Journal Of A Long Strange Trip
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  • Kim Howard – R.I.P.

    Posted on August 16th, 2014 Dirk No comments
    Kim Howard

    Kim Howard

    My sister, Kim Howard, passed away on August 6, 2014 from cancer.

    Here is her obituary and here is an audio recording of her funeral service.

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  • Oven Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Posted on August 10th, 2014 Dirk 2 comments
    Macaroni and cheese

    Cast Iron baked macaroni and cheese

    I was talking with my youngest daughter about comfort foods that she found while she was living in China. While we were talking about that it reminded me of a favorite comfort food.  Macaroni and Cheese.  Many times we find ourselves reaching for the blue box.  I was wanting something like that, but maybe a little more homemade and more attention to the details.

    I remembered a Macaroni and Cheese recipe that I found on the Reddit cast-iron forum.  One of the features of this dish is that it is baked in a cast-iron pan to help the dish develop a crisp crust on the bottom and sides.  This crisp crust contrasts nicely with the tender pasta and the creamy sauce.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb macaroni, cooked and drained
    • 1/2 stick of butter
    • 4 Tablespoons flour
    • 3 cups milk
    • 1/3 cup pre-cooked bacon bits
    • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese
    • 8 to 10 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated
    • dried breadcrumbs

    While cooking the macaroni, make the cheese sauce.  In a medium saucepan melt the butter and add the butter to form a roux.  Cook over a medium heat until the flour begins to turn to a golden brown.  Slowly whisk in the milk and cook over a medium heat.  Add the onion powder and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.  Add the bacon bits, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese and the grated cheddar cheese and mix until melted and combined.  Grease a cast-iron skillet and pour the drained pasta into the pan.  Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta and top with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.  Bake in a 400° F oven for 30 minutes or until the top and edges have started to crisp.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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