Do you Menu?

Menu Planning may sound like a lot of work, but it's actually one of the laziest things I've ever done. Since I started planning our meals for the week (and eventually the month) I've noticed some improvements in the way we eat and in the way I shop. Knowing what's for dinner not only saves time, it saves money and helps us eat healthier as well.

By planning out the week's meals I can make a more effective list for the grocery store and purchase only those items that we will need for the week. I make fewer impulse and duplicate purchases, and have practically eliminated the mid-week run to the grocery store—not to mention those impromptu take-out nights.

And if you display your menu where the family will see it, you'll never hear the words, "Mom, what's for dinner?" again!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

3 cups elbow noodles, uncooked
1 egg
2 cups milk
2 T butter, melted
12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or cut into thin slices*
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 qt baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

Prepare noodles according to package directions reducing cooking time by 1-2 minutes; drain. Add noodles and cheese to baking dish. Mix together being sure to evenly distribute both ingredients.

In medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Add butter, salt, and pepper to the egg and milk mixture. Mix well. Pour egg mixture evenly over noodles and cheese.

Bake uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.

*I don't skimp on quality for the cheese. I like to buy the "Heluva Good" or "Cracker Barrel" brands and slice or shred them myself.
And just a side note, I prefer an extra sharp cheese, but if your family doesn't care for the stronger cheeses you can use sharp or mild cheddar. I've even used combinations of monterey jack, white cheddar, and cheddar with great success.

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