friday night comfort

Friday got off to a rough start… Homework, cleaning and NO CAFFEINE. It was touch and go for a bit. But as you can tell, I survived – I will have to be more careful in the future!
Things have been crazy around here, lots of scary stuff and lots of really exciting stuff, and not enough baking. Here’s the deal: Carver and I got engaged!!!! And, we are having to reconsider our fall plans.. Grad school is a no-go as of right now but I’m being persistent so hopefully something even better will come along soon.
With the engagement and wedding (YAY), that means lots of planning and shopping ahead. Unfortunately wedding stuff is waaaay more exciting than school so I have had to basically plan in my day dreaming.
My brother Kyle came up to visit this weekend and to check out wedding dresses. I was so excited because I haven’t been able to celebrate the engagement with my family yet.
For dinner tonight I made a twist on a comfort classic. Mac and cheese with bacon and tomatoes. It was delicious! (and made leftovers!)

Preheat the oven to 375. Cook 1/2 box of short cut pasta (I used fusilli) according to box directions, drain and set aside. In a skillet cook 6 slices of low-sodium bacon as directed on package until crispy, let cool on paper towel. In a large sauce pot melt 2T butter and 2T olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in 1 small onion, diced, and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Add in 1/4c flour and whisk well to make sure onions are coated. Slowly whisk in 4c fat-free milk, continue whisking gently and cooking for 5-8 minutes until slightly thickened. Sprinkle in 1/4t paprika, 1/2t salt, 1/4t pepper. Whisk in 2c reduced fat cheddar cheese and 2oz reduced fat sharp cheddar, stir until well combined. Spray a 13×9 pan with nonstick spray. Combine the pasta, cheese sauce and 1c diced tomatoes in the pan. Crumble in the bacon and stir well. Sprinkle 1/8c breadcrumbs over the top of the dish. Bake for 40 minutes rotating halfway through cooking. Serves 8.


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