Macaroni & Cheese & Cheese & Cheese

January 5th, 2007 · Tags: Food · Italy


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Mac & Cheese & Cheese & Cheese


How many people can see a picture of macaroni & cheese and not have it evoke some memory? Not anyone I grew up with. This is possibly the quintessential American dish that nearly everyone in the country has eaten. Love it or hate it, it’s part of my memories.

Also today, Seriously Goodis holding a Mac-n-Cheese-off and I was happy to be able to participate even without my trusty camera. My solution to this? Invite a friend over to share my creation and share her camera! Luckily for me, she was a great sport and agreed and I got to try out a very powerful camera in exchange for brainwashing her with one of my favorite comfort foods.

For this macaroni & cheese concoction, I decided to not stop just at one cheese, but use three! I actually am lucky enough to have in my possession a big block of medium sharp Wisconsin cheddar from the States that I smuggled over in August, and finally decided it was time to break the seal and open it. What better way to use cheddar cheese if not in macaroni & cheese?

I could get lost in this cheesy goodness. Heck, I’m even a fan of that blue box.

Hypnotized by Cheese

But I didn’t stop there. I wanted to include a bit of my local influences here (and save the cheddar!) and that meant adding some ricotta cheese as well as using some Grana Padano and topped it off with some bread crumbs.

I think there’s something to remember with macaroni & cheese – you can never have it cheesy enough! Against my better judgment, I stopped adding cheese much too early in the game! I could tell my friend was getting a little nervous about the butter, the milk and the three cheeses I had already added. It still turned out great and I laid a few extra shavings of cheddar on top to “garnish.”

Oven-baked mac-n-cheese

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26 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    kevin // Jan 5, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Beautiful photos, thanks for joining in!

  • 2
    eija // Jan 5, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Hehe… a cheesy post :D Macaroni and cheese isn’t a dish that the Finns actually use. We have macaroni casserole – pasta, fried, minced meat covered with a mixture of milk and some eggs and then baked. Add ketchup and voil – you have a dish that’s every kid’s favourite!

    I played too :)

  • 3
    Genie // Jan 5, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Ah…I love that you used smuggled cheese in your concoction! The pictures look fabulous, and it sounds like a fun evening of cooking and photography. Glad to meet you via your blog, and thanks for sharing your version of this delicious dish!


  • 4
    Lannae // Jan 5, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Beautiful pictures, and great idea to use WI best product! Cheese! Thank you for sacrificing your smuggled goods for such a fun event!

  • 5
    D-man // Jan 5, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Hello Ms Adventures. I’m checking you out for the first time, oh yeah……oh wait, you said stopping by, sorry. Anyway, your dish looks de-lish. May I ask, what we’re you’re proportions of cheeses? You see, whenever I use ricotta, I either have to make/buy twice as much as the recipe needs because I’ll eat so much while groovin’ in the kitchen. I’ll bookmark you and start reading……..

  • 6
    piccola // Jan 6, 2007 at 5:02 am


    Your mac & cheese looks great. About the brownish top, Did you bake them slightly?

  • 7
    Di // Jan 6, 2007 at 7:31 am

    I’m glad I wandered over, lovely blog.

  • 8
    jackie // Jan 6, 2007 at 11:15 am

    ooh, mac and cheese! now there’s a great way to start the new year! yum! great photos, too!

  • 9
    LibertyBelle // Jan 6, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Good old macaroni and cheese!
    The fast food of mother’s in the 50′s! *S*
    Thanks for bringing back my old memories!
    Great choice for the theme.
    Happy Saturday!
    Mine’s up too.

  • 10
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jan 6, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Kevin, thanks for organizing! Eija, that sounds really interesting -something to try! :) Genie, don’t tell the dogana (customs) – but they are pretty lax anyway. Welcome, Lannae!

    D-man, like I said I think it could have used more cheese, but I used about 8 oz of cheddar, 150g of ricotta and about 100g of Grana Padano, with a few tablespoons of butter, and I added milk as needed.

    Piccola, yes, I did put it in the oven and I put some breadcrumbs on top.

    Di, welcome! Jackie, you’re back! Let’s see what you got! LibertyBelle, thanks for stopping by!

  • 11
    Stacie // Jan 6, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    my mouth is watering, great pictures! I’m off to chow some of my mac n leftovers!

  • 12
    Tendancer // Jan 6, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Hi there Sara–have been reading your blog for a while–it’s on my short list of things on my blogroll that get read immediately, which is saying something because I have a large and unwieldy number of subscriptions and some stuff doesn’t get read for weeks. :-) Anyway, Happy New Year, and I’ll look forward to more great stuff from you.

  • 13
    Teena in Toronto // Jan 6, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Looks yummy! The only mac ‘n cheese we had as kids was Kraft Dinner.

    Mine’s up too :)

  • 14
    La Cubana Gringa // Jan 7, 2007 at 1:12 am

    did i miss the link to the recipe??? :) please send it along or post it! looks delish!

  • 15
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jan 7, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Stacie, I’m jealous! Here, we’ve already finished my batch. Tendancer, nice to meet you! I’m glad you’re reading! Teena, as you noticed above with my “blue box” comment, I definitely embrace the Kraft mac’n’cheese – with a little salsa it’s “Mac & Crack” as my friends say.

    Ciao La Cubana – I didn’t put up a recipe as I was really experimenting and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the cheesiness – I explained some of my proportions earlier in the comments!

  • 16
    Lieludalis // Jan 7, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Yeaaaa! Mac&Cheese was a minor food obsession in my family growing up! The first time I made my husband (who grew up in a state smack in the center of the US) home made Mac&Cheese he almost passed out from JOY…he’d only ever had it made from a blue box! Shocking if you ask me! Anyone out there who has never had scratch mac&cheese should make some immediately!
    Thanks for the memories!
    PS:We like to add green peas and use Barilla Plus (protein power!)pasta in our version!

  • 17
    Shelley - At Home in Rome // Jan 7, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Girl, you do realize that this is what we call PURE EXPAT TORTURE? Ok, just wanted to make sure.

    I’m jumping back on the photo hunt bandwagon next week.

  • 18
    Nicole // Jan 7, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Yours looks delicious too! :-) I’d better not visit all of the participants…I’m getting really really hungry!

  • 19
    sher // Jan 7, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    That looks like the perfect mac-n-cheese. My leftovers from my effort are gone–and now I’m hungry again looking at yours! And you get to eat it in Italy! You have it all! :):)

  • 20
    Beth // Jan 7, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    This looks so delicious! My mom made homemade mac at Christmas and I am still dreaming of it.

  • 21
    cookiecrumb // Jan 7, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Awesome. You win!!!
    Wait. It wasn’t a contest. But boy, that looks great.

  • 22
    Mrs Lifecruiser // Jan 8, 2007 at 2:55 am

    I’m quite surprised actually that we didn’t copy this in Sweden at all. It’s simple and good. Instead we have a kind of stewed mac’s and at the side Falukorv (Swedish sausage) with tomato sauce which every kid loves.

  • 23
    Jeffo // Jan 8, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I didn’t like mac and cheese as a kid. I was goofy that way.
    I’m cooking up a new Tour del Gelato stop for you. From a most unlikely place! It should be ready tomorrow. Also I can’t wait to find out if I won anything of the Food for Hope thing!!!!!!


  • 24
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jan 8, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Lieudalis, peas are good – or try ground beef + corn OR salsa + olives for my two fav variations. Shelley, if you come up in the next week or so (until the cheese runs out) I’ll make you some! Nicole, I’m getting hungry again, too! Sher, yours looked AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing! Beth, where are your pics and RECIPE? Cookiecrumb, thanks for your vote. Mrs – yours sounds interesting – what does Swedish sausage taste like?

    Jeffo – I am very excited for your next entry! I have one ready as well!

  • 25
    Sara // Jan 12, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    That looks so good! I want to make some now!!! I am going to London next week and I plan on bringing back lots of cheddar. When I don’t have cheddar I make mac n’ cheese with a beschamel sauce and parmigian. Not too bad, actually. But nothing compares to good ol’ cheddar!

  • 26
    Judith in Umbria // Jan 12, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    I lost the link to you when my blogger blog died. Your blog has really become a goldmine of ideas and energy. Congratulations!
    Some of the links aren’t opening for me, but it’s probably the )(=? dialup.
    Ciao, bimba,

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