White Truffle Mac & Cheese

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I was a weird kid. I was never into traditional kid foods like Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches, or Kraft Mac & Cheese.

I was really into spinach, asparagus, and pineapple deep dish. (If you haven’t tried Spinach Pineapple Pizza, I encourage you. It will blow your mind.)

It wasn’t until recently that I rediscovered homemade mac & cheese and fell in love. Crispy topping, perfectly cooked noodles, crazy amounts of cheese. What’s a girl not to love?

Mac & Cheese and bikini season normally don’t mix but I came across Candice Kumai’s ¬†recipe and felt that it could totally be modified to one of my favorite treats. She uses almond milk which adds a great flavor but less calories (vs heavy cream). I tweaked her recipe a bit and wah-lah, a less bad for you Truffle Mac & Cheese. You can thank me later ūüėČ

Truffle Mac & Cheese
(Adapted From: Candice Kumai’s Platinum Mac & Cheese)

3 cups Macaroni (uncooked)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
t tbsp all purpose flour (you can totally use gluten free here)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 cups Almond Milk
1/4 cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Truffle Cheese
2 tbsp White Truffle Oil
Sea Salt (to taste)

Garnish:
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1/8 cup Truffle Cheese

1) Cook the noodles according to the directions on the box. Strain and toss with the Truffle Oil. Set aside.
2) Melt the butter in a large sauce pan on medium low heat, at the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a paste like texture forms.
3)Add the garlic powder and almond milk. reduce head and allow to thicken for aprox 20 minutes.
4) When the sauce coats the back of a spoon add the noodles and cheeses.
5) Transfer to a over proof skillet and garnish with Italian Seasoning, salt, and extra cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes.

Enjoy.

Homage to Britain: Bubble and Squeak

So awhile ago I was introduced to a fun new leftovers dish. My boyfriend, who’s Australian, had whipped up this dish called “Bubble and Squeak”. I, peering into the bowl, was slightly skeptical but seeing that it was comprised of potatoes, veggies, and bacon was more than willing to give it a go. Boy, I’m glad I did!

This dish traditionally is made from leftovers from a big Sunday lunch. I don’t usually have big Sunday lunches, so both times I’ve had it, it’s been made it from scratch. It’s more of a “what’s in the fridge?” kinda moment. Still leftovers inspired though I’d say.

I’m sure if you’re like me when you read the name you wonder where it comes from. Maybe you’re super smart, or from a country that serves this and know already.¬† The name is referring to the noise it makes when you’re cooking it. Kinda cool right?

Bubble and Squeak

2 russet potatoes
1-2 cups of veggies (Whatever you have on hand, I used a mixed veggie mix I had in the freezer)
3 tbsp of butter
3 strips of bacon
2 tbsp of heavy cream

1. Boil the potatoes until you can stick them with a fork easily. Remove them and mash them with either a fork, masher, etc. Add in the butter and heavy cream.

2. While you’re boiling the potatoes you can also cook up the veggies and bacon that you have, so that you can just mix them in once you’ve made your mash.

3. Garnish with some shredded cheddar. I used white cheddar.

Enjoy!

Farfalle with a Brown Butter Sauce

I love pasta. If you read my post List-a-licious¬†you’ll note that it’s number one on my list of things to learn to make. I’m still working on that, but I wanted to share a quick easy “dressing” with you guys who share my love of pasta.

For some reason, Farfalle seems fancy to me. Maybe it’s because they could be little bow-ties. For such a fancy pasta, it needs a fancy topping. When I’m in a hurry and want something easy but super tasty I make brown butter. If you haven’t heard of this phenomenon, brace yourself.

It’s really simple, for about a cup of pasta, take 1-2tbsp butter and cook it on med-high heat in a saucepan. You can also use any other pan you like, but preferably not one with a dark bottom because it makes it harder to see the brown flecks. You want to cook it, stirring often, until it goes clear and then the beautiful brown flecks will appear. You’ll know it’s ready by the smell. The aroma floats through the air and just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

For this dish I also added some steamed spinach, which you can do if you have a steam basket, on top of your pasta as it cooks. Two birds, one stone. You’ll have to lift it every so often, so that the water doesn’t boil over.

Just cook some pasta, according to the instructions given, add some greens, a bit of tomato. Maybe even some chicken if you have it handy.¬†I like to top it with a bit of¬†parmesan cheese. Then eat. It’s quick and easy way to make a tasty lunch or dinner. The best part is you can just make enough for you, or however many your serving. (In case you eat, party for one, style like me sometimes.)

Enjoy!

San Fran Adventure

This weekend I traveled up to San Francisco with my fellow to check out the sights. I feel like there always has to be something when traveling that becomes noteworthy enough to share with everyone. For me this was the fact that our initial departure time from LAX of 6:40pm was actually ended up being about 11pm. I guess there was a storm, then some sort of fly block, and finally we took off.

Upon arriving the original prospects of dinner had diminished. Especially given it was about 1am when we checked into the hotel We stayed at the Omni, it’s a great hotel and walking distance to lots of the sites. The next morning proved hopeful however. A friend had recommended¬†that we mosey over to Dotties True Blue Cafe for breakfast. This place was super charming.

The wait was probably about 20-30 minutes and was complete with some interesting characters that were shouting about some randomness. I found this to be quite¬†humorous, not sure I was in good company though. Upon entering I started coveting their beautiful marble/dark wood counter-top. I’ve always loved that style. Additionally it featured exposed brick walls that were adorned with glamour portraits of celebs that began as strippers. Gotta love it.

Following an over indulging breakfast with some really tasty pancakes (Dottie’s Famous Pancakes, she adds ginger, it’s amazing.) We decided to walk it off across the Golden Gate Bridge. I’d been to San Fran several times over the last couple of years but I had yet to make it over to the bridge which was quite exciting.

Later that eve we decided Chinese was on the menu for dinner. I’d been looking forward to this since we booked the tickets for the trip. I love Chinese,¬†preferably¬†as left-overs out of those lovely paper boxes. Somehow it’s just tastes better that way. I have yet to find a place in LA that still gives these endangered boxes it would seem. We went to a place in Chinatown called Z & Y.

After dinner I’d did a bit of research before we left and found this dessert bar called Candybar that I wanted to try. When we got there, there was a bit of a line (lines in SF = LA traffic) and it looked like we weren’t going to get in. Fortunately our determination and the¬†announcement¬†from the host saying that he didn’t think anyone was going to get in meant that we outlasted most of the people waiting, and when two seats opened up we were on it. Note to self: get to places earlier.

It was a bit too dark for photos, and I was too excited for my dessert to wait anyway. I got their Apple Pie which was an amazing almond crust with a cream cheese filling, topped with some gingerbread ice cream. It was a party for my taste buds. I’d gladly come back here any/every day of the week! They also serve fun cocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages.

The next morning we were all excited to go to another place that my friend suggested we try, called Mamas, but that was quickly ruled out when we saw a line that would’ve easily taken an hour to get through, and at the point they would’ve been closed. Next trip! We ended up wandering back of the street to a cute pastry shop called Stella’s.

I had a yummy eclair for breakfast. Although it was a bit of a hard choice due to the nice selection of treats. I was craving the eclair otherwise I think I would’ve gone the Cannoli route due to it being located in Little Italy.

For our last day we grabbed some breakfast at a placed called Honey Honey Crepes. I had my standard Banana Nutella, served with a scoop of ice cream. While the ice cream didn’t really leave me wanting more, you can’t go wrong with nutella!

We closed out our trip at San Fran Botanical Gardens. I always take some warming up time when I visit gardens, but they always surprise me.

It did start me thinking about which flowers that you can cook with besides roses. I found this list of ones that you can. Although I didn’t get to the kitchen this weekend I think I might try and get some floral inspiration for my next recipe. Maybe Marigolds?

[ I apologize for the quality of the photos, camera phones aren’t always known for their stellar quality. ]

Enjoy!