Happy Monday Foodies! It is a happy Monday, indeed. This weekend we were in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where Nick spent most of his years growing up. I mentioned my apprehension with going to visit his family because of a particular person. It's been about a year since I last saw his family so my apprehension and anxiety was in full effect; it has not always been that way. Tune in to 'Because Life is Complicated Enough…' later today to read the full story.
I love 99% of Nick's family. His sister recently graduated with a Master's Degree and was having a graduation party this weekend that we were invited to. I wanted to see Chantelle - she is the coolest girl ever - but I did not know if I was going to go. I felt an incredible sense of guilt when I thought about not going to celebrate her accomplishments and to see her off. Where is she going, you might be wondering. Well, she is about to go off on an amazing adventure to change the world in Cambodia. She is amazing and I want to go with her. As a result, there was no option in my mind about our trip this weekend; I had to go. I would not be able to live with myself if I did not go.
I was on the verge of a panic attack on the windy roads leading to his family's development. About ten minutes after we arrived, I felt right at home; that is, after I got over the initial interaction with that one person. I had a great weekend and it was awesome to see all of the family.
How does THIS have anything to do with food? Well, besides eating a ton of it this weekend, I was not responsible for cooking. As a result, I have a Meatless Monday flop. Well, not really a flop, I just do not have anything meatless to give to you today. I hope you can understand. I do have a Gluten Free recipe though, that's awesome, RIGHT?! Today I present to you Cheesy Cheeseburger Baked Macaroni & Cheese.
I grew up eating something very similar to this, but I decided to kick it up a bit with a few flavors that my mom never added. Oh and I baked it. Usually my mom made it on the stove top and served it up like that. Either way you do it, it's super easy and full of flavor.
Here is what you will need:
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 package spicy taco seasoning
- 1 can tomatoes with green chilies
- 2 cups water
- 1 to 2 cups gluten free macaroni noodles
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons gluten free flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 blocks extra sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
- Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder [optional]
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- In a medium skillet, over medium heat cook the meat until no longer pink
- Drain and return to skillet
- Stir in the taco seasoning, tomatoes and green chilies, and water
- Now, you have a choice - you can either add the uncooked macaroni to the skillet or cook the macaroni separately, which is what I did.
- If you add it to the skillet, cover and let simmer on medium for 12 minutes
In the meantime, make the cheese sauce…
- Melt the butter in a saucepan
- Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for about 5 minutes until the flour and butter is light brown in color
- Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil
- Whisk until smooth and thickened
- Reduce heat and stir in the cubed cheese and powder until melted
- Add salt & pepper to taste
- Now, if you put the uncooked noodles into the skillet, just pour the cheese mixture into the skillet and incorporate completely, sprinkle some cheese to the top and add your oven proof skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and delicious looking
- If you did not do that, pour the cheese over the cooked macaroni noodles. Then add the beef. Incorporate fully and pour into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and delicious looking
This is an easy dish to make any night of the week and it will please everybody! It's like eating a cheeseburger with macaroni and cheese, who would not appreciate that?
I hope you all enjoy!
Until Next Time,
Happy Cheesy Cheeseburger Makin'