Sunday, March 9, 2014

Panera Mac and Cheese

I'm so-so with the baked mac and cheese. The type that is really just pasta and cheese sauce? Now that is love.

With that kind of mac and cheese I'm just like:
(On a side note, Ratatoullie is one of my favorite Pixar films. Right up there with the Incredibles and Up. There's just something about Remy that is so... cute. Or maybe I just love the food)

So after a long President's Day hiking around Miami University's campus through freezing rain, facing a daunting maze of identically designed buildings on a tour, what do I make?

Mac and cheese of course!

Not just any mac and cheese, but Panera mac and cheese (recipe from Food, Folks, and Fun)!
Be prepared for total creamy-cheesy heaven.
Regina Spektor "One More Time with Feeling"


  • 1 16-ounce Package package of rigati pasta ((or other small pasta shells))
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 6 Slices white American cheese (chopped)
  • 8oz extra-sharp white Vermont cheddar (shredded)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce


Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat.
Add cheeses, mustard, salt, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.
Stir in pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute (or until thoroughly heated). Serve immediately.

Broccoli-Cheddar Mini-Quiches

I have a confession: I hate eggs. They smell gross. The textures weird. They're just yucky okay!
Mini-quiches. Now those I can eat. Something about the cheese-to-egg ratio just works for me. 
or the pie crust. I do have a serious infatuation with broccoli and cheese, so it could be that. 

Either way these are just too good!

The Script - "Millionaires"
 From Joanne-Eats-Well-With-Others


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup ice water
  • For the mini quiches
  • 1 small head broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3-4 oz shredded cheddar (or really any cheese)


To make the pie crust, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add in the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the processor running, add in the cold water tablespoon by tablespoon until the mixture starts to come together.
Take the dough and pat it into a thin disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

In the meantime, heat a splash of water in a medium pan. Add in the broccoli florets and steam until tender, about a minute. Drain and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, eggs, and egg yolk. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

When the dough is done chilling, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out circles of dough that are about 2 1/2-inch round. Fit the rounds into a 24-cup nonstick mini muffin pan. Repeat with remaining dough until it is all used up.

Sprinkle half of the cheese into the bottoms of the pie-lined muffin cups. Top with the egg filling, distributing it evenly among the cups. Top with broccoli florets and remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. There will probably be a lot of cheese spillover depending on just how much you fill the muffin cups, but that is normal. Remove mini quiches from tin almost immediately when they come out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Spring Quinoa Salad

 This salad was a bit of reprieve from the sugar, and the basily-lemony flavor is mouthwatering to recall! I feel like I haven't been cooking anything except baked goods and even those are few. 

I've been doing college visits, prepping for the SAT, and school stuff. But at least I took the SAT yesterday so that's done! 

I felt aweful for this girl. She drove to the wrong school for the test and only had twenty minutes to get to a school that's probably thirty minutes away from where we were. On top of that, she as a senior needed the score to get into some schools, so she couldn't wait for the May test. Hopefully she made it and could take the test.

Anyway, here's the recipe from Two Peas and their Pod.

Glen Miller - "In the Mood"


3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small bunch asparagus, about 15 spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup frozen peas
1 avocado, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped basil


In a small bowl or medium jar, combine the dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine or shake with the jar lid on tight. Set aside.

Add water, quinoa, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking, cook the asparagus. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and fresh lemon juice. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, asparagus, peas, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the fresh basil and serve.