More Experiments with Mac and Cheese

Because macaroni and cheese is pretty much my favorite food in the world, I experiment with it every once in a while.  My mom and grandmother’s version is still my favorite.  It’s really good.  But I know it’s chock full of carbs and cheese and milk and butter and nothing else.  With that kind of ingredient list, it only ends up being made a few times a year.

So this time, instead of making it even more decadent with bacon and fancy cheese, I tried to make it healthier with veggie additions and fancy cheese.  Introducing Cooking Light’s Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese.  Also known by me as Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese.

photo by Oxmoor House, via

photo by Oxmoor House, via

This recipe starts out with a thick butternut squash puree, and it progresses to a more traditional mac and cheese from there.

On the comfort food scale, this rates pretty well.  No, it doesn’t remind me of my mom and my grandma.  That’s a negative.  But the flavor of the squash mixed with the lovely, smoked cheese and the tartness of the Greek yogurt makes this a clear keeper.  It’s also nice to know that I consumed equal parts squash and cheese in this recipe.  Last but not least, it retains one of my favorite parts of the traditional family recipe–the breadcrumb crunch on top of the dish.

This did take some time, but I think it’s worth it for the occasional treat.  So go forth and enjoy some cheesy, squashy pasta!


Popovers (or Popunders)

Do you ever get a weird, out of nowhere craving for something you haven’t eaten in years?  I do.  My most recent nostalgic food craving was for popovers.  Have you had them before?

Popovers are the fluffiest bread morsels you’ll ever find.  Probably.  I haven’t tried every single type of bread product in the world, as much as I would enjoy that.  Popovers are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and there’s a giant fluff of open space in the middle just for fun.

Unfortunately, they take a bit of finesse to pop up to preferred popover shape.  Fortunately, the folks at The Kitchn have pretty great directions complete with helpful tips and secrets to popover success.

popoversTwo of my six popovers had the proper open center and everything, but the other four deflated a bit.  You really do have to cut a hole in the bottom of the popover quickly so the steam can escape without deflating the whole thing.  We had some trouble getting them out of the pan, which turned into trouble with cutting a the hole in the bottom, which deflated a few popovers.  I called those popunders, as you might have smartly deduced by the title.

All of this to say, there are still plenty of culinary adventures I need to tackle.  And a few that are halfway done.  And a few that are tasty even when not entirely perfected.  I would eat popunders any day.  They’re still light and fluffy, with just a hint of buttery flavor.  Mmm.