I spent almost my entire October doing nothing that was on my To Do List.
We didn’t have time to move this blog over to its new location at The Brewer and The Baker (but that’s still coming), we let the blog’s 7th birthday go by (that, too, is still coming), we almost let our 7th anniversary go by but Jason swooped in and saved the day with emergency margaritas, and here I am on the day before Halloween, marathon training on pause thanks to plantar fasciitis, and looking at a 90% chance of a Trick-or-Treat rain-out.
Seriously – waaaaaaah, right?
My family has sustained on Chick-fil-A and Jason’s Deli, I haven’t cleaned anything in 3 weeks (well, not the house we live in), and I bought new underwear to avoid “wasting” time by doing laundry. I also set a new personal-best for the number of F-Bombs dropped in a 12 second period. (Related: No. I do not want to talk about the paint incident.) (And yes, my power-tripping 3 year old put me in time out.)
If I could turn back time , I’d go back to 2008, look Past Shawnda in the eye, which would totally freak her out long enough to distract her, kick her in the girl parts, and scream “THIS IS WHAT BUYING RENTAL HOUSES DOES TO FUTURE SHAWNDA. PUT THAT MONEY IN APPLE AND VALERO STOCK AND GO GET A REAL JOB!”
For nearly 4 full weeks, I have not been a real joy to be around. But that all changed the second I dropped those house keys into my Realtor’s hands. We were free. FREE!
Free to come home to a house that smelled funky because no one remembers the last time we were here long enough to put garbage in the kitchen can, much less take it out to the street. Free to eat food that wasn’t handed to us through a drive-thru window. Free to realize that you’re better off just burning wet bath towels and the washer in which they were forgotten than trying to fix them.
Free to throw together a dinner using only things I could find in the pantry and freezer because we’re nearly through November’s grocery budget.
There are a few times that others can appreciate my hoarding tendencies. Finding crab in the freezer to throw in to some macaroni in cheese is one of those. Otherwise, we’d have found ourselves at Jason’s Deli for the 15th time this month.
A slight variation on our standard stove top mac & cheese recipe, I went for cream cheese instead of yogurt and added worcestershire, green onions, and a little mustard to make it more of a “crab dip meets pasta” dish. Warm, creamy, indulgent and still not that terrible for you – I was almost as happy polishing off a second helping as I was throwing the keys at my Realtor’s face and running away while laughing maniacally.
But now? Now it’s time for fun
Stovetop Crab Macaroni & Cheese
Stovetop macaroni and cheese meets crab dip - creamy, indulgent, and takes only 30 minutes.
- 8 oz pasta
- 4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
- 3 green onions, chopped (dark green parts set aside)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5 oz white cheddar, shredded*
- 3 oz fontina, shredded*
- 2 tsp dijon or brown mustard
- 1 cup crab meat, picked over for shells (this was from 1 1/2 snow crab clusters)
- *Do not use pre-shredded cheese.
- Cook pasta in salted water, according to package directions (you will be reserving some pasta water so don't forget - put the measuring cup in the strainer in the sink if you need a reminder).
- While the water is boiling/pasta is cooking, cut cream cheese into 6-8 blocks and microwave on half power until completely softened.
- In a small pan, heat a little oil and cook the white and light green onions parts and garlic for 2-3 minutes (you want to soften and knock the raw edge off).
- When the pasta is finished, reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain the pasta and immediately return it to the pot.
- Working quickly (it has to be hot to melt the cheese), add ~1/3 cup pasta water, the cream cheese, and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted - pressing on the cream cheese before stirring will help it incorporate faster.Stir in remaining cheese, one handful at a time to prevent clumping.
- Add the onions and garlic, few dashes Worcestershire, mustard, crab, and several grinds black pepper.
- Add additional pasta water as necessary to thin the sauce and melt the cheese.
- Garnish with dark green onion parts and serve hot/warm.
Yields: 3-4 generous servings
Estimated time: 30 minutes