• mac and cheese
    Dinner

    30th Birthday Mac & Cheese

    Mac and Cheese is definitely one of my favorite recipes and Rob knows that well. I have several versions including Instant Pot easy versions (link here) and my go-to baked version (links here and here). Between these, we probably make it about every other week. For my 30th birthday, Rob pulled out all the stops and made what he considers the ultimate baked version! This version is a combination of four cheeses in a creamy roux based sauce. Rob picked out the cheeses to provide a good mixture of flavors, aromas, and textures. The key is good melting cheeses that compliment each other (I would really use gouda or chevre,…

  • fried pork chop
    Dinner

    Napa Fried Pork Chop

    I wanted to try something a little but new with pork chops. Normally, we would just do a skillet searing technique, but that idea can get a little stale pretty quickly. The answer came somewhat indirectly from some both me and Rob ate as kids: Shake’n’Bake. Instead of baking though we did a double battered deep fry! The batter is based loosely on Thomas Keller’s fried chicken recipe from Ad Hoc-Addendum. Its still probably the best flavor ever and I would fry just about anything in it! Happy to say it works pretty much just the same. We didn’t brine the pork or anything, this was just a quick and…

  • instant pot mac and cheese
    Dinner,  Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

    Normally, I make a roux-based, baked Mac & Cheese. I love the thick sauce that it produces, but unfortunately it can be more involved, intimidating, and time consuming. Mac & Cheese is something I have been looking for a good way to make it easier and a little more like a classic stove-top box. I also wanted to experiment with using my Instant Pot to make pasta since its a use I haven’t tried. I started by cooking the pasta in the Instant Pot itself. Thankfully, I think it actually worked really well. The pasta was perfectly cooked with only a little residual moisture and took less time than normal.…

  • cauliflower mac and cheese
    Dinner

    Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

    I wish I hadn’t taken so long to get into the cauliflower thing, its quickly become one of my favorite veggies. I love how it roasts to a perfect crispness, which makes it perfect to add some texture to Mac and Cheese. It also helps round out the dish a bit, definitely doesn’t make it “healthy” but adds a little more overall nutrition. I decided to make this Mac and Cheese with a “three nation” cheese blend. I did a combo of gruyere, manchego, and parmigiano reggiano. All three grate really easily and none are particularly overpowering. They are in many ways their countries equivalent cheese. Overall, I like a…

  • Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
    Dinner

    Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

    Mac and Cheese is easily one of my favorite meals. It’s warm, creamy, and pretty easy. We have been making a homemade version for several years now and occasionally we like to mix it up. This Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese is one of our most recent variations on the basic recipe! It fits with the winter season so well and was the perfect cozy night in meal. We actually got the idea after making What’s Gaby Cooking’s butternut squash pasta. We had a boat load of the roasted squash puree left over and adding it to the mac and cheese seemed like a no-brainer. To suite our tastes, we…