Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Grown Up Gatherings

In the last year, I've been lucky enough to find two great groups of ladies to hang out with - my monthly book club and my Shot Girls tennis team.  It's not as easy to make new friends as a grown up as it is when you're younger, but when you do, it's a lot of fun.  I recently went to a potluck with my tennis friends to kick off the fall season, and I was thinking about the fact that I got to cook something that didn't have to be "kid-friendly."  For me, this means something spicy that my kids wouldn't eat, so I ended up making jalapeno mac & cheese.

This dish doesn't need much of an explanation or much hype.  Jalapeno mac & cheese.  It was amazing!  Only recipe note:  use whatever cheese you like.  I used a sharp cheddar and a little bit of jack cheese to round it off.  You can omit the breadcrumbs if you want to.

Jalapeno Mac & Cheese (8 side dish servings)

1 lb macaroni (or other noodle of choice)
4 T butter
3 T flour
1 c. milk
4.5 c. shredded cheese 
pepper, paprika, cayenne to taste
1 small can (about 4 T) diced jalapenos
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook macaroni (or noodle of choice) until al dente. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan and whisk in flour until smooth. Add milk and shredded cheese (for best results, add cheese a little at a time and whisk constantly). 

If it seems too thick, add between a few tablespoons and another half cup of milk. Season with pepper, paprika, and cayenne (to taste). Add  diced canned jalapenos. In a buttered pan, combine the macaroni noodles and the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top with  the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes.

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