Saturday, March 7, 2009

Comfort Food for the Soul


Okay, I know macaroni and cheese is not exactly what I should be
eating if I am trying to lose that blogger's blub. But this weekend,
I just needed some good old comfort food. What better dish to fit
the bill than dreamy, creamy mac and cheese? I paired it with a
big salad, so than balances things out, doesn't it? Of course it does.

Willow's Mac and Cheese

1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 1 1/2 cups fat free and 1 cup half and half)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups grated fontina cheese (also tasty with cheddar or gruyere)
8 ounces dry macaroni pasta

Cook pasta. In a sauce pan, make a rue by combining the butter
and flour. Cook til bubbly and add salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg.
Slowly whisk in the milk and stir until thick. Add cheese, stir until
melted. Add cooked macaroni and turn into 2 qt. or small baking
dish. Bake 350 for about 30 minutes or until golden. Serves 4
regular eaters or two complete pigs.

65 comments:

  1. Homemade macaroni and cheese is the best. I mean out of the box is good but not as good as homemade.

    I will print out the recipe and try it as soon as I buy the ingredients.

    Thank you so much for it.

    God Bless.

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  2. That looks delicious-- I also have a "from scratch" recipe for m&c involving a white sauce, but this has the interesting wrinkles of thyme & nutmeg.

    & yes, I'm sure a salad balances it completely!

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  3. PS..almost forgot, I really like the self portrait pics. They are great.

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  4. Fontina, nutmeg and thyme. Mmmm. Almost worth braving my intolerance of milk for.

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  5. Having lived on Kraft Dinner through college you would think I would never want to see mac & cheese again.

    But it is still one of my favourite foods of all time. And this recipe looks great.

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  6. Hello Willow,

    I can almost smell it from here! This is not a dish I would ever think of even though I love pasta but your extra ingredients could make all the difference. The Wintry weather is obviously hanging on for a reason!

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  7. Mac Cheese and streamed broccoli. Cheesey sauce with vegetable and toastie bread crumb crunch, with slithers of almonds for nuttiness.

    Salad?

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  8. Since I don't really cook anymore, I don't usually comment on posts about food but... yummmmm!

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  9. This really does sound yummy Willow! Save me some?
    Carol

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  10. Willow, I'm droolin', here! This is one of the reasons that earned Princess Cheese her nick-name. Wait( grabbing pen and paper to copy down recipe ), okay, ready! Mom still likes to use the brick o' Velveeta, milk, butter and casserole size elbows. Dee-lish! And baked...even better :P. Thanks for sharing your take on one of my favourite comfort foods. And I always have a supply on hand..you know, just in case...:)

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  11. Yummy yummy yummy yummy!

    'Serves 4 regular eaters or two complete pigs' ... or one greedy giraffe!

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  12. yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM ! Merci !

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  13. Holy Moly.. the truth is out..what is more primal than comfort food? Your recipe..a real dream come true..
    My last meal..when nothing counts but gluttony: a ton of mashed potatoes, fried chicken, peaches from Provence and enough chocolate to drown in!!!

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  14. This IS one of the ultimate comfort foods. My mom used to make it with big chunks of old cheddar and bread crumbs. Then of course, I would adulterate it with loads of ketchup. (Know what? I still do!)

    I'll have to try yours Willow - a bit of sophistication on an old fave!

    Kat

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  15. Drooling now, and I just finished breakfast. I'm wondering... why, oh why, do my boys turn up their noses to homemade, delicious mac and cheese?!

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  16. Blogger's blub is right, even Scratchy has it...but what a great dish for the rain and thunderstorms coming your way...ahhh, Spring!

    Have a fun weekend...s

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  17. Two complete pigs? I say or one absolutely enormous, gigantic slob of a pig - I love m.c. so much that I am sure I could eat the complete dish full. Send it over.

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  18. Another recipe sponsored by the Dairy Mafia ... I just don't know ...

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  19. Yum! Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try it.

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  20. I often check your side bar and notice that you always seem to be eating the most delicious stuff!!

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  21. Willow, that Mac & Cheese looks so sinful....and love it in the Boleslawiec baking dish!!! Yes, I recognize it, knowing you love your tea in that mug!

    ~Cheryl

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  22. OMG! heaven in a dish! I would be the piglet at the table!

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  23. I adore pasta and could eat it for every meal - although I am trying to be quite careful at the moment. That sounds a lovely recipe

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  24. please set an extra plate for me. if i leave now i can be there by 3:00. hee hee looks delicious, willow!

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  25. Comfort food ala maison.........wonderful Willow...stepping on board the plane as I type..lol. Enjoy.

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  26. Well my kids might have a coniption if I make a different kind of mac and cheese..so I'll make this when the inlaws visit in April..yumminy yum yum!

    With a salad of course!

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  27. wow, this looks great!!! have to try it!!! thanks for the recipe :)

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  28. thanks for the recipe, it looks so good! I've never made homemade mac and cheese, mainly because my mom and grandma never made it and any mention of it got you weird looks and questions... but i've always wanted to try!

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  29. Willow,

    That is the perfect comfort food. Adding a salad gives you all the essential food groups for a good meal.

    I like your recipe, must try it myself.

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  30. Meant to ask you what make of camera did you get?

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  31. Dakota Bear, my daughter actually surprised me with a little Canon PowerShot SD1100! I absolutely LOVE it!

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  32. Few things are more comforting and this looks delicious! At least you have beautiful weather for more walks. Walk a mile for me, would ya? I'll pay you back later.
    Catherine

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  33. This is one of our all-time favorites. Skim milk and cream: Yes, that's how I cook, too!

    We are going to eat homemade pizza and play Monopoly tonight. That seems like a Willow Manor thing to do.

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  34. *smile*

    And coffee with dessert cancels all calories instantly. Trust me. ;-)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  36. Yum! I love dishes like this. Other variations I enjoy include putting a dash of paprika in; adding some slowly cooked fine chopped celery; or fresh spinach, added right near the end (this helps to make it a bit more balanced too).

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  37. Yikes, it looks so bad when one removes a comment! I was admonishing Willow but, you know, I was being a total hypocrite as I'm going to include it with salad at our BBQ next week when we have guests.

    It sounds delectable! Thanks, Willow.

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  38. I could jump into that dish with my whole face! YUM! Of course I am also trying to lose a few wads of blub and will just imagine how good your mac and cheese is while sucking on celery...not satisfying at all, I must say...

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  39. Well we just finished eating your delicious M&C recipe, only with Sharp Cheddar.

    It was DELICIOUS and we were almost in the pig category - thanks for dinner!

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  40. That's real comfort food--and one of my favorites. It looks delicious, as well as lovely in Polish Pottery dish.

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  41. Oh, that sounds heavenly! I'm doing my shopping list tonight and that is going on the menu!

    Nothing beats comfort food.

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  42. Willow, I was reading back over your Janet Frame posts. As a New Zealander originally I am familiar with her and read her work in the 60's. As I read your essays a line popped into my head from one of her novels - Perhaps 'an angel at my table' which goes,

    "Oh my Lord Omlette and Parsley, but I was kissed..."


    Curiosity got to me and I had to go and look in my 30+ year old journal and this is what I found:

    It's in the mind
    It's in the ear
    It's at the base of the brain
    The size of a pea
    Oh my Lord Omlette and Parsley
    but I was kissed
    Kissed buttercup and cathedral
    for the first time in my life.

    Janet Frame

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  43. The lightly browned top, against that beautiful bowl, makes for a totally inviting presentation. I like it!

    Lovingly ...

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  44. Oh man, this sounds good right now. And it is also, at the moment, featured on Half Assed Kitchen's blog...so I guess I'm gonna have to make it real soon.

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  45. We just came home from Joe's son's house where they served us salmon and on the side, Mac and cheese, so we ate even more than you did! It was the recipe we, in our family, call "Dad's Killer Mac n' Cheese." It's a recipe we put together and Joe learned to make, and he does it quite well, so we named it after him. This looks scrumptious, Willow.
    (ps--we ate strawberry shortcake for dessert and drank some wines, too, so we ate WAY more than you did!) I did work out in the garden all day. Does that count?

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  46. That has to be delicious! Almost makes me want to get back into the kitchen tonight.

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  47. I love macaroni chese, especially with a dash of Worcestershir auce!

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  48. I love macaroni chese, especially with a dash of Worcestershire Sauce!

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  49. HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Don't need to say more.
    Today i'm eating raclette,youknow?
    Well only the veggie and that beautiful cheese,not the meat cause I don't eat meat but I can't stay away from cheese!
    Have a nice day and bon app├ętit!
    :)

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  50. Dreamy, creamy, golden, crisp; I love maccaroni cheese! And I loved your very last remarks that suits me so well: two pigs. I'll be one of them, thank you very much :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  51. Was there ever a kid or an adult who didn't like Mac and Cheese? My grandkids love it. Your recipe sounds great. Have a great Sunday. Pappy

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  52. I love mac and cheese. The recipe I use comes from the Greens cookbook. It's full of milk and butter and cheese and is so yummy. So comforting.

    You don't have to eat the whole thing, so it need not be fattening. Have a salad on the side.

    YUM!

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  53. I break many a diet for macaroni cheese. It is just so delicious with loads of vintage cheddar. Yum!!

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  54. Oh shame, shame on you. Here goes another five miles on my blogagainstblob meter.

    It's going to be worth it though...

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  55. okay, i would definitely be one of the pigs!

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  56. The first thing I thought of when I seen this post was Macaroni...Carolyn Kennedy's pony.

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  57. Oh Willow! What fun, nothing like a rainy- ( hail really, my car and yard looked like popcorn had exploded) afternoon -- made your delectable mac and cheese and watched the Triplets of Belleville, what fun, I wonder if your Lady Ghost enjoys all of your movie selections... the music was so catchy
    and loved the Gratitude poem just the message I needed today!
    Joanny

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  58. I suspect your mac and cheese is better, far better, than the average fair. Yumm.

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  59. Love mac n' cheese!! Unfortunately, I will have to eat it vicariously through this post. The last time I ate it, I felt bloated for days.., This time of year, I am actually craving lighter, greener, healthier foods. Maybe I'll try this recipe next Winter!

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  60. This is similar to my Mac and Cheese which I will share someday -but you are missing the buttered bread crumbs on top!

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  61. If you want to counteract the weight you'll put on after eating that comfort food, use a tsp of apple cider vinegar in an 8 oz glass of water in the morning, and a tsp or two before each meal. It will help your body fend off those 'fat' buddies who like to stay too long.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)