Ok, as long as no one we know gets surprised engaged and decides to surprise go to Hawaii and get married at the last minute, we are done going to weddings for a few good months, which I’m kind of sad about because the Rent the Runway dresses I’ve been finding have been off the hook. And I love a good dance party. And the far off destinations that we get to go to. This past weekend we were right on the Idaho/Wyoming border for an Eggcousin wedding at a ranch that made me want to go back and watch Hey Dude reruns. (Was that a good show? Or just an obstacle on the way to Bug Juice and Double Dare? Will we ever know?)
It was my first time in Wyoming and I gasped when I saw the scenery. Mountains are so good. On our first night we stayed at the adorable Anvil Hotel in Jackson and had a delicious and inspiring crispy honey chicken with creamed corn at Glorietta. I pretty much never order chicken at a restaurant unless it’s schnitzeled but our server said get the chicken so we got the chicken and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made at a restaurant all year. The next morning we hiked up Snow King mountain, ate an apple and peanut butter at the top, and then came down and drove across a Teton to the ranch in Idaho for the wedding. Wowee zowee, it was beautiful. We rode horses, saw a bunch of wildflowers, sat around a campfire, and Eggboy played music for the ceremony!! It was the best.
Now we’re back, just in time for National Macaroni and Cheese Day!!!! Which is the only food holiday besides donut day that I take seriously for now. It’s on Saturday. And I know, it’s kind of dumb to have it fall in the middle of summer when we should be taking advantage of fresh summer vegetables, but I don’t make the rules. So here is a recipe that I’ve been making in my low key mission to everything bagel (v.) all of the things. It was partly inspired by Alex and Sonja’s Everything Bagel Pasta, which looks sooo good. And the things that make this mac bagel-y are:
-Cream cheese in the cheese sauce, which adds a delicious tang
-Chives, because chive cream cheese is the best cream cheese
-Just a tiny bit of barley malt syrup, a sweet sticky substance that’s a key ingredient in making bagels taste bagel-y
-Tons of everything bagel seasoning on top. It seems like a lot when you’re making it but it gets all crunchy in the oven and adds perfect texture. (I’ve included measurements below to make your own seasoning but you can certainly use store bought. If you use storebought: sprinkle it on to taste because some of them, like the one from Trader Joe’s, are extreeeeemely salty.)
-And if you’re feeling extra, sub out the panko breadcrumbs for bagel crumbs!
-And for bonus points: add hot dogs or veggie dogs and then it’s bagel dog mac and cheese.
…And there is no bagel-driven reason for the ketchup. I just like it.
Everything Bagel Mac and Cheese
1/2 lb (226g) pasta, I prefer rigatoni
1/4 c (68g) unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 c (33g) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c (590g) whole milk
4 oz (113g) cream cheese
4 oz (113g) white cheddar or gruyere or a mix of both, shredded
1 oz (28g) parmesan, shredded
1 1/2 tsp barley malt syrup, optional
1/2 c chopped chives or scallions
Bonus points: 2 cut up cooked hot dogs or veggie dogs
3/4 c (75g) panko breadcrumbs
1 tb unsalted butter, melted
1 tb each: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion
A few pinches of Kosher salt
Ketchup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the box, cooking for one minute less than directed. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium high. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the milk and cook, whisking continuously, until thickened, and then repeat with another cup, and then the remaining 1/2 cup. Add the cheese and stir until melted, and then add the barley malt syrup (if using), a few pinches of crushed red pepper, a few turns of black pepper, and salt to taste. Stir in the pasta, chives, and hot dogs, if using. Transfer to an 8” baking dish or a dish that’s a similar size. In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and melted butter and then distribute it over the top of the mac and cheese. Combine the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, and salt in that same medium bowl and sprinkle it liberally over the top.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly and then serve with ketchup.
mac and cheese photo by chantell and brett!
P.S. I have a few fun appearances on Food Network this weekend!!
On Saturday at 11am eastern I will be making peanut butter cake on one of my favorite shows, The Kitchen!!!!
👆🏼👆🏼Feeling very at home in the presence of Jeff Mauro and his great Chicago accent.
And on Sunday at 9pm eastern I will be a guest judge on Food Network Star!
Bobby and Giada were soo nice!!!!
And on Sunday at 11am eastern on Girl Meets Farm, we will be celebrating Eggsister's baby shower!!! There will be donuts!! And ~walking tacos~!