Basic Macaroni and Cheese

Friends, I have a question for you: when you see a blog post for macaroni and cheese (like this one!) does it A) make you want to try that *specific* macaroni and cheese or B) send you running to the kitchen to make your tried and true favorite mac and cheese?

Here is my hunch. Macaroni and cheese recipes are like hair dressers. Once you have one you like, you always return faithfully. But if you don’t, well, you shop around. Sprinkle some smoke mozzarella on some noodles here, fold in some blue cheese there. You’re a chef on the hunt. But what I don’t know is the ratio. Is it 50/50? 80/20? Have you found your bubbly, golden, cheesy BFF?

I have.

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Sour Cream Banana Bread

Here is the thing about banana bread: as each recipe gets passed along someone adds a banana. And if they didn’t add a banana, they added more vanilla. Eventually there will be a banana bread recipe that is nothing but bananas and vanilla. I have never been offered a slice of homemade banana bread without the whisper of the baker’s banana bread secret, “The recipe called for 3 bananas, but I added 4.” Always said with a gleam in their eye. These banana bread baking rebels are everywhere.

And yes, *of course* I added an additional banana. It’s banana bread baking tradition! I’m not about to mess with it.

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Mushroom Leek Risotto

Hey! Guess what? It’s LeekWeek™ on the blog! Yeah, I didn’t know either! I think it’s what happens when you have too many leeks and you also have a cooking blog. The two, they collide! You can’t help it.

As you may recall, my first LeekWeek™ post was Potato Leek Soup. While that soup was super tasty, making it twice would’ve been silly. I mean, mmmmaybe it would have boosted me a page or two in search results for “potato leek soup just one potato and maybe a slice of bread as a secret ingredient” but I didn’t think the boost was worth boring you, my dear readers. (Hi, Mom!) So instead I hit the virtual books and put together this unbelievably good risotto that will make you a LeekWeek™ #1 fan.

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Potato Leek Soup

If you had told me that one Russet potato could make a whole pot of potato leek soup taste potato-y, well, I don’t know if I would have believed you. I wouldn’t have been so bold as to call you a liar, I just would’ve quietly had my doubts. Until I tasted it, that is. Then I would have wanted the recipe.

So, dear reader, please don’t think I’m pulling your leg with this sparsely potatoed potato soup. I don’t know how it works either. Maybe leeks secretly taste like potatoes while camouflaging themselves to look like green onions. I wouldn’t put it past them. They are surely the shiftiest of vegetables.

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While I feel like I should kick off this post talking about what a great breakfast muesli makes I am instead compelled to sing the praises of Bonne Maman jam. The jam is, of course, superb but the jars — they take it over the top. The darling gingham lids and perfect size make it so I never recycle a jar. They’re all in my cupboard, acting as juice glasses and ice cream bowls and the perfect little containers for a breakfast of European style muesli on the go.

Oh YES, the muesli. I’m a total sucker for oats soaked in yogurt. I know that can sound suspect, a little like cold gruel, but I love it. I’m sure the honey and brown sugar don’t hurt. Or the fresh apples and grapes. Or the berries. Take all that and  spoon it into little jars and you have the perfect take-to-work breakfast.

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