When people tell me they are trying my recipes I get nervous. Actually, I think terrified is more the word I need.
I started this blog as a game for my family to get out of a rut of hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, tacos and spaghetti. I challenged myself to make a different meal every night for a year and it just kind of blossomed from there. I share what I feed my family in hoping to inspire others to sit down for a meal and to keep me going making dinners at home and taking them To-Go when we need to.
I am not a trained cook or recipe guru. I take thing and measure and mix them together until it I think it is something my family would like. Please take my recipes and make them your own! Add ingredients, leave ingredients out as you see fit for your family. Try a new spice or vegetable. Try out that slow cooker or bread maker that has been sitting on your shelf for years. Experiment and have FUN!
That is what I hope to do with my blog. Whether you serve dinner on paper plates around a fire pit, stoneware around a kitchen table, or fine china in a fancy dining room I hope you try to have fun cooking for your family and try creating something that you all like.
Some days it is harder than others to play the game. Last night was one of those nights. We are near the end of No Buy January and I had no potatoes left, no whipping cream, no rice, limited cheese, 4 eggs and roasted ham to use. I went out and bought half and half to make macaroni and cheese. I am still trying to limit the amount of fresh stuff I am buying to absolute necessities – fresh produce, milk and eggs as needed. But, even those I am trying to severely limit because I don’t want to depend on those and not use up the staples in my freezer and pantry. But, I was too tired last night and I still have one week left of this month to get through the pantry and freezer.
Tomorrow I am using the last cans of beans to make soup with the ham bone. We shall see how this goes in my mostly bean hating family.
This was a hands down hit. I used mostly Swiss cheese with a dash of nutmeg for flavor. All of my family picked up that there was something different about the dish but none could quite pinpoint what it was. When I told them all it was nutmeg they were surprised because they were guessing maple flavoring or maple syrup. Both kids had two servings plus there was enough leftover for a hearty lunch portion.
I served this with a green side salad with lots of vegetables.
Macaroni & Cheese with Ham
- 1 (16 oz) box pasta
- 10 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces
- 2 cups half and half or whipping cream
- 2 eggs
- black pepper
- 2 – 3 cups diced ham
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13″ x 9″ pan with nonstick spray or butter bottom and sides of pan.
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta completely and return to pot.
- Add butter and cheese to pan. Stir until completely melted. You may have to return pan to heat to warm enough to melt the butter.
- Mix together milk and eggs before pouring into pasta. Stir until well combined. Add pepper and ham. Stir to distribute through pasta.
- Pour into prepared dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Cut and serve while warm.