Thursday, January 5, 2012

just the cheese and me.

Well, I had a wonderful evening in the kitchen.  Thanks to the The Pioneer Woman I was successful in my first attempt at homemade macaroni and cheese.  I love to cook.  Being in the kitchen, with a recipe and some tunes and I'm a happy girl.  It's a simple thing.  I offered to help with the dinner after the funeral at church tomorrow (since it's the second funeral dinner this week) and the coordinator said, how about macaroni and cheese?  I said, okay!
So today, I hunted online and found The Pioneer Woman's site and the recipe (that's linked above) made me fall in love.  I felt as if the mac and cheese was speaking to me through her pictures.  My pictures are not as beautiful as hers...but will give you a glimpse of my wonderful evening.

I can say that I prepped all the ingredients first, so I was able to just follow the recipe and not scrounge for ingredients while the water was boiling or the roux was thickening.

I made a successful roux....and adding whole milk to the mixture make a super thick base for the cheese sauce.  I grated sharp cheddar and colby jack and snacked on a bit of it as I cooked.  I've tried a cheesy mac (a la Rachael Ray) but had problems seeing it thicken, but this time I went with butter and whole milk and full fat cheese.....and it has made all the difference.

I knew it was a good sign when I was ready to pour the mac & cheese into the baking dish, the theme from Rocky came up on the iPod shuffle....

I covered it with some more shredded colby jack and popped it in the oven.

When it came out it was bubbling around the edges...and it. was. awesome.

I took a bit of video and you could almost hear the bubbling....
But here's the final product:

I am certain that I will make this dish again.  I think because of the whole milk and tasty cheese, I could get away with a whole grain pasta, which would make the dish a bit healthier.  I would also like to add in some bacon.  In a different attempt, I would go with a different cheese and add some seafood...perhaps crab?  There's plenty of time to play and plenty of tummies ready to eat some tasty pasta and cheese and ??????

I'm thankful for my time in the kitchen was a beautiful break from work, from cleaning, from everything....a true moment of respite in my day.   

Until tomorrow . . .

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