Monday, November 15, 2010

A very merry unbirthday…



I recently celebrated my half birthday. Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a 6 year-old, but I love birthdays and I love any reason to celebrate. For this reason, I also celebrate a birthday week and try my hardest to convince Andy that our 1 year, 274th day wedding anniversary really should be commemorated. Andy had never heard of this half-birthday business until he met me, and I don’t know if he would admit it, but I think he kind of likes it. This year, he outdid himself with my half-birthday celebration…

Living only 20 minutes from San Francisco, you would think that we would visit often, exploring new shops and restaurants, and eating our way through the city. But to us, it is a whole lot of work. You have to deal with traffic, and parking, and crowds, and then more traffic. So we hardly ever go. But this day, Andy had planned a half-birthday excursion. First we would go to the Ferry Building Marketplace where I’ve been wanting to go for ages, then to lunch at Pier 23 where I heard they have an amazing roasted crab, and to cap off the day, a trip to CB2 to shop for more tiny dishes that I don’t need but love with all my heart. Talk about a dream day!

Let me just say right off the bat that I am now so enamored with the Ferry Building that I could move in. If they allowed lodgers I would sign up, particularly at Boccalone Salumeria, whose sign proudly proclaims that they sell “tasty salted pig parts.” I wanted to buy two of everything in that shop. 


We also went to Cowgirl Creamery, 


Acme Bread Company, a wine bar, a mushroom shop, a seafood shop, an olive oil shop, and much more.


Anything you could think of, they had it. We could have skipped lunch and eaten our way through the marketplace. But no, I heard a crab calling my name…


Pier 23 (which is down the Embarcadero a ways) is a fun place; very funky and casual with outside seating and great food. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten something with as much vigor as I ate my oven-roasted whole crab served with the most amazing butter-garlic dipping sauce. There was literally crab flying. Andy picked some out of my hair later that day. I was in the zone, and didn’t say a word until lunch was finished. Needless to say, it was ridiculously good.

After a quick shopping spree at CB2, we headed home very happy. And later, we got to enjoy this:


Cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, spreadable spicy salami from Boccolone, and a fresh baguette from Acme. Best half-birthday. Ever.

Since we had a good amount of cheese left over, there was no way that I was going to have that much Cowgirl Creamery sitting in the fridge without making macaroni and cheese. It was just an opportunity I could not let pass by. I’ve wanted to make my own mac ‘n cheese for awhile now, and I finally had the cheese I wanted to use.



Half-Birthday Cowgirl Creamery Mac ‘n Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked in salted water and drained

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated in a saucepan
1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 ounces crumbled Mt Tam cheese (Cowgirl Creamery)
3 ounces crumbled Red Hawk cheese (Cowgirl Creamery)
1 1/2 ounces grated gruyere cheese
1 1/2 ounces grated white cheddar cheese

Topping:
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

For the topping, mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together. Reserve.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When melted, stir in flour and whisk for several minutes until flour is browning and cooked. Whisk in hot milk, and continue stirring over heat until mixture thickens. This will take a few minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in cheeses and pepper. Stir until smooth.

Combine cheese mixture and cooked macaroni. Spread into a baking dish. Sprinkle reserved topping over the entire dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until topping is golden brown.

(Disclaimer: If you don’t like strong cheese, this may not be the mac ‘n cheese for you. The Mt Tam and Red Hawk definitely have a distinct flavor, which is why I love them so much, but a non-cheese lover may not feel the same way.)


To me, this is the ultimate mac ‘n cheese. It’s creamy and tangy and rich and decadent. I ate WAY too much of it and only slightly regretted it. The top and sides get crunchy, which is the best part to some of us (okay…both of us). For my first homemade mac ‘n cheese, I really couldn’t have asked for better. When you start with such yummy ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong.

Now I can’t wait for my real birthday…Italy, here we come!

62 comments:

  1. If he did all this for your half birthday I can imagine what he will do for your actual birthday. I can understand from the pictures and story that you guys had an excellent time there. And what better way to cherish these moments than this mac and cheese. It sure looks very creamy and tasty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a Amazing and Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account and your blog posts.
      »------------> FREE - Pakistani Cute Girls Chat Room


      »------------> FREE- Karachi Chat Room Chat With Karachi Girls Online


      »-----------> FREE - Lahore Chat Room Chat With Lahori Girls Online


      »------------> FREE - Islamabad Chat Room GupShup With Islamabad Girls Online


      »------------> FREE - Rawalpindi Chat Room Chat With Rawalpindi Girls Online



      »------------> FREE - Gujranwala Chat Room Chat With Gujranwala Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Punjab Chat Room Chat With Punjabi Girls Online


      »-------------> FREE - Peshawar Chat Room Chat With Pakhtun Girls Online


      »------------> FREE - Indian Chat Room Chat With Indian Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Desi Chat Room Chat With Desi Girls Online


      »-------------> FREE - ChatUsa Chat Room Chat With American Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Canada Chat Room Chat With Canadian Girls Online


      »-------------> FREE - Europe Chat Room Chat With U-K Girls Online



      »-------------> FREE - Australia Chat Room Chat With Australian Girls Online


      »-------------> Pakistani Cute Girls Mobile Numbers



      »-------------> Karachi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Lahori Hira Mandi Call Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Islamabadi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Punjabi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Peshawri Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »--------------> Indian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Delhi ke Choriya Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »--------------> U-K Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Canadian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> American Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »-------------> Germany Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Arab Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »-------------> Filipino Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Spanish Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> Iran Shiite Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> France Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »-------------> Ireland White Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »-------------> New-Zealand Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »--------------> Belgium Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


      »--------------> Pennylvania Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



      »---------------> Switzerland Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers

      Delete
  2. Wow, I think I should let my hubby read your post!
    Creamery mac n cheese looks delicious! I can't wait to see what goodies awaiting on your actual birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy 1/2 Birthday Karen!
    Love the pics.
    That mac has birthday decadence written all over it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. First of all: Happy !/2 Birthday!
    I really love Cheese and pics are so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yum yum yum, cheese and red wine, I totally have to do this on the weekend. Have not done that in ages.

    And I am always on the lookout for a good mac and cheese, thanks for this lovely recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love mac and cheese, especially when people incorporate cheeses that aren't the norm in them. Your recipe sounds delicious! (and happy UNbirthday!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a wonderful half birthday treat! I would be right there with you! I love strong flavored cheese and would be all over this mac and cheese. I am the same way about not making my own yet!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Now that looks like a fantastic half-birthday celebration. All that gorgeous cheese and meat, I would be in heaven! Great grown-up mac n cheese, I love intense cheese flavours.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a Happy post; everything you wrote about made me want to go see that market.I've always wanted to visit SanFrancisco, but never happened; we are pretty far away. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Food-centric excursions are the BEST!!! I'm in love with the half birthday concept, too! The mac n cheese looks amazing-- making your own is so much fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy Half-Birthday!

    Together, your mac-n-cheese and my pie could be deadly!:) Brings back good memories of my mother making stuff :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Too funny! I think I'll start celebrating half birthdays and make this Mac and Cheese! Yum

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love it! You are so funny. I've tried to convince Mr. Sideline Chef that everyday is a reason to celebrate being together but he isn't buying it. Haha! Looks like such a fun excursion and great buys. The mac n cheese looks incredible too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am totally doing that next year! (the 1/2 bday thing) This looks like a dream day and that mac n cheese will be in MY dreams tonight! Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do a half-birthday for my husband since his birthday falls mid December...that way, he doesn't have to share the spotlight with Santa ;)! LOVE Ferry Bldg...especially Cowgirl Creamery. Hoping to go back in spring since I want to visit my uncle, who lives on the East Bay!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. How lucky your man will celebrate your half birthday! I am jealous! I love that mac-n-cheese. Anything with gruyere in it is delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My mouth is watering looking at this macaroni and cheese recipe... looks irresistible!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love the Ferry Building! Such great stuff there. Perfect for half birthday treats!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well, happy half-birthday! All those dishes and foods look delicious, but especially the mac and cheese! I am quite jealous of your close proximity to San Francisco ...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Happy Half Bday! The mac and cheese looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  21. My mouth is watering. That mac and cheese looks amazing. I have never heard of anyone celebrating their half birthday but I like the tradition. I am so jealous you live so close to San Francisco...I can't wait until I can move west! Chris Cosentino seems like such a great chef, I have been dying to go to Boccalone and Incanto. Oh, and happy 1/2 birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  22. mmmm, this looks so cheesy and delicous! happy half birthday!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Cute and great idea, celebrating half birthday, mac'n'cheese looks good:)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I was just there!! And I wish I had some of this mac 'n' cheese!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Did you happen to see my heart while you were in S.F.? I left a huge part of it there! I don't celebrate unbirthdays (but might start). I do celebrate my birthday from the actual date and 30 days forward. I think you husband did a great half-un-birthday for you.

    Thanks for sharing the delicious looking recipe.

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  26. Mac'n'cheese looks great. What a fantastic way to celebrate!!. After reading the post, now i want to vist that market :). I wish it is in East coast:). Happy 1/2 Birthday :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your excursion looks like you had a blast. The Mac 'n Cheese looks amazing! I recently made Mac 'n Cheese for the first time and I'd love to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing and happy half-birthday :) I'm going to talk my husband into those celebrations.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I haven't had mac n cheese since my kids were little and that was out of a box! I can't wait to try this.

    ReplyDelete
  29. LOL you're so cute! Happy half birthday to you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy half birthday! I like this idea and I may have to use it myself (= I wish I could have visited the farmers market at the Ferry Building while I was there. I only hear amazing things. Andy is a good man and it sure looks like he have you a nice half birthday party celebration. And I really must try some cowgirl products!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Happy half-birthday. I may have been able to celebrate them 25 years ago, but now I think less is better. :) I wish my family liked their mac and cheese any way other than out of the blue box because I think this looks fabulous. I just can't pry them away from the fake stuff without more kicking and screaming than it's worth. ::sigh::

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love cowgirl creamery cheeses! I bet this was delicious and decadent!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Loved your story, the great photos... but mostly your mac and cheese. It is so creamy and yummy, although I never heard of the Cowgirl cheese, as they don't carry it in these parts of S. Florida, that I know of.
    Half birthday...so cute, another new one on me.
    Happy 1/2 birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow, I've never heard of half-birthdays, but sounds like a great idea. It'll be some work to convince the people around me to get on board, but maybe if I provide some homemade goodies and throw a small dinner they'd be more inclined to seeing it our way ;)

    Love the Ferry Building. I used to go there for lunch practically everyday. If you go on Thursdays and Saturdays you can catch the farmer's market. In the summertime there are even more amazing food stalls outside the market that serve artisan pizzas and other interesting and inspired prepared options for the lunch crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Happy Half- birthday! Any reason to celebrate and take a trip to San Francisco is a wonderful thing. And then to top it off with the decadent Mac n' Cheese, Oh my!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Happy half-birthday! Any reason for a celebration like you had, what a fantastic place! Great day! I'm jealous!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I definitely need to start celebrating my half birthday. Because you know, calories don't count on birthdays OR half birthdays which means you can eat as much of this luscious mac and cheese as you want - no guilt!

    ReplyDelete
  38. What an awesome half birthday and a very sweet husband! Looking at your mac and cheese makes me so hungry!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Happy half b-day!! I need to start doing this! haha The mac and cheese looks amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Happy half birthday! I love half birthday's(: They're so fun! The mac and cheese looks delicious. I love all the different cheese's in it. I'll have to make it soon, I'm getting sick of the boxed kind!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Happy half birthday! :) Where outside of San Francisco are you? I have family that lives in Novato. It's a GREAT area! I love San Francisco! And, on an unrelated note, the mac and cheese looks wonderful! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Who doesn't love a good mac and cheese - this one looks quite exceptional :-)
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have no idea where to get the cheeses that you mentioned--
    4 ounces crumbled Mt Tam cheese (Cowgirl Creamery)
    3 ounces crumbled Red Hawk cheese (Cowgirl Creamery)
    What could I use as a substitution?

    ReplyDelete
  44. I LOVE the Ferry Building! I haven't been there in a million years--I think it misses me. I could eat tasty pig parts and creamy cheese every meal of the day. Happy UnBirthday!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Happy Half-birthday! All the fun and none of the worry about turning another year older. :) That mac and cheese looks good!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I work for cowgirl, my suggestion is to add some Toma in to the mix, you won't regret it! Delicious!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. What a wonderful way to celebrate your half birthday! We used to celebrate our kids' half birthdays, but I never thought of doing it for myself. What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  48. How delicious! I'm with you- the more reasons to celebrate with good food, the better!

    ReplyDelete
  49. This sounds rich and delicious! Happy half-birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  50. You are never too old to celebrate a half birthday. Happy half birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Holy WOW...the Mac & Cheese looks amazing, I adore ANY reason to celebrate things (esp. with food) AND your shopping trip just may have me putting the seal on my proposed trip to San Fran in the winter:) FABULOUS Karen! :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Congratulations on the Top 9 today!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Top 9 AGAIN . . . way to go Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Happy half birthday! It looks so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love Mac ‘n Cheese!! Where are you go in Italy??

    ReplyDelete
  56. Happy 1/2 Birthday! What a fun time, and a delicious Mac n Cheese :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. We celebrate 1/2 birthdays too. What an awesome looking mac n cheese! Hard to make anything less than outstanding given the ingredients you got to use! Yummm!!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. OMG... I love Boccalone. I used to work on Davis at Market and I rode the Ferry every day to work from Tiburon. I moved back to Los Angeles I never realized how much I enjoyed working in the city and how much I missed the food of the bay area.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Oh WOW!!! Mac & Cheese is my absolute favorite food.... Can't wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Such a Amazing and Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account and your blog posts.
    »------------> FREE - Pakistani Cute Girls Chat Room


    »------------> FREE- Karachi Chat Room Chat With Karachi Girls Online


    »-----------> FREE - Lahore Chat Room Chat With Lahori Girls Online


    »------------> FREE - Islamabad Chat Room GupShup With Islamabad Girls Online


    »------------> FREE - Rawalpindi Chat Room Chat With Rawalpindi Girls Online



    »------------> FREE - Gujranwala Chat Room Chat With Gujranwala Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Punjab Chat Room Chat With Punjabi Girls Online


    »-------------> FREE - Peshawar Chat Room Chat With Pakhtun Girls Online


    »------------> FREE - Indian Chat Room Chat With Indian Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Desi Chat Room Chat With Desi Girls Online


    »-------------> FREE - ChatUsa Chat Room Chat With American Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Canada Chat Room Chat With Canadian Girls Online


    »-------------> FREE - Europe Chat Room Chat With U-K Girls Online



    »-------------> FREE - Australia Chat Room Chat With Australian Girls Online


    »-------------> Pakistani Cute Girls Mobile Numbers



    »-------------> Karachi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Lahori Hira Mandi Call Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Islamabadi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Punjabi Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Peshawri Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »--------------> Indian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Delhi ke Choriya Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »--------------> U-K Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Canadian Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> American Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »-------------> Germany Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Arab Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »-------------> Filipino Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Spanish Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> Iran Shiite Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> France Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »-------------> Ireland White Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »-------------> New-Zealand Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »--------------> Belgium Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers


    »--------------> Pennylvania Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers



    »---------------> Switzerland Girls Mobile & Whats app Numbers

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis