Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby Mac is the Perfect Treat

Let's be honest, anything bite sized just tastes better. Bite sized cheesecake, cookies, donuts, cupcakes, appetizers, sliders, crab cakes, candy, and mochi ice cream all taste better when they are bite sized.

I was asked to bring some m&c to my cousin Dave's birthday party.  Knowing that he enjoys the finer things in life, I thought that bite sized m&c would be the perfect choice.  I found this recipe on Food&Wine's website.  It is really simple to make, calls for ingredients that you probably already have and is classic enough that it will earn everyone's approval.

First, cook the noodles until almost tender, but not quite. Nobody likes overcooked noodles.

After heating up the butter, add flour, milk, cheddar and American cheeses, egg yolk, and paprika (for a tasty kick)...

Ingredients. Kitty cat salt and pepper shakers courtesy of my dear pal Zoe

Looks tasty already

Mix in the cooked noodles ...
Stir well ...
Can you taste it already??
And spoon into baby muffin cups prepared with butter and parmigiano-reggiano cheese mix.
before ....
Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parm/Reg cheese...

Bake at 425 degrees and voila, you have a masterpiece!

My fav thing about this recipe is the use of American cheese. I haven't eaten this stuff in years. In fact, when I was a kid I would have to sneak it because my mom wouldn't let me eat it. It has been so long that I wasn't even sure where to buy it. But, rest assured, your local Trader Joe's carries it.  Do you have any fond memories of American cheese?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lite Up Your Life

Ney and I are working on a joint post on our FAVE frozen macaroni and cheese. Even though I've had the delicious dish a million times, I decided I should purchase another box for writing inspiration. Much to my dismay, when I went to the frozen section of Trader Joe's, the macaroni and cheese was nowhere to be found. Sad face.

After throwing a tantrum and yelling at the manager (kidding) I reluctantly decided to try the 'less guilt' version of Trader Joe's macaroni and cheese.

Now, I am SO not into reduced calorie things. I'd rather just skip it entirely, or have a smaller portion of the full calorie version. However, I was so pleasantly surprised with this frozen macaroni and cheese! If I had not known it was reduced guilt, I would never have known it had less calories than the original.

Don't worry, we will not be replacing our fatty fatty boom boom macaroni and cheese recipes with lower calorie/fat versions, but it is nice to know there is a decent option for when you're feeling like a fat ass but still want some cheesy goodness.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sacramento In The House!!

What is true happiness? Is it money? Is it a big house or a fancy car? Or is it visiting friends and eating a fine mac and cheese dinner? For me, it is definitely the latter.

Pretty, pretty princess Jenai lives in Kauai.  Obviously she is a papaya farmer.  Anyway, it is a whole lot easier for me to visit her when she visits her family in Sacramento than making the trek to Kauai. Although I certainly don't mind visits to Kauai!  During her last trip to Cali, I flew on up to visit.  Because she is the most fantastical friend, she had mac and cheese waiting for me upon my arrival from the airport.
Obviously by the time I arrived, most of m&c had been eaten by pretty, pretty princess' family.  I honestly can't blame them because I wouldn't have been able to resist the cheesy goodness either.

In making this delightful dinner, pretty, pretty princess used Paula Deene's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese recipe but she doubled it (she knew how hungry we were) and added some pepper jack cheese.  It was an especially nice addition to pork loin, asparagus and caprese salad.

Even cute little babies love this recipe!
Cute little baby Leighton
This was the perfect way to start my vaca in Sac-town!  And in fact I ate it as a late night snack after dinner and again for breakfast. Equally amazing each time. Try it with your fav hot sauce.  Pretty, pretty princess recommends Tabasco® Chipotle Pepper Sauce.

What is true happiness for you? I would love to hear!

Friday, February 18, 2011


When I moved to Palm Springs two weeks ago, I went to the local 24 hour fitness because that was the gym I went to in Phoenix. Upon exiting my car, I noticed that the gym was directly next door to a movie theatre. I could smell the sweet sweet buttered popcorn wafting through the air. This was not good. I knew I must find a new gym immediately for fear of saying I was going to the gym, but actually bingeing on fake butter and hot dogs in a dark theatre where no one could see the shame and guilt all over my face. 

So, I decided to find a new gym. 

{We're getting to the macaroni and cheese part, I promise.} 

Based on Yelp reviews, all of the gyms in Palm Springs are super horrible. 

So, I chose based on location. 

I signed up on Wednesday, and decided that signing up for a gym membership is pretty much the same thing as a workout. 

And a workout= a REWARD! 

And a reward=Macaroni and Cheese.

I knew just where I wanted to go. 

I have been reading about the Ace Hotel and their restaurant, The Kings Highway Lounge, for about a year on trendy blogger blogs. All the cool hipsters are going. While I usually want to push hipsters on the ground and kick them in the junk, this place looked super cool and had delicious macaroni and cheese on the menu. I phoned in a to-go order (I had my gym clothes on, otherwise I would have dined in. Yes, I had gym clothes on even though I was only going to sign up. Wearing gym clothes automatically makes you skinnier. Duh.) while driving down Palm Canyon to the Ace. 

 I must admit. I was a bit worried after the phone conversation I had with the employee who took my order. 

Tay- "Hi. I'd like to place a to-go order."
Ace- "What can I get for you?"
Tay- "I would like an order of macaroni and cheese and would like to know what is in your steak salad."
Ace- "Ummm, it has steak and salad."
Tay- "Yes, I'd gathered that from the item name, 'steak salad,' what are the other ingredients?"
Ace- "Umm, I don't know."
Tay- "Wellllll, can you ask someone?"
Ace- "Ok. Hold on.................................. I think it has goat cheese on top."
Tay- "Seriously? That's all you've got for me?"
Ace- "Yep."
Tay- "Fine. I'll take the steak salad. Medium rare."

The steak salad was delicious; the macaroni and cheese was a bit bland (I think it could have used more depth of flavor in the white sauce) but was all better with some seasonings added at home. I loved the pasta to cheese ratio and the bread crumbs. Overall, it was a good to-go experience and I'll definitely be back for another side order of the Macaroni and Cheese. It was creamy and comforting and just what I needed after a long, hard workout gym sign up.

Monday, February 14, 2011

French M&C is très beau


In honor of Valentine's Day, I am sharing with you one of my favorite restaurants that serves macaroni and cheese.

Not only is today Valentine's Day but it is also a Monday.  Assuming you are working, like myself, the only thing that can make this Monday Valentine's Day bearable is lunch with the girls. Obviously, lunch with the girls with heavenly french mac and cheese is almost enough to forget your holiday Monday blues.

Church and State is becoming one of my favorite stops in downtown LA.  It is a great place for a cocktail or a relaxing lunch... or both!

Even though I have been many times in the past, this was my first time trying their Gratin de Macaronis et Fromage

Let's be honest, I have tried hundreds of types of mac and cheese, all over the world and this dish definitely makes my top 10 list.  It had a simple yet rich flavor with what we thought might be hints of truffle oil.  It is prepared with a béchamel sauce and Comté cheese which probably added to the strength and subtle sweetness of the dish.

If you make it to Church and State, I also highly recommend the Tarte aux Champignons and the Croque Madame. 
Tarte aux Champignons

If you are feeling adventurous, finish your meal off with absinthe!

 In addition to lunch with the girls, I plan to feast on a wonderful meal prepared by my hubby to celebrate heart day. What big plans do you have for Valentine's Day?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nothing Comes Closer to Home

Hello M&C Lovers,

We have some news to share here at Oh So Cheesy.

Tay moved!

Back to CA. Palm Springs, to be exact.


Because I moved this week, I have been kind of a homebody getting settled and such. I also haven't been cooking much.

But don't worry. I have still been Mac and Cheesing.

It was late on a Sunday and I'd been working/getting settled all day. I needed some things from the drug store and was craving something comforting and cheesy. I went with good 'ol Stouffer's, a long time favorite of mine. Although it's not my favorite frozen macaroni and cheese (we'll save that for a later post), it is the most nostalgic.

It still tastes exactly the same as when I would eat it with my great grandmother when I was five. And that's a good thing! Creamy, delicious and comforting.

Keep it up, Stouffer's.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mac Daddy and Cheese Balls

My girlfriend suggested Fred62 which is in a really cute part of town.

My expectations were quite high when the menu revealed a dish named “Mac Daddy and Cheese Balls.”  I was pleasantly surprised when the nine beautiful deep fried cheesy balls of goodness were served. 

True, they could have been served in a tower for a more amusing aesthetic, but lets be real, mac and cheese balls served 24/7 probably don’t need to be pleasant on the eye.   

As a preface, I love fried items. Fried chicken, chicken fried steak, french fries, fish and chips, onion rings, fried pickles, fried mochi ice cream, the list can go on forever.  …. However, these balls just were not up to par. The batter was bland and quite thick; it was hollow inside, meaning it did not have enough cheese and honestly, after much excavation, I could not find one macaroni noodle. I ate 2 but could not bring myself to eat anymore.  

 Luckily the peanut butter mocha milkshake made up for the undesirable balls.

Unless you want to avoid reaching any bases this Valentine's Day, I would avoid these balls altogether.

Friday, February 4, 2011

M&C is for Lovers

Today we have a very special Valentine's Day recipe for you!

Get excited.

You can make this for your significant other, or, if you're single like me you can make it and eat it straight out of the casserole dish while crying into your glass (bottle) of Cabernet wondering why you've been single for so long.

Did I just blog that out loud?

Anyway, this is the first recipe posted that I made up! Inspired by George and Neyleen's improvised wasabi macaroni and cheese, I decided to do something original to honor St. Valentine. Perhaps he'll send me a tall/liberal/educated/loveshismother as a thank you for the delicious dish I created in his honor?


- Kosher salt
- Vegetableoil
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 pound bow tie pasta {because you get presents on Valentine's Day and presents are tied with bows. And presents with bows covered in cheese are the best.}
- 1 quart whole milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter {divided into 6 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons}
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups of cheese {because this is a Valentine's day recipe, I wanted to use all white cheese so that the vegetables and sauce would create a lovely red and white palette. I used 3 cups incredible Gruyere/Cheddar blend from Trader Joe's and 3 cups of Pepper Jack}
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups (5 slices; crusts removed) fresh white bread crumbs


- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

- Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the bowtie and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes  (I would cook for 4-5 minutes if I were you)

- 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 cheese, diced bell pepper and tomatoes.

- Also add 1 tablespoon salt and pepper.

  - Add the cooked pasta and stir well.

- Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

- 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.

- While the m&c is becoming nice and oozy, use heart shaped cookie cutters to make ham hearts.

- When the macaroni and cheese is done, spoon into heart shapes bowls ($1.99 at Michael's Craft Store!) and place ham hearts on top.

- Enjoy!

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