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There were exactly approximately two rules in my house growing up.  (Okay, maybe three if you count the ban on play-doh.  But that was more of a lifestyle choice rather than a “rule”.  The result of which is that I currently have a huge box of play-doh.  Sitting on my bookshelf.  At 23 years old.  Thanks mom.)

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Rule #1 – No Simpsons.  None.  Ever.  And then, when they came out – no Family Guy, Futurama, or South Park either.  My mother had a very specific hatred for the lewd crude humor that these shows spewed forth.  Sure, she would allow a five year old to watch Seinfeld and Frasier and Mad About You.  But a satirical parody of a shockingly jaundiced “typical American family” in cartoon form?  Absolutely not.

Ah but I know what you’re thinking.  “Sure Joanne, you didn’t watch it as a child but I bet that as soon as you left for college, you binged and watched every episode on end back-to-back in a row one boring Tuesday night.”

Um.  Nope.  I think from not watching it for so long, I have lost the ability to really get it.  Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  Or something like that.  There was a window of opportunity. I missed it. I’m okay with it.  Moving on.

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Rule #2 – No blue box.

You know what I’m talking about.  That box with those little noodles that turn out impossibly mushy every time and that eerily orange powder that probably turns your intestines fluorescent and would probably make for a very interesting colonoscopy.

They were also a no-go.  It was homemade mac and cheese or the road in our house.  Which was fine.  Because my mom may not have been much of a cook.  But her mac and cheese has yet to be matched.

Before you get all excited.  This is not that mac and cheese.  That mac and cheese, with its sauce that consists entirely of milk and American cheese (yes.  You heard me right.  American. Cheese.  Who would have thought?) is reserved for my next 20 mile long run.  I’ll deserve it then.

However, after my 10 mile run this Saturday.  I felt like I needed some kind of recompense and since dairy is oh so good for your muscles with its easily digestible proteins and all.  I went with this.  Macaroni and goat cheese with roasted red peppers.  Another Bittman masterpiece.

This will not be the cheesiest mac and cheese of your life.  But it will certainly be one of the most decadent.  It has a very distinct Mediterranean flair with its mix-ins of basil and roasted bell peppers.  The flavors of which distract from the richness of the sauce making it so that your taste buds can handle it and appreciate it without being overwhelmed.  Delicious.

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Today at Eat.Live.Be. we’re talking about our favorite healthy habit that we’ve picked up along the way towards living a healthier life.  And for me, it is doing away with all of the pre-packaged goods.  Realizing that a calorie is not just a calorie.  And doing it from scratch.

In college, when I was first trying to be healthier, I was all for the 100 calorie snack packs and frozen meals and all that jazz.  As long as it fit into my daily calorie allowance, who cared what kind of synthetic and artificial compounds were in it.  Right?

Wrong.

I should have remembered the lesson my mother tried to teach me by not allowing Kraft’s into our house.  And that is that homemade is always better.  Even if it’s not super good for you. It’s always better.  So the habit that I’ve picked up along the way is that, if I can make it from scratch – whether it be mac and cheese, pizza, hummus, Chinese food – then I do.  And if I can’t make it from scratch (cough Doritos cough)…then I probably shouldn’t be eating it.

What is your favorite healthy habit that you’ve picked up along the way?  Share it in the comments or write about it on your blog and link up here:

And be sure to check out the posts written by my fellow Eat.Live.Be.-ers!

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Baked Macaroni and Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers
Serves 4-6, adapted from Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

salt
2 1/2 cups almond milk
1 lb pasta
3 tbsp “light” butter (butter made with olive oil)
3 tbsp AP flour
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup softened goat cheese
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil with it.

2. Heat the milk over medium-low heat.  When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn the heat off and let it stand.

3. Cook the pasta to the point where it is almost done, but you feel like it still needs another minute or so.  Drain and rinse to stop the cooking.  Place it in a bowl.

4. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add 3 tbsp butter.  When it is foamy, add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture browns – about 5 minutes.  Add about 1/4 cup milk to the hot flour mixture, stirring with a wire whisk all the while.  As soon as the mixture becomes smooth, add a little more milk and continue to do so until all the milk is used up and the mixture is thick and smooth.  Add the cheddar and stir.

5. Pour the sauce over the noodles.  Toss in the goat cheese, bell peppers, and basil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Turn the pasta mixture into a 9×13 inch baking pan.  Top with bread crumbs and bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.

This is my submission to:
Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast
Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of Sweet and Savory
Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays hosted by Rebecca Jean of Midnight Maniac
Tackling Bittman hosted by Alex of A Moderate Life
The Hearth and Soul Blog Hop

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You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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124 Responses to Macaroni and Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers…Eat.Live.Be. for a Better 2011

  1. I love your version of mac and cheese. I have to admit, when my grandma made it for me as a child, it was from the box… and I still loved it. But now I can only eat it if it’s been made from scratch.

    The addition of roasted red peppers is wonderful. Brightens up an otherwise heavy dish.

  2. Lizzy says:

    A healthy mac and cheese?? It is possible!!! You are amazing. Great job on your run. What’s your next race?

  3. yummy I want some
    have a nice day
    Delphine

  4. At last a mom who refused to let her daughter watch the Simpson’s, etc. Yay mom! Although I know that my daughter now in her university years does watch it so I guess I lost that battle. She does have a wierd sense of humour but turned out to be a a horgeopus, kind-hearted human being. As for “the box” don’t get me started on the kids that invited themselves for dinner and then suggested they would barf if they ate my home made mac and cheese…ha, ha. Still makes me laugh. This is a very health conscious version Joanne, oerfect for our new lifestyles.

  5. Goat cheese is delicious on anything :) Hmmm, favorite healthy habit–
    1. Butter is ALWAYS better than any substitute
    2. If you can make it from scratch from wholesome ingredients, it’s healthy in my book.
    3. It’s really not all about calories.
    4. Life is too short to not eat baguette :)

    Ooops, that’s 4! Oh well! My co-workers love to chide me that when I have kids, I’ll be forced to make them boxed mac’n’cheese at some point. I love to tell them that my future children will starve first :) Have a lovely Monday!

  6. Such a perfect and yummy meal! Great combo, I’m so hungry looking at your lovely photos…

  7. Growing up we’d always have the frozen mac n cheese (usually lean cuisine) when a babysitter came over but it was “special” when we had the blue box. lol oh how things have changed… as a lover of goat cheese this is getting saved by me!

  8. Danielle says:

    This looks great! Thanks for the vote!

  9. I have all the ingredients for this–including a lovely mix of sweet peppers I picked up at Trader Joe’s yesterday (all in anticipation of the BIG BLIZZARD headed our way–in that respect I don’t expect any sympathy from you). Here are my healthy habits:

    1. No margarine or any butter substitute in my kitchen!
    2. Lots of lightly steamed vegetables. (I’m from the south where my mother and her contemporaries cooked them beyond recognition–but oh so delicious.)
    3. Read the label before putting in the cart.
    4. Local is best!!

    Hope you have a delicious and snowless week!

    Best,
    Bonnie

  10. Lea Ann says:

    I love goat cheese and this pasta looks wonderful. I have to admit however, that the pasta with that florescent orange cheese powder in that blue box is delicious! I swear it has drugs in it. Mushy? Don’t remember too many mushy episodes. I allow myself to have it about once a year…that and a Big Mac and fries.

    My healthy habit has become making my own vinaigrettes.

  11. Rachel says:

    That looks amazing! I’m all about the pasta right now. Seinfeld and Mad about You.. classics :)

  12. Dawn says:

    I like your favorite change. I couldn’t pick one so I put three. LOL. You are so right. I think what is in the box is just as important as the nutrition info.
    This pasta post has me drooling. Although I didn’t run 11 miles so I’ll probably just have to drool over the photo. HAha.

  13. You know, I have never made a Mac and Cheese in my life. I feel less guilt ridden looking at your dish. Nice!

  14. Nina at Salt says:

    Great post–Mom’s are so wise! Your Mac & Cheese looks outstanding-Bittman rarely steers us wrong. Can’t wait to try this one..I bet the goat cheese is wonderful.

  15. erica says:

    This looks amazing! So trying this recipe! YUM!

  16. Shannon says:

    I saw this recipe the day my roommate made Bittman’s regular mac and cheese and tried to sway her to add goat cheese and red peppers to ours. Her response “next time”. This looks incredible.

    Simpsons was also banned in our house… as was Rosanne, Married With Children and pretty much anything else that wasn’t on The Disney Channel.

  17. I totally think you’re right. And I’ve been “trying” to get closer to eating healthier and less out of a box. That being said, my entire childhood consisted of the blue box and I LOVE it! I make it for the kids sometimes and I can’t help but sneak a bite, it brings me back to being a kid! And I love the sarcastic humor of The Simpsons. Although, now as a parent, I don’t let my kids watch it. I know, that doesn’t make sense. I suppose you were too young for Beavis and Butthead? That was even cruder than Simpsons. My brother and I still do “the laugh”.

    I hate play doh too. I hate the smell of it.

    LOVE the mac and cheese of yours! Looks great!

  18. polwig says:

    Sounds like a plan. I have made friench fries before and they are a pain all the peeling and cutting, with all that work no one would eat them everyday. Love your resolution, I am so up for it with you especially with kids. I am so like your mom no pre packed stuffed here, well maybe previously made frozen food, either then my step daughter and husband who love prepackaged, I guess I can’t teach them new tricks either. However I am all up for playdough, all kids even cooked our own, we have recipe if you want. Love the pasta

  19. Amy says:

    My mom never made that Kraft Mac N Cheese when I was growing up. But Paul’s mom did. Regularly. And he still loves it. What’s worse…he likes to put chopped up hot dogs mixed into it. Blech. Haley and Trevor don’t like it, so at least we know they got their taste from me. Whew.

    I’ve never seen Family Guy or Futurama, but the South Park series on DVD takes up valuable space on our shelves. As for the play-doh – I hate that stuff. But it occupies Trevor for a glorious 15 minutes at a time. And this is all important when Mommy needs to check Twitter…priorities here.

  20. Tasha says:

    My mom didn’t really get into cooking until after my brother I were grown and out of the house, so it was definitely blue box for us. I remember it being good as a kid, but I can’t imagine wanting it now, especially when you could have something homemade as wonderful as this!

  21. daphne says:

    my fav healthy habit.. that would be my 2 hr zumba classes! LOL well, I try to balance up my meals, so if i have one slightly heavy, the other will be really light. I’m trying my best not to feel guilty when i eat and just enjoy every bite!

  22. Victoria says:

    Gasp, no Simpsons? See, I’m not much of a fan myself, but after working there for over a year, and assuming that everyone on Earth had watched the show at one point or another, I’m surprised when I discover that’s not true.

    I loooove mac and cheese in all its forms, baked, not baked, fried (ever tried that?), but I truly enjoy variations that include other cheeses such as yours with goat cheese. It’s untraditional, but soooo awesome.

  23. Great idea to finish the cooking in the oven, I never do this. Being non-American, play-doh, blue box…these are foreign words to me. I ate mac & cheese very few times when growing up and hardly ever since I have grown up:) One day I will try and make it, not the real American way which seems to be out of the box but your mums method. Maybe I will have it for a special occasion like new years.

  24. Mary says:

    I suspect portion control is the biggest thing I’ve learned. Another would be to know what’s in the food I’m eating. Your mac n’ cheese sounds wonderful. I, too, have one that uses goat’s milk and we really love it. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  25. Big Dude says:

    Looks delicious – I like all of those flavors.

  26. Eden says:

    No family guy?! thats like my therapy!
    I’m not a cheese fan (never was) but when I make it from the family I’m a private chef for, I puree butternut squash and mix it with the goey cheese. The kids just think its got more cheddar in it…..he he he

  27. Rebecca Jean says:

    Well, it certainly looks delicious. I am seeing more and more recipes around the web that have me salivating and they’re all from Bittman in one form or another.

    Mister got me “How to Cook Everything” from Mark Bittman for Christmas. It’s a behemoth of a book, but I’m looking forward to devouring my way through it.

    I’m with your mother on the blue box and animated sitcoms. They have no place in this house either. And I’m with you on cooking from scratch. Anything worth doing is worth doing yourself.

    Thanks for sharing this with Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays.

    ? Rebecca Jean
    Midnight Maniac

  28. janet says:

    Joanne, I am totally with you on the homemade front! Always better!

    My new goals this year have been to cut-out refined flour and sugars.. It is a work in progress but I am trying to focus on fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains. :)

    I think my revelation was when I found out making my own beans at home is not that hard and they do taste so much better. :)

  29. Mo Diva says:

    almond milk- INTERESTING!
    i absolutely love the flavors going on in here. It would surely make for the perfect bite!
    I havent really been eating (shocking i know) but i think im ready to start cooking again and actually eating. :-)

  30. Katerina says:

    I love roasted red peppers. Here we have a variety called Florina peppers and are very sweet. I would love to try this dish with Florina peppers.

  31. One CUP of goat cheese? Hook, line, and sinker this dish got me hands down. Oh the thought of that much goat cheese makes me giggle.

  32. We never had box macaroni and cheese at our house either. I’m totally with you about making it yourself…at least you can control what’s going into it. This is a great cheesy pasta.

  33. Catherine says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the rules in your home..Bravo to your Mom!…The dish looks splendid! Blessings, Catherine

  34. That Girl says:

    Although not mac and cheese, one of my favorite “mom and me” meals growing up was penne with goat cheese. Mom would put the goat cheese on the plate first, then top it with the hot noodles and just a smidge if marinara. I bet the creaminess would be similar.

  35. I can definitely live without the simpsons and south park (husband is addicted!), but have to admit that I find family guy so random that it is hilarious.

    I’ve never really done the “blue box” or even homemade mac n cheese, but love the idea of this one you have made! I can’t make it exactly, but can mimic it dairy-free for something quite delicious!

  36. Ruth Daniels says:

    As always, I love reading your posts – they always make me smile… or laughing hysterically. Not to mention your beautifully shot and tasty to eat dishes. This one’s a keeper. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  37. HOLY COW – the perfect recipe for so many submissions! Good for you! Healthy and delicious. ALso, fairly straightforward to make. Can’t beat that!
    :)
    valerie

  38. Mo 'Betta says:

    This looks fabulous!! Can’t go wrong with pasta and cheese :) We ONLY had the blue box in my house growing up…so when I decided to get away from processed foods and feed my own family healthier options, it was a whole new lifestyle. I am definitely a work-in-progress, but I think you’re right, even if it’s not all that healthy, it’s still way better than store bought. (which totally justifies the cranberry orange scones I made this morning!)

  39. nico. says:

    Oh, a life without the Simpsons?! You don’t know what you’re missing! And we always had kraft in our house because my sister was a crazy picky child AND teenager, so that was basically her after school snack … a PBJ, one of the only other things she ate, would have been a better choice.

  40. HaaHaa! Those are pretty good rules, I hate those types of ‘cartoons’ too. Boxed M&C *ick
    I love this type of pasta! Home made, FULL of flavour and it’s all about the good ingredients.

  41. I was never allowed Play-Doh either! My mom hated the smell, so I couldn’t use it when she was home. Sometimes my dad and I would try to sneak it when she was at work, but even after sanitizing the tables, she could always smell it. Sigh.

    The macaroni looks divine!

  42. Megan says:

    I made a lot of mac and cheese this weekend… some for our friends’ kids who love the blue box, so I tried my best to get the homemade version to look like it came out of the box! This version looks so much more grown up and flavorful.

  43. sweetlife says:

    my mom never made the blue box either, homemade is always superior…i hate those cartoons, so crude..healthy habits, water, water, light snacks..and portion control..
    sweetlife

  44. Sarah says:

    Ok, confession. I am absolutely addicted to your blog! Your writing, your pictures, your recipes…all are fabulous! I am totally putting you on my “Favorites Blog list”

  45. Shannon says:

    wait you went and used light butter?? joanne! haha :) i, too, used to buy all those 100cal packs… but instead i love things like this :) if only i could get my sweet tooth under control…

  46. This is a great choice for My Meatless Mondays and other groups. It is the kind of eating, we would all enjoy. Thanks Joanne.

  47. Kelsey says:

    goat cheese, oh how i love thee <3
    this is quite a crafty way to have mac and cheese, with the colorful veggies mixed in. looks like a mix between a gazpacho pasta or pasta primavera and traditional mac with the cheese <3 very nicely done!! :D

    xoxo

  48. I have never been so close to drooling at the computer screen. Such an amazing recipe!

  49. I love your mac and cheese more specially coz u chose not to use elbow pasta.This has three of my favs-red bell peppers,goat cheese and basil.wow!My mom did not allow me to eat tamarind as a child and now I make sure I have loads of it in my kitchen :)

  50. RamblingTart says:

    My Mum was the same way, Joanne. :-) Your story made me laugh because our mother’s reasoning is so eerily similar. :-) I too love homemade better than anything. Especially desserts because, as you noted, a bad thing is better when made at home. :-) It’s good to be home again. I’ve missed you!!

  51. This looks way better than the mac n’ cheese in the blue box. If they even thought about putting peppers in the blue box, they’d be “pepper products.” And if it makes you feel any better, Simpsons humor is lost on me :)

  52. Chris says:

    Superb! The cheese and roasted red peppers make me drool.

  53. Stella says:

    I can’t believe that I forgot how funny you are in my stint away from the computer. Too funny as always. My Mom didn’t like those shows either (at all!), though she did let us watch them. I can understand the ban though on both the shows and nasty blue box (smile)…
    Oh, and your pasta looks wonderful. Me wants a bowl;)

  54. Marcia says:

    OMG. Even though I can’t see the pictures (not sure why…blocked maybe?) I will definitely have to try and make this. I love Bittman. I love goat cheese. The worst part about being pregnant was no blue, feta, or goat cheese. That was awful.

    I have learned to eat real food, and that fruit is a perfect snack.

  55. bandofphotos says:

    GOSH! is a great choise!! Macaroni n’ cheese is perfect!

  56. Faith says:

    I agree, homemade anything is always better! And there was a ban on the blue box in my house too, lol! Great looking mac and cheese, I love the duo of goat cheeses you used…and the basil is genius!

  57. Sarah Caron says:

    Your photos are stunning! Makes me want to head right to the kitchen and make this (it looks so, so good!).

    Funny, my mom could have learned a few things from your mom. The blue box was the ONLY mac and cheese I knew (and we won’t talk about the year of hamburger boxed meals. Um EW).

  58. Katherine says:

    We had the same Simpsons/ South Park/ Family Guy rule (+ Ren and Stimpy, dunno why)! My brother grew up to be a fan, but I’m with you and don’t see the appeal. Of course, we watched Seinfeld and Mad About You reruns at dinner.

    Can’t wait to try the recipe! YUM.

  59. I never understood the big deal with the Simpsons, South Park and all those other animated shows. I guess it takes a special kind of person to truly get it. I have to admit though, I am (sometimes) a fan of the blue box…even though I know it’s HORRIBLE for me. But homemade does always trump the box. I love the idea of a goat cheese mac and cheese — even though it’s not really mac and cheesy.

  60. Swathi says:

    These are delicious pasta Joanne. i will try them.

  61. Xiaolu says:

    Uh seriously this is the best idea I’ve heard in a good long while. I lurrrrv roasted red peppahs. Would add them to anything. PS – I lurv you 8).

  62. Great looking mac n cheese! If we get the blizzard they’re predicting I may need some!

  63. teresa says:

    we had the same rule about the simpsons, haha! of course, we were allowed all the violence we could handle.

    LOVE this mac and cheese, and i love the noodles you picked, there’s something about that shape that makes me so happy. delicious!

  64. Pam says:

    Not that it’s healthy (at all) but I only make homemade cookies, muffins, pop tarts, etc. I’d rather my kids eat unprocessed treats & snacks as much as possible.

    I am loving this pasta… so full of delicious flavors and textures – it looks EXCELLENT Joanne.

  65. Kim says:

    LOL! I can’t stand family guy, the simpson’s, or even the dreaded Spongebob. None of them are welcome in my home either.
    This macaroni however, can make a visit in my home anyday! This remind me of Symon’s mac n cheese made with goat cheese, but dare I say even better with the roasted peppers and basil. Delicious!

  66. Amen on just saying no to packaged foods – hurrah!

  67. vanillasugar says:

    i should share more of my healthy eating, but it might scare off my fans as they are boring ass salads with crazy add in’s. like pickled eggs, banana chips, bacon, olives, lettuce and this fabulous honey mustard sauce from whole foods that is to die for…next time i add in pasta just like you did

  68. Julie says:

    This mac n cheese looks amazing! Can’t wait to give it a try. NO Simpsons here either.

  69. Ada says:

    I have to admit, I totally consumed Kraft’s Mac and Cheese religiously as a child. Later on, though, I discovered the wonders of Annie’s and immediately converted. Your pasta dish, however, looks like it could even beat Annie’s herself.

  70. Joanne, you always make me hungry! Amazing!

    ?
    Camila F.

  71. Natalie says:

    simpsons was a no-no for me too, but i definitely indulged in the blue box…WITH ketchup…talk about processed foods…worth the occasional splurge though :) in the meantime, i’m making THIS!

  72. Julie says:

    hahaha deej would never let me watch anyyy crude cartoons! ren and stimpy was the ultimate no-go in my house haha but yet we watched sex adn the city together every sunday night..

  73. Todd says:

    Ok. I stumbled upon your blog about six weeks ago and I fail to see how you’re not married with 32 kids on the way. These dishes are irresistible!

  74. Cara says:

    I’m currently on a kick (meaning, I’ve done it once) of converting your pasta recipes to spaghetti squash. I wonder how this would fare…

  75. FireMom says:

    We made your roasted chicken and potatoes tonight. And now we’re bookmarking this one. You, my friend, are amazing. In so many ways.

    Keep it up!

  76. I could never say no to anything with goat cheese! What a lovely dish!

  77. I love this Mediterranean twist on mac and cheese. This sounds way better to me than anything out of a box!

  78. Allison says:

    Loving all your healthy spin on recipes. Can’t wait to try this one too.

  79. Lori says:

    No play-doh? Oh, the horror. How did you live without making those little non-food ice cream cones?!
    This mac and cheese looks amazing! So glad I don’t need to put in 20 to enjoy it. :) I might even take a bite after my 5 this weekend.

  80. no simpsons? nooo…hmm but then again, i think i didn’t watch the simpsons as a child. love it though :D

  81. Johanna GGG says:

    ok so the blue box was never part of my childhood either – maybe we didn’t have it in australia but I can’t imagine my mum using it – but I did love playdough – and it does taste really really salty.

    My healthy habit is to enjoy a small piece of good chocolate rather than a whole chocolate bar – quality over quantity

  82. theUngourmet says:

    I’m a little sad to say I grew up on the blue box… with a bit of crumbled sausage thrown in. My mom’s specialty was enchiladas with handmade tortillas. My kids hate the blue box!

    This is one great lookin’ mac n’ cheese. I am crazy for goat cheese!

  83. Thanks for sharing this – I just made it for dinner and I only have 3 words to say about it – Sen. Freaking. Sational.

    Was totally delicious – will definitely be making this again :-)
    Sue

  84. I wish I was not looking at this right before bed, I will be dreaming about macaroni and cheese all night!

  85. Joanne says:

    I’m with your Mom – Simpsons, South Park are horrible shows. I swear that’s one of the reasons people get so rude and inconsiderater towards one and other now. Those shows, even though cartoons, try to make it funny and allowable. I’m totally against them.

    As for Mac&Cheese in the blue box, I would only cook the mac and eat it plain. Loved it! If I was feeling “wild”, I’d add a little butter :)

    Love that Mac & GOAT cheese recipe. Love the photos even more. Great dish.

  86. Barbara says:

    Yummy combo with the two cheese and red peppers, Joanne! It looks like a killer recipe that I’ll use over and over.

    I think the main thing that has changed with me is the use of whole wheat everything. And many more grains….

  87. Peggy says:

    This version of mac and cheese sounds to die for! I’m seriously undergoing a craving right now!

  88. Miriam says:

    I LOVE thiis kind of meal! Easy, filling and most importantly SO delicious :). Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  89. I happened to have posted some of my favorite healthy habits today. And making homemade food is definitely 1 of them!

  90. elra says:

    Scrumptious looking pasta. I splurge this week by making pizza, so it is not consider fit for the even. Hopefully next monday !

  91. Joanne, I really admire your capability of turning simple ingredients into something special and gourmet!

  92. This is ridiculous. Goat cheese is like my kyptonite. I wanna make this, but perhaps with bulgur or quinoa! Im not a huge pasta girl…

  93. girlichef says:

    Setting a steaming plate of this next to the blue box would make the blue box shrivel up in shame. It sounds wonderful. Addicting, actually. No Simpsons, huh? I don’t let my little ones watch it, either. I just allowed my oldest to start watching it. But definitely no on the others…those are far too crude for even me. That said…YUM! Thanks for sharing it w/ the hearth and soul hop :D

  94. Joanne I have that book and had no idea this recipe was in there. I need to take another look! You are a serious inspiration to me. I need to start running again.

    Laura

  95. I so agree , its same over here and we make it all from scratch too and i loveee it..
    If its a curry and there is coconut going in , it is husked and broken open and grated and i lovee that!
    Much more flavorful n definately better than eating out!
    When im at my healthiest self, on the thinner not chubbier side , but healthy , if the weekends have seen me eating more than i can handle , coz i am forced to(ignore the lame excuse plz:-) ), monday is a total healthy day ,i eat , normally but only fruits ,veggies and soup!
    Other thing i have learnt is not eating is the worst thing u can do to ur body really!
    this looookkksss so delish!!
    bdw, i didn even know the simpy’s till a few yrs back and its only for 3yrs that we have tv connectd at our place :-)
    This assured dinner time around the table and not around the tv , and i still dont love tv too muc , minus that occasional movie(ok fine i could watch a movie every day , but i dont and thats imp-der i said it)
    The MAc with Goat cheese is exceptionally good Jo!
    way to go gurl!

  96. Juliana says:

    Joanne, I love your version of mac and cheese, love the idea of roasted red peppers…lovely presented…yummie!

  97. Lori says:

    No play doh for me as a child. And I am afraid I limit my kids. Clean up is such a pain. I think that would be the primary reason. I do however love to play with salt dough with the kids. Its controlled, no colors until we paint them.

    And absolutely none of those kind of cartoons in our house. And really no regular channels either because of the commercials. They are really racey for young kids. PBS all the way.

    You probably think I am such a stuff shirt. Mac and cheese. I have to say I cheat and buy the powder, buy the kind of macaroni the kids want- farfalle whatever and use that powder stuff from time to time. I have to give in somewhere right?

    My healthiest habit learned from childhood. Lots o vegetables and fruit. Almost no processed food. I still do this. And my Mom has jumped on the processed food bandwagon. Why? because it is easier.

  98. Amazing! I made a similar mac and cheese with lobster a few months back (reminder to blog about it) and this reminds me of that fantastic dinner. Simple can be so good can’t it? Your pictures could NOT get any BETTER! Thanks for the sweet comment today! It made my day seeing that you visited!
    Xo
    Jessica
    http://www.kitchenbelleicious.com

  99. *drools* I’ve never made mac and cheese just because my hubs hates it =(

  100. Nadji says:

    J’en voudrai bien une assiette. Délicieux.
    See soon.

  101. OohLookBel says:

    For someone with a ‘deprived’ childhood, you sure have a well-developed sense of humour! And gosh, brilliant idea to add goat cheese to the macaroni, they go together like Stewie and Brian or Marge and Homer =D

  102. Candace says:

    This is my kind of mac and cheese. Your photos are ah-mazing! I’m going to give this a try. I’m afraid that I was one of those “no adult animated” kind of moms too; however, my child caught some Seinfeld. Guilty as charged! He did get play-doh though and the blue box. I would feed him differently today if I could go back. :)

  103. Reeni says:

    I never really ‘got’ those shows either – Seinfeld is much more entertaining. The mac and cheese is utterly delicious! Love the goat cheese and peppers – it’s a sophisticated mac ‘n’ cheese.

  104. tigerfish says:

    I like the addition of red peppers to your mac and cheese.

  105. I love the NO BLUE BOX rule! It’s rules like that – that have shaped WHO YOU ARE today! :)

  106. Claudia says:

    Really, your mother was right. We didn’t miss a thing with those shows. And, I love how flexible mac ‘n cheese is. Red bells are so beautiful as well as full of vitamins.

  107. Ha! Last year when my niece was visiting, she said she wanted mac n cheese for dinner. So I took out the pasta, cheese, milk, etc. to make some for her. Then in a panic, she asked, “Where’s the blue box?”

  108. Monet says:

    Smile. No Simpsons in my house either! I remember how shocked I was when Ryan’s mom sat down and invited us to watch the show with her. I was scandalized! But this pasta? Amazing! I love goat cheese…it elevates ordinary pasta dishes into something extraordinary. Thank you for sharing with me, my sweet friend. I hope you are staying safe and warm. It is even too cold in my part of the country…and I’m in Austin!

  109. La Liz says:

    My neighbor raised kids with no TV; they could watch videos, but no TV shows. The kids are engaging and funny. (No one, on his death bed, ever wished he’d watched more TV.)

    Nice Mac ‘n Cheese interpretation!

    A healthy tip, recommended by a friend who’s an emergency room doctor: stay hydrated (drink plenty of plain water) year-round; also, drink ginger tea (made with fresh ginger root steeped in 2 c. of boiling water) each day.

    He was right. I haven’t had a cold or flu in over ten years since he passed along that info.

  110. grace says:

    the simpsons may be animated, but it’s no kiddie cartoon! i love it now, though…
    FIERCE mac & cheese, joanne. kraft ain’t got nothin’ on you. :)

  111. Katy ~ says:

    Joanne, this looks positively brilliant! I LOVE it!

  112. Patsyk says:

    I love your version of mac & cheese! wish my boys would eat something like that… they are both going through a picky phase (at 7 & 9!) and while I don’t cook to their tastes, I try to make sure something is on the table they will eat. ;)

    Love the photos, too! Makes me want some – NOW!

  113. Delicious! And very healthy.
    I wanted to go to see The Wold According to Garp with my girlfriends for my birthday (I was a big reader, even then) and my mother, thinking it would be too “adult” for my friends, took us to see Night Shift. (A movie about two guys who turn a morgue into a bordello) Well, it had the Fonz in it. ?

  114. Hi Jo jo! We had the SAME rule in my house! I didnt have blue box until I was poor in college and a friend introduced it to me! My mother ALSO made it simple with AC and a bit of milk and muellers elbow noodles! LOL your goat cheese recipe looks divine! Hope the weather isn’t keeping you inside and off the running path! Thanks for sharing this on the hearth and soul hop! P.s. no family guy or southpark in this house either! hugs! Alex

  115. I love how healthy this is but still so full of flavor. Goat cheese is such a great ingredient. ;-)

  116. Ruth Daniels says:

    Admittedly, my mother caved on the “no KD” rule, but I’ve long given up any desire for it. Your variation looks awesome. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

  117. Kerstin says:

    Goat cheese and red peppers, yes please!! Definitely deserved after a 10 miler :)

  118. Hi Joanne – just stopping by again to say thanks for sharing this Tackling Bittman Recipe Hop. I totally loved this dish – I ate it three nights in a row!!
    Sue xo

  119. Deborah says:

    I’m so embarrassed to admit that I have no healthy habits right now. I know I should be really healthy being pregnant at all, but some days, it’s just an accomplishment to eat! But I don’t think I’d have a hard time finishing off a plate of this mac and cheese!

  120. Marisa says:

    I SO agree with you on that – homemade is always better. Growing up we didn’t eat a lot of frozen meals, so I think making things from scratch is pretty much ingrained into me. My best tip? Water. Lots & lots of it. It’s magical.

    PS: This mac & cheese? Super glam. Love it.

  121. Ooo I’ve never tried mac & cheese with goat cheese! Sounds delicious.

  122. This is on my gotta try it list. Great recipe and post!

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