Recipe: Sarah’s (Somewhat) Healthier Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of my all-time favorite foods, hands down, and when I make it, I always make it from scratch. However, it’s not exactly what you’d call “healthy.” I recently devised a somewhat less terrible for you version of Mac ‘n’ Cheese that’s relatively quick to make and extremely tasty, and I thought I’d share it with you.

4691959590 b2c4c638e9 Recipe: Sarahs (Somewhat) Healthier Mac n Cheese

What You’ll Need

  • One pound whole wheat shaped pasta
  • Five cups chopped vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, corn, onions
  • Two cloves chopped, fresh garlic
  • Two tablespoons olive oil
  • Two cups grated cheddar cheese (you can substitute other cheeses, according to your taste)
  • Two cups skim milk
  • Two tablespoons butter
  • Two tablespoons flour
  • Two bay leaves
  • Handful of breadcrumbs (optional)
  • Salt & pepper

Continue reading »

Twisted Caipirinha!

I had the most craptastic commute in the history of commutes tonight. Seriously.  I left my work in Vancouver, Washington (just across the river from Portland) at 3:15ish, and didn’t get home to our place that’s less than a mile south of downtown Portland until around 6:00 p.m. That’s something like 13 miles in three hours. I have never experienced anything like it, and our local traffic reporter said that in his 20 years of covering traffic in PDX, he’s never seen anything like it. Insanity. Now, in fairness, it did randomly start snowing, which doesn’t happen much here. But still, it was hellish.

And I hate snow. As has been well-documented here.

Fortunately, when we had friends over to watch the Christmas Ships last weekend, I invented a pretty stellar new drink–I call it the Twisted Caipirinha. When I got home this evening, the first thing I did to seek solace from the snow, was make myself one–and I thought I’d share my recipe with y’all.

I first had a caipirinha at one of our favorite restaurants several years ago, The Lumberyard in Cannon Beach. (True confession: we call it The Logjammer, which is a Big Lebowski reference; I’ll just leave it there for those of you in the know to snicker about.) I got a little obsessed (I know, shocking, me obsessed.) with re-creating a caipirinha, but we could never find the special Brazilian booze that goes in it, cachaça (theoretically, you can substitute rum, but I hate, hate, hate rum, so that’s a non-option for me). We finally found some a few months back at the wonderful liquor store near Josh’s work (liquor stores in Portland tend to be creepy places whose primary focus is lottery tickets and generic brand gin, so this place is a treat–if you’re ever in Portland, you’ve got to check it out). So, after tinkering quite a bit and messing with recipes from my two favorite cocktail books, I perfected the caipirinha.

4227437796 74c84d25db Twisted Caipirinha!

The Twisted Caipirinha Team

Ask anyone who hangs out with me regularly, I’m not a big drinker. Sure, I enjoy a trip to Thatch with Rachel when she visits (Uh, by the way, Rach, when are you making another journey to PDX?), love Portland’s vast selection of microbrews and really love the fancy bourbon Josh buys me every Thanksgiving (another one of our funny traditions–my favorite is Blanton’s single barrel, which is not hugely popular, but works great the way I like it: over ice, plus a teeny, tiny splash of soda water; it also has a badass bottle), regardless, I’m not much of a drinker.

(Geez… Was that a long enough intro to this cocktail recipe?)

Continue reading »

pixel Twisted Caipirinha!