Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Are we really halfway through September already? I know many of you are experiencing fall weather, but it’s still summer in Memphis. Although I think whoever controls the temperature inside my lab building wants to pretend it’s fall inside, because I now require two sweatshirts to be comfortable. I don’t know about you, but if I saw someone walking around in high 80 degree weather with two sweatshirts and jeans, I would think they were a little off their rocker. So I leave them at my desk and try not to shiver on my way out for the day. Apparently being a graduate student now requires costume changes.

To comfort my seasonally confused self, I made some mac and cheese! Speaking of comforting things, I really do require comfort anywhere I can find it these days. After missing my flight this past Sunday, I didn’t think this week could get any worse. That was until I got a notice in the mail Wednesday saying I failed to show up to an August 10th court date for my expired license plate tags (which btw were processed the very next day, pain in my butt). Ya know, the court date for which I called about two months ago to reschedule to this very day, Friday September 14th, because I was living in Knoxville for all of August? Oh, but wait the person with whom I spoke to about this failed to do their job and file the proper paperwork. Now I have to hope the judge believes me and doesn’t take away my drivers license for a “failure to comply” charge. I wish I could bring in some cupcakes to sweeten the deal.

In other words, this recipe may state that it serves 4 but with my current emotional level this week I took that as a joke. Good thing it’s a little bit healthier than traditional mac and cheese.

One year ago: Peanut Butter Hummus

BACON AND BROCCOLI MAC AND CHEESE

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 cups broccoli florets

8 oz. uncooked rigatoni

1 Tbsp butter (I used Melt)

1-1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1-1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk

2 oz. reduced-fat processed American cheese, cut into pieces (I used 2% Velveeta)

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)

Directions:

  1. Steam broccoli 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Pat dry, and keep warm.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water in a large saucepan for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain and keep warm.
  3. Wipe pan with paper towels, and return to medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk to the flour mixture in pan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick, and remove from heat. Add American cheese; stir until smooth.
  4. Stir in sliced green onions and the remaining ingredients. Stir in broccoli and pasta; serve immediately.

Source: Cooking Light, April 2012.

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