The Best Bacon Mac and Cheese in the World and Monday Motivation

Happy Monday!

So, I know it’s motivation Monday and I should say something motivational to you guys.  I guess from last week, I learned I need to be persistent and keep going forward, no matter if life throws me curveballs.  

I hope that you kicked Monday's butt and this week rocks for you!

I hope that you kicked Monday's butt and this week rocks for you!

I like posting on Monday’s.  It’s giving me more time on the weekend to really think about my blog post and to think about where I want to go during the week.  My teal book is quickly filling up with restaurants and little food places that I want to visit.  I hope that Braedon is ready for this!

Bacon Mac and Cheese will cure your Monday Blues

Bacon Mac and Cheese will cure your Monday Blues

Last week I went over to a wonderful blogger’s house, Miss Cheesemonger, and made Bacon Mac and Cheese.  The food turned out phenomenal, but other things did not turn out quite how I pictured it.  

Gouda, Cheddar, Parmesan oh my

I’m still fairly new at this blogging game, so I’m learning as I go.  Sometimes I feel like I’m so far behind where I want to be, so I’m pushing myself to do more than I should do.  I know that this is true, because I’ve done this my entire life.  I push and push and push until I break or give up because I can’t ever get where I want to be.  I think this little experiment on collaboration really brought this to my attention.  We didn’t really talk about what we wanted out of it, so we just cooked.

Beautiful assortment of cheeses, pasta, spices, and of course bacon- cooking helps my soul

Beautiful assortment of cheeses, pasta, spices, and of course bacon- cooking helps my soul

I mean that’s the type of person that I am.  I just cook, cooking is everything to me.  The kitchen is where conversations and friendships happen.  I believe that we did cultivate a friendship on Wednesday in that kitchen.  She watched me cook one handed with Braedon and I asked her questions, trying to immerse myself in the wealth of information that she has.

She has so much to offer the blogging world!  I'm so glad that I went over there!

She has so much to offer the blogging world!  I'm so glad that I went over there!

Even though, it didn’t turn out how I pictured it, I loved it.  Vero, aka Miss Cheesemonger, went to law school and was doing the lawyer thing.  But it just wasn’t her calling.  I totally get that.

I have a Master’s in communication, I was doing PR and recruiting for a while and hated it.  I couldn’t sit at a desk for 9-10 hours a day.  So I got out, I started cooking and I found my passion.  

She got out of law, started her blog and has never looked back.  She is such an inspiration to me for that.  I love when people chase after their passion and their dreams.  There’s your motivation for this Monday- chase after your dreams, no matter what.

She is also an opera singer, seriously!  I didn’t get to hear her voice, but I’m so sure it is amazing.  I have no idea how she handles the blog, a husband, professional photography, and opera.  It is absolutely amazing to me.  I’m going to keep pushing, not to become an opera singer, because my voice is awful.  Ask Braedon, he covers his ears when I sing now.

After we chased after Braedon, chopped bacon, shredded cheese, made a delicious meal, and of course took a million pictures, we sat down to eat and chat.

Braedon crawling around and exploring new things!

Braedon crawling around and exploring new things!

He was not happy with me at this point, so I had to start cooking with him on my hip!

He was not happy with me at this point, so I had to start cooking with him on my hip!

I hate eating in front of new people, but thanks to this blog I am getting better and better at it.  She said she liked it, I wish it would have been creamier, so I’m adding a little bit more milk into the recipe.

Oh my god Becky, look at that belly-pork belly that is- bacon... yumm!

Oh my god Becky, look at that belly-pork belly that is- bacon... yumm!

She asked me where I want my blog to go… and I really had no idea how to answer that.  I mean, I want a cookbook eventually, but more than anything, I want people to read this and to see that I have something to offer.  

I know that sounds very narcissistic, but it’s not.

I have always felt inadequate, so this blog is my way of coming out of my shell, doing new things, exploring the world with my son and my culinary tastes, and sharing it with people who care.

I really want to thank Vero for asking that question, because it made come home and start to think of the direction that I really want to go.  So go visit her blog!  And if you’re in the Bay Area and looking for an awesome portrait photographer, go to her!

I'm not good at portraits, but I love this photo of Miss Cheesemonger, she is so passionate about what she is doing and it shows!

I'm not good at portraits, but I love this photo of Miss Cheesemonger, she is so passionate about what she is doing and it shows!

Now on to the amazing mac and cheese.

The Best Bacon Mac and Cheese Ever

Look at all of that cheesy and bacon goodness, my stomach is growling thinking about it!

Look at all of that cheesy and bacon goodness, my stomach is growling thinking about it!

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs of butter
  • 2 Tbs flour (maybe one more for thickening, just in case)
  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • 1/2 Cup gouda
  • 1/2 Cup sharp cheddar
  • 1 Cup parmesan 
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups of pasta (I like macoroni elbows and shells)
  • 1/4 panko- I like Italian Panko because of the seasonings in it
  • 2 Tbs Paprika
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs pepper (I used exotic pepper that I found at the flea market- here's the post that will tell you all about it)
  • 1/2 Tbs Sage
  • 2 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs onion powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and place bacon on that
  3. Cook bacon for 15 minutes or until crunchy
  4. Melt butter in a medium sized saute pan on medium-low heat
  5. Add in flour, stirring continuously until a golden color
  6. Add in milk slowly, making sure there are no chunks
  7. Add in gouda, cheddar, and half the parmesan
  8. Add in seasonings
  9. Chop bacon finely
  10. Measure out 2 Tbs of bacon fat and add it to the cheese sauce
  11. Reduce the cheese sauce to a simmer
  12. Boil water and add in the pasta
  13. Cook pasta for 8 minutes
  14. Mix the pasta into the cheese sauce and add 1 cup of the pasta water
  15. Place into a casserole dish, top with panko, parmesan, and a little paprika
  16. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes
  17. Put the broiler on and broil for 2 minutes or until the top is golden brown

So good, so easy, and you can do it one handed, well, at least I did! :P 

 

What’s on your menu for this week?  Any places that you want to take a trip to visit or eat?  What are you motivated to do?  Answer in the comments below!

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If you’re looking for another meal to eat this week, I posted an awesome recipe last week, go check it out and add it to your weekly meal plan!

Fajitas are also super simple to make during your busy week!

Fajitas are also super simple to make during your busy week!

 

Don’t miss Wednesday, I review some of the best macarons that I have ever tasted.  AND there might be a little surprise in it for you!

Beautiful Macarons, these got eaten entirely too quickly

Beautiful Macarons, these got eaten entirely too quickly

 

#MomNoms