Last week, Eric and I both had the day off on Monday for MLK Day. It’s a rarity that we are home together during a weekday, so it was fun to have an extra day to hang out. I think he was a little surprised to have a first look at my “home during the week” routine. LOL. I was off work all summer, so I got lots of practice in the whole home all day thing. My summer days usually consisted of getting up at a decent time (no later than 8:00, but usually closer to 7:15-7:30. LOL) and then making sure I had a good, productive day of chores and errands so I could relax a bit in the afternoon before Eric came home.
On weekday afternoons, I always watched a rerun of Full House (LOL. I am so lame. I admit it) and then tuned in to Rachael Ray’s talk show. Say what you want about her but I LOVE her talk show. Her segments are interesting and relevant. She’s not pretentious at all. Not getting to see it is one of the things I miss most now that I am back to work! LOL. I was pretty psyched for my Monday off last week so I could watch. Eric was in an out of the garage working on something and when he came through the living room he said, “Full House reruns and now Rachael Ray?? I can’t believe this!” I just smiled and said, “Welcome to weekdays at home with me.” He just shook his head and laughed.
She always does her what’s for dinner tonight segment and it’s usually something really quick and simple. She did this Cheeseburger Chili Mac and Cheese that day and I decided it was a perfect Eric-Friendly meal. This recipe was just begging for the addition of bacon. Because what’s better than a cheeseburger…why, a bacon cheeseburger, of course! The originally recipe calls for one and half pounds of beef but I just did one pound and I found it to be plenty. I also omitted the olive oil. I just didn’t think I needed it, having cooked bacon in the skillet before browning the beef. Rachael broiled hers in the oven before serving but I baked mine at 400 for about 25 minutes instead.
I was actually surprised how much I liked this!! Sometimes I find dishes like this to be kind of bland and blah, but this was totally yummy! Tasted JUST like a bacon cheeseburger in a bowl. YUM. Eric, of course, inhaled it. I just know him oh so well, don’t I? I will be making this again for sure! Plus, it’s super easy!
BACON CHEESEBURGER CHILI MAC AND CHEESE (Recipe Adapted From: Rachael Ray)
- 6 slices of bacon
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 1-2 cups beef stock (I used about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain off most the grease, leaving about 1/2 tsp. or so. Add meat and cook until browned. Drain in necessary.
Return meat to skillet. Add the onion and chili powder, salt and pepper and cook until the onion is tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the ketchup, mustard and beef stock, bring up to a bubble and simmer until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes.
Salt the boiling water and add pasta. Cook to al dente, according to the package directions, then drain thoroughly and return it to the pot.
Add the chili and the bacon to the pot with the pasta and give everything a good toss. Transfer to a casserole dish and top with the shredded cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown.