When people find out that I am a food blogger, they often ask, “Have you always loved to cook?” or “Where did you learn how to cook?”
Here’s the deal- No, I haven’t always loved to cook. And that’s mostly because I never knew how. Shocking.
Another shocker- I got married when I was 19. I was thrown into the world of, “Hey honey, what’s for dinner?” and after I realized he was talking to me, I was wondering the same thing…
I started learning the basics- like Mac and Cheese. I taught myself to cook, and once I grew comfortable adapting simple things like macaroni and cheese, the world was my oyster.
I know it’s nothing fancy, and yes this is a box of macaroni and cheese, but I’m not out to change the world – just to simplify it.
You don’t have to be a Julia Child knock off to enjoy good food.
Ok, off my soap box.
This Bacon, Basil, Tomato Mac and Cheese is delicious.
If you’re like me, you might have a loads of tomatoes from your garden and looking for ways to use them up. We planted 4 cherry tomato plants this year, and that was 3 too many. I’m up to my eyeballs in tomatoes.
I grabbed some diced pancetta (italian style bacon, regular bacon will work too), and cooked it up in my skillet. Then I halved my tomatoes and threw them in the hot bacon grease for a minute or two. They blistered and absorbed the delicious flavor. Seriously good stuff right there.
I sliced up some fresh basil from my garden. who am I? #icantbelieveihaveagardenthatactuallyproduces
I threw it all on top of some white cheddar mac and cheese (also made it with original) and it was delicious. Fresh and tasty, savory and a tad sweet from the tomato.
Trust me, this is one you’ll want to dig in to.
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Bacon, Basil, Tomato Mac and Cheese
- Mac and Cheese, prepared according to package instructions
- 1 cup Pancetta, (diced thick cut bacon will work too)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons
- black pepper
- While your macaroni and cheese is cooking, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove from skillet and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the tomatoes to the bacon grease. Let them blister a bit, but try not to stir too much, cause you might make them too squished. Once they are slightly charred and blistered, remove them from the skillet.
- Place the pancetta, tomatoes, and basil on top of the prepared mac and cheese, sprinkle with a little bit of cracked black pepper. Enjoy.
Don’t forget to check out these other fun ways to spruce up the blue box!
Cajun Mac & Cheese | French Onion Mac & Cheese | Taco Mac & Cheese
I’ve never added tomatoes to mac and cheese before, normally just random green veggies. I’ll have to give this a try!
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life
I am so loving all these fun versions of things to do to the blue box!!!
Ok your killing me with the mac-n-cheese recipes! this looks scrumptious; )
Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective
Great way to spice up a classic favorite! 🙂
Thanks Sommer! 🙂
Funny, same thing happened to me. My husband told my Mom he sure would be glad when I learned how to cook. We ate straight out of the can for a year. Finally figured out how to turn the oven on. Then how to read a recipe and now they are just guide lines.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Awesome Connie! I love how our husbands were skeptical of our skills in the beginning. Now they are living in hog heaven, am I right?! 😉
Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes
I liked hearing your story of how you learned to cook 🙂 I started out the same way..I never learned or cared to learn until I got married and my husband obviously expected normal people dinners on the table often 🙂 I loved your mac n cheese recipes this week!!
Thanks Ashley! It’s been fun sharing them… I just have one more for tomorrow – brace yourself! haha!
I am also up to my eyeballs in cherry tomatoes. This looks delicious. Thanks for the idea.