Quite a Pair…

Homemade Macaroni and CheeseAt long last, there will be pictures! There is no question in my mind that a food blog simply cannot exist without the mouthwatering images that tempt and entice you to grab your nearest skillet and spatula and head for the kitchen. Hopefully today’s post will do just that! It is a special treat to have as a guest blogger my husband RJ. Though I am usually the one cooking dinner, he has never refused to fill in for me when I needed a break. He has a short repertoire, for sure, but his dishes never fail to satisfy, and they always involve the bare minimum of prep time.

Cold WeatherMy lovely husband has decided to share his secret chicken recipe today, as I break down a gooey and decadent macaroni and cheese side dish. I do not recommend serving these together, as we did this past weekend, for fear of breadcrumb-whiteflour-carb overload. But the weather outside was frightful and these dishes, under the circumstances, were delightful.

By the way, Happy Holidays everyone!

R.J.’s Famous Chicken

3 Tbs. olive oil
5 Tyson frozen chicken tenders

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering, like so:



Remove chicken from freezer, like so:


Place chicken tenders in pan, making sure they do not touch. Let cook in the pan, flipping tenders every 3-4 minutes, until well browned on both sides. Voila!:

RJ's chicken

Macaroni and Cheese, adapted from From Warehouse to Your House by Sally Sampson (Sorry- I love Costco)

Serves 3macaroni and cheese sauce
1/2 lb. shaped pasta (gemelli, macaroni, shells, etc.)
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
1 1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c. shredded fontina or gruyere cheese
3/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 c. breadcrumbs (I used seasoned ones)
salt and pepper

Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add the pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente.  Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl.

mac-cheese-sauceMelt the butter in a large skillet.  Add flour, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and pepper to taste, stirring constantly. When it starts to thicken, gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream, about 1 minute.  Gradually add the cheddar, fontina or gruyere, and 1/2 c. of parmesan cheese, stirring all the time.  Pour the cheese mixture into the pasta and stir to combine.  Pour into a 8×8″ baking dish.  The noodles will be drowning in sauce for now, but it will get soaked up in the baking process.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan and the breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle liberally over the top of the macaroni and cheese.  (You can cover and refrigerate the dish up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months).  Bake until golden brown, 35 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Macaroni and Cheese with Crunchy Topping


  1. Julie says:

    I loooooove it! RJ, it looks just delicious… TRULY. I send you both so much love and so many kisses…

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