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With all of the fab weather we have been having, there has been soooo much grilling going on around here.
I know I have said that we grill year round, rain/snow or shine but, when we are having the perfect summer days, grilling is just an absolute MUST.
I am not complaining about that at all.
But this carb loving girl can only go so long with out a pasta fix and the only thing I love more than pasta (OK well maybe not the only thing) is cheese. So, of course, you know this girl had to make a mac and cheese!
I decided to keep my beef loving guy happy by combining my fave with his and the result was this delicious, easy to make, Steakhouse Mac and Cheese.
Things here have been a little crazy pants lately.
Rocky, our rescue pup, popped up with a limp one day. I figured he twisted his leg a bit jumping down from our bed. He is an older guy and our bed is pretty high up. I felt his entire paw and leg, with no resistance from him, so I decided to keep an eye on him to see how it went for a few days.
By the 3rd day of him limping we decided that a visit to the vet might be wise.
We spoke with the vet for a bit, both commenting on the fact that he was not showing any reaction to us squeezing, moving, or stretching that leg. She agreed that it didn't seem like he had anything broken, but decided to do some x-rays just to be sure.
She took him out the door and we got the look from him like "Why are you letting this chick take me?".
We waited, read pamphlets, played games on our phones, and finally wondered what was taking so long. Just then she popped back into the room with our boy.
She told us that she didn't see any evidence of broken bones, which made us happy. But, that happiness was short lived because the next thing that came out of her mouth was "I suspect cancer".
The three of us just looked at each other without saying anything.
Kevin's head dropped, I teared up, and she proceeded to explain what she saw in the x-ray and why it led her to the cancer diagnosis. She even took me back to show me the films so I could see what she was talking about.
Kevin stayed back with Rocky in the room.
I cried and she apologized.
When we came back to the room I could tell that Kevin had been crying too.
We were all hugging and petting Rocky and he seemed a bit put off by all of the touchy feely going on.
Let me back up a bit.
Rocky's life, before he came to us, was not the greatest. He didn't like hugs and kisses very much when we got him and didn't seem real sure what to do with toys.
When I took his picture he would look away. I joked that he belonged to one of those tribes that believed that cameras steal your soul.
But, over the months he has been with us, he has gone from that dog that stayed on the sidelines to a dog that wants to smack up against you, head in your lap while you pet him. Or the first on in the bed so he gets the best spot to cuddle with us both.
So, to hear this news, was a real kick to the stomach for us both. We came home, stared at Rocky, and proceeded to cry for the next 2 days.
Then I decided that enough was enough.
He is here with us, and still the awesome dog that we know and love, we need to live each day we have left with him to the fullest! They have him on meds to help keep him comfy, and I decided it is time to go into full spoiling mode.
Of course, my way to spoil is to feed you. So he has had steak with baked potato, eggs with biscuits and gravy, fried chicken tenders, cheese puffs, omelets, you name it.
Ppfftttt not for this boy.
If we go out he is getting pup-a-chinos from Starbucks, and double cheeseburgers from Burger King.
Now, I am sure that right about now y'all are wondering why in the ever loving heck I am telling you all of this.
Well, because even though his story might be sad now, the last year and a half has been so awesome for all of us. Watching him come out of his shell, and becoming the loving 80-pound lap dog he is, the silly puppy tossing his stuffed toys in the air when we come home, and the gentle protector that he is whenever the grandbaby is here is something I wouldn't trade for the world.
I have always been an advocate for rescue dogs, but with Rocky I have become an advocate for rescuing senior dogs. Yes, it might be hard on the heart sooner than you are ready for, but when you look into those big eyes and see the unconditional love they reflect back, it makes everything all worthwhile.
We still have time to spoil the crap out of him, and believe you me we plan on doing just that!
Oh and this mac and cheese? It was in this post for a reason.
The family loved it and it got a 2 paws up from Rocky!
Steakhouse Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni (for low cab use this pasta)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pink salt
- Cracked black pepper
- 1 pound beef steak or roast, cut into bite sized pieces *See Notes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced + more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 4 ounces of cream cheese
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, sturdy skillet over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the steak pieces and add them to the skillet. Do not move them for 1 minute, then toss the steak pieces and continue to cook for another minute or two, until the steak is done to your liking. Remove from heat and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until softened 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and parsley and saute for about a minute.
- Whisk in the balsamic vinegar and the cream cheese and cook for another minute or two, or until the cream cheese has melted.
- Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and has thickened slightly. Add the cheese and stir until melted
- Taste and add salt and pepper as needed
- Stir the pasta together with the cheese sauce and add the steak.
- Sprinkle with the chopped parsley to garnish.
- If you have leftover cooked steak or roast you can use that. Just chop it into bite-sized pieces and cook it long enough to warm it.
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