Monday, May 20, 2013

homemade spaghettios

Last week, I made all kinds of promises about these homemade spaghettios and stories about a fifth grader who has everyone under her thumb except a pair of golden retrievers.  Buuut, I've been so busy that I entirely forgot to put said post together.

All excuses aside (I'm inexcusably very much in the mood to complain about most everything right now), I'm getting around to it now.  You see last weekend, my mom was down in Nashville, picking up my younger sister Stephanie.  My youngest Mia didn't want to drive that far (that 4 hour drive must pretty long in the eyes of an 11-year-old), so she decided she would come over to St. Louis and spend some time with me and my sister Hannah.

I was just finishing an exam as Hannah was heading off to her final exam, so Mia was down the street at Hannah's house for a little bit by herself with a couple of dogs.  We were supposed to go Mother's Day shopping together so I called her up on my way back and told her to head on down to my house so that we could get out the door.  She (evidently excitedly) decided she was going to race the dogs down to my house... in a pair of flip flops.

I heard my front screen door open and then, "I lost the dogs, and my toe is bleeding!"  I spotted one dog in somebody's yard a few doors down and the other one across the street in the restaurant parking lot befriending people.  The tip of her toe falling off?  Sheesh!  What if Briar had gotten hit by a car!  We gathered up the dogs, Nick doctored up her toe, but she was still not happy...

...because she was hungry.

She hobbled down to Steve's Hot Dogs on the Hill with me, where a Gorllia Mac & Cheese Dog cured the rest of her woes.  Except for the bleeding toe, which can be seen being re-doctored by Nick above.  Of course, the hot dog meant she have room to eat those sweet pork dippers, she'd specially selected for dinner, but--hey!--it pepped up her spirits.  As did her evening venture over to Fairmount Racetrack with a bunch of twenty-somethings (we're the ones who can't keep up with her partying!).

On the subject of mac & cheese, here's your recipe for spaghettios (aka mac & cheese crossed with sphaghetti).  I'm not sure if it's actually like spghettios, but it is really good.  And, I left you some notes at the bottom as to how to scale it down (not that you'll necessarily want to!).

Adapted from Picky Palate.

1 lb. small pasta noodles
1 stick butter
3 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dry Ranch Dressing seasoning package (I used Hidden Valley Dips)
8 ounces grated white cheddar cheese (I used an 8 oz block of Seriously Sharp White Cheddar by Cabot)
salt to taste

  1. In a large pot, boil your water for your pasta (with a little salt and olive oil, of course!).  Make your pasta according to the package directions.  Drain when finished.
  2. As your water is boiling, melt your stick of butter over medium heat in a large sauce pan.  When the butter has melted, add your tomato sauce, ranch seasoning, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Put your drained pasta back in your large pot, add the sauce, and set over medium low heat; stir together.  Add all cheddar cheese and stir until cheese has melted into the sauce.  Taste and add extra ranch seasoning and salt, if desired.  Serve hot.
Makes about 6 servings, but you can easily reduce it (e.g. ⅓ pound pasta, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 can of tomato sauce, scant 1 ½ teaspoons Ranch seasoning, scant 3 ounces of white cheddar, sprinkle of salt and pepper).  It reheats (read:  microwaves) really well, though, so I like to have a big batch of it and eat (and share) the leftovers.

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