Smoky and Sharp Cheddar Mac-n-Cheese

Ahhh, Sunday. Merely the halfway point of my three-day weekend. Monday is a vacation day for me and I am quite happy about that! Smile

Today the hub and I did a little running around town, including a stop at Wild Birds Unlimited, which is conveniently only about 1/4 mile from our house. We purchased our hummingbird feeder accessories at this shop this past spring, so we decided to head back there for a bird feeder this winter. We opted for the below feeder, which came with a 5 lb. bag of premium seed. Now we’re just waiting for the little fluffy ones to make an appearance!


Tonight we thought about going out for dinner to use one of the many coupons for free food that I have for my upcoming birthday, but I decided that I was actually more in the mood to cook something tonight, so we stopped at the grocery store on the way home. First, into the oven, went Brussels sprouts! This was my very first time making them! As a child, I think I may have tried them once or twice, decided that I did not like them, and have not had them since. I decided to give them another try, since I now like love a whole bunch of vegetables that I wouldn’t eat as a kid, including onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, spinach, etc.

I cut away the stiff stems, sliced in half, and washed the sprouts thoroughly. I then dried them very well, tossed in EVOO, and seasoned with salt and pepper before placing these on a cooking spray-coated baking dish and oven roasting at 400 F for 35 minutes, per Ina Garten’s suggestion. I found 35 minutes was a tad too long for these sprouts, so I would probably roast them for a shorter amount of time in the future. Also, these were flipped with a spatula once, halfway through roasting.


Next up, I grated all this cheese!


…For Macaroni and Cheese! This recipe, called Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese, is Alton’s Brown’s answer to the blue box mac ‘n cheese, er… I’ll just say it: Kraft! Except his is (clearly) much better (and no mystery powder ingredients!).

It sure was easy too! All I had to do was boil 1/2 lb of elbow macaroni, drain and return to pan with 4 T of butter. Once the butter was melted I stirred in a whisked mixture of evaporated milk, egg, hot sauce, dry mustard, and salt and pepper, along with the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and then done! Wam bam! Easy as can be.

My main concern was that the “Smokey Sharp” Cheddar was indeed QUITE smoky. The smokiness was very intense and I think using half of “smokey” cheddar with half medium or sharp cheddar cheese may have been a bit better. And really, you can use any type of cheddar, or cheese in general, that you like! With that said, this Mac-n-Cheese was just delicious!


At the store, we also picked up a couple of these beef loin sizzler steaks. The hubby seared these boys in screamin’ hot EVOO, and cooked for a few minutes on each side. They were also seasoned generously with salt and pepper. Deeeelicious.


One of our other stops today was World Market because, well, I had a birthday coupon to use! If you have a World Market in your area, I highly recommend signing up for their email list, as you’ll receive a $10 coupon to use the month of your birthday (among other coupons throughout the year). One of my purchases today was this placemat below. You like? I think I will have to make a post summarizing all my birthday coupon swag later this month. Yes?

And so the conclusion on the Brussels sprouts was that they were good! I really liked them oven roasted. They really taste best when they are riiiight outta the oven, with a healthy dose of salt. As the hub put it, “I like them [the sprouts], but I can see why I didn’t as a kid.” Well put, well put. I would definitely make these again as a veggie side dish, and maybe add a bit of garlic or parmesan cheese next time.

And again the Macaroni-n-Cheese was excellent, as was the steak!


Oh, and no, I am not watching the Super Bowl. I am, actually, planning my weekly menu tonight. It’s a big night. For now. Be right back

Note Currently listening to: Bleeding Me – Metallica.

17 thoughts on “Smoky and Sharp Cheddar Mac-n-Cheese

  1. Would love a post about all the birthday freebies! You are getting some great ones!

    Glad you tried the brussel sprouts again too. When I was little, they totally freaked me out but since roasting them, they have become my top 5 veggie!

  2. A birdfeeder?! AHhahaha!! Anyways, as you know, I HATE Mac N’ Cheese, but the way you made it sounds aaaaamazing. Was the smoky cheddar spicy? Smoky cheddar sounds really good, but I don’t like spicy stuff. I’m totally salivating right now thinking about it. By the way, I effing love the placemat. How many did you get? Is it vinyl? That’s some rare meat up there…I’ll pass on that, but the sprouts I might try. Never had em before- Arabs don’t know what they are, lol.

    • Who hates mac ‘n cheese, Hanna!? The cheddar I bought wasn’t spicy at all, but I did add in several splashes of hot sauce to add heat, but that would obv. be optional. I usually buy my place mats in singles for photography purposes, haha. It is not vinyl, it’s thin canvas-like I would say. The sprouts definitely have a characteristic flavor but tossed in EVOO (or better, butter) and lots of salt, I really liked them. Tell your fam to bust ’em out. 😛

  3. We pur our birdfeeder out yesterday, too ~ It is just like yours though I have been watching and the birds have not found it yet. Cool placemat !Hope you enjoyed your birthday dinner out tonight. MOM

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