Monday, September 9, 2013

Goodbye Summer, BBQ Chicken Mac&Cheese

Summer has come and gone. I looked back and realized I only blogged like once this whole summer. Whoops! We had a interesting summer for sure. Learned lots, and are moving forward in life. I don't have a whole lot to share because there is SO much to share. First are the highlights of our summer, and then I've thrown in a yummy recipe for you to enjoy.

1. Lived in Texas for the summer: people keep asking how it was, my only response that comes to mind is "hot and humid"
2. Ran my first (and so far only) Half Marathon. What a crazy adventure that was. If I do another - I'll really train.
3. Cooked a ton of yummy meals for 6 hungry guys for the first part of the summer. We had feasts every night.
4. Got to visit and meet my new nephew in St. Louis.
5. Christensen Family Reunion in Branson. Had a blast!
6. Got my first tea stuff from Teavana. Now it's a new obsession. :) (I only drink the herbal teas)
7. Visited some very dear friends that were living in Allen TX - The Forreds. Spent the day with them and it was glorious. I wish I lived closer to them all the time!
8. Spent my first 4th of July in 2-3 years? with my husband and it wasn't in a patrol car.
9. Made new friends.
10. Painted my first and second, third, and fourth thing of ceramic pottery. So much fun!
12. Did a couple of service projects
13. Made lots of fun sugar cookies
14. Went to the Dallas Temple for the first time. What a neat temple!
15. Started..and got caught up on waaay to many TV shows - Nashville 1 season, White Collar 4-5 seasons, Scandal 2 seasons, Melissa and Joey a few seasons...not sure what else. But add that to all my other shows to watch, and now I have WAY too many shows. Whoops!
16. Drove around 6,000 miles...Utah->Ft Worth-> Kansas -> Ft Worth -> Branson -> Ft Worth -> Kansas -> Ft Worth -> Kansas -> Utah. Boy am I tired of bad driving semi trucks...
17. Taught my moms dog Cosmo how to swim.
18. Free Matt Nathanson Concert in KC
19. Bunch of car shopping with my mom
20. Back in Utah - Rode a dirt bike for the first time.

Etc etc.
So yes, an eventful summer. But also not that eventful in my down time. The Summer is over and it's so sad. Until next year I guess we must say goodbye....and try and enjoy the last warm days that we have until the fall and winter come.

And now for a new recipe that I found and tweaked to make really awesome!

BBQ Chicken (or pork) Mac & Cheese 

1 lb Pasta (Shells, elbow noodles etc)
12-16 oz of Shredded Colby Jack Cheese (Separated)
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1-2 T Flour
1-2 T Butter
Salt and Pepper
1/4-1/2 C Frenches Crispy onions
Shredded BBQ Pork or Chicken (I used leftover BBQ chicken from our BBQ chicken sandwiches that we had the night before)
Extra BBQ Sauce to drizzle over the top at the end.

Cook Pasta according to instructions on the back.
Bring Evap. Milk to low simmer. While it's getting hot hand mix butter and flour.
Once Evap Milk has come to a low simmer whisk in butter and flour mixture until smooth and slightly thickened (about 5 mins. you don't have to whisk the whole time, but pretty often)
Remove mixture from heat and whisk in 6-8oz. of the shredded cheese. Whisk until smooth
Pour cheese mixture over pasta and stir to completely cover all the noodles.
Pour noodles into a greased 9x13 pan.
Spread the Extra 6oz of shredded cheese all over the top,
then Frenches Crispy Onions
then BBQ Chicken or Pork
and Drizzle BBQ Sauce all over
Place in the oven on Broil until everything is melted and the onions are crispy (Keep an eye on it)

Tip - It's better to shred your own cheese rather than using store bought pre-shredded. I've heard that pre-shredded cheese contains more wax and doesn't melt as easily.

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