Day 4 recipes: oven-baked macaroni and cheese #Food#Recipes#breakfast#cooking#cooking challenge#cooking for one#meal planning#megan-simple May 1 | Cat Rocketship These are the recipes for Day 4 (Wednesday, May 2) of Offbeat Home's Cooking Challenge, wherein we see if Offbeat Bride's Managing Editor Megan, a complete non-cook who lives off of frozen pizza and cereal, can go an entire week of preparing her own meals. Each day, Cat Rocketship (who SWEARS you can afford better food!) will be sharing the recipes that Megan will be preparing — feel free to play along at home! If Megan, a pizza-loving non-cooking cereal-for-dinner web dork can feed herself healthy, home-cooked meals for a week — YOU CAN TOO. Take a look: do you have any leftovers in your fridge you can clean out? Packaged-up quiche, cold pasta and extra red sauce? If yes, heat that shit up and finish it off today or make plans to eat it SOON! Assuming you've been eating everything up, here are your recipes for today! Offbeat Home's Cooking Challenge, Day 2's recipes: Quiche, quesadillas, and a spicy curry On Day 2 of cooking challenge, I plan to load Megan up on cheese, strawberries, and dark chocolate. It's good-for-you food, but only if you... [more] This morning, let's do a breakfast/lunch combo: Brunch: French toast and eggs French toast is great at any meal and has three basic tenents: batter, bread, and frying! INGREDIENTS Olive oil Sliced bread — 2-3 pieces per person 2 cups milk 2 eggs Cinnamon Salt — about 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring 1-2 eggs per person for frying Syrup Butter Prepare two frying pans. Add a bit of okive oil to each and heat to medium. Mix milk, two eggs, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a bowl, beat together with a whisk or hand beater until evenly mixed — about 50 seconds. Dip one slice of bread in the batter. Place it in the bowl, press down, left slice up, let drip, flip over, and repeat on other side. Different breads handle batter differently, so timing is up to you. Each slice should absorb a bit of batter, but not so much as to be completely soggy or falling apart. Place bread slice in pan! Let cook 3-5 minutes on each side. When done, each side should be fairly dry. Monitor the heat and turn it down if bread seems burny. At the same time, drop an egg in the other pan. Or several eggs. Whatever. I like my eggs cooked HARD — my partner likes over easy where the yolk is super runny — cook whichever you'd like. Here is how to cook eggs over easy, and if you'd like them cooked hard, just fry longer! Serve everything. Add a pat of butter to the french toast and drizzle in syrupy yumness. Snack: Oranges and pears with mint and sugar INGREDIENTS Oranges! Pears! I think I only had you buy one pear. If out of pears, substitute fruit of your choice! 2 tablespoons mint leaves! 2 tablespoons sugar! Roll orange around on countertop, pressing down with your palm. This helps separate the peel from the fruit and makes peeling the orange easier. Bite into the skin to get it started, then peel. Cut pear. Remove core remnants from slices. Mince mint leaves. Cut the leaves very finely. Combine sugar and mint. Use the back of a spoon to mash together sugar and mint mincings in a small bowl. When done, sprinkle over fruit and eat. Coffee would be a great beverage with this! Dinner: Macaroni and cheese with cauliflower and a loaded potato INGREDIENTS Whole wheat macaroni noodles (Barilla!) 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 of a stick of butter 1.5 cups parmasan cheese, grated (if out, substitute in another cheese) 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated 1 teaspoon thyme and/or oregano 1 potato per person Dollop yogurt About a teaspoon chopped green onions or chives Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start about six cups water and 1/2 tablespoon salt boiling on the stovetop. Cook noodles about 7 minutes. Drain, and reserve about a cup of cooking water. Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When butter foams, add the thyme/oregano and fry for about 60 seconds. Turn off heat. Add pasta to pan along with a couple spoonfuls of cooking water and the cheese. Return heat to medium and stir mixture until cheese is gooey. If it seems too dry, add a bit more cooking water. Mix in teaspoon salt. Pour noodles into a glass cassarole dish and pop in the oven for 10 minutes. During the last minute, turn on the broil function (watch it closely and don't wander away!) While macaroni is baking, wash a potato. Cut a slit in the top of potato, place on plate, and put in microwave for 5-8 minutes, based on size. If it's a super huge potato, cut it in half, place halves face-down, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove potato from microwave. Mash a bit with fork. Dollop with a bit of yogurt, and sprinkle chives/onions over the top. Serve everything! Pretend I had you make a healthier meal than this, but revel in the cheese and yogurt and starch. Mmmm, starch. Are you hungry for dessert? Tonight sounds like a perfect night for ice cream. EAT! Ice cream! While Megan is doing full cooking reports the following day, you can see photos and follow her Offbeat Home cooking challenge adventures real-time, too: @meganfinley #obhfood Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Cat Rocketship I was the Managing Editor of Offbeat Home for a year and a half. I have a rich Internet life and also a pretty good real life. Hobbies include D&D, Twitter, and working on making our household more self-reliant. I also draw things. PREVIOUS Yurts, slugs, and life in a temperate rainforest NEXT Day 2 Cooking Challenge report: the quiche that ruined my day Toggle comments [ 18 ] This looks like a much easier set of recipes (I mean, really: quiche?!). Also, bonus points for comfort food — once someone has made mac 'n cheese from scratch, the Kraft version will live on only as nostalgic whimsy. 0 agree Reply If anyone has any recipes they think Cat SHOULD have done for Megan, feel free to submit a recipe guestpost! We'd love to do a series of posts featuring "recipes for people like Megan who don't know how to slice an apple." 1 agrees Reply Oh man, my entire cooking arsenal is based around "people like Megan who don't know how to cut an apple" because for the longest time I was a people like Megan. 0 agree Reply TIME TO GET SUBMITTING! 0 agree Reply Dont forget the breadcrumb topping! Or any other thing that will get crispy. I've used cornflake crumbs, toasted wheat germ, or cornmeal before, too. It's nice to have a hint of crispy crunchiness amid all the delicious gooeiness. Just sprinkle it on top before baking. 0 agree Reply Mmmm mmmm. This is my fave set of recipes so far. Thanks for using not ridiculously expensive cheeses in the mac n cheese! Most recipes call for Gruyere, which, though delicious, costs more than a year supply of Easy Mac (okay, that was a little exaggerated). I'll try these recipes at home for sure. 0 agree Reply I freaking love Gruyere… a little goes a long way. I usually buy it for a cauliflower gratin (NOM) and use the leftovers to make a bachemel sauce for Croque Madames, which is a fancy grilled ham & cheese sandwich with a runny egg on top. YUM. I'm a cheap person, but I do take my Polish great-grandmother's advice: never scrimp on food or shoes. 1 agrees Reply Where does the cauliflower go? In with the mac-n-cheese? Do you cook it first? 5 agree Reply I will submit recipes! Maybe no moose related recipes but recipes nonetheless! 0 agree Reply I can cook almost anything thanks to my paternal grandmother showing me how to cook from age 5 up. But to this day, I have the hardest time cooking a fried egg. I truly think it's one of the hardest things to master! Luckily my fiance taught me this trick where you pour a small amount of water around the egg(s) and then throw a lid on it. The lid traps the steam from the water cooking the top of the egg. Makes an easy, delicious fried egg! 1 agrees Reply Oooooh, recipes! Will TOTALLY get submitting. Yessir! 0 agree Reply You mean Mac doesn't exclusively come in a blue box with powdered cheese? LOL 1 agrees Reply Omg, you guys, today's snack is GOOOOOD! Messy to make (orange was being a bitch) but so so so good. 0 agree Reply I'm thinking about making this for a party on Monday… How many servings does the above bode? Do pears tend to brown like apples do when they're sliced? 0 agree Reply Is there anything that would make a good alternative to the mint? Sadly, as much as I love the stuff, I've developed an allergy to it : / 0 agree Reply Hmm! Well, you could do JUST sugar, or powdered sugar, or chocolate… 0 agree Reply You could use a lemon balm if you wanted something herbal ;3 it's got a very soft flavor and might go nice with the pears 0 agree Reply I'm allergic to mint too! Thankfully, I think it's gross. Basil would probably be good, especially if you added or subbed in strawberries! 0 agree Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.