Girls Night In- Part 1: Kids

So hubby is out tonight and it is just us girls. They were playing and all of a sudden wanted dinner. Really? It is only 4:00 and you just ate at 2:00. I had planned on hot dogs and baked beans anyway, so I decided that it was fine if they were hungry. I looked in the cabinet for a starch. Tons of pastas, 1 boxed mac and cheese, and potatoes on the counter. Hmmmm…. Look in the fridge. A whole container of shredded cheddar. Eureka! I’m making a homemade cheese sauce for quick homemade mac and cheese. The girls wanted no part of having a bun, so I introduced them to beanie weenies.

Beanie Weenies are easy. All you have to do is cut up your favorite hot dog (I used Applegate brand) and mixed them with baked beans. I always keep a can of baked beans in my cabinet. It is a great pantry staple.

Homemade Mac and Cheese

I took 1/2 a container of bowtie pasta (use what you have) and cooked it al dente.

This sauce starts with a classic bechamel sauce

Bechamel Sauce (I got from Mario Batali)
Ingredients
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Put your velvety bechamel sauce back on medium heat. Stir in 1 pound of shredded cheese- I 3/4 sharp cheddar and 1/4 parmesan. Use what you like or have in the fridge. Whisk well.

I added a few spoonfuls to my pasta. Add a few tablespoons of pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce.

Home run dinner.

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