I do have some shredded cheddar cheese, milk, elbow macaroni, and Blue Bonnet margarine! Mine won’t be as elegant as hers. So what?! (*puts on my flannel shirt, tattered jeans, and sits on a bale of hay*) Elegance isn’t my strong suit anyway.
I decided to throw in some extras I had on hand. Barefoot Contessa did not do this, but I was just winging it. I had some smoked sausage thawed in the fridge, so I sliced it very thin and placed it into my BFF, my trusty 9x13. I also had some frozen broccoli and cauliflower (what’s not to love about cheesy broccoli and cauliflower?!) so I thawed it and tossed that in too. Meanwhile of course, make sure your macaroni is boiling in some salted water. The next part I just eyeballed so I can’t give you definite measurements. I put two globs of butter in my pan, followed by about 2 cups shredded cheese and enough milk to make it the right consistency. I also dumped in some onion powder for taste. I stirred until it looked like a good cheese sauce, then I stirred it in with the elbows. I then dumped it all in my 9x13 and cooked it for about thirty minutes in a medium oven. I cooked it at 325 because the other thing I made was supposed to be baked at 325. It’s just a casserole, and everything was already fully cooked, so the temperature really doesn’t matter, does it? I wouldn’t go cooking it at 450 or anything though.
Do you subscribe to the philosophy that you should never wash a half load of dishes or laundry? Me too. What about cooking? Do you believe that you should never just use the one rack in your oven? If the oven’s on, you might as well stuff it full of food so as not to waste all that heat, right?
So I also made some A to Z bread. Basically, it’s a use-whatever-you-have-on-hand-to-make-some-kick-@ss-bread recipe. You can use anything from apples to zucchini. Hence the name. How clever.
Today, I used four past-their-prime bananas with enough raspberry jam to make 2 cups. (You need two cups of A to Z ingredients for this recipe). It says to bake for an hour at 325, however I ended up baking it about ten or fifteen extra minutes. I think maybe upping the temp a little bit would have worked better. I’ll be taking one of the loaves to my mother-in-law’s fiftieth birthday party today. I’ll be hiding the other loaf from my husband so I can eat the whole thing myself. Funny thing is, you think I’m joking.
That reminds me. I went over and paid my in-laws a visit a couple days ago (I usually hang out with them a few times a week while hubby works). My father-in-law came home and saw me sitting on the couch, and he said to my MIL, “I thought you said you were cooking dinner? Not that you invited a cook over for dinner!” Well thank you, thank you very much. I’m known as the cook of the family. I feel so special!