The Superbowl is around the corner and one of our favorite meals is our copycat Cheesecake Factory mac n' cheese balls! They are easy to make as finger foods to enjoy but take a little more prep time than I have sometimes. My secret to making it the past few years has been to make this recipe as a casserole--and it has the SAME great taste and flavor but just requires a little less prep time.
This weekend was kind of a blah weekend. It's January and it's one of those weekends where there really isn't a whole lot going on. We stayed home and cleaned and hung out together.
And the house really looked amazing for about two minutes until mini tornados (aka kids or dogs) would come through and in a tazmanian devil style form undo what was done in a particular room.
Luckily my husband and I have our own oasis tucked away that we can enjoy--a nice clean room and bedroom. until the dog decided she wanted to once again try a hostile takeover of the bed she feels is rightfully hers and she has been booted out of. Never mind the huge dog bed on the floor next to my bed--only the REAL bed will do. She's also been hilarious about it. Before she would only sneak onto my side of the bed if she snuck onto the bed, now that my husband and her have had a few arguments about the bed she now has gravitated towards his side of the bed whenever she sneaks on it and yesterday--she laid out sprawled across the entire bed happily knawing on her dog bone. She just looked up when she saw my husband and I walk in and I swear you saw her wave her paw like, "hey, yeah I know, I'm getting off...let me just grab my bone sloooooowly. Oh yeah, and haha suckers!!"
Her personality just makes me laugh so hard sometimes.
Today my husband sent me this text. He had closed the door to our bedroom so she couldn't get into the bedroom. So she decided to sleep on the wall/door outside the bedroom. When he went to get a drink, she 'pitifully' looked at him with a look to let her in the room--where her dog bed was so she wouldn't be stuck sleeping on the floor. Like a dog or something.
"So I got a sob story and someone was using the wall to the bedroom as a pillow. So her thinking was I would let her in the room so she could sleep "on her bed not our bed"--ya not buying it.
He then decided he would try to win by dragging her dog bed right outside the door to our bedroom and then closing the door. Kudos for tucking her in.
I'm trying to figure out if she's mad she lost or in shock in this picture.
My reply? "Poor Chelsea! :("
His reply? "Ya I have fell for it before. She sleeps on her bed until I'm busy then sleeps in our bed until she is is caught."
My reply? "Babe...she's a dog. You are literally having a fight over a bed with a dog. You two need therapy."
I'm pretty sure that this fight has not ended between the two of them.
We hope you enjoy a great Superbowl Sunday!
Go 49ers! Sorry, I'm a California girl. And I love San Francisco. So gotta go with them.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
- ½ pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup pureed butternut squash (if not using puree you can use cream or milk)
- ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- ¾ cup reduced fat milk
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese (we used Cabot 1%)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour, gluten free flour blend or cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 cup parmesan herb bread crumbs (you can use plain breadcrumbs, crushed Ritz or saltine crackers or even gluten free if desired)
- 4 tbsp olive oil, or melted butter
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. You will want to cook the macaroni for two minutes less than the package states as you will be baking the macaroni and it will finish cooking in the oven.
- In a saucepan, combine the pureed squash (or cream), broth, milk, pepper, salt and one tablespoon flour over medium heat. Heat just until boiling, then reduce heat to low and slowly stir in cheeses. Once cheese is melted, stir in the pasta and coat in the cheese mixture.
- Pour the macaroni into a lightly greased 8x8 inch pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl mix together the breadcrumbs and oil or butter together until combined. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until bread crumbs are lightly browned.
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