Yesterday, The Man asked for Mac n Cheese for lunch. The Lady went to the cheese drawer in the fridge…aka my favorite drawer… to see what cheeses she had to make the dish. She decided to go off the reservation and use several small pieces to make the meal.

Here’s what she used:

From the recent reviews of Fair Oaks Farm, Indiana’s Largest Dairy Farm, she used pieces of their Sweet Swiss, Emmentaler, Aged Gouda and Asiago; from Roth Kase, she used Grand Cru Gruyere (which she helped make last spring), Butterkase and she topped the dish with her “everyday cheddar”, Tillamook Vintage White, Extra-Sharp Cheddar. As a feline foodie who loves cheese, this combination was a winner…big time!! This was one of the creamiest Mac n Cheese dishes she has made.

The Man and I both pronounced it divine!!

Here’s how she made it:

Ingredients for the cheese sauce:

Fair Oaks Sweet Swiss

Fair Oaks Asiago

Fair Oaks Aged Gouda

Fair Oaks Emmentaler

Roth Kase Grand Cru Gruyere

Roth Kase Butterkase

These cheeses totaled approximately one pound.

½ stick Tillamook Butter

1/3 cup Wondra Flour (makes better sauces than regular flour)

3 Cups 1% Milk – the cheese brings enough butterfat to the party

A little salt and pepper

A little garlic powder

Preparation for the cheese sauce:

Melt butter in a heavy sauce pan. Whisk in the Wondra. Continue whisking and cook a couple of minutes to lightly brown and get rid of the “flour-taste”.

Add milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder and continue whisking. Cook until thickens – will take a couple of minutes (maybe longer).

Add the cheeses and cook until melted and melted together. Will only take a couple of minutes.

Use at once or refrigerate for use within a couple of days. (This is also a good sauce for vegetables and omelets.)

Makes about 4 cups of sauce.

Ingredients for Mac n Cheese Casserole:

8 ounces penne or macaroni (you want to use a pasta that will “suck” the cheese into it)

2 Cups of Cheese sauce (above)

2 Ounces of grated Tillamook Vintage White Extra-Sharp Cheddar

Chili Powder

Preparation of the Casserole:

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter or oil a 9X13 inch casserole dish.

Cook the pasta – be sure and cook a couple of minutes less than you would normally. It will finish cooking in the oven.

Drain pasta (do not rinse; the sauce will adhere better to unrinsed pasta) and pour sauce over it until well-mixed.

Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle Tillamook on top.

Finish with chili powder, to taste.

Bake 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

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When The Man and The Lady first met, The Man had never had grits, a truly Southern breakfast side dish. Once The Lady cooked grits for him, all bets were off. He fell in love with grits (and The Lady).

This morning, The Lady delighted The Man with grits with a twist… she added grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. The man gave them two-thumbs up.

Here’s what she did:

Ingredients:

½ Cup Quick Grits (they cook in 5 minutes)

2 Cups Chicken Broth (or water)

2 Tablespoons Tillamook Unsalted Butter

¼ Cup Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation:

Bring broth (or water) to a boil and reduce to low heat.

Add grits slowly (adding them all at once will cause lumps and lumpy grits suck)

Cook about five minutes until liquid is absorbed. Stir to keep grits from sticking to bottom of pan.

Add butter.

Add Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serve with your favorite breakfast staples. Personally, I prefer my grits with hickory cured Andrias davidianus; The Man prefers bacon… sheesh… humankinds… so boring when it comes to meat…

Because The Lady, The Man and I were not big fans of this blue cheese, despite it being made with sheep milk, The Lady decided to use the portion left over from the cheeseboard as a dressing for the requisite iceberg lettuce wedge that The Man so enjoys.

Here is the recipe she used for the Little Boy Blue Cheese.

As is the tradition around the manse, we enjoyed this dressing on iceberg lettuce wedges with chopped tomato and bacon.

Ingredients:

2 Large Dollops of Mayo

2 tablespoons of Creme Fraiche (which The Lady made)

A Splash of Milk

Approximately 3-4 ounces of Hook’s Little Boy Blue (Sheep Milk) Cheese, crumbled

Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice

Small Splash of Tapatio Hot Sauce

Salt and Fresh Gound Pepper to taste

Preparation:

The Lady whisked the Mayo, Creme Fraiche and Milk together until well blended.

She added the crumbled Hook’s Little Boy Blue and mixed until well incorporated.

She added the lemon, Tapatio, salt and pepper to taste.

Marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.

The Salad was a wedge of lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes and crumbled bacon.