Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mac&Cheese and Jake's Got a Girlfriend

While the weather is hardly the dog days of Summer, today was a dog day. My friend Velvet brought her two dogs, Sammy and Thora, over for lunch. While we grown-ups filled up on comfort food, Jake courted Thora.

Our lunch was timed so that Velvet could meet our son before he takes off for Budapest on Friday and so we could hear about her escapades in Greece. Velvet would not be a great representative for the Greek tourist industry, making me wonder whether we have picked the right country for our next big vacation.

I decided to make macaroni and cheese for lunch, knowing that Velvet liked it and my son needed a little fattening up before being cast into a country where he doesn’t speak a word of the language. I think one serving must give you about a month of your required cholesterol, but if there was ever a good mega-calorie dish, it is mac & cheese. I’m including the recipe below because I think it is a good one.

It was a glorious day which recommended lunch on the deck. The sun was out, but not too hot. The humidity was down. The mosquitos were present but not swarming. The dogs could have their free run of the back yard.

After Jake demonstrated his ability to fetch his Kong a couple of times, we started to realize he was following Thora everywhere she went. He was thinking about humping her, but being a little more polite than that, especially when she growled. By the end of the visit, Thora was carrying around his Kong and he was still following her and then she rolled over as if to say, “I’m yours!” It was obvious that Jake, who has never shown interest in even one other dog (besides Dylan), was smitten.

A full belly, a dog in love, and a visit from one of my most favorite people. You can’t ask for much better on a Wednesday.
Mac & Cheese

* 6 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1/4 cup flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
* 3 cups milk
* 1 small onion, grated
* 3/4 pound shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (3 cups) (I used cheddar, gruyere, and colby)
* 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
* 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs

In saucepan over medium low heat melt 4 tablespoons butter; blend in flour and seasonings, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk; cook and stir until thick and smooth. Stir in grated onion and cheese. Place cooked drained macaroni in a buttered 3-quart casserole. Pour sauce over macaroni and gently mix to blend. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the macaroni. Bake at 375̊ for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Macaroni and cheese recipe serves 4 to 6.

(You can see the leftovers above. Sorry Jake and Thora declined to pose for a picture today but here's one from a while back. Thora is the small black dog with the red collar and of course Jake is the Golden Lab.)


Blogger Richard said...

What? No tuna fish?

5:48 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

The mac & cheese looks great. I'll have to try it. I'm a huge fan of the dish but never really make it at home. Perhaps because I'd eat it. Hmmm...

6:02 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- Knowing that Velvet is a vegetarian, I steered clear of meat and fish!

Kristin -- Yes, those leftovers are calling me just now...

6:26 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Mac and cheese - one of my favorite comfort foods! I like your closing sentence - indeed what could be better than a full belly, a dog in love, and a favorite person?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- The first time I ever made mac & cheese was to help satisfy the requirements of the Girl Scout cooking badge. I have never been happy making Kraft out of a box ever since. The real thing is so much better!

9:47 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

You know I went home and ran 4 miles, right? HA! Well, you told me to! But then I tossed some falafel on top of the mac and cheese. Today is about as good as I've eaten in over a month, and don't forget, there were 2 1/2 weeks in Greece stuffed in there! Thanks for the lunch and I love your son! Is it too soon for the "he knows what he's doing so lay off him a bit" conversation?

(Thora learned her tricks from her mom by the way...)

10:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Velvet -- I am the one who needs to RUN! I keep dipping into the leftovers.

As for my son, I am starting to think there is a well-thought-out game plan that I am investing in. Even if I never recoup my investment monetarily, he is the one who is going to be there for me when I am old and feeble and cranky and that is worth its weight in gold!

I love your dogs. They both have your street smarts and Thora definitely knows how to tempt a man! Jake wants to know when she's coming back to visit again!

11:14 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

What a great day you had! I always wonder if I could make recipes like this using 1% milk and lower fat cheese (about 17%). I might just try it. Thanks!

3:24 PM  
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7:46 PM  

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