What does everybody love? M&M and a recipe for a Friday afternoon, of course!

What does everybody love?  M&M. Money and Macaroni

Money.

Especially saving money. And thanks to reforms enacted last year, North Carolinians will be doing just that.  Saving money means more money in your pocketbook to spend as you want.

As a matter of fact, taxpayers in every income category will save tens of millions of dollars because of state tax reforms enacted in North Carolina in 2013.

Combining 2013 reforms with a 2011 sales-tax rate reduction pushed by the Republican-led General Assembly and signed by Governor McCrory, lower- and middle-income households will enjoy annual savings of $682 million.

Wow!  Who doesn’t love saving money?

Macaroni.

Especially Macaroni and Cheese. Try this one:

Mac and Cheese

Kosher salt

Vegetable oil

1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi

1 quart milk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)

8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)

1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

 Yield:6 to 8 servings

From Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa, Family Style

Yummy and economical. More saving money.  Don’t you love it?

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