Happy New Year!!!  I cannot believe how little I cooked these last couple of weeks.  My husband took some time off work and so I took a housewife vacation too!   (Thanks to my husband for taking care of dinner so many nights.  No one orders take out like you do!)  It was kind of nice but I am ready to get back into creating in my kitchen.

Now so you don’t think I am a complete lazy-daisy, I did cook a little bit.  My challenge in posting about my food this last week was “technically” it wasn’t my food.  The food I cooked was made EXACTLY like recipes that I read in my cookbooks.

Since I won’t post someone else’s recipe unless I make significant changes, I had a bit of dilemma.  I needed to look at the items I cooked and hope that the recipe was already posted online so I could include a link for my readers.

Top Chef champion, Chef Stephanie Izard, saved me or at least her cookbook and website did.   She wrote a fabulous cookbook called Girl in the Kitchen published in 2011.  It is one of those cookbooks that you read cover to cover because it is not only resourceful but also entertaining.

Luckily for me, she has her spectacular Macaroni and Cheese recipe in the book AND on her website!  Phew!  (It is actually called Macaroni and Four Cheeses with Apples and Bacon Breadcrumbs.)

The reason why I wanted to talk about this recipe is because of the cheese sauce.  The four cheeses recommended in this recipe were the perfect formula to ensure that you had a cheese sauce and not just some clumpy, melted cheese mixed with noodles.

Her ratio of “stretchy” cheese (Mozzarella) to “flowing melting” cheeses (havarti, cheddar, gouda) created a sauce with depth and flavor.  The velvety smoothness of the sauce coated the noodles perfectly.

Add in sautéed apples, shredded ham, sopressatta and top with bacon breadcrumbs and you have the quintessential mac and cheese dinner.

Here is the link to the actual recipe, Macaroni and Four Cheeses by Stephanie Izard.  My advice is to read it top to bottom first.  (You should do that for all recipes but if you are like me, you don’t sometimes.)  There are a lot of steps but it is worth it!

My husband went back to work today.  Our vacations are over.  I look forward to the New Year, exploring food and continuing to share some fun food adventures.   Thanks for all of your continued support!!!