Archive | August, 2012

Ina’s Recipe

Just a few more hours until my weekend starts, I’ll be headed to D.C before I know it. I have to say it one more time, I cannot wait to see my friends!!!! AND, Happy Happy Birthday to my sweet friend Lindsey!!! We will be celebrating lots of birthday’s this weekend in D.C, Lindsey’s today, Lenox’s Friday ( will miss you Len), and Hallie’s Saturday!!!! I’ll be sure to post a lot of pictures, I know you all can can’t wait 😉

I stole this pic off Facebook, only one I could find of all of you ;)!!!!!!!

Now back to this mac&cheese I was telling you about yesterday. Y’all know what I think Ina Garten knows how to do really well?  Risottos, pasta’s, and flowers (and a table-scape, of course). That’s exactly why I went to her cookbook for this homemade mac & cheese recipe.


  • 4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven – there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.


Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes.


Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.***

****I packed this pasta up in two big Ziploc bags with baking instructions for sweet Kimmie Sue, who will be serving this Sunday lunch along with brisket and a green salad. Hopefully, she will hire me for more Oxford get togethers!!