The Lemon Fairy Godmother brought AMAZING lemon bread to work today, so I was inspired to forgo a day of my month of hot yoga (thank you, Groupon) in favor of baking and consuming a bunch of stuff. I'll sweat it all out tomorrow.
I came home determined to make mac and cheese... from scratch: a task often attempted and never succeeded. Bechamel, why didn't anyone tell me about you before now? You're the answer to so many prayers.
First things first.
Pour a glass of red wine. Add 2 OJ ice cubes. Instant sangria.
Shred an 8 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese. Coarsely chop 1 Anaheim pepper and 1 medium jalapeno (removing as much of the rind as you want), a little more finely for the jalapeno. Start cooking 2.5 c your favorite shaped pasta (I used some whole wheat small shells I had in the pantry).
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan. Whisk in 2 tbsp flour until incorporated. Cook it for a bit, until all bubbly. Add 1 c milk (or heavy cream; nobody's looking) and about 2 tbsp hot sauce of choice. Incorporate. Add most of the cheese, taking into account how much you've snacked on (tilting your head back and dropping handfuls into your wide-open mouth; crumbles of cheese falling onto the floor, salivary glands bursting, and face turned to an expression of bliss, forgetting where and who you are for that moment of cheese ecstasy... where was I?) and reserving some to sprinkle on top when baking. Once that's smooth, mix the cheese sauce with the finished pasta and the peppers in a casserole (I'd say mine's about 1.5 qt). Sprinkle remaining cheese (if any) and bread crumbs on top, and cook at 350 for 20-30 minutes.
The only thing I would have done differently is saute the peppers a bit before adding to the pasta, just enough to soften them up.
Doused in more of aforementioned hot sauce, this is stupid good.
Part two of this double feature was "Carrot Cupcake, Part 2: This Time... It's Vegan." A little burned, but it was vegan all the way, with Tofutti and Earth Balance "cream cheese" frosting... and not so charred that I didn't eat 2.5 of them before going to bed. I mean, 1.