Friday, December 27, 2013

The Days After...

Christmas day has come and gone.  I sit here in a cold room, sleeping husband behind me, children out in the main of the house, playing fairly quietly.

Much paper was shredded, and some pranks played with gifts, but it was all in good fun.  Sharp pointy things were given and received all 'round, the general theme being all things Spyderco...

Christmas dinner was not a major feast this year--only a home-smoked turkey breast and Abuela Foster's special Macaroni and Cheese (recipe below) that I made, plus a small green salad.   Still, it was all tasty, even if my timing of the courses was off.  The turkey took too long to smoke.

The children have yet to spend the gift cards they received from family and friends, though they are plotting madly what to buy!  I am plotting how to best take advantage of my new Frieling insulated French Press.  I've only made one pot of java in it so far, as I am still fine-tuning the amount of coffee needed, as it is a slightly smaller capacity than my old lexan press.  Reminds me, I need to roast more beans tomorrow!

Ah...the bliss of home roasted, fresh ground, French Pressed coffee!

Abuela Foster's Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

2 cups of dry large elbow pasta
2 cups of milk
1 cup of cottage cheese
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
Pinch of cumin
2 pinches of kosher salt
black pepper to taste
3 cups of shredded cheese, a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack
1/2 cup of grated cotija Mexican cheese
At least 4 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped into half-inch pieces
1 tablespoon of butter

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch square or round baking pan with the butter. Add the dry pasta.

In a blender, mix together the milk, cottage cheese, chili powder, mustard powder, garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper until it’s smooth.  Pour mixture over dry pasta and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.

Stir in two cups of the shredded cheese, cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil and stir the macaroni and cheese a couple of times. Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and chopped bacon and cook for another 25 minutes uncovered or
until light brown and bubbling. Be sure to watch it, as it can go from light brown to burnt quick.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with the grated cotija and serve. Kroger and Fiesta supermarkets usually cotija cheese.

I made this in a big 9x13 pan, and doubled the amounts. It also took a lot longer to fully cook in the large pan.  Nobody complains if you use extra bacon, either.


  1. I love macaroni and cheese. Your recipe sounds really good. Seems like you had the perfect Christmas. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you have a great New Year.

  2. What a roller coaster Christmas has been! How about you? Your mac and cheese sounds wonderful and is the perfect foil for all that Turkey richness. :)

  3. thank you for the recipe. mac & cheese yummy!! ( :

  4. Prank gifts are right up my husband's alley. :-) I've never had smoked turkey, but it sounds like something I'd like to try, along with the mac & cheese. This recipe looks pretty tasty!

  5. That mac n cheese recipe sounds awesome! Will def have to try.

  6. Winter is the best time for mac & cheese!...:)JP


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