National TV Dinner Night

We get together every 6 weeks or so with some of our family members to do a themed potluck dinner and always have a great time getting creative in the kitchen!  My mother-in-law and cousin-in-law both went to culinary school, and hubby and I both consider ourselves foodies, so everyone brings their A Game!

Our hosts realized that September 10th was National TV Dinner Day, so they wisely set that as our theme.  Favorites like Salisbury steak, peas and carrots, mac and cheese, and spaghetti were on the menu and were served on cute little partitioned trays.

We had a smorgasbord of kitschy American TV dinner favorites...kicked up a notch, of course.

One of my contributions was truffle mac and cheese cups (made with this recipe from The Kitchen Wife), some served in phyllo cups, some formed in mini muffin tins.  My local grocery, despite having an impressive gourmet cheese department, didn't have truffle cheddar.  Since I didn't afford myself enough time to go to a gourmet market, I used some truffle oil in the roux and liberally applied truffle dust to my cheese sauce.  Still not the same, but it gave just a hint of truffle.

I used ditalini pasta so it'd be small enough to cram into a large space.  I baked them and then added fresh grated cheese and broiled it just before we left.  These were MUCH better straight out of the oven...I should've followed hubby's suggestion of baking them at our hosts' house, but I really want to avoid asking to use a hosts' oven if I can help it.  

The other dish I brought was "lunch lady brownies" from Life in the Lofthouse - dense, chocolatey brownies with thick chocolate frosting.  I think I slightly overbaked the brownies, but he frosting redeemed them.

What's your favorite TV dinner dish?  One of my favorite modern choices is the Butternut Squash Ravioli from Lean Cuisine.