Cheesy Pasta with Bacon and Peas

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It’s hard to find things my picky three year old will eat most days. Sometimes I feel like I spend so much time making new things for him to try and he still ends up wanting hot dogs or grilled cheese. Peas are one vegetable he will never turn down and if you ask my husband, bacon makes everything taste better, so I thought this recipe was worth a try. To my surprise he ate his entire plate. A rare occurrence around here for sure!

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Ingredients
12 oz penne pasta
6 slices thick-cut bacon
12 oz frozen peas
12 oz plain Greek yogurt
Tabasco sauce
6 oz Fontina cheese
6 oz Sharp cheddar cheese
Salt
Pepper

Directions

1. Line baking sheet with foil and cook
bacon in a 400 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. Set aside.

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2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.

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3. While pasta is cooking, cut bacon into small pieces and shred cheeses.

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4. Before straining pasta, add frozen peas to water and cook for an additional minute. Drain water but reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

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5. Return pasta and peas to pot and add in 1/3 cup of pasta water, yogurt, a few splashes of Tabasco and half of the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

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6. Stir in remaining cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Add in additional hot pasta water if needed to reach desired creaminess.

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7. Add bacon and stir until thoroughly combined.

Hope your picky eaters enjoy it as much as mine!

Bacon and Egg Bites

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Back in August, Con Ed accidentally cut the gas line outside our building while doing construction on the street. Fast forward 6 months later and we still do not have cooking gas in our apartment. Yes, you read that correctly, 6 months without cooking gas! Therefore, my dreams of whipping up all the recipes I have pinned under ‘wine & dine’ have been put on slight hold. Without an oven or range, we have purchased several appliances to help us survive this horrid adventure. Sometimes, I feel like I’m on a camping trip inside my NYC kitchen as I cook on an electric hot plate and use the microwave for things that it probably wasn’t built for. Because there are only two of us, most things can be made in the toaster oven, which surprisingly does a fantastic job with most meals. If you’re a Real Housewives fan, I have no desire to be the next Sonja Morgan and would much rather have me full size oven back. However, when I was craving red velvet cupcakes a few weeks ago I had to head to Home Goods to improvise. All of the muffin tins were just a bit too wide for the toaster oven so I settled on this silicone muffin cups. They did the job, but after making the cupcakes in three rounds of 6, I gave up. They do work perfectly for an easy weekend breakfast that we have (I have) made the past two mornings.

Ingredients

6 silicone muffin cups (or of course, if you’re a person with a real oven, you can use a regular muffin tin)
6 slices of bacon
4 eggs
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Line each muffin cup with a slice of bacon

2. Whip eggs and add salt and pepper to taste

3. Fill each muffin cup with eggs

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes (check status throughout as a real oven may cook them differently)

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The first time I used nonstick spray but then came out a bit too greasy. Today, I didn’t use it and they came out much better. Next time, I’m going to try and add some cheese and veggies but just didn’t have any on hand.

Mac & Cheese with bacon, because everything’s better with bacon

J had a midterm yesterday and I always like to make him something special after a big test. Although I’m really the one that deserves a treat because it usually means more time alone with the kids for me while he studies! The old saying that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach could not be more true when it comes to my husband. This dish truly is a “comfort” food. Perfect for the single digit temperatures we’ve had around here lately. However if you are one of the few that are still sticking to your New Years resolution to lose weight and eat healthy then this definitely is not the recipe for you. Loaded with five different cheeses it is for sure a treat reserved for special occasions around here. This recipe is adapted from Patti Labelle’s Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese recipe found here

1 box (16 oz) elbow macaroni
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) butter
4 oz each mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, muenster, and Monterey Jack cheeses, shredded
8 oz velveeta
2 cups half and half
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound bacon, chopped (optional)

First boil a large pot of water and cook pasta for about 8 minutes or until al dente

Drain and return pasta to pot. Then add in butter until melted.

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Next stir in shredded and cubed cheeses, reserving about half a cup of shredded cheese

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Pour in half and half and beaten egg

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Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper.

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Next put into a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

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Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until sides are bubbling.

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Feel free to add in other ingredients. We sometimes like to use peas or broccoli but in my husbands opinion bacon just makes everything better :)