bacon and kale mac and cheese

For the love of bacon and because I had a huge container of baby kale in my fridge I went ahead and made this bacon and kale mac and cheese from Good Life Eats.  It only seems right to tell you about how recipes found on Pinterest turn out in real life.  As many of us have discovered they can look pretty, but not taste too great after all.

I wasn't too worried when it came to this dish though, how could it go wrong? Also I have a blog-crush on Good Life Eats as her site portrays something I hope mine could be someday.  She talks mostly about food, but with some family and fashion love in there too.  She talks books as well which I should really tune into seeing as I need to read more of those...

This recipe was intended to be made and then baked but seeing as I'm all about the freezer cooking these days I made it, portioned it off between two 8x8 pans and popped it into the freezer.  If you don't want to do that though by all means make and enjoy right away.

I liked this recipe as well to make a homemade mac as opposed to turning to the box for Anderson.  It's no denying that the boxed stuff has an addictive quality about it which has him asking for "roni, roni" but it's my goal he'll learn to love the homemade cheese sauce even more.

{Recipe thanks to and loosely adapted from Good Life Eats}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces cheddar, shredded
  • 1 ounce Parmesan
  • dash nutmeg
  • dash cayenne
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 6 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 1/2 ounces kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup homemade bread crumbs
1.  Cook the past 1-2 minutes less that what the package calls for.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent then add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add in the flour and whisk until golden, just about a minute or two then slowly whisk in the milk and continue whisking often until slightly thickened.  

3.  At this point stir in your cheese, sprinkle with nutmeg, cayenne, pepper, and salt to taste- remembering that you're going to add in bacon!  Whisk the sauce until the cheese melts then pour in your macaroni, bacon, and kale.

4.  At this point either put into a pan to freeze it or keep in your dutch oven and top with some breadcrumbs.  Bake at 375 for 10-20 minutes, until bubbly or if frozen it'll be about 350 for 40 minutes covered then about 15 more minutes uncovered and until bubbly!

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