Willpower Rest Day – Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac

Bacon & Blue Cheese MacI try to eat green and eat clean, but sometimes I need to give it a rest! And, now I have the science to prove that it’s okay to indulge in my Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac recipe every once in a while. A recent study says that our willpower is like a muscle, after use it becomes fatigued and is no longer able to perform at peak levels. After a lot of use, your needs to take a break, just like you need to recover after a hard run or workout!  The scientists studying decision making called it “self-regulation failure,” and people in the food and fitness world call it a “cheat day” when these decisions come to food – I don’t like those terms and am rebranding the idea a Willpower Rest Day!

 sauce for blue cheese mac

This pot of cheesy goodness is about to be poured onto noodles.

I first developed this rich and creamy recipe for macaroni and cheese for Litehouse Foods using blue cheese crumbles from their Simply Artisan Reserve line of cheese. It’s become famous with friends, family and readers of the Living Litehouse Blog. And, also beloved by the thousands of people who have sampled it at Fresh Summit in Atlanta and recently the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. I’m not trying to brag (oh, who am I kidding?!), but I’m heard exclamations like, “OMG, this is the BEST macaroni and cheese I’ve EVER eaten.”

BAco

Smoky, salty bacon complement bold blue cheese – there is a lot of umami action going on with this fancy mac and cheese. However, the flavors aren’t so over the top that the kids will be freaked out. However, maybe you WANT to keep them out of it (more for you) so just double up on the blue cheese! Have I convinced you to give your willpower a rest day and make up a batch of this delicious baked macaroni and cheese recipe?  This baked pasta recipe can even be made ahead and then popped into the oven an hour before serving.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac

 

Also, check out these macaroni and cheese making tips from from Cooking Light — everything you need to know to satisfy your mac madness!

What is your favorite comfort food? Do you rest your willpower every now and then? Fan of blue cheese? Please share in the comments below, XOXO — Jennifer 

Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac
Willp
Print Recipe
Treat yourself to this rich and creamy baked macaroni and cheese made with blue cheese and bacon -- delicious as a side dish to steak, a casserole for your pot luck or just straight out of the dish.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac
Willp
Print Recipe
Treat yourself to this rich and creamy baked macaroni and cheese made with blue cheese and bacon -- delicious as a side dish to steak, a casserole for your pot luck or just straight out of the dish.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions, but shaving 1-2 minutes off of the cooking time to keep al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to sizzle, quickly add flour and whisk constantly until roux is golden, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in milk and whisk constantly, stirring until the mixture slightly thickens.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add in white cheddar and blue cheese a couple handfuls at a time until cheese melts and sauce is thickened.
  6. Stir in Blue Cheese Dressing. Stir in Instantly Fresh chives and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add cooked pasta to baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top, tossing to coat all the noodles.
  8. Cover top in panko bread crumb mixture.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden and crunchy and sauce is bubbling. Top with crumbled bacon
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Brunch on This | Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake

Tispy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake delicious for breakfast, brunch or dessert!Merry Christmas, y’all! Actually, I’m getting my post up late . . . so the day is almost over, but I hope lots of hugs were had, laughs were shared and memories were made!  With our oldest home from college, it’s been wonderful to have everyone together again . . .  and get back the full-immersion effects of being the only female of five people under the roof.

christmas jennifer and boys 2015

Today, I made big Christmas morning brunch for my kiddos, husband, mom and dad and family visiting from out of town.  A few of the dishes are traditional non-negotiables, like the Overnight French Toast, Barn Raiser Beef & Egg Bake, and Cinnamon Monkey Bread.  But, I always like to come up with a new holiday brunch recipe – and this one for Tipsy-Topsy-Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake was a hit! There is still plenty of holiday time left to make this delicious dish which can also double as a dessert (throw a scoop of ice cream on top). Don’t worry, the alcohol content in the liquor burns off, so it’s just fine to feed to the children.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Oh, so did I mention that after brunch and presents and clean-up, we went stand-up paddle boarding?! Only in Austin!

Jennifer Fisher of thefitfork.com stand up paddle board

So, what was your most memorable happening today? Or, have you ever made an upside down cake — with what fruit? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter and whisk in liquor and brown sugar. Stir in ginger and lemon zest and continue to cook for 2 minutes until combined and beginning to bubble.
  3. Spray pan with cooking spray and pour brown sugar mixture into bottom of pan. Add cranberries to top of brown sugar mixture; set aside.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour wet contents into bowl of dry contests and beat for 2 minutes with mixer or by hand, until well combined but not over mixed.
  6. Pour batter over cranberries.
  7. Bake for approximately 50 minutes in center rack of oven or until toothpick pulls clean.
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