Monday, January 10, 2011

Lighten up! (plus a bonus recipe)

It was brought to my attention at my annual physical last week that since last year's physical...I've gained 11 pounds. ELEVEN. That probably doesn't sound like a whole lot, what with the holidays and all this food blogging I do, but for a pint-sized 5 foot 2 inch chica...11 lbs doesn't have a whole lot of places to go. Not wanting to start 2011 with an extra 11 pounds, I've been going to zumba and this crazy class at 24 Hour Fitness called Body Pump. I'm tell you - if you do the combination of those two, you won't even be able to sit down to pee. And after that hard work, you don't really want to scarf down the baked mac n cheese that's leftover in the fridge (fine, you'll get that recipe too).

Ergot, I came home from zumba tonight and made a salad. But not a boring Romaine lettuce, cucumber, and carrot salad. A walnut, pear, and goat cheese salad. I already had some arugula, which I had eaten for lunch over the weekend with some of the salmon that Marc's mom had sent him home with. I already had goat cheese and walnuts, and when I had heard that Sunflower Market was having a 10 for $10 sale on various items I decided that I should clear out their produce section. Hence the pears.

Walnut, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
(serves 1)

enough arugula to cover the bottom of your plate 
1 Bartlett pear, cubed
handful crumbled goat cheese
handful chopped walnuts

for balsamic vinaigrette:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil 
salt & pepper

Toss all salad ingredients together.
Whisk together oil and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.

Fine. You've put up with my salad creation. I'll give you what you really want.

Jon's Baked Mac 'n Cheese
2 lbs elbow macaroni
variety of block cheeses (always use cheddar, but feel free to vary what cheese you add. Last night we used cheddar, havarti, pepperjack, gouda, and mozzarella)
shredded cheddar to top
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1/2 cup milk
2 sticks butter
6 eggs 

1. Boil macaroni in a large stock pot. Meanwhile, chop up your cheeses into cubes.
2. Drain macaroni through a colander and return to pot. 
3. Over low heat: add milk, butter, and beaten eggs.
4. Add cheddar cheese in batches and stir until all the cheese is melted and noodles are coated.
5. Cover the bottom of a greased baking dish with a layer of noodles. Add a mixture of the other cheeses (like you are layering a lasagna). Continue to layer like this until you are out of noodles.
6. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
7. Uncover, add cracker crumbs, and shredded cheddar. Bake until cheese on top melts.

*you can obviously use less noodles. I just have an amazingly large ceramic baking dish and live with two boys with bottomless stomachs*

Thanks to Jon for showing me how to make this his way. The first time I did it on my own, I melted all of the cheese in the pot with the noodles. First of all, you get a sticky gooey mess when you do that. Secondly, when you layer the cheese and the noodles, the cheeses melt in the over and the noodles stick together like a casserole.

enjoy :)

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