Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Creamy Mac & Cheese

Time for some more southern cooking! My Mac&Cheese is pretty well known, if I must toot my own horn. I decided recently though to try a new recipe. I was a bit skeptical and made a few changes from the original recipe I had found, but this one was a huge hit at a recent cookout. I must say it may be one of my new go to recipes.

What you will need:
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (I usually add less)
1/2 teaspoon pepper , to taste (I always add more)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper , to taste (I always add more)
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups milk
2 (10 ounce) packages sharp cheddar cheese , shredded and divided (I use Cracker Barrel)
1 (10 ounce) package extra-sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (I use Cracker Barrel)
1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni , cooked

What you will do:

1: In a big skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
2: Whisk the flour in gradually until the mixture is smooth.
3: Cook and whisk continually for 2 minutes.
4: Add in salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic; stir to combine.
5: Gradually whisk in half-and-half and milk.
6: Cook and whisk continually for 8-10 minutes or until mixture is thickened.
7: Add in half of the sharp cheddar cheese; stir.
8: Add in all of the extra-sharp cheddar cheese; stir until smooth.
9: Take skillet off stove burner.
10: Mix together the cooked macaroni and cheese mixture; transfer to a greased 13x9 inch casserole dish.
11: Sprinkle with the remaining sharp cheddar cheese.
12: Bake in a 350° oven for 35 minutes (may need to bake longer for a crispy top).

I totally forgot to take a picture of this one, but take my word for it! You will want to try this one.

Tim Gunn, So Impressive

On March 24th we were closing on the end of Lexus Nashville Fashion Week. It was time for the event I was personally the most excited about, TIM GUNN! I am such a huge fan and could not wait to meet him. This event took place at The Mall at Green Hills and included pieces from Kate Spade New York, Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand.

The most exciting part of this runway show was that it included advice of how to "make it work" by Mr. Gunn. He gave advice on silhouette, portion and fit. Which I must admit are my pet peeves when people get them wrong. I could gush about Tim Gunn for pages on this blog, but I reckon I should get to the fashion.

These 4 Kate Spade looks are just great! The first one is an example of when pattern mixing goes really well. As always you have to be careful with scale of the patterns. The second dress has enough vertical like stripes to make it work. Otherwise this could easily swallow up a petite lady. The third has a much smaller print so it is easily worn by someone shorter. The final look I added simply because that trench is so wonderful! I can not say it enough. I immediately texted 2 friends and told them they must buy it now!

We then got some man candy too! These looks by Lucky Brand were all pretty good, yet very casual. A big thanks to Tim for reminding men to tuck in their shirts. The only time it is acceptable not to is when with shorts or being used as an outer shirt!

I included this first look, to simply prove all rompers are not bad! If you get the length and silhouette right then it is wearable. So many do not get that right though. Again with the second look, they are not giving exactly vertical stripes but they are not horizontal so it works for more women. Taking that same advice, if the stripes are extremely thin as in look three they are less offensive as well. Look four is cute, but is very style specific and not for everyone. You must watch where YOUR waistline is.

Overall, This was my favorite experience of the week. This being due mostly to the fact Tim Gunn was there LOL. THe interactive and advice from the host just really made for a much different experience. It was less about the art of fashion and more about the wearability of the clothes. I love the art but I also love to know that real people can actually wear them. Thanks again Mr. Gunn!