Monday, 12 November 2012

In every family there's the stories..

Daddy and daughter
Little girl with her daddy, a moment in time to hold onto.

Written by Linda Gauthier

We all have our family stories, ones that trigger tears, or fits of giggles or laughter.  Many of my stories center around food, because that is what brought us all together in one place.  I've said before that I come from a relatively large family.  We were and are 4 sisters and 1 brother, 2 wonderful parents and at one time, grandma and grandpa also lived with us.  We were busy, loud and boisterous, and it was a family rule that no matter what you had to do, we eat the dinner or evening meal together.  Throw in stories that included meals with aunts, uncles, cousins, future in-laws, great aunts and extended family and friends and you have volumes of stories.

One such story centers around my Dad (Mac) and my uncle Bill.  The story takes place when they were very young and still living on the farm in Saskatchewan, in the little community of Mildred.  Grandma was making macaroni with cheese for dinner; my uncle Bill, who was the younger of the two, started to cry. When my Grandma asked him what he was crying about, he looked at her with big watery eyes and tears streaming down his face and said, "why are we having Macaroni, why don't we ever have something named after me"?  So from that day onward in Dad's family and ours, if you eat Macaroni with tomatoes in it, it is called Billaroni.

I'm telling you this story because I'm going to give you my latest update of Billaroni--I'll let you in on a secret, I have always been a Billaroni fan.  There is just something special about the taste of a homemade cheese sauce with tomatoes and the yummy creamy texture when it is all cooked together in the oven, with the bubbly crisp cheese on top.

Simple food with a heart-warming memory, and the laughs of a young family, when their Dad tells them the story of his brother, happiness, warmth, and love, all rolled into one.
Could you ask for any more?

Yummy Gooey Billaroni


2 1/2 cups (625 ml) macaroni pasta
1/3 cup (80 ml) Epicure’s Seasoning for Mac & Cheese
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter
1 small can of stewed Tomatoes  ( I used my own canned tomatoes but a commercial brand will work just as well)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) Epicure's Seasoning for Cheese, Chives & Bacon Dip
1 cup (250 ml) breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Epicure’s Bruschetta Herbs
1 cup (250 ml) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). 
2. Lightly oil Epicure’s Oval Au Gratin Dish. 
3. In Epicure’s 12-cup Multi-Purpose Pot, cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Drain. 
4. Stir in Seasoning for Mac & Cheese, milk, butter and Tomatoes. Spoon into Epicure’s Oval Au Gratin Dish. 
5. Toss breadcrumbs with Bruschetta Herbs and mozzarella. Sprinkle over pasta. 
6. Bake, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and crust is golden brown.

I'm serving this with a nice crisp green salad.  The contrast of the textures, crisp clean salad with the creamy comfort of the pasta is perfect.  I'd also like to add garlic toast, but for my meal plan, that would be just a little too many carbs, and I'm pushing it with the Macaroni.

So I'll just envision it, that way.  This may not be one of my sisters' or my brother's favorite, however, you always have someone in the family with a different point of view, but that is what adds to the spice of life, variety and the willingness to try.  Everyone's stories are different, what's yours?

I don't care. I want Red Lobster now. I'm ready. What are you waiting for.

To heck with Billaroni, I want Red Lobster, Now!!!

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