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Cheddar and Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese


 These past few weeks have been way too busy.  We went to the fair in Syracuse, then Nonnie and Grandpa came to visit, and then we packed up and went to my brother's engagement party in Baltimore.  So much fun, but completely exhausting (especially since Lily was sick throughout).  Unfortunately, we all still have to eat dinner every night.  Why do families expect you to feed them so often?  It really isn't fair that cereal isn't considered an acceptable meal outside of breakfast.

Luckily, Jake and Lily's inconvenient nutritional needs gave me the opportunity to make good on my promise to share a hatch chile recipe, and this one was easy enough for me to fit into our craziness.  Plus, it's healthier than a lot of mac and cheese recipes, and the chile peppers give it a kick that makes it feel like more than just a side dish to a more-interesting entrée.  Of course, you can use any spicy pepper, so don't fret if you don't have hatch.  Also, this is definitely not one of those soupy mac and cheese recipes; it's more of a casserole style.  I like it that way when the macaroni is the main dish (we ate it with a side salad).  Jake liked it enough that it went in his lunch for several days afterward.  I call that a win!


Cheddar and Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese

12 ounces uncooked macaroni (I buy the whole wheat/high fiber version that comes in a 12 ounce package) 4 ounces butter 1 can fat free evaporated milk 1 cup sour cream 12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded and separated 4 oz can (or about 2 fresh) roasted hatch chile peppers, diced 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp garlic powder salt and pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni in salted water to al dente according to package instructions.  Drain.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a sauce pan, combine the butter and evaporated milk over low heat until the butter is melted.  Reduce the heat to low, and add the sour cream and 8 ounces of cheddar and stir until the cheese is completely melted.  Stir in the chiles, cumin, and garlic powder.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cooked noodles into a large, sprayed baking dish and cover with the sauce.  Stir until evenly coated and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.  Remove the cover, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.  Finish with a quick broil if needed to brown the top (but keep a close eye on it!).  Serve warm.

Source: Adapted loosely from the Weight Watchers one I posted a few years ago

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