smoked gouda macaroni & cheese

Can I give up? On this winter thing? My body seems to already have- my skin is so dry it actually cracks at times (painful), my mouth will randomly bleed when I smile (frightening), and my scalp... well, it's gross.

This is the time of year where I could care less about eating more vegetables and would much prefer to shove as many carbs and cheeses in my face as I can. Preferably at the same time so I can save my precious hibernation-fighting energy. Enter Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese. The happy medium between comfort food and not feeling guilty while eating it. The addition of spinach makes it so much easier to eat four portions and somehow make it reasonable.

smoked gouda macaroni & cheese (via Cooking Light)

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)


  • 1 (1-ounce) slice whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 5 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 2 minutes). Add cheeses; stir until melted.

Add spinach and macaroni to cheese sauce, stirring until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until bubbly.


week two

Matt finishing up my banana chocolate chip pancakes at Flo.

week one

Some results of the surprisingly time consuming new year's resolution of a roll of film a week.


Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

So there you are- it's four o'clock. Your body is at work, but your mind is long gone. What do you do? Some people play games, some go get coffee. Me? I start to obsess over finding the perfect thing I want to eat for dinner. This means from four to six (when I get off work) I look up recipes on the internet about every fifteen minutes.

Yes, you're right, it's incredibly built up by the time I actually make and eat the meal. I'm one of those build-it-up-so-far-nothing-can-live-up-to-it people. I'll do it with anything. The other day I was walking home and thought how awesome it'd be if while I was gone someone had sneaked into my apartment and cleaned it for me. Then was actually disappointed when I opened the door to my own mess. If I make a meal and it's good but not great I am just as upset as if it was awful.

Which may be why I get so freaking excited when it actually goes beyond my super-high, completely unreasonable expectations. This is exactly what happened with this recipe. I spent hours looking for the perfect thing to make- one that included several ingredients I already had, wasn't too labor intensive, and was the food equivalent to a warm hug. I came across this one from Gourmet in 2004 and gave it a go. JACKPOT!!

What I really loved about this was the mix of flavors with the cauliflower and potatoes and the cool yogurt cucumber loveliness. Please try it. I dare you not to fist pump in pleasure.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets

1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup water

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Cucumber Scallion Raita

1/4 cup finely chopped English (seedless cucumber)
1 thinly sliced scallion
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt



1. eat more vegetables

I'm just going to give up on taking the absolute best pictures I can for these 2009 resolutions. I've got a sneaking suspicion it has been more about putting it off than any sort of perfectionist tendencies. So let's just get real and go with these day-old greens in a colander and get on with it.

In conclusion, I HAVE eaten more veggies this year than probably any year since leaving home. The key for me was finding two things I didn't know I liked-- greens and making my own salad dressings. The greens thing was a pleasant surprise that I stumbled into, while the salad dressing was because I'm poor and have a growing fear of preservatives (I really want to decompose at some point).

Regardless of how I came into them, these two have definitely upped my veggie intake. For example, last night I had a green salad with mustard vinaigrette and barley risotto with beans and greens. It was absolutely delicious, by the way.


2009 resolutions, a review/ 2010 resolutions, a list

So the first post of this blog was my new year's resolutions for 2009. Over the next couple of posts I am going to take a look back at them and see how I did. For now, here's a list of my 2010 resolutions:
  1. Take a roll of film a week.
  2. Have consistently good posture.
  3. Use the phrase "get real" more.



Here's my look back at 2009. It's a nice reminder for me that no matter how hard it gets, I'm still one lucky s.o.b. Thanks to all of you for making it special.