stovetop sausage mac and cheese


spoonful of mac

I have now officially entered the world of children’s sports, and have seen how it can suck out every last bit of sanity that one person might have.  I thought I was an organized person.  I thought wrong.  I thought I was able to balance work, laundry, homework, dinner, and of course, their practice and game schedule in addition to all the things I wanted to accomplish during the course of the day.  I thought wrong again.  Did I mention seeing my husband?  It’s May and I haven’t started my garden.  I vowed to walk the dog more, but that isn’t happening.  My daughter has a storage box on the floor in her room, with all her summer clothes in it, because I haven’t been able to go through her drawers and remove all her winter gear.  My son keeps losing his baseball socks, so trips to Dicks Sporting Goods is like an everyday occurrence it seems.  How often do you wash his protective cup anyway?  My hair is down to my mid back because I haven’t made myself a haircut appointment, so it is piled on top of my head, and I am beginning to look like Marge Simpson.  I guess I could go on, but it happens to everyone so I’ll get over it.   The craziness of spring sports won, and I lost.  I really had faith that my color-coded Sharpie calendar and Excel spreadsheet would carry me through the season, but no amount of appointment reminders or carpooling matters when you realize that your son’s equipment is in your husband’s car and all you have in the fridge is butter and margarita mix.
So last week, after an afternoon of soccer and baseball, I kaboshed the request for fast food for dinner, as I normally do, because I realized I had the makings for this stovetop macaroni and cheese.  Ok so it isn’t that far from fast food, but in my mind it was a home-cooked meal and that is all that mattered.  I was very pleased with myself for about a half hour, until I realized that they all had games the next day and I had to go and wash more uniforms.  Little victories…little victories…

stovetop sausage mac and cheese  (adapted from Cooking Light)

8  oz. turkey sausage, or a mix of italian mild and hot sausage (about 4 links)
6  roasted bell peppers from a jar, chopped
2 1/2  cups low-fat milk
4  TB flour
8  oz shredded reduced-fat mexican style shredded cheese (or cheddar)
1/2  cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1  tsp onion powder
1/2  tsp garlic powder
kosher salt and pepper
1  lb. elbow macaroni, cooked

roasted peppers

get started on the mac and cheese:

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Add kosher salt, and cook macaroni until almost done.  Remove macaroni and drain.

pastasausage and peppers

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat and add sausage.  Remove casings from the sausage and break up in the pan into bite sized pieces and sauté for 5 minutes or until browned.  Add roasted peppers to the pan and cook for a minute longer.  Combine milk and flour in a bowl, and stir with a whisk.  Add milk mixture to the pan and bring to a boil while stirring.  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in cheeses, onion powder and garlic powder until cheeses melt, stirring constantly.  Stir in pasta.

stirring the mac

note – this makes a lot.  I served it as a side dish a few days later by adding some to muffin cups and baking it at 375 for about 15 minutes.  Use cooking spray!

muffin macbaked mac

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prosciutto parmesan egg muffins


egg muffins

I had another post all lined up, but I got sidetracked this morning.  We woke up blessed by overcast skies and threats of thunderstorms, (wait for it…) so my obligation to work the baseball snack bar went POOF!  So I snuck downstairs while my kids were playing, and looked to see if I had any cinnamon rolls to make, but I didn’t.  We are not the breakfast family.  Cereal and oatmeal are really the only two things in my pantry.  Lately, my kids have been getting bored and have been making themselves peanut butter sandwiches or grabbing a snack bar in the morning.  That doesn’t make me all that happy.  But this morning, I remembered seeing pictures online for eggs made in muffin tins.  I know I can at least win my daughter over with them.  I know the same thing can be made scrambled, but now I have convenient  little snacks, or breakfast on the go for the next couple of days.  I love the fact that you can just plop any old topping in them and you are pretty much guaranteed success (within reason of course.)  They took about 25 minutes from start to finish and with a little salsa and my coffee, I was quite happy.  My daughter devoured three of them.  My son had a peanut butter sandwich.

prosciutto parmesan egg muffins

egg shellsred bell peppers

get started on the egg muffins:

nonstick spray
8  large eggs
1/2  cup low-fat milk
kosher salt
pepper
crushed red pepper
1/3  cup red bell pepper, diced
3  slices prosciutto, sliced thin
1.5 oz. shaved parmesan cheese (about 3-4 TB)

egg mixtureinto the tin

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat muffin tin with nonstick spray.  In a mixing bowl, add eggs, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper and stir with a whisk.  Pour mixture equally into muffin tins.  Do not over fill.  Divide red pepper among the twelve cups.  Tear prosciutto into each cup and top with parmesan cheese.  Bake in center of oven for 15 – 20 minutes.   They will deflate after you take them out of the oven.  You can check it with a toothpick to be sure level of doneness.

prosciutto toppingshaved parmesan

egg muffin plate