The other night I made the Bacon Mac from Cooking Light. I’ve gotta tell you, I was a bit dubious about this recipe. How could I be dubious about Bacon Mac n’ cheese? Well it has onions in it. And hot sauce. Look, in my house there are a few standard recipes that are “hits”. The ones that Mike loves that I don’t usually mess around with. Beef stew is one, tacos are one, and until the other night, Mac n’ cheese was one. My previous, and much loved recipe was the old standard:
Good Old Macaroni and Cheese
A box of macaroni noodles – boiled
A block of sharp cheddar cheese – 8 ozs.shredded
Roux (butter and flour) I’m not sure of the ratio
Milk about a cup.
Crunched up crackers. Ritz are best, Saltines will do if you’re desperate.
Add milk to roux, stir until thick. Add all but 1/2 cup of cheese and mustard stir until cheese is melted. Pour over noodles and combine until noodles well coated with cheese sauce. Pour into a greased baking dish. Top with crackers and remaining cheese. Broil.
Sounds good right? And easy? Yes and yes. But I am a lady of her word, so not only did I cook the Mac n’ cheese recipe on my list – but I cooked it EXACTLY the way it says to. This is hard for me. I constantly change recipes, add things I think will be good, delete stuff I don’t have, and generally bend it to my will. However, if I do that for this challenge, blog, whatever it is I’m doing – I can’t very well review it based on it’s own merits can I? The answer is no, no I cannot. So anyhow. I did what the recipe said EXACTLY. The only thing open to interpretation is that it called for a teaspoon of “Hot Sauce” and it didn’t specify what kind. Naturally I used Sriracha which is one of my favorite things in the world right now. (And is Bon Appetit’s ingredient of the year. Booya!)
So what do I think? This was good stuff, people. Even Mike, who as I mentioned, likes his standards – well, standard – gave this a two thumbs up. It was rich and spicy, and according to CL only 399 cals per serving, which seems like a lot, but for a dish like this actually isn’t that bad. What we decided is that since the additions were so far off from my usual recipe: bacon, onions, and sriracha, it changed the dish into something new entirely. It was spicy, salty, and cheesy, and didn’t take any time at all. I give this two enthusiastic thumbs up and will definitely be making it again. Would I change anything? Nope. Well done, Cooking Light.
In other news, I had a bad case of startitis with the Monkey Socks. This is a common problem with knitters. Probably with other crafts/hobbies too. I had just come off of a fairly successful knitting jag and completed a beautiful hat for my sister following the Star Crossed Beret pattern. Anyhow, sometimes what happens after one achieves a knitting success is that the next project simply will not start. I cast on these socks 4 times. Once I twisted when joining. Once Maggie got into my knitting bag and unwound them. Once I did four rounds of regular rib instead of twisted rib (yes it makes a difference) and then I knit two rows with my cast on tail. Finally, in a fit of rage I wound up the yarn, ditched the needles and reviewed my knitting list again. I need something fast, not to hard, and fun to knock of my list post haste. I really would like to complete at least one knitting project a month. So, I cast on Calorimetry, with some beautiful hand spun hand dyed yarn I got from Meadowcroft this summer at the Damariscotta Farmers’ Market. This yarn is also the same yarn I knit my sister’s fancy hat from. This project is going just great and I’m about 50% done in only a day. Ahhh. Thank you Knitting Gods. Don’t get me wrong, those Monkey socks will get knit, come hell or high water. Just not right now. Oh also, in case you care – I’m going to do the Ravelympics (where you knit during the Olympics. It’s a long story. Look it up) and have decided to cast on the February Lady Sweater for that. Because I have wanted to knit it for a long time, and also because it’s February. Doy.
I went to the library and got Drood, a recommendation from SK’s list. This is one of those books, had it not been on the list, I would never in a million years picked it out. For one it’s HUGE, about 800 pages. I am always dubious of huge, long books, because I doubt they will be able to keep my interest that long. Don’t get me wrong, I have read books of great length before (Harry Potter, a bunch by SK, and others I can’t think of right now) but as a rule, I generally don’t. Also, it’s that kind of non-fiction/fiction which means it’s an novel based on real people and historical events told in a fictional way. Think Girl with the Pearl Earring. I guess this genre is historical fiction, but I really hate that title. For some reason it makes me think of cheesy bodice ripper romance novels. I digress. Drood is great. I’m glad it was recommended to me by Stephen King. I’m not going to say too much about it right now, and instead will save it for my review later, but I don’t think I will have any problems zipping through it. Some thoughts already – Charles Dickens was kind of a dick. Also, 1800s London was disgusting.
That’s all for today. Pictures someday, I promise. You know, the internet issues and all that….