It's Easy Being Cheesy!

Give the little blue box a rest tonight; you'll be glad you did with this simple yet stick to your ribs comfort food!

Ok, I'm not going to lie, I love boxed macaroni and cheese but there are certainly times that call for cheesin' up a masterpiece of your own.  Here's my quick, simple and cheap way to see just how easy it is being cheesy!

What You'll Need:

Pasta of your choice; use a pound

1 container (8 oz.) cream cheese

1c whole milk

1c cream or half and half

1/2 stick of butter

3tbsps of flour

4c of shredded cheddar cheese

2c of shredded gruyere

about a clove of garlic, minced

fresh chopped scallions, save some for the garnish

fresh chopped cilantro, save some for garnish

1/2c of panko

How You'll Do It:

Boil the package of pasta in lightly salted water. Follow the directions on the box, drain and set aside.

To create a roux for your sauce, place the butter and flour in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the roux is slightly golden in color.

Add the milk, cream and cream cheese to the butter and flour mix. Stir and continue to heat until it turns into a smooth white sauce.

Add the cooked pasta and the white cheese sauce together and mix well. While still warm, add 3 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese, 1c gruyere, scallions and cilantro and mix well.

Put the pasta and cheese into an oven ready casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese and panko on top.

Put the dish into a preheated oven at 365 degrees for about ten minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted.

Sprinkle the remaining scallions and cilantro on top before serving.

While you're out shopping for that new spring/ summer wardrobe stop in and grab a bite at the ; while yes I know it's a chain I have to say they serve up some fabulous fare! 

If it's in season and available you'll immediately fall for the fire-roasted fresh artichoke appetizer, served with a spicy Vinaigrette and garlic dip. 

For an entree I'm always torn between the Navajo sandwich or the Fish Tacos.  The Navajo is served on a warm fry-bread stuffed with grilled chicken, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayonnaise. Served with French fries or green salad.

The Fish Tacos are soft corn tortillas filled with grilled or crispy Tempura Fish, avocado, tomato, onions, cilantro and crema. Served with black beans and rice.

Then of course there's always the even tougher decision of which cheesecake heaven you'll order up!  Good luck with that, there are truly too many sinful options.

Chins up all; spring is around the corner!



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