On Thursday night the kids asked me for something quick and simple. I hadn't felt well on Thursday, nothing terrible, just tired, cranky and headachy. "Make something you don't have to think about, Mom, but I'd like something warm," said my sixteen-year old boy. This fits the bill perfectly.
(adapted from who knows how many recipes)
1 pound ground beef, preferably ground chuck or my Daddy's if you can get it
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 small onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, diced or pressed
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup barbeque sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's) plus extra for top
Mix all ingredients together except the extra sauce. Form into a loaf (I use a bread pan). Spread extra sauce over the top in a thin layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour. Be sure to pour off any fat before plating.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
(adapted from Southern Living's The Ultimate Cookbook)
serves 4 to 6
2 cups pasta, such as small shells
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2 c cold milk
1/4 t dry mustard
salt to taste
pepper to taste (freshly ground is best)
4 ounces shredded Vermont Sharp White Cheddar
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Melt butter over low heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in milk. (It is important to keep it cold to keep from forming lumps as you add the milk to the roux.) Season with dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Bring flame to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted and well combined. Pour in cooked macaroni and mix well. Turn into buttered two quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 35 minutes.
And now for the beer:
Blue Moon Beer Bread
(adapted from a friend's recipe)
Serves 4 at my house
3 c self-rising flour
1/2 c sugar
12 ounces Blue Moon Belgian White
Combine all ingredients until a soft dough forms. Turn into a buttered loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes.
Now, you can use any kind of beer you want, but the Blue Moon is wheat ale and I really prefer the flavor over anything else I've tried. I have no idea whether the beer is good for drinking, it just makes good bread. You can also stir in half a cup of your favorite cheese. Delicious.
This is a simple, satisfying meal, and very boy-friendly. The flavors work well together. I usually serve buttered corn or roasted baby carrots alongside for a complete meal (growing boys, you know).
This time, the picture is mine, but was taken on the following Saturday when hubby and I decided we wanted a repeat of the macaroni and cheese with the bread sans meatloaf.