, chewy, oaty. It’s almost like an ice cream, but not, and just a touch of sweet. It is perfection to me.

Let’s break it down, shall we? Basically it is a serving of oats and a serving of yogurt with the addition of some maple syrup and cinnamon. Easy as pie, but way less calories. Har.

Maple Greek Yogurt & Oats

4 ounces plain whole milk Greek yogurt
40 grams (1 1/2 cup serving) old-fashioned oats
11 grams (about 1 tsp.) maple syrup
sprinkle of cinnamon (I use a grinder and go about 25 grinds)

Mash together and enjoy.

I’m on my 3rd tub of yogurt this week, addicted once again.

Noodles & Company Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (copycat recipe)

This has become one of my favorite recipes: Noodles & Company Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (copycat recipe)

I have to admit, when I’d take my kids to Noodles and the order this dish, my throat tightens just a little. Isn’t there anything else you want? I mean, I make home made mac & cheese on a regular rotation and they love it. Can’t they try something I don’t make? And then I tried it. I liked it. Especially with a dousing of Sriracha Hot Sauce. I can see why it is a winner, and I’m from Wisconsin.

Pool of cheesy roux + noodles + a topping of shredded cheese?  You get to stir it up and watch the cheese melt right in front of you. What kid (or adult) wouldn’t want that?

Basically you are taking the cheese roux and instead of mixing that with the pasta and baking it, you plate it up all separate. Why wouldn’t it be good? I’ve been known to sneak some roux and noodle before baking and chomp it down. The stuff is good.

Here we go. Source: Food.com

Noodles & Co. Wisconsin Mac and Cheese
8 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs macaroni noodles (cooked al dente)
4 T butter
4 T flour
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups colby-monterey jack cheese, finely shredded

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the macaroni according to the directions to al dente; do not overcook!
Heat butter in sauce pan over medium heat; melt.
Add the flour; whisk to make a roux.
Continue to whisk until the mixture boils, bubbles and turns slightly brown.
Whisk in salt, pepper, and paprika.
Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk and cook until it starts to thicken up. It will not get pudding thick, and will still be a thin sauce. This is how you want it.
Remove from heat and add the 4c. of monterey jack.

To serve: Pour about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the cheese sauce into the bottom of a bowl. Add about 1 cup of cooked noodles over the sauce. Top with a small handful of colby-monterey (about 1/4 cup). Stir and enjoy!

NOTE: 1c shredded cheese is approx. 4oz.

I can feed my entire family a very healthy portion of this (and have leftovers) for less than it would cost to feed two people the same meal at Noodles & Co. — score!  You can make the noodles ahead and whip up the roux in less than 15 minutes. Just warm your noodles before plating. It heats up well, too.