Oct 17

Boozy Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese

{Disclaimer: I received free samples of boxed mac ‘n cheese from Annie’s Homegrown to use in this post.  I was not compensated for my time.  Annie’s is however providing me with passes for Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival this weekend.  And I’m very excited about the whole thing.}

Sometimes, easy food is the best food.

Boozy Mac 'n Cheese-13

Except, I bought break-n-bake cookies last week.  It was a Thursday after this dinner and it just felt necessary.  I decided that I don’t think cookies should be that easy to make. It’s dangerous.   I really couldn’t remember the last time I had bought break-n-bake cookies.  I think it was in my undergrad college days.  Except for the happiness factor, break-n-bake doesn’t have much going for them health-wise.  However, boxed mac-n-cheese can be whole grain and made with a plethora of vegetables and…wine. 

Boozy Mac 'n Cheese-3

Lately arugula has become my favorite thing to green up everything and anything.  Making pizza? Add some arugula.  Making lasagna? Toss in some leafy arugula between the oodles of noodles and cheesy goodness.  And most importantly, if making boozy mac ‘n cheese, definitely add in arugula…and leeks and garlic (a lot of garlic) and tomatoes.

Boozy Mac 'n Cheese-11

This recipe is easy to whip up super quick.  You caramelize the leeks in some olive oil and then add in the garlic and tomatoes.  Then pour in the wine and let it reduce until the veggies seem to have absorbed all the sweet wine flavors.  At that point you’ll have this red wine garlic jam that you will want to serve with roasted garlic pull apart baguettes and thick slices of creamy brie.  You can do that another day.  Because today is the day of boozy mac ‘n cheese.  Not the day of crusty bread with boozy red wine jam.

So after the wine absorbs, your entire house will smell like a bottle of wine.  It’s pleasant.

Boozy Mac 'n Cheese-12

Then you whip up your boxed mac ‘n cheese and you’ve got dinner!!!!

I would serve this meal to a dinner guest.  I might make a double batch of that red wine garlic creaminess so I could spread it on all the appetizer things (i.e. bread).   And if you do have dinner guests coming over, you can only invite 3…because this recipe only makes enough for 4 people.  So choose wisely.  And you should most definitely serve this along side some protein.  Maybe a whole roasted chicken since that seems like an appropriate thing to do around the holidays.

Boozy Mac 'n Cheese-14

So last night we went out with another couple for a dinner date.  I love that so many restaurants have small plates now.  They’re pretty much appetizers (I know), but give them a fun name and serve them in little bowls (one of my favorite things) and I’m obsessed.  I wasn’t feeling super hungry because I had snacked on cookies throughout the day.  I bugged the Houston Chronicle just enough until they finally decided to do a story on the cookie book.  I had bought an apron to wear for the photo shoot that the photographer wasn’t crazy about me wearing since it was burlap and a dull color and wouldn’t look the best in the newspaper.  But I love the apron.  And I only liked my outfit if I was wearing the apron.  So in the end I got the wear the apron.  

I felt slightly ridiculous holding a plate of cookies in one hand and a whisk in the other hand and trying to look like I was the most excited person every.  I may come off with a creepy smile.  Hopefully not though.  I did a feature for the cookie book in our small local neighborhood paper and in my picture in there I just look pissed off.  So I’ll take creepy-overly-excited smile over resting-bitch-face any day.

Boozy Mac 'n Cheese-10

Boozy Boxed Mac 'n Cheese
  1. 2 leeks, trimmed & cleaned
  2. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 cup red wine
  4. 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  5. 1 (6 oz) box mac 'n cheese (I used Annie's Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar)
  6. 1 cup arugula
  1. Thinly slice leeks. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add in leeks. Cook 8 minutes until softened. Add in garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add in tomatoes and wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Make boxed mac 'n cheese according to package directions. Stir fresh arugula into hot mac 'n cheese. Top with reduced red wine garlic jam and stir everything together.
Makes 4 side dish portions
 Boozy Mac 'n Cheese-8


9 comments on “Boozy Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese”

  1. i agree – easy foods are the best!!! i have never tried annies mac and cheese yet, need to change that.

  2. Oh wow! This looks wonderful! I just recently discovered your food blog and am loving it! Your photography is awesome and the recipes look tasty. Keep up the great work :)

  3. This sounds SO GOOD. Annie’s is the mac and cheese of my childhood – I can get on board with boozing it up now.

  4. This looks so delicious! Arugula is the best way to veg stuff up too. Totally agree with that.

  5. Wow, I love that idea! Wine and mac and cheese? The 20-something and the 10-year old in me are both excited. :D

  6. I totally sending this to my little sister in college…and then making it for myself. Because (healthy) boxed macaroni and cheese is a totally appropriate meal for a 30 year old :)

  7. Love this jazzed up mac n cheese Kylie!

  8. what a creative recipe! I love adding arugula to everything too. With it’s peppery taste, it brings it to a whole new level!

  9. I love this!! Such a great easy way to make boxed mac ‘n cheese all fancy dancy!! Sounds amazing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top