My hubby is a fully-confessed, self-proclaimed, notably-certified, bona fied, and affirmed connesiuer of mac ‘n cheese. If I’d let him, he’d probably indulge in it every day. And I might be weak and just join him! As I, too, LOVE that childhood favorite dish of tender noodles swimming in velvety luscious creamy sauce, lavishly infused with all kinds of dreamy, melt-in-your-mouth cheeses! You KNOW what I’m talking about. Don’t deny the mac ‘n cheese monster in you. We all have one. Some just hide it a little better is all. 😉
And believe me! I’ve tried to stifle the monster. I’ve tied him up and hidden him under the floorboards, the attic, the basement, locked him in the pantry behind the yucky stuff, I once even buried him in the backyard. But he always came back. I’ve learned to just appease the monster once in awhile, because when he comes back at midnight…and he WILL come back…it’s pretty scary really. Getting caught at 1 a.m. making el cheap-o mac ‘n cheese just to keep him quiet is NOT a pretty sight. Plus then you have to share. Because others in the house had their monster awaken as soon as the pan of water hit the stove and the rattle of dry noodles could be heard for miles shaking in the box.
So what’s a girl to do?! I say go ahead and live life. Feed the mac ‘n cheese monster once in awhile. Life is WAY too short not to have fun and enjoy it. But let’s at least have a blast while we’re at it. I mean, even the monster gets bored being painted the same colors over and over. And please make homemade! We don’t want the monster to be miffed of his integrity of what he could and should be. Right?
Though I wouldn’t say that this particular combo is of any royalty, it’s definitely a fun one that we truly enjoyed to the fullest and at least had a few, ok, a couple, of healthy ingredients in it! 😉 And that is our excuse! Yep! And it was woooonnnnderful! The beastly mac ‘n cheese monster was satisfied and I ate in moderation. I licked the spoon and bowl clean ever so sloooowly. 😉
Why do I keep referring to the mac ‘n cheese monster as a “he”? Well, because of course it’s all my hubby’s fault. 😉 I actually didn’t care much for macaroni and cheese when I was a kid. Not kidding. But when I met my hubby, I started getting into making homemade as it’s one of his favorites. So, yes. Yes indeedy I am blaming him for my monster emerging! It’s all his fault! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 😉 😀
I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did, and it becomes a family favorite in your house, too! Summery flavors all wrapped into a creamy mac ‘n cheese dish. What’s not to love?! 😉 Goes extremely well with just about anything you toss on the grill, too! Have a great day all! 😀
BLT MAC ‘N CHEESE with BACON, KALE & GRAPE TOMATOES
Creamy Cheesy Sauce:
1 1/2 cups alfredo sauce, homemade or jarred (Bertolli and Barilla make it well)
1/2 cup mayo, I always use Hellmann’s
1 cup lightly packed shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup lightly packed shredded swiss cheese
1/2 cup lightly packed shredded mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
Rest of Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
4 strips crisp-cooked lean quality bacon snipped into 1/2″ pieces
2 cups kale torn into small pieces, lightly packed (discard inner thick part and stems)
15 grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup more each: shredded cheddar, swiss and mozzarella, for top
1/8 cup more shredded parmesan, for top
garnish with fresh chives if desired
In large bowl, stir together well all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Boil noodles with a tsp. of salt until just al dente. (Shortest time allotted on the box or bag.) Drain well and pour into bowl of sauce mixture. Stir in until evenly coated.
Fold in bacon, kale and tomatoes. Pour mixture into sprayed 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
Sprinkle top evenly with last of cheeses and cover with a lid or foil.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve garnished with chives if desired.