If there is anything this living abroad thing has taught reinforced in me, it’s that I am a planner. Now that we’re on the “back to being a student” budget, I like to make extra sure that we’re maximizing our dinner menus; as in, can two dishes this week use the same ingredient? Great, then we’ll have that. We don’t have a lot of space in our refrigerator (think college dorm size) and we literally have no shelf/counter space, so we can’t be storing everything until we’re ready to use it.
Enter my dinner planning.
Last week, Dave just wanted to walk around the market and see what looked good. I’m totally in favor of that, but I needed to know what we were going to do with it once we brought it home. Would we need additional ingredients to use that delicious-looking vegetable?
I think it drove him nuts.
He is very good at looking to see what we have on hand and turning it into something delicious. I, on the other hand, need a plan going into cooking.
We compromised, and last week we did things his way, and this week we’re doing things my way. So last night was our first set-in-stone planned meal. (Ya’ll might think I’m kidding with the planning, but on Saturday morning I sat down and wrote out a menu for the whole week so I would know what we needed from the store and how I could maximize ingredients.)
Anyway, pasta is a staple in our diet (name a college student who doesn’t live off pasta) and I figured mac and cheese is a good dinner meal now that the weather is starting to turn a bit. I took to Pinterest to see what things I had pinned with the intention to actually someday prepare and found this on my Pinterest board:
Now, Dave isn’t that fond of bacon (I know, but I love him anyway) so I did omit that. Also because it is kinda hard to find here. Either way, we left it out and it was still delicious. Like, so good I wanna write this lady who posted it on Pinterest and thank her.
You can get the full recipe (which I halved and am still kicking myself for doing) by visiting her website: The view from the Great Island.
It was easy and delicious and had very few ingredients (all of which are available in multiple countries!) Our own spin on it would be to add a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs on top before it hits the oven, but on the off chance we can’t find those here, it’s good to know that it isn’t a mandatory, flavor-ensuring addition. Dave and I were both fans and I’m fairly certain you will be too. (That is, of course, unless you don’t like really, really, really good mac and cheese. In which case, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.)