I have a theory.
Actually I have lots of theories; some legit, a few far-fetched, a handful of indecent ones, and a couple pearls of wisdom tossed in just to give me credibility. I generally only share the good ones publicly, which is why I have the reputation of being a mental giant, not to be confused with a vertical titan.
At 5’2, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, unless of course my CSA suddenly starts doling out some of Jack’s magic beans and I grow at the speed of well, a stalk. Don’t be aghast. Stranger things have happened. Hell, Donald Trump is running for president, and I have ultrasound pictures in my purse. Who am I and why doesn’t his hair move?
It’s also possible this mental giant business is mainly in my own mind, and guess what? I’m ok with that too. I say a solid self-esteem is healthy, especially on those days when it’s harder to come by. Yes, it happens to me as well, usually when someone at work talks about how so and so never looked pregnant from behind, which then leads me to believe they’re subtly saying I’m the size of a tank from all angles. Welcome to pregnancy hormones and my rabbit hole.
Hours later, and many glances backward, along with the Hubby repeatedly saying, “You just look like Meghan from behind,” I’m back to my usual elevated level of mental prowess, and I’m ready to share my theory.
Most of my engaged audience doesn’t give a donkey’s backside about my recipe posts.
Sure, food is great; fantastic even. We love it, we need it to survive, and occasionally, I’ll get a reader or three who actually make my meals (I legit adore you people). My regulars though, my day in and day out commenters come here for other reasons; quite possibly for the Week in Review because ♫ damn, it feels good to be a gansta’ ♫ (The Unborn Child is back on hip hop). Perhaps you get a little kick out my writing style, maybe I make you laugh, my confessions make you blush or you simply relish in my nefarious personality. Cackle, cackle.
So when I talk about broccoli, pasta and cheese, I get it might not be the most titillating post for you and your eyes even gloss over just a smidge, and I can’t really blame you. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret: when I make someone else’s recipes and it’s a blogger I don’t know, I never read a lick of their post, outside of the actual recipe. Just bring on the food I say. So I’m going to take my own advice here and tell you I legit love broccoli. I also love rich, creamy cheese and buttery pasta, which is how this recipe was created.
Yes, Broccoli Mac and Cheese is the lovechild of my mind. The lovechild of my loins, well that’s a whole ‘nother story, and if food isn’t your thing, you can read about it here.
- 1 lb. Pasta of choice, I like spirals, elbows, shells, anything the cheese can grasp
- 4 cups Broccoli, chopped
- 4 Tbsps. Butter
- 1/2 cup Red Onion, finely diced (approximately half a small onion)
- 4 Tbsps. Flour
- 1 cup Milk of choice, I used Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 3 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, plus 2 Tbsp. for topping.
- 1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Paprika
- 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, crushed walnuts or Savory granola for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Add chopped broccoli to boiling water with pasta when there is only 5 minutes remaining on the pasta. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, in a midsized saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp. of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the finely diced onion and cook until translucent, about five minutes more.
- Reduce the heat to low and then add flour, one tablespoon at a time and mix in with the butter and onions, using a whisk or a fork until the flour has been fully absorbed. Your mixture will resemble a paste at this point.
- Slowly add in your milk, stirring until fully incorporated with the butter/onion/flour mixture. Your sauce will be quite thin. Add in 3 cups of your shredded cheese and all of your spices from the dry mustard through to the nutmeg. Stir occasionally until cheese has fully melted and sauce has thicken substantially. If your sauce is too thick, you can gradually add more milk. Alternatively if your sauce is too thin, you can add more cheese. Taste your sauce and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Add pasta and broccoli mixture to a greased 2.5 quart casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over the entire thing, stirring to incorporate. Top with the reserved two tablespoons of shredded cheese and the 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, crushed walnuts or granola. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350. Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the top has formed a nice golden brown crust.
What’s your take on your recipe posts? To read or not to read, and what it is about my blog which appeals to you? Feel free to indulge a pregnant woman here.