Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

I can see! I finally got my new glasses! I'd forgotten how far I should be able to see. You know, the world is much more beautiful when you can actually see it!
Anyway, yesterday I hit up the grocery store for some staples and saw that turkeys were on for 99 cents a pound. I picked up a 12 pound turkey for less than the cost of 2 turkey breasts. Matt and I had been fully planning on not having turkey this Thanksgiving - and not by our own doing either - so I had planned to buy a turkey and cook it up in November for a turkey dinner with my parents. We actually lucked out and were able to have a turkey dinner yesterday with Matt's parents, even though our actual Thanksgiving meal with them will be next week and we sure won't be having turkey. We'll actually be eating gourmetten. In case you've never had gourmetten before (and if you're not Dutch, the odds are high that you haven't) it's a make your own meal sort of dinner. You each have your own tiny little frying pan and burner and you decide what veggies, meats and sauces you want to cook in your pan. If you time things right you can be continually eating and cooking for the whole meal. It's a very social meal and it's fun to see what new concoctions you can think up! All that to say, I still did end up buying a turkey and it was a stinking good price. My sister is coming to town at the beginning of November so while we have a bunch of family around for dinner I think I'll cook up the turkey with all the fixings. And if we have leftovers, I know a number of bachelors who wouldn't mind some frozen dinners, I'm sure.
For the turkey dinner yesterday I whipped up some steamed brocolli and cauliflower, roast squash, apples and peppers and some cheese sauce for the brocolli and cauliflower. Well, the veggies were all eaten up but I was left with 3 cups of cheese sauce! That did solve the issue of what to have for dinner tonight however: Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese. It was a really quick dinner to make but it tasted awesome. Having the cheese sauce pre-made did shorten the time, but it still wouldn't have been that hard anyway. I'll give the recipe at the end of this post.
Today I was driving home from the church after making lattes for the staff and I was fuming over a couple of mishaps that had kind of made the time less enjoyable than normal. I had things going through my head like, "Great. This is just what my week needed," and, "When will things start getting better?" Just as I pulled onto my street a song came on the radio that at first I didn't recognize and then I realized it was my wedding song (in my defense, the radio was turned way down). The song we chose for our wedding was All I Ever Wanted by Brian Melo. At first I just sat and listened because of the fond memories from our wedding but then I actually started listening to the words again. The chorus starts off with the line, "This is all I ever wanted," and when I heard that it hit me that right now I have that. I have all that I ever wanted. You may question my use of the word "all" since I obviously have other wants, like chickens and a farm and to travel and to buy an early edition Jane Austen novel. However, when I was younger and I was trying to outline what I really wanted in life, it was to be married to a great man, to have children, to have a home that I could bake in and decorate and do gardening at, and, to use a catechism which asks "What is the chief end of man?", to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. I realized that I have that. All of that. My "when I grow up" is completed. Sure, I've set new standards and new things that I want to accomplish, but how can I be unhappy when I have so much going for me? I was grumpy last week because I didn't get my glasses soon enough (glasses which we had enough money to buy in the first place), because I couldn't rent a cello (but if I check back this week I probably can now), because I didn't get to see a friend (a friend whom I have had since our early childhood) and because I felt like nothing was going my way. I may be lucky and blessed, but sometimes I sure am stupid. Last week was still not the best week that I've ever had, but it definitely was not the worst. Not by a long shot. My Grandpa was hospitalized... and he pulled through and is stabilized now. We kicked off Auxano and it was an incredibly worshipful experience. My family stayed relatively healthy and I staved off my earache and my son was absolutely delightful the whole week! All in all, that actually makes for a pretty decent week.
Anyway, I've smartened up, for now. I just hope I've learned for next time life throws a few curves at me.
Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese Recipe:
Cheese Sauce:
4 tbsp butter or margarine
4 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
dash white pepper
2 cups milk
2 - 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 tbsp CheezWhiz

Melt butter in saucepan over low. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until doughy. Add milk all at once. Turn up heat to med-high and cook quickly, stirring constantly, until it thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar and CheezWhiz. Set Aside.

Cook up 1 pound ground beef with a little bit of oil in a frying pan. Drain off grease. Spread beef flat across the bottom of the pan. Using a squeeze ketchup bottle, make a big wavy line of ketchup across the beef, from one side of the pan to the other. Using a squeeze mustard bottle, make two smaller lines on the beef, one on either side of the ketchup line. Stir up.

Cook up 2 cups macaroni, fusilli, rotini or, well, any other type of pasta you think will work. Make sure you salt your water. Drain water once pasta is cooked but do not rinse the pasta!

Fold all of the ingredients together in a casserole dish and bake at 350 until the top is lightly browned!
Bon Appetit!

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)

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