I was a little lazy this past week, maybe it was all the rain. Did you know today is already Tuesday? Thankfully, this week is all sunshine, I thrive on sunshine! So this has me feeling extra cheesy. I may have started decorating my house for Christmas already, it’s 2020 and I no longer have a concept of time. It’s still March right? Anyway, all this thinking about the holidays has me in the mood for the ultimate comfort food.
MAC AND CHEESE!
Chick Fil A has some pretty good chicken but the real star on their menu debuted in August of 2019, macaroni and cheese. If you haven’t tried it you should. My only complaint would have to be the portion size. I could probably eat an catering size portion but I just can’t justify that to myself. So, I opted to make it at home where the only people here to judge my heaping pile of cheesy noodles are my dog and my boyfriend.
Now, I made this recipe exactly as it says, though it was oozy, creamy and cheezy it could stand to take on a little more spice. So taste that cheese sauce and play around with it!
Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 cups water
- 8 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 8 slices of American cheese (cut into pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated BellaVitano Gold Cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- pinch turmeric
- pinch annatto
- In large pot bring water to a boil, once boiling add in some salt and macaroni noodles. Cook for 20 minutes. I know seems like a long time but the theory here is that the longer the noodles cook the more water they will absorb and the less cheese they will absorb. This will keep your mac from drying out
- Drain your noodles and toss them into a casserole dish. If your noodles are finished before the cheese sauce, toss them in a little olive oil to keep them from sticking.
- While your noodles are cooking lets make the cheese sauce!
- Grab yourself a small bowl and mix together water and nonfat dry milk powder and set aside.
- In large pot melt your butter over medium heat until it begins to bubble.
- Add in your flour stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, creating a roux.
- Once your roux is finished, slowly add your milk mixture into the roux. Bring it to a simmer over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a medium bowl add your egg yolk and whisk. At this point we are going to add the hot milk/roux mixture to the egg. SLOWLY! Add just a little at a time and keep that whisk moving, this will temper the egg and prevent it from scrambling.
- Once all your hot milk is added, pour the mixture back into the pot and take it off the heat.
- Now let’s fold in the cheese. We are going to add just a handful of cheese at a time. Start with the American cheese, add a few pieces at a time and whisk until smooth. Continue with the rest of the cheese until all the cheese is melted.
- Add salt, paprika, turmeric and annatto. These are more so for coloring rather than flavor so if you don’t have them all in the pantry that’s okay!
- Pour the cheese sauce over your noodles and mix!
- At this point your mac is ready to eat but I added a little extra cheddar on top and threw in the in the oven on broil for about 3 minutes. You can also use a food torch if you have one of those on hand. Don’t keep it in the oven too long, the noodles are cooked to their full capacity and this can cause your mac to dry out.
- Eat and then take a nap.
Just a warning, after all that whisking your arm is going to be incredibly buff.
Big Fluffy Dog Time!
Look at this gigantic fluff! His name is Coto and he is a Goldendoodle. Well that’s what his human parents told me but I am not convinced. Like this is some sort of crossbreed between a bear and a poodle right? To be honest I have a hard time finding a photo that even shows how large this boy is.
Coto is another one of the laid back guys in my pack. Our appointments are almost always an hour but it all depends on his mood. I mean he has A LOT of hair so he pretty much despises STL summertime heat. He was made for snowman making weather.
Here are some of Cotos favorite things:
- Bunnies – he could care less about squirrels, birds and other dogs. He wants to eat all the bunnies. No I do not let him.
- Starbucks – I didn’t learn this about him until his mom tossed me some cash and asked me to grab him a croissant one morning. I’m not kidding.
- Naps – To be honest I am not certain he even likes going on walks, sometimes he just plops down in the nearest grass patch and stares at me. I respect it though, I mean you trying nudging a 135 pound dog to get up when he doesn’t want to.
- Treats – Coto isn’t a super affectionate dog, which kind of hurts my feelings but he will do anything for a treat. He gives a mean handshake.
Keeping peoples dogs safe, active and happy is part of my job. So when we are out and about I do my best to avoid contact with other people and strange dogs but I think Coto might be famous. People constantly stop me for a photo of him or to just get some pets in. He is irresistible. I can’t say I blame them, I wish I could pet all the dogs!
Coto is amazing no doubt but one thing that stands out to me about this guy are his owners. They are an incredibly kind older couple. I actually met them while working at my restaurant job. Remember at the beginning of the pandemic when the entire city shut down? Everyone was struggling, my business included. All of my clients dropped my services in what seemed like a single day and I was no longer working evenings. I was a little afraid I was going to lose it, I mean how many times a day can you vacuum your house? You know what kept me sane, Cotos parents. They upped their appointments from 3 days a week to 7 days a week. Sure, it was only an hour a day but it gave me a reason to go outside and feel somewhat normal. Masked up of course! (PLEASE WEAR A MASK!) I am so thankful for them!
That being said, dogs are THE BEST. Even better is creating a friendship with their dog loving humans. This post has me all up in my feelings so I think that’s my cue.
Have a great week friends and go snuggle a dog!