Maybe something’s slightly wrong with the proportions I gave yesterday, and honestly, you probably want more sauce than not, especially if you want the creamy variety of macaroni and cheese. I had a good deal of leftover cheese sauce and then some of the leftover macaroni cheese, so I decided to follow my culinary intuition and spice things up a bit today.
First, you can turn leftover baked macaroni cheese into stovetop macaroni cheese easily by adding more cheese sauce and putting the leftovers in. I also added more of the crab boil, which I think turned out to not be crab boil but some kind of seafood seasoning. Oh, well, the flavoring is about the same when it all comes down to it.
I also added Bac’N Bits, which are made from soy and not real bacon.
Then a voice whispered to me, “Add basil.”
“BASIL, YOU DOLT, ADD BASIL TO YOUR MACARONI AND CHEESE.”
So I did, and that was a really, really good idea. Basil is a great friend of tomatoes, but apparently, it’s also a great friend to macaroni cheese, because the concoction totally sparkled after that…in a highly metaphorical way.
A bit of a friendly tip when dealing with leftover cheese sauce- make sure you add water to thin out the sauce before really heating anything up. Really thick sauces may burn if you don’t stir quickly enough, so adding water and allowing the bit of water to cook out is probably your best option. This also makes stirring easier.
My only regret in my two-day macaroni cheese adventure is having not had fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers to add to the recipe, but I’m not complaining too terribly much; this was a definite improvement to what I’ve made in the past, and any bit of cooking improvement makes me a happy panda. I think we did have some onion, and without any energy to cut said onion, I pressed forth to make the macaroni cheese.
The stove top version did turn out creamier. One thing you always have to remember is that any kind of sauce will thicken upon standing, especially sauce that has flour or corn starch in it. Corn starch is a good thickener to use as it won’t lump up, whereas flour has the tendency to lump up if the heat is too high.
Also, for those of you who don’t know, DO NOT ADD FLOUR OR CORN STARCH DIRECTLY TO THE MIXTURE, or it will lump up and you’ll have macaroni and cheese dumplings, which will not be a pleasant adventure.
Did I tell everyone about my new fortune-telling cards? I’ve taken a new interest in them these past few months; I’ve had Tarot cards for years that I’ve never really sat down to study, but being the person I am, I attempt to figure out the best way to learn something before actually attempting to learn it. So far, so good, mnemonics and the so-called “memory palace” are the best way to learn things. With things like cooking, I don’t have the same issues; ideas just randomly arrange themselves and pop out coherently for me as often as not. The gist, the abstraction of things, is there; all I have to do is fill in specifics, and voila, we have things like macaroni cheese that tastes just magnificent.
Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that the Russian Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards are a bit of a strange set, as you have 25 cards, and each card has half of one picture. A total of 50 pictures can be formed. Number 50 is the Bread, which represents Happiness, and in fact, Bread is my favorite card of all! Naturally, the carboholic would be partial to a card representing bread, good grief!
I also learned how to shuffle cards recently (though you can’t shuffle the Gypsy Cards because of their size and delicacy), and by shuffle, I mean really shuffle, where the cards fly into each other. It’s SO much fun to do that, and I learned by continuously trying over and over and over again until I got it. No one showed me how, so that makes me double proud of myself.
I have an idea to actually make a set of cards that aren’t for fortune-telling but are used to create meals. In other words, you have any number of ingredients written down on cards, then you shuffle the cards, and you draw however many you feel like drawing. Whatever ingredients are listed are what you can use to make a meal. In fact, the Onyx Plate, Veggie Table, and I should make this into a game show and be hosts. It’s like Iron Chef but with a constant wild card thrown in.
And then we could name it, “The Spice is Right.”
And we would have never-ending Plinko.
The Spice Girls could do the theme song (that would give us a multicultural edge by bringing over the Brits), and we could have guest hosts from the Food Network, like Paula Deen and Rachael Ray.
But not Sandra Lee. EVER. Though we could have her build life-sized, labyrinthine table-scapes, and then Veggie Table and I could go on another new show called, “Escape the Table-scape!”