Meet Alicia, VP of Merchandising and Design, whose baked mac & cheese has some fun additions with bacon & breadcrumbs! Enjoy! 

 

  • Are there any lessons you've picked up from cooking that you think can be applied to the work you do? 
    AliciaThere has been more than 1 occasion where I am knee deep into a recipe, way past the turning back point, when I realize that I am out or do not have enough of an ingredient. Instead of heaving it all into the garbage I have come up with a creative substitute. In the design process there are times when a style that looks great on paper does not function as we thought it would so we come up with a different technique. This for both can sometimes result in something better than the original.

  • Do you have any memories attached to this recipe? / What does this meal/drink remind you of?
    Alicia
    : Sunday night dinner with my family while watching a good movie. Mac and cheese is an ultimate comfort food, so perfect during this time.

  • What new recipes are you looking to try during this time?
    Alicia: Homemade pizza and experimenting with different types of breads.

  • What is your favorite meal of the day?
    Alicia: It used to be lunch, but now that we are all home it is dinner. We are able to focus on each other after we are done w remote work and school. It is a time for us all to decompress and have meaningful  conversations about what we are all feeling during this time.

Recipe:

  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup bread crumbs - I used whole wheat panko, as this is what I had
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar - I use white
  • 1 ½ cup shredded gruyere
  • 1 ½ cup shredded swiss
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper - I use closer to ½ tsp, as I like spicy
  • 1 lb macaroni shaped pasta
  • 1 lb cooked bacon chopped

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir until browned, about 5 minutes. 
  • Heat milk until warm in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a separate pot melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook until butter is bubbling and then add the flour and whisk for 1 minute.

  • Gradually pour warm milk into butter mixture, whisking constantly until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 cups cheddar, 1 cup gruyere, 1 cup swiss, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the paprika, and cayenne pepper.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente and drain. Add the pasta and cooked bacon to cheese sauce. Stir to coat and transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining cup cheddar, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and 1/2 cup swiss over top, and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese is melted, and pasta is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. If you want to get extra color on the top place under the broiler for a few min and then let cool. 

 

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What are you cooking during this time? Let us know! You might inspire us to make some of your favorite recipes!