Saturday, October 9, 2010

"The Horoscope Cook Book" - Macaroni and Cheese

Date I made this recipe: October 7, 2010

The Horoscope Cook Book by Sonia Allison
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
© 1971
Recipe: Macaroni A La Reine – p. 92

So I found this book a while ago and as you might suspect, it contains both recipes and horoscopes. Seeing as how today is my birthday (October 9th—this makes me a Libran for those of you keeping track), here is a sample of my horoscope from this cookbook: Libra -“Character Study – Librans tend to be tall, very handsome and slender people, with long slim hands and legs. (True, true, continue!)They usually have symmetrical and classic features, beautiful complexions, fine skins, soft and expressive eyes – in blue or brown – round faces, high cheekbones, thick straight hair (not on your life. My hair is a bush, a tree AND a shrub!) which can be either dark or very fair and well-proportioned limbs. All Librans are inclined to put on weight in middle age, due to overindulgence of rich food."

Okay, let’s stop right there. I did make a “rich food” dinner two nights ago but I definitely did NOT overindulge. I’m not sure I even “ulged.” No sir. And that’s because I was already feeling the weight of my middle age! (Up until then, and aside from the hair, eyes, skin and face comments, this person had me at “Hello.”). I mean seriously, about six years ago I gained a stomach and never looked back. And while I was feeling kind of thin this summer, now that fall is upon us, it’s all over but the crying. When it’s cold in Minnesota the body adjusts by craving carbs. It’s ridiculous but there it is.

Aside from the fact that making this dish would be playing into the authors hands about loving rich foods, was going to give it a pass because I just wasn’t sure about the Stilton cheese. It seemed like it would be too overpowering. But people, I am glad I went ahead with it because it was de-licious! I considered other recipes and was even willing to pull a “it’s my birthday so I get to decide” card and switch it up if I needed to but lucky for me, and you, I didn’t need to go there.

I will say this about food and I don’t think that it is indicative of one zodiac sign or the other: when it comes to birthday meals, I want what I want and what I usually want is comfort food. Having a fall birthday (even though I hate fall) is conducive to that.

As far as comfort food goes though, we never had mac and cheese growing up (it was just not a Midwestern thing and I’m sorry, Kraft in a box doesn’t count) and because of that deprivation and because this recipe had potential I made this dish. The best thing is that it took less than a half an hour to make (unless you add in the time for my husband to go out and get the butter that I assumed we had on hand). I mean who wants to celebrate a birthday tied up in the kitchen for hours on end? Not this gal!

Okay, back to my horoscope: “…They are artistic, fond of grace and elegance in all things, perceptive, amiable, generous, affectionate, well-balanced…” (Sop it, you’re killing me!)

Happy Birthday, fellow Librans!!

Macaroni A La Reine (Macaroni for the King…or Queen!) – serves 6 as an horsd’oeuvre
6 oz. elbow macaroni
2 oz. butter (1/4 cup)
3 oz. Stilton cheese
¾ pint double cream (2 cups whipping cream)
¼ level teaspoon powdered mace (you can also substitute nutmeg or allspice)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
About 1 extra oz. butter (1/8 cup) for the top

Lightly butter 6 individual heatproof dishes. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until tender. Drain thoroughly. Put butter into saucepan. Thinly slice cheese and add with cream, mace and cayenne pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until smooth, thick and hot. Season to taste with salt. Add macaroni and mix thoroughly. Transfer equal amounts to prepared dishes. Sprinkle with crumbs and top with flakes of butter. Glaze under a hot grill and serve straight away. (Note: I used one large casserole and that worked out fine. I also baked it for about 10-15 minute just to make sure it held together).

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