Sunday, July 3, 2011

HAPPY 4TH! Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

             Happy fourth of July!  Here in Florida we've been experiencing a dry spell and hoping for rain to come soon, as of last week it's been back to back thunder storms and looks like it's going to be a wet fourth for us.  There was the threat that if we didn't get rain soon, fireworks would be banned due to the danger of  fires.  Personally, I had no plans to go out and celebrate, all the public places get too crowded and picturing the parking nightmare in my head further diminished any idea of outings.  During brunch with my sister at "Petes' Place" in Greenacres yesterday however, I was invited to dinner at her place tomorrow, I accepted, remaining indoors is the reasonable thing to do anyway and imagining the luscious roast pork and rice and peas she "puts her foot in" as they say, seduced me.  Pete's Place by the way is cozy and drinking the coffee there was a pleasurable experience, I ordered the "bakers dozen" breakfast four thick strips of bacon, a generous amount of home fries, three eggs and four pancakes all delicious and reasonably priced.  

      The realization that the cooking part of my education is overr, set in a few days ago, "what will I write about? " I thought, I didn't anticipate this would happen, but that's how it goes doesn't it?  I will continue my blog, write about things I haven't mentioned in the past (forgot to tmention) regarding school, write about food and continue taking you on my journey to ........whereever?  There is still no "guy" in my life, although I can think of someone I'd go out with in a heartbeat, that would be that special male librarian I mentioned at some point.  I haven't run into him in what seems like months, but I promised myself that if I do see him again, ever, I will swallow hard then attempt (if I can get the words out this time) to inform him that I find him interesting and would like to get to know him better, at the very least I'd find out his name so I can't lose right?   What's really funny is I'm surrounded by the male species, the majority of my friends at school are males, we joke and laugh, abuse eachother verbally and laugh, cook and laugh  I feel I've reached a time in the schooling process where I am part of a "clique", although two graduated this past quarter, some still remain and those who graduated promised to stay in touch.  There's more to being a chef than the stuff I've mentioned, along with having the knowledge of cooking techniques, confidence, speed and strength you need to exhibit "backbone"  in situations that demand it, especially if your a woman, the culinary field is inundated by men, they're everywhere and when they get to chatting it can get uncomfortable for a female, never accept what makes you uncomfortable, speak up!

        Now I'd like to share a decadent dish you can prepare for that special fourth of July dinner baked macaroni and cheese, I tried this recipe a few weeks ago, it is so good you want to lick the spoon.

2 box of elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups of milk
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
16 oz sharp cheddar
12 oz pack sharp cheddar and monterey jack mix
salt to taste
white pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup panko bread crumbs

     Melt four tablespoons of butter, whisk in flour, whisk until lumps are gone, add milk, bay leaves and paprika, let simmer about ten minutes.  Remove the bay leaves and temper in eggs while whisking add the cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, then add in macaroni, pour into a baking pan, sprinkle cheddar/monterey jack cheese on top.  Melt remaining butter add bread crumbs make sure they are coated with butter spread over top of macaroni.  Put in a 350 degree oven for half hour.  When reheating macaroni (if leftover) sprinkle some cheease on top first for that gooey effect yum!  Below find a serving of Baked Macaroni and Cheese, enjoy and feel free to comment and make suggestions, thank you for reading and take care!


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