Things have not been going very well this week. My dad is in the hospital, my grandmother’s health is failing (we are leaving today to go down to Florida to see her,) and The Professor is having a hard time at work, causing him to be very upset most evenings. I feel, sometimes, like I’m keeping it all together by a thread.
And still, there are no job prospects, no interviews, no new leads.
When I’ve got worries because of all the noise and the hurries, I used to go downtown. But now that there’s no downtown downtown, I eat comfort food or shop online (as well as being no downtown, there are not many shops in this area, unless you want to buy a gun or a hostess cake.) However, as this week did not warrant an either/or solution for comfort, I did both. Thus I bring you a two-for-one installment of In Flight Menu and Sky Mall.
In Flight Menu: Mac and Cheese
Is there anything better as comfort food than Mac and Cheese? Your mom used to make it, school lunches would feature it on rainy days, and you can even sneak it as a dinner choice when out with friends given all the “grown up” options.
Granted, this is not helping the “get fit” mantra in my life, but it is all about serving size, so I only had a perfectly measured serving of this beauty.
Here is my recipe (adapted from Ina Garten’s here,) perfected over many mac and cheese mishaps:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, cook 1 pound whole wheat pasta of your choice (I like cavatappi, but elbow works too,) according to instructions. Heat 1 quart milk on the stovetop, slowly, making sure it doesn’t burn. Melt 6 TBS butter (or slightly less if you want to make it slightly healthier) in a large pot, when melted add 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk this and it should make a creamy texture, let it cook a couple minutes, then slowly start whisking in the milk, then cook until it becomes thicker, a couple minutes. On low or no heat, add 8 ounces cheddar cheese (I like it not to be too sharp, but use your preference,) 4-6 ounces Swiss cheese (or gruyere, which I have a hard time finding in the middle-of-nowhere,) and 4-6 ounces of Monterrey jack, all shredded. (You can also substitute the Swiss and jack for smoked gouda.)
Add some salt and pepper to taste, and 1/4 (or slightly less, can be just 1/8 if you find it too strong) teaspoon nutmeg. Stir in the cooked pasta, mixing well. I also added bits of cooked bacon, because that’s The Professor’s comfort food and we both needed a little comfort this week.
Pour this melty and delicious goodness into a 3-quart baking dish, and you can cover it lightly with breadcrumbs (you can also mix the breadcrumbs with butter first, making it crumbly, but I chose to hold the butter, thus holding more added fat.) Bake for 30-35 minutes, sit back and enjoy.
Sky Mall: Zulilly
There are a lot of great discount websites out there. There’s Rue La La, there’s Joss and Main. There is also Zulilly. Zulilly operates under the same principles as the others; new boutiques open daily with amazing offers and discounts. But Zulilly is all children's and baby clothes, accessories, and toys. As a new Aunt-to-be I find it an awesome outlet for spoiling little Baby H (or Fetus H as she currently is.) It also features mommy-to-be gifts, maternity gifts, and unique shower-gift ideas. One of today’s boutiques, for example, is Little Me. Check out these adorable looks:
The other day, when I needed massive comfort (i.e.: cute, adorable little baby clothes,) I picked up:
this Dr. Suess oneseie to go along with the book, which I also bought for Baby H.
This Mini Muffin Pink Sweater Dress.
This, oh-so-perfect red houndstooth playsuit from BeeHave.
And I could not pass up this white birdy romper by Absorba. I mean, it’s a romper with a little dress. And I’m sort of obsessed with love birds.
If I’ve peaked your interest, then here is an invitation from me to you to the fabulous Zulilly.
There’s nothing that can cheer you up better than good old mac and cheese, and some baby clothes.