Monday, March 28, 2011

Momma Said to Eat Your Broccoli

My dear pal Zoe bought me a fabulous book entitled Macaroni & Cheese by Marlena Spieler.  I love gifts, don't you?!  The book has the most creative m&c recipes with really nice photos.  I have been dying to create something special ever since receiving it.  If you are in the market for a book exclusively detailing mac and cheese, I highly recommend this one.

Because I was feeling the need to be healthy, I decided on Marlena Spieler's Macaroni and Cheese "Broccolissimo" as a side dish to the yummy meal Hubbs was preparing.

First, blanch the broccoli and set aside.

Broccoli: the healthy part

Next, melt butter (the more the merrier), sprinkle in some flour and add milk.  Season with salt, cayenne and nutmeg.  I love the idea of nutmeg in this recipe - it is so festive.  Add a bunch (this is the exact measurement) of cheese.  The recipe calls for Sprinz or Asiago or a combo of Appenzeller, Jack or Parmesan.  My suggestion: use whatever type you have.  I used Mexican cheese, some smokey Gruyere, Cheddar, Mozza, and Parm.

Are you wondering what the little white marshmallow looking chunks are? Chopped string cheese. Uber classy.

Stir in the pasta noodles to the melted cheese.  Spoon into a shallow baking dish. Top with the broccoli and a bunch (again, please remember to use this exact measurement) of extra cheese.

Bake just until the top is bubbling and hot.

Bubbling and Oh So Hot
Enjoy with some deliciously bbq'ed asparagus.  Try squeezing some lemon onto the asparagus and topping with some fancy salt. Oh so delicious.

Does life get any better than this? Seriously.
Would you like a bite?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh So Tasty Mac and Cheese Balls

I heart Trader Joe's. I really do. When I lived in Hawaii, I would come back to Cali to visit family and friends and would always go grocery shopping at TJ's before returning. You heard me. I would literally pack a bunch of TJ's food in my luggage for a tasty indulgence while on the rock.

TJ's rarely fails me. This is simply another example. As I am sure you can imagine, much to my savory delight, I stumbled across TJ's version of fried mac and cheese balls.  As we have already established, I love fried food and also love mac - if you are doubting my loyalty to the mac, you really haven't read enough of this blog.

Sorry, I don't have a pic of the box. Hubbs thought it would be a brilliant idea to delete half of my photos... So busted.

After a failed attempt to enjoy the balls at Fred62 (remember that blog entry?), I have to admit my standards were not very high when hubbs decided to make this treat. 

Four words sum up this experience:


LOVE that there are really macaronis stuffed inside the fried goodness. No false advertising here.

My mouth is watering. Seriously.

Obviously we added some hot sauce to spice it up. Try a nice Louisiana style hot sauce. Yum.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Five Crowns' mac is Suitable for a Goddess... or Two

Hooray for Oh So Cheesy's first guest blogger!! My darling friend Gorgeous Goldie, GG for short, sent in this entry over the weekend.  GG and her fiance visited Side Door, which is a fun gastropub located in the the Corona Del Mar landmark Five Crowns.  If you haven't made it to Corona Del Mar, you are honestly missing out. It is the quaintest little beach town in Orange County; in my opinion, it is Southern California's version of Carmel.

I received this text from GG at approximately 7:58 on Saturday night:
"Curley que Mac and cheese @ five crown's side door. I'll give u the review in 10."  The text was accompanied with this photo.

Please note the delicious dirty martini - my fav drink of choice.

This mac looks fabulous: a vibrant orange color, nice and baked, and it looks pretty oozy and rich.

At approximately 8:02 I received the following text with accompanying photo: "Freaking amazing!!!!"

Looks like the Side Door provides a wonderfully cheesy treat.

Friday, March 11, 2011

CPKid Menu=No Bueno

I was working late a couple Fridays ago and was STARVING for anything other than what was in my pantry. I am a nanny, so I can't just run out to grab a bite. Feeling desperate, I turned to Google. I found a local delivery service who brings food from restaurants around town. I decided on California Pizza Kitchen. I live for the their bbq chicken chopped salad. I also decided to order some macaroni and cheese from the kid menu. There was no adult macaroni and cheese option. I know, super lame.

The macaroni and cheese tasted very boxy and was really bland. I will definitely be sticking to my salad only from now on!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hearty Grub Has a Special Place in My Heart

Any place named Grub must be great.  The name itself screams CLASSY ESTABLISHMENT. {Yes, that was my attempt to scream.} The restaurant is in a house transformed to a restaurant complete with quirky signs, photos, and little twinkle lights. If you are looking for a place in LA with character, Grub is your spot.

On a pleasantly rainy day, I had a lunch date with my fav barrister bud Brittany.  

We started out with some Homemade Ginger Ale and Blueberry Lemonade. Apparently you can get your daily antioxidants in a glass of this delicious lemonade.  Oddly enough, it didn't taste like blueberries or lemonade. Tasty all the same. The nice staff even provided us with some munchies while we looked through the menu.

After much deliberation, we decided on the Famous Mac & Cheese which was served with a nice light salad to help balance the hearty and zesty chorizo filled, panko topped, oozy cheesy goodness.

 We also ordered the tuna melt, descriptively entitled "Hooked!*"  The melt was served with black pepper potato chips. The chips were so delicious that I may be back ... just for more chips!

my fav barrister bud Brittany

LOVE the effort someone took to personalize this label
I highly recommend squishing some delicious black pepper potato chips, topped with some Tapatio, or "Taylortio" sauce, inside the tuna melt for complete savory satisfaction.


I also recommend finishing off your meal with some potato chip chocolate chip cookies. Yes, you heard me.  The potato chips did not overpower the cookie but added an extra special crunch. Not sure what type of chocolate chip was used but it was really decadent. Loving the sweet and salty taste in this cookie.

Friday, March 4, 2011

And the Oscar Goes To.....

........Alton Brown's macaroni and cheese recipe!

Our favorite Iron Chef commentator has a delicious M&C recipe on the Food Network.

Mom, little sister and I made it (ok, mom made it. little sister and I just ate it) for the Oscars last Sunday and it was divine.

We started by hiring an expert chef consultant named Chase.

Golden, bubbly and delicious. I LOVED the addition of the mustard and onion to the sauce.

It's definitely something I'll be trying again. Both ingredients added a delicious tang to the dish. Also, the panko bread crumbs were a yummy crisp and buttery topping.

 We enjoyed the macaroni and cheese with artichokes, yummy ribeyes and pinot noir.


1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced*
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
For Topping:
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

We used a different pasta, but other than that followed the recipe.