Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Comfort Food - The Unsung Hero

On days that we've been broken down.. disappointed.. hurt.. saddened.. there is nothing better than coming home to a nice big plate or bowl of your favorite comfort food. A comfort food can come in many forms.. sandwiches, pasta, pizza, salad, soup, any thing. So when you've had a tiring and draining day.. what do you turn to?

I dealt with a few challenges and since Jon was out of town for the day.. I decided to find comfort in a nicely sized bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese. Mmm! For me there is nothing better on a tiring day than filling a bowl with delicious pasta and throwing some cheese on it. Let's be honest.. what doesn't taste good with cheese on it? - No need to insert a Wisconsin joke here.

Over the years.. I have attempted many forms of a homemade macaroni and cheese. It took some time to figure out what mixes well together, how to appropriately melt the cheese, which cheese melts the best, and what vegetables can be mixed in. This recipe is for one person. Here is what I made tonight (sorry no picture today)....

Mara's Mac-N-Cheese
- 1 cup of medium shell noodles
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1/2 cup of marble jack cheese
- 1 tbsp of 2% or whole milk
- (Optional) 1/2 of a small diced sweet onion
- (Optional) 1/2 of a tomato - diced
- 1/2 clove of minced garlic
- Crushed red pepper (I don't measure but, if you'd like to try it.. add a small amount; you can always add more later if needed)
- Salt and pepper

Boil the noodles, strain and set aside. Melt 1 tbsp of butter into a medium sauce pan and add the onion (skip this step if you prefer no onion). Caramelize the onions to your preference. Add the noodles to the sauce pan and combine. Add 1 more tbsp of butter.. then add the cheese and a splash of milk. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add more salt and pepper as needed.

If I have time.. I would mix a combination of butter, flour, and milk to thicken the cheese. But, this is the quick version and ultimately serves the same purpose. It takes about 15 minutes and can be as fancy or as simple as you'd like. I have also added spinach and chicken - which are some other fun options.

I'm sure to some people this might not qualify as blog-worthy but, I think that all comfort foods deserve a little attention from time to time. Comfort foods are the unsung heroes of our day. So, if you're in need of a little comfy, cozy soul time.. I hope this recipe can provide that for you.

Have a great week all. :)

Copyright 2010 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.


  1. Mac 'n Cheese is one of my absolute favorites! Your recipe sounds add-on that I actually had in a restaurant in New Hampshire earlier this summer was lobster (I know, it's pricey, but yummy!) Don't know how they made the mac 'n cheese, but it was the best I've ever had - maybe the lobster put it over the top! Love your blog :-)

  2. Have you ever made this without tomatoes? And can you add pictures? And can you come cook it for me? :-)

  3. Mac N Cheese has been a favorite since childhood, and still love it. Great comfort food.