Southwest Breakfast Mac and Cheese and the Joy of Slowing Down [RECIPE]

Good Morning Everyone!

There are times when life beats you down. When you get thrown a curve ball so far out of left field that you’re left scrambling to get back upright again. Such as it was for me on Friday. Not 10 minutes after Mr. Noob Chef left for work did I get a call from him:

“Honey it’s me. I’m okay. But I’ve been in a car accident”.

I froze. Everything stopped. Thankfully it was just a fender bender. And thankfully no one on either side was hurt. But for hours we were calling insurance and dealing with the aftermath of it all. By the end of the day we were absolutely drained. Our emotions were spent and we crashed super early.

Then came Saturday. It was a new day and I knew that more then anything we needed some serious rest and relaxation. We needed a chance to breathe and kick back. (Do you ever have moments like that? Where the whole world feels tight and you want to push it all back for just one moment and say, “hang on a minute!”? That was us on Saturday morning). So we slowed everything down and focused on what we needed to do. We needed to whip up something delicious in the kitchen. We needed to laugh until our cheeks hurt. We needed to kick our feet up in our favorite chairs and enjoy precious time together. And that’s exactly what we did.

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It’s true that all week I have been eating mostly raw fruits and vegetables. As a result I lost 11 lbs. (Woohoo! I totally get the fruitarian movement now πŸ™‚ ). But if I’m being totally real here…. after Friday, I was willing to do whatever it took to get some serious carbs. in my face, stat!

Enter this mac and cheese dish.

If you’re new to my blog, hi! Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. Dive into my archives and you’ll see that I have a serious love affair with macaroni and cheese. I’ve made a Vegan version. I’ve tried Dr. Gregor’s Mac and Cheese. I’ve made a vegetarian version using sweet potato as the basis of the sauce. (That was delish!). And I’ve even made country cooking queen Paula Deen’s Mac and Cheese. Yes, good mac and cheese is that one dish that screams, “pump the brakes, boo. I need a moment!”. It’s a hug in a bowl. It’s soft pasta, wrapped around a velvety cheese sauce that will make you swoon from head to toe. It’s a vessel for flavor that can go a million different ways. (Or at least 38 kinds according to this article). But it’s comforting. It’s delicious. And it’s the taste of home.

My little one suggested that I come up with a breakfast mac and cheese after looking at 38 different kinds of pasta dishes in that article. “I could….” I said slowly and began scratching my chin. Challenge accepted. Now whoever heard of eating mac and cheese for breakfast, right? But y’all…. if there’s a will there’s a way! This dish incorporates bacon and green bell pepper right into the pasta. I used pre-cooked bacon, available for purchase at Costco, but you can easily fry some up and toss it in. I also minced the green bell pepper to ensure that it cooked faster. But the “mmpf!” of this dish is the homemade cheese sauce. If you know how to make a gravy or simple white sauce you can make a million different things…. including cheese sauce for macaroni. It has simple seasonings and is thick, luscious, and everything you’re looking for in comfort food. If you can’t wait for the egg, dive right in and enjoy it off the stove top. But! If you want to take this dish to the next level, pour everything into a casserole dish, crack some eggs over the top and bake until perfection.

You have the eggs, vegetables, meat, and carb…. all wrapped up in delicious cheese? Need I say more? Enjoy this recipe everyone! I know it will make you swoon as much as we did. Until next time, have a wonderful start of the week and keep on cooking! ❀

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Southwest Breakfast Mac and CheeseΒ 

Serves: 8

Ingredients:Β 

  • 2 boxes Medium shell pasta
  • 1 bell pepper, minced
  • 4-5 strips of bacon, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 eggs

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Begin by cooking your pasta in boiling water with a pinch of salt for 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Next it’s time to make the cheese sauce! Begin by making a roux. Melt the butter in the pot over medium heat. When it’s melted, add in the flour and mix into a paste. Then pour in the milk and continue stirring until a thick gravy/white sauce forms. Add in the cheese and continue mixing until it melts. Finally add in the paprika, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Now add the minced bell pepper and bacon bits into the cheese sauce and mix to combine.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta and cheese sauce and mix until well combined. (Note: If you want to go ahead and eat it right off the stove top… no judgment here! Now you can dig in).
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/ 200 degrees C/ Gas Mark 6. Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  6. Pour the mac and cheese in the dish. Then crack 6 eggs on top. Cook for 12 minutes, (or less if you want really runny eggs. I didn’t because I wanted to make sure those eggs were super cooked).
  7. Serve hot and enjoy! πŸ™‚

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