Fancy Mac N Cheese

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Caramelized onions, cheese, bacon, macaroni. All delicious, even better together. One of the favorite sides I make is this glorious dish. I got the recipe from The Pioneer woman herself, but made it with my own favorite cheeses.  So definitely make it your own way, after reading her instructions.

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First you gotta prep all your ingredients, so you aren’t scrambling around for them later. I like an organized kitchen. Bacon takes the longest, so it goes first. After its mostly cooked, but not too cooked, I set it aside. Save about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat too.

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Then in the hot bacon fat, I sautee the onions. Your house should smell fabulous at this point.

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Then set everything aside.

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Boil your macaroni for half the time they tell you to on the box. Drain and set that aside. Now for the fun part.

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Take the bacon fat you reserved, and melt it down with some butter.  ssTeDpcbmOOAEmtQ.jpg

Measure out your cheese and your flour while the butter melts. Kemq7Z4PTnzHFMPS.jpg

Don’t forget to whisk it real good. Then slowly add the flour and keep whisking so it is smooth.gvDDjKULP1jQbrmL.jpg

Then add your dairy…aigWk2H6TxTGRXli.jpg

And your seasoning. 3npxq9ZxBbqqQAtI.jpg

While that cooks, whisk together the egg yolks. Then grab a quarter cup of that hot milky, buttery, fatty liquid…uxjkQsYscIsErGE5.jpg

And slowly whisk it into the eggs. Then add it back to the pot!Ap75DNBvdlRjtIH7.jpg

Stir in the cheese until melted. Turn off heat.

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Add in the bacon and onions.

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Stir in the macaroni.

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Lay it out on a baking dish and then top with more cheese and some bacon. Then watch it disappear at dinner. You can find this recipe at The Pioneer Woman’s Website. My changes were just the kinds of cheese I used. I used cheddar, gruyere, and an italian mix. Enjoy!

Turkey Day Turkey

 

I don’t know about you, but roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving is super intimidating. I can roast chickens all day, but something about the turkey that makes my cooking confidence zero. No matter how much I read on how to do it. It just makes me nervous. My older brother is always in charge of roasting/deep frying the turkey, even if it’s my year to host.

Well this year, we are headed to my husband’s family’s home for Thanksgiving. He so boldly volunteered to cook the turkey. To my disbelief. To prepare for it, I made a trial turkey to brine. For some reason, they didn’t put out whole turkeys yet, so I had to work with a turkey breast with wings…no dark meat. Weird right?

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I usually would measure out salt, herbs, etc for the brine. But we found this jar of stuff, and decided to try it out. It’s also got dried fruit in it. I approve.

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If you don’t already have one, and you cook a turkey every year, I suggest you get one. It’s just a big multipurpose bucket from home depot. With a lid. This is where I’m brining the turkey overnight.

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Instead of a whole gallon of water, I dissolved the salt mixture in half a gallon of water, and then half a gallon of apple cider.

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Dunk your turkey in there, I like to put the hole at the top so it can fill up and sink to the bottom. Cover and set outside (if it’s cold enough) and let it brine overnight.

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The next day I opened up and saw that the turkey was completely submerged. YAY!

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After I took out the turkey, I stuffed it with these goodies to make it fragrant.

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Then I rubbed it down with butter, lemon zest and herbs.

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My over is a little uneven. But pretty successful for the first try. The meat was cooked all the way through and it was surprisingly moist! It took me a few hours to cook it. I preheated the oven to 450F, then when the turkey went in I turned it down to 350, then basted every 30 minutes or so. If it gets brown too quickly, you can loosely cover with foil.

Do you have any turkey tips?

Lao Food: Sour Fruit Dipping Sauce

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I have been craving sour stuff lately. I follow some Lao women on instagram, and I saw that they made some green mangoes with a dipping sauce that my mom used to make. It definitely brought me back. I remember Maman would make those and I would end up eating fist fulls of mangoes and then giving myself a tummy ache after. Sad to say, I still haven’t learned my lesson. The last time I had this was when my mom was still alive. It was definitely nostalgic, biting into that sour mango with the salty, spicy, sweet sauce.

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Ingredients, Fish Sauce, Shallot, Red Thai Chili Pepper, sugar and toasted rice powder.GA0uz94SOrOyp22S.jpg

Mince the peppers and shallots.Djo8JOYgHTgqnM7W.jpg

Stir sugar into the fish sauce to taste.k4gVXnlxNrY8LmAG.jpg

Mix in the fresh ingredients.2yJRhUWs8APInxpb.jpg

Add the toasted sticky rice powder.4bzUM3B86MaGs32Y.jpg

Stir, stir, stir.ZIymzXQ0mGsowkCX.jpg

Let it chill in the fridge while you wash, peel and cut your mangoes. Everything is to taste, so no measurements. You got this. It definitely hit the spot. I was a little sad because one of my mangoes was a little bit sweet.

Tuesday Ten: Updates

I know. It's been pretty quiet around here. I haven't been doing too much lately. I've been feeling pretty crappy, so I haven't done much besides sleeping and going to work. Here are some quick updates in my life though!

1. My husband is an uncle! (Which makes me an Aunt, again). His nephew was born last Monday.

2. Our friends also had their big baby boy on Friday. So last week was full of babies!

3. Thip Khao by Chef Seng started it's invitation only opening so I've been busy doing the behind the scenes social media as well as office stuff.

4. My Ride or Die chick gifted me Amy Poehler's new book. Super excited to get into that.

5. Rearranged the house a bit. Need to declutter!

6. Excited that it is November, Thanksgiving is near!

7. Brainstorm Thanksgiving themed meals to cook, since I won't be hosting this year. But I want to eat it all month long!!

8. Take a little breather. So much a brewing over here. I would rather give quality posts than meh ones, Amirite?

9. Think of Fall/winter wardrobe

10. Figure out what to do for Bawse's birthday. He's going to be 2!

 

Pumpkin Carving with the Kiddies

Since our neighborhood rarely has any trick or treaters. We went to our friend's house and did Halloween stuff with their kids.
The adults carved out the tops and kiddos gutted them.
Then we had them trace their patterns onto the pumpkin. The the adults cut out the shapes and the kids pulled them out.
She's super proud of her work. Great team!

I of course took the seeds, cleaned them, then seasoned and baked them. That's my favorite part of carving pumpkins!

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