January 25th - it's the day that I think of after New Year's Day. Today is my grandma's birthday. It's also Robbie Burns day. Not only was she an incredibly special woman to all of us, but she celebrated her birthday with wee Robbie - and oh how she loved that. Many, many years ago we started a family tradition by taking her to Robbie Burns night - eating haggis, kicking up our heals, and having far too many laughs.
We have carried on this tradition - and now we meet annually to keep the family hooplah up.
I had a dream of my grandma last night. It was a bit of an odd dream - but seeing my grandma made it all worth it. I dreamt that I was at her house - which was a huge apartment - with a bunch of different rooms. And each room had really old, eclectic furniture. That was pretty much the dream - and I just kept walking from room to room pointing at the different furniture. And then I waited for her to get out of the loo - which we are always doing with each other.
I think that it must be a sign to dream of her on her birthday. That's my thought anyway.
Last week I was craving a big, hearty bowl of mac 'n cheese. I have made a bunch of variations of this - you can check them out:
This recipe isn't so far different - but it was delicious and hearty.
Mac and Cheese Sims Style
1 box of whole wheat macaroni
1 head of cauliflower
1 red pepper - chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of flour
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 cups of skim milk
1 275 g container of mascarpone cheese
1. 5 cups of mozzarella cheese - shredded
Pre-heat the oven to 375.
While you are bringing the water to a boil for the macaroni - chop up the cauliflower into small pieces. I have a steamer that fits onto my big pot - so that I can steam the cauliflower while the pasta is boiling. If you don't have one of these - then you can easily add the cauliflower into the boiling water for the last couple of minutes.
While the pasta is boiling, you can start the sauce. In a saucepan or a pot, melt the butter and add the flour, whisk together to make a roux, then add the garlic. Slowly add in the skimmed milk, and whisk together over medium heat. It will start to thicken. Add in the mascarpone cheese, stir to let it melt into the saucy goodness. Then add in half of the mozzarella cheese and let that melt in as well. At this time you can add in any fresh or dried herbs that you like - i.e., oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Drain the pasta and add it to the cream sauce, with the cauliflower and peppers and mix all together.
Place it into a large baking dish, top with the rest of the shredded cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Alright friends - raise your glass today on this fine Robbie Burns day, or wear your kilt, or eat some Haggis, whatever works for you.