Saturday, March 14, 2015

Simple Celebrations

As I get older, I become more sentimental, more aware of the things going on around me, more grateful of the things I have and more thankful.

My husband was not feeling well and so he decided to go to the doctor. He had a blood test and although two values were not exactly on the dot, his doctor said that he was okay and that he just needed some supplements. I was so relieved! My husband is a very quiet man and he didn’t tell me what was going on until he was scheduled for the blood test. I don’t like it when he gets sick. I don’t like it when any of my family members get sick even if it’s just the simple cold.

So, in order to celebrate, I decided to make him some baked mac, the kind that I needed a recipe book for. I did the extra effort to show him how much we love him.

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I got the recipe from my grandma’s old recipe book. I remember using it when I was a teenager, still learning the ropes of cooking. The recipe is really old that it translated to the taste. It’s dated. Anyway, my husband still liked it and he was able to appreciate the effort I put into it.

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients
macaroni
oil
garlic, minced
chopped onion
green bell pepper, diced
ground beef (depends on how much macaroni and ham you are using. I used 1/8k for the tray above)
ham (I used 3 slices and cut them into squares)
tomato sauce ( or use Filipino-style spaghetti sauce)
catsup
bay leaf
salt and pepper

Bechamel Sauce
butter
all-purpose flour
evaporated milk
chicken broth
cream of mushroom soup

Note: I just eyeballed all the ingredients for the bechamel sauce


Let’s Cook!

Cook the macaroni as directed in the packaging.

Prepare the meat filling: Heat some oil in a pan. Saute garlic and onions. Add pepper and cook until tender. Add ground beef and ham and cook until browned. Add the tomato or spaghetti sauce and about 2 tablespoons of ketchup. Add in the bay leaf and season. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for a few minutes. Add this mixture to the cooked macaroni. Mix very well then transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Prepare the Bechamel sauce: Melt butter then add flour. Whisk to remove lumps. Add milk and chicken both while whisking consistently. Add cream of mushroom soup and cook until smooth and thick. Pour evenly over the macaroni. Top with grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 20-30 minutes.

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I served this with some buttered toast and mango juice.

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Update 3/16/2015: This tastes better when reheated the next day!

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