Now, where did I leave that?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Soul Food

Snow days are good for the soul; sometimes they're the nourishment most needed.  I may often wish for one, but I prayed hard for yesterday's, and no sweeter words were ever spoken than those that let me know my respite was really happening.  It was a mid-week break much needed after working from home much of last weekend, and putting in 11-hour days Monday and Tuesday.  Another one of those is menacing me today...and tomorrow won't be a picnic.  There's a three-day break before the next two weeks of high stress, pressure, 14 hour days, noise and endless demands, but maybe you can see why yesterday was a gift-wrapped present. I used it wisely...we lingered in bed with coffee, watching the snow fall and perusing seed catalogs--dreaming, not planning (that happens later in the Winter); pondered privets and lusted after lilies as we ate the last of our local farm eggs by the fire.  I began my first crochet project in decades (not sure I ever finished one back when I tried to crochet a bond between my mother and me)--a striped throw for Linda in heathered brown,  rust and cranberry.  And I made my favorite Weight-Watchers-be-damned snow day version of decadently delicious comfort food:

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

1 16 oz box elbow macaroni (don't cook!)
1 64 oz bottle tomato juice
~12 oz sharp-sharper-sharpest cheddar cheese, grated (or cut into very small cubes if you're feeling unmotivated)

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a large casserole or glass baking dish w/ non-stick spray.  Combine uncooked elbows, cheese, and about 48 oz of the juice, stir gently to evenly distribute.  Cover the dish with foil. To save potential mess, place on a baking sheet to catch spills, bake for 45 minutes. 
Remove pan, stir, test doneness of macaroni.  If not cooked to your liking, add a dribble of tomato juice, return to oven without foil for 10 minute increments until macaroni is cooked through but not mushy.  To reheat leftovers, add a small amount of remaining tomato juice and microwave.

It may not be everyone's cup of tea, and they'd banish me from Top Chef, but I can't imagine a true snow day without it.  Worried about the caloric guilt?  If you save it for snow days, relax! You'll burn off some of those calories shoveling snow!


the wild magnolia said...

So glad for your snow day gift. The comfort Tomato Macaroni and Cheese sounds so good I'm going to purchase the ingredients on the 'morrow!

Thanks for sharing.


AkasaWolfSong said...

I do something similar to this Ash...
I use canned whole tomatoes and mix them throughout the mac & cheese and then drizzle the juice in the whole thing. Yummy!

I'll have to try it your way cuz it sounds delish!

xoxoxo and thanks for the share!