Last year I went through some sort of compulsive subscription frenzy brought on by Amazon's $5 magazine sale at Christmas and ordered about a dozen other magazines, all of which I've since let expire. This year, I'm just keeping the core.
My favorite magazines are: Southern Living, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, and Oprah (of course). These are my tried and true, been subscribing to them for a hundred years and will still be subscribing to them one hundred years from today. (Thanks to sister-in-law Kathy for sponsoring my Better Homes and Garden subscription for the past two years).
As I flip through these magazines each month, I generally find inspiration for a new dish that I want to try. This month it was Country Living's Macaroni and Gruyere Cheese. Would you believe that I've never made mac and cheese before? I know. Strange.
Here's my version of it, in which I changed up some ingredients to use what I had on hand, as well as the amount, to suit a two person household.
- 8 oz whole wheat pasta shells
- 1 1/2 cups grated aged cheddar and gruyere cheeses
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- breadcrumbs to sprinkle
- pepper, garlic powder to taste
Begin by boiling the pasta. In this case I used whole wheat shells. They're cute and healthy.
Measure out 1 1/2 cups half and half. That's right. Not milk, we're going for the rich stuff.
After you've drained the pasta toss it with about half of your shredded cheese.
In a small bowl, combine the half and half, two egg yolks, and two tablespoons of melted butter. Add freshly ground pepper and garlic powder according to your taste. Freshly grated nutmeg would also be wonderful.
Pour the mixture into the pasta shells and cheese and mix together. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs.
Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes covered with foil, then top with half cup of remaining shredded cheese and bake for another 20 minutes uncovered.
And voila. I promise you, this recipe is easy to assemble and tastes so incredibly better than anything you will get out of a box.
The variations on mac and cheese are endless, so you can literally use anything you've got in the pantry and fridge to create wonderful comfort food.