2 for 2

(I’m *not* just posting because Kathy asked me too, but it was part of the motivation to get up off my ass and DO IT)

I always do this to myself.  Always.

Maybe it’s because my foremothers are from Kentucky – that would explain my penchant for cowboy boots, at least.  It’s in my genetics – my blood.

It must be that – whatever dominant Johnson-gene (not to be confused with my uncle, Gene Johnson) caused me to wear my bright pink Lucchesse’s today, has also rendered me *completely* incapable of going to a social gathering without bringing at least one baked item.

Tomorrow morning we’re getting up ass-early to go to KC, meet up with my parents, and then immediately hop back in the car and go 100 miles east-northeast to Grandma’s house in Sumner.

And since we’re going to the symphony tonight I won’t have time to bake anything, so I took care of it last night.

First I made this:

That’s a strawberry-rhubarb cake.  But it’s not my usual recipe.  Wanna know why?  BECAUSE I CAN’T FIND IT.  I know.  It’s awful.  I NEVER lose recipes – I keep them neatly on handwritten cards in a box on my kitchen windowsill.  But it had been (at least) six or seven years since I’ve made this cake, and somehow the recipe disappeared.  So I combined a couple different listings from cooks.com and tweaked it on my own, and I *think* I’ve come up with a reasonable approximation of the old version.  I hope.  I’ll let ya know how it goes.  I’m worried it’ll be a bit dry.  This doesn’t make me happy.

Still, it’s pretty, ’cause it kinda looks like lava.

And ’cause it has crispy burned-y bits at the edges, and I’m gonna eat them ALL.

And ’cause if you catch it at just the right angle it looks huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.

Like the strawberry rhubarb cake that ate Manhattan.  And then I’ll eat it.  Which I think makes me bigger than Manhattan but SEE IF I CARE.

Ahem.

So then I made this:

Yup, that’s the inimitable Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

Because I’m taking it to share, I went all out – I used regular (full-fat) cheese, plain macaroni (not whole wheat), and 2% milk (recipe calls for whole milk but even I can’t be *that* bad).

I’ve given it an ample taste-test, of course, and am SO pleased with the result – smooth and creamy and RICH.  The powdered mustard gives it a nice kick.

Nummy.

If I were just making it for Jeff and me, though, I’d change a few things – reduced fat cheese and skim or 1% milk, mainly.  And I’d probably kick the seasonings up another notch or ten, too.  And use whole-wheat pasta.

But still, I’m not complaining – and I don’t think my parents and grandma will, either!

Yup, it was a productive evening.

It doesn’t get more “comfort food” than mac & cheese and strawberry rhubarb cake!

Now, because I apparently get off on indecent exposure…

Who wants to help clean up?

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