Friday night we went to a dinner/party for my husband's work. It was a family friendly casual affair with giant aluminum pans filled with home-cooked (catered) favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Upon leaving this super fun work/family outing (which included a full-size indoor basketball court where I lost a game or two of PIG), we were offered a giant pan of mac & cheese. Up for the challenge, I figured I could do something with it and came up with this delicious loaded macaroni and cheese. To be honest, it was a LOT of macaroni, more than we could use so I shared with a friend when her son came over to play and still had to freeze some.
This is one of those "you don't really need a recipe" kind of recipes. Simply mix in your favorite flavors and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. You end up with this amazing mac & cheese casserole that is good enough for company, a potluck or even the super bowl.
If you're not into macaroni, I think a loaded cauliflower casserole would be amazing. I am going to try it sometime and will let you know how it goes:)
You will need a big pot of macaroni and cheese to start. I recommend homemade style over the box. If you are trying to throw this together quickly, you could always purchase prepared macaroni and cheese in the deli or the prepared refrigerated foods section of your grocery store. Don't use a cold macaroni salad sold with potato salad. It will likely be seasoned with a vinegar type of dressing. You can also make some macaroni and cheese ahead and refrigerate for a day or two until making the casserole.
Several cups Macaroni and Cheese, depending on how much you make (I probably used 6-8 C.)
1 lb. bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Large handful fresh spinach leaves
2-3 cups shredded cheese (depending on how much you make and how cheesy you want it, I used mexican and parmesan cheese)
2 T. butter, optional
Salt and pepper
1. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Crisp all but 3 slices of bacon, crumble and set aside to top casserole.
3.. Over medium heat, saute 3 slices bacon, chopped up with onion and garlic. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. If needed add butter or extra bacon grease from the previous crisping to the skillet. My bacon didn't produce enough grease to saute the onion so I added butter.
4. Remove bacon and onions from skillet, leaving bacon grease in the skillet and saute spinach to wilt.
5. In a large bowl, mix macaroni with bacon/onion mixture, wilted spinach, shredded cheese saving some to top casserole, and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Scoop mixture into prepared casserole dish. Top with extra cheese and extra crumbled bacon.
7. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.
It's always fun to look back on the year and remember all of our favorite recipes. Here's a look at our top 10 favorites from 2018.
It's always so hard to pick just 10. I had to leave out so many more wonderful recipes. But you can find all of my recipes using the recipe drop down menu at the top of the page. What were your favorite new recipes over the past year? Feel free to add your links in the comments.
January 2019 update: I wanted to update this recipe because it is still a favorite, but I make it a little differently than I did two years ago. I now use 6 cups vegetable stock instead of 5 to make it a bit thinner (like my broccoli soup) and I use my emersion blender to puree it more. Also, I previously used chicken broth, but have since switched to vegetable broth which I think has more flavor.
The newer pictures in the brown soup mug show the more pureed thinner soup and the older pictures in the small crocks show the thicker soup. You can make it either way, we just prefer the more pureed soup. It is so good that the kids literally scrape every last bite out of the pot. We seem to have just the right amount for our young family, but as the boys' appetites grow as they get older I predict I will be making double batches of this yummy cauliflower soup.
These are my favorite muffins in the whole entire world and the universe. That's how my seven year old would express his appreciation for these delicious banana nut muffins so that's how I will too. Because they really are amazing with buttery goodness and just the right balance of sweetness in each delectable bite.
I signed up to donate a dozen banana nut muffins to the concession sales at my son's swim meet last weekend. So I made a double batch of my favorite one bowl banana bread (which I make all the time) and baked it in muffin pans for less time than my bread recipe. This made two dozen muffins so I had some at home for the kids and a dozen to donate. They were perfectly delicious and pretty easy to make plus they take a lot less time to bake than banana bread.
When I have browning bananas, I stick them in the freezer. Then I have easy to mash ripe bananas whenever I want them. I simply thaw them in the fridge on a plate, then peel them, mash and bake them into delicious banana bread or muffins.
Makes 12 muffins
1 1/2 C. (about 3) bananas, mashed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. honey
1 3/4 C. flour (I use 1/4 C. rice flour and 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. chopped walnuts or pecans
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place muffin liners in a muffin pan.
2. With a wooden spoon mix bananas, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
3. Next stir in the sugars and honey.
4. Lastly, stir in the rest of the ingredients, stirring until combined. Batter will be thick.
5. Scoop batter into muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. (Mine are perfect at 23 minutes)
6. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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