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Weekly Winners May 18th- 24th

Here is another Weekly Winners post, all photos were captured using my new Kodak Cd-1013 Digital Camera.

This is the crappy food photo edition. Behold my first attempt at making Mac and Cheese from scratch, easy enough right?

I knew something was terribly wrong when the macaroni was practically disintegrated after just a few minutes of cooking but I drained it and proceeded to make the recipe anyway. Here is how it looked when plated up:

N took the first bite and didn’t say anything, he just seasoned the stuff and kept eating. When I took my first bite I practically vomited in my mouth.

The recipe wasn’t bad and the cheesy part was good as was the asparagus that was mixed in.

The problem was the wheat pasta that was no longer pasta. It was more like a wheat mush. Could the issue have been that the pasta was a Big Lots $.25 special? Perhaps it is because it was a product of Mexico?

Either way it was clear to me after one bite that we could NOT eat any of the meal so I grabbed the plates up because N was still trying to be polite by eating the mush and not vomiting… I tried to come up with a quick plan B for dinner.

Luckily we had some frozen burritos in the freezer that we could nuke and enjoy.

Too bad we had to discover some three day old chocolate chip pancakes still chillin’ in the microwave when we went to nuke the burritos.

What? We don’t microwave very often and I never store food in there, unlike some people…

We felt bad about all the wasted food with the botched Mac and Cheese so just for good measure we offered it up to the animals as a “treat”. Usually they jump at the chance for some people food.

When the cats turn their noses up at it you know it is totally bad news…So yeah.

I can make all sorts of complicated things from scratch but Mac and Cheese, not so much. I blame the pasta! Someday I’ll attempt it again with better pasta, but not for a long time. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

11 thoughts on “Weekly Winners May 18th- 24th

  1. It had to have been bad if that noodle eating cat of yours didn’t want to eat it… I use the Healthy Harvest whole wheat noodles, I get them at walmart, I think they are $1.78 a box? I know that they cost more, but I feel like its a good spend.

  2. Randy does the same thing when something is really bad. If I think its bad then we dont eat it. I give you credit for trying it from scratch though. That is something i have not brought myself to do yet. I am going to have to get back into cooking though, with randy never being home I have not had to cook dinner everynight. We just eat whatever we find when we are hungry.

  3. Wheat noodles can be tricky. You really have to time the cooking of them and they are never good the second day. At least that is my experiance.
    The first time my Mom ever made Lasagna for her and my Dad she got the recipe from my Grandma and followed it to the T—or so she thought. The next day my Grandma asked how it went and my Mom said, “Well he ate a lot of it! He didnt even mind the crunchy parts!!” So, your thinking crunchy parts?! Ya, she didnt pre-cook the noodles and then she didnt fold them into the pan and all the outside was crunchy nasty noodles. Ahhh the joys of cooking! : )

    Heidi Simpsons last blog post..Date Night With Shawn

  4. I guess the cooking times must differ for whole wheat pasta. But I’ve also noticed that whole wheat pasta does have a different taste from the refined stuff and takes a little getting used to if it is new to you. Next time maybe try undercooking the pasta a little since it will then be in a cheese sauce and not as likely to dry out? I don’t know but don’t give up!

    teenis last blog post..Busy, Busy, Busy

  5. Ahhh, how sweet is N?!?! So below is the recipe I use when I make mac and cheese from scratch. I made it for a dinner party a few weeks ago and my guests were asking to take home the left overs!

    12 ounces dried cavatappi or other small hollow, ridged pasta
    1 1/2 teaspoons melted butter
    4 tablespoons finely diced yellow onion
    1 1/4 cups heavy cream
    Kosher salt
    6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
    4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
    3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
    1 ounce Swiss cheese, grated (about 6 tablespoons)
    1/2 tablespoon chile paste, such as sambal oelek
    5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded (about 1 2/3 cups)
    8 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs (about 1/2 cup)

    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain but leave
    a little water on the pasta to keep it moist. Reserve another 1/2 cup of pasta water
    to thin the sauce. Return to the cooking pot and cover to keep warm.
    3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions for
    about 1 minute or until tender. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Stir in the
    cheddar, cream, parmesan and Swiss cheeses and cook, stirring, until the cheeses
    melt and are fully incorporated into the cream. Let the sauce reach a simmer and
    stir in the chile paste. You will have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce.
    4. Remove from the heat and using an immersion blender or hand-held electric
    mixer, beat for about 45 seconds until the cheeses and onions are completely
    blended. The sauce will be thick; thin it with the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water
    and mix well. Season to taste with salt.
    5. Ladle the sauce over the pasta and mix well with a rubber spatula. Transfer to a
    deep, 2-quart baking dish and spread the pasta and cheese evenly. Sprinkle the
    coarsely shredded cheese over the casserole and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake
    for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbling around the edges. Serve

  6. Oh, that is so funny! Once I tried to make gourmet Mac n Cheese with Gorgonzola and Swiss. It was HORRIBLE! Our friends tried to be gracious, but finally admitted it was inedible!

  7. Oh no!! Making mac n cheese from scratch is SO easy – but like you say, if you over cook the pasta (or sometimes if it’s cheap it doesn’t hold up well) then it’s just no good at all – BLECH!

    For wheat pasta, I recommend Ronzoni if you can find it. Not only does it hold up well, it’s one of the lesser expensive whole wheat pastas and it tastes good too. Or, they also have a high fiber pasta (that looks and tastes like white pasta but has all the fiber of wheat pasta.)
    Start with good pasta and you’re on the right track.

    Now, here’s the recipe for success, passed down from my mom and hers and so on. Cook your pasta (let’s say about 2 cups or so) till it’s just about done, still ever so slightly firm because you’re not through with it yet. Drain, don’t rinse. Stir in a spoonful of butter or margarine, just enough to lightly coat the noodles. Stir in a spoonful of flour (maybe 2Tbsp? Just enough to mix with the butter and make them slightly sticky.) Now take 6 or so slices of american sandwich cheese, fold and tear into little pieces and stir in to the pasta. Add a splash of milk and turn the heat on low. Stir the pasta until the cheese melts. You can add more cheese if you want it cheesier. I like to add a handful of cheddar and a couple ounces of cream cheese if I have it. You may need to keep adding small amounts of milk as it cooks, but once the cheese is all melted, that’s it!


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