MAKING MONDAY MOMENTOUS!
If you’re like me, Monday can be a tough day to get through sometimes. On Sunday, my mind starts thinking about everything I have to do on Monday, whether it’s my long list of work tasks or the things around the house that have to get done. I bet you also think about meal planning, kids activities, homework, food shopping and just plain old taking care of yourself!
So that’s why I try to make something comforting but easy for Monday night lunch or dinner, and add a little special treat into my dish as well! Well, my Bacon Mac and Cheese with Hoby’s Essentials Happy Paprika is just what the doctor ordered! Now you know I am trying to balance eating healthy with treating myself and my family to dishes that are richer and sometimes heavier in ingredients and calories. But remember, it’s about balance, treating yourself sometimes to eating a richer dish in moderation with a healthy, cleaner dish another time that still gives you comfort, but is better for you and your body.
ONE POT AND OVER THE TOP!
My Bacon Mac and Cheese really is SO easy! After boiling your choice of pasta (one that holds a cheesy sauce well, like fusilli, cavatappi, penne, or elbow), you can use the same pot to make your mac and cheese dish! And you don’t need to spend time making a roux (equal parts of fat and flour to help thicken your sauce)!
Adding bacon to this dish and Hoby’s Essentials Happy Paprika (or a smoked paprika if you don’t have Happy Paprika), puts this dish over the top! I cook my bacon separate to just slightly crisp, in the air fryer or microwave, and then toss it in the pot on low with minced shallots. Then add Dijon mustard, blending well, and then add the milk and heavy cream, blending before adding the shredded cheese, paprika, salt and pepper.
Once the cheese is melted, toss in that pasta, and let that cheesy sauce cover the pasta, seeping into its nooks and crannies. Let it cook on low for another 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and you are ready to serve! You can also put the mac and cheese in glass or aluminum dish and keep it warm in the oven.
MAKE MONDAY MOMENTOUS!
So maybe I need to think about Mondays with a new energy and optimism instead of a dread to the beginning of the work week! It’s an opportunity to look at what can be accomplished and achieved as you head full steam into the week, and starting with my Bacon Mac and Cheese is a great way to feel good all over! You can do anything! Make it a GREAT MONDAY!
Until next time,
Let’s get cookin’
Bacon Mac and Cheese with Happy Paprika
- 1 4 - 8 Quart Pot with Lid
- 1 pound pasta (fusilli, cavatappi, elbow, penne)
- ¾ cup shallots, diced
- ½ pound bacon, thick sliced I prefer smoked a hickory bacon
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard I use Grey Poupon
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 ½ cups White Cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 2 cups Swiss or Gruyere cheese (shredded)
- 1 ½ tbsp Hoby's Essentials Happy Paprika You can substitute smoked or regular paprika
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ cup scallions, diced for garnish
- Boil Pasta according to instruction, drain and set aside.
- Cook bacon until lightly crisp as you would normally.
- In the large pot, add the cooked bacon and sauté with shallots on low-medium heat.
- Add Dijon mustard and mix until combined.
- Add milk, and whisk or blend until well combined.
- Add heavy cream, Happy Paprika (or paprika substitute), salt and pepper.
- Add shredded cheeses, and stir until cheese is melted. Cook for another 5 minutes (but make sure the sauce doesn't burn).
- Add in pasta, gently mixing the sauce and pasta until well blended. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
- When serving right from the pot, dish into servings, sprinkle with some Happy Paprika (or the paprika substitute) and with scallions for garnish. Or, you can put in a dish, cover and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.