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I <3 Junk Food


I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I do have a special place in my heart for junk food. Pretty much anything that you would feed a growing 12-year-old boy will make my tummy happy. Doritos, bacon, mac and cheese (but not like good mac and cheese – old school Kraft mac and cheese), hot dogs, bacon, pizza, fries, chicken fingers, bacon, tacos – pretty much anything with grease and salt. So imagine my happiness when I found out this week is celebrates not only National Junk Food Day, but also National Hot Dog Day!
  So I went out searching for the perfect meal to celebrate such sacred holidays. What would be the ultimate dinner that would pay the proper respect to such a momentous occasion? Well, allow me to introduce you to…
The Macaroni & Cheese Hot Dog
• 1 1/2 cups macaroni, Broken
• 3/4cup milk, Evaporated
• 1 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, Grated
• 1 1/2 lbs. frankfurters, Deli-Style
• Ok, so technically this recipe doesn’t call for bacon, but I’m adding it crumbled to the top of this, because…bacon.
• Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until tender.
• Drain and rinse in hot water.
• Combine the milk, mustard, salt, pepper and 2 cups of the cheddar cheese in the top of a double boiler and cook until the cheddar is melted and sauce is smooth, stirring frequently.
• Add the macaroni and blend well.
• Split the frankfurters lengthwise, without separating them, and fill with the macaroni mixture.
• Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar and bacon and bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F.) for 15 minutes.
Serve hot.

  Now, does this spectacular piece of food heaven really need a side dish? Probably not, but it’s National Junk Food Day and I will not be stopped until I am in a junk food coma. So let’s continue…
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
• 1/2 cup cream cheese
• 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
• 12 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
• 12 slices bacon
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Mix cream cheese and Cheddar cheese together in a bowl until evenly blended. Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture. Put halves back together and wrap each stuffed pepper with a slice of bacon. Arrange bacon-wrapped peppers on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes.

  Just because I don’t have a huge sweet tooth does not mean we are getting out of Junk Food Day without dessert. I happen to have a weakness for all things lime. Key lime pie in particular. I haven’t had much luck making these in the past, but we’ll see how I do with this…
Key Lime Cheesecake
• 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tsp. lime zest
• 2 Tbsp. lime juice
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 2 eggs
• 1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)
• 1 cup thawed whipped topping
• Heat oven to 350°F.
• Beat first 5 ingredients with mixer until blended. Add eggs; mix just until blended.
• Pour into crust.
• Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours. Top with Cool Whip just before serving.
  I approximate that it would take running 27 miles to work off a meal of this magnitude. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t believe in running…

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