Monday, August 15, 2011

Tuna Mac 'n' Cheese

Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that I'm frugal: I shop at thrift stores, I search for Manager's Specials (foods being sold at significant discount as they approach their "sell by" date), and I never waste leftovers (even taking gluey oatmeal once and turning it into cinnamon bread).

People who know me also know that I'm a romantic. And I've never cared whether someone had fabulous wealth or not, whether they'd spoil me like a princess or buy me luxurious meals at expensive restaurants. Because that's not what's important. (Not to mention that I can cook a pretty good meal myself!)

One of my mottos in life is that "You can always eat 39-cent macaroni and cheese; what matters is having someone to share your 39-cent macaroni and cheese with."

And so, when deciding upon dinner one night, Tom and I decided to be exceedingly frugal as well as celebrating having someone to share the 39-cent macaroni and cheese with.

I'd mentioned to him once that you could make a mock tuna casserole by tossing peas and tuna into the macaroni; he'd never had that before, usually adding chopped hot dogs to his. So we made the variation for dinner one evening: Tuna Mac 'n' Cheese.

I prepared our dinner while Tom lit a candle and set the table with cloth napkins. Then we enjoyed a meal of consummate comfort food while appreciating that each of us again has someone whose priorities are in the right order.

It didn't matter that we may have been eating the cheapest meal we've ever shared; it only mattered that we were eating the 39-cent macaroni and cheese together ... :)

Tuna Mac 'n' Cheese

1 7.25-ounce box macaroni and cheese
1 cup frozen peas
1 5-ounce can tuna, drained
2 tablespoons butter
1/3-1/2 cup milk, to taste
generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add macaroni and cook for 6 minutes. Add peas and cook for 2 more minutes until macaroni is tender; drain. Return macaroni to the saucepan, and stir in tuna, butter and milk. Empty the cheese packet over the macaroni and add the pepper; stir until combined well.

Serves 2-4.


Karen Harris said...

Just a couple of weeks ago I made the longer version of this to relive a childhood memory with my husband. My husband and I loved it, the kids not so much. They are crazy, we are not. I love your easy version. It looks soooo good.

Unknown said...

Awwwwhhhh!! Personally, I think mac and cheese can definitely be romantic!! And you are right, if you have some one to share it with, don't matter if it's 39 cents or $39... well $39 mac and cheese better make me get up and dance!! LOL

Chaya said...

You have the right attitude. Sharing a meal with someone we care about is the best.

I would love the mac and cheese with the tuna. I have never made it, that way.

Vanillabeanseed said...

What a sweet post :D Im going to have the try this!

Dillypoo said...

This is one of my favorite comfort foods! Try reducing the milk and adding a little sour cream. Mmmmm!

Cranberry Morning said...

What a beautiful post! Having someone to share even the most frugal meal makes all the difference, not to mention those lovely candles and cloth napkins. I will appreciate my dinner tonight even more.

Fran S Martin said...

OMG! When I was a single mom without much money, I used to make this for my kids on a regular basis. The only change is that I'd substitute diced celery for the peas. We all loved it. Good comfort food can be cheap and easy.

Candace said...

Mary, this is such a sweet, sweet post. It doesn't matter what you eat just as you long as you eat TOGETHER. And you are make even Tuna Mac 'n' Cheese look yummy. :)

Leanne said...

Oh, I love the addition of the cloth napkins . . . Perfect for this meal shared!! Love this, my friend!

Ghosts of Postings Past and Present

Looking for Something ...?