I can’t stop looking at the picture. Serious drool happening over the picture. Check out this amazing mac ‘n cheese recipe from Becky Flade, y’all. Also, Becky’s new book, Fated Hearts, which I will read while floating in and out of a cheese coma.
There are a lot of things I love about being born and raised in Philadelphia. We have history and culture; our sports teams are legend; a legacy of entertainers call, or have called, my hometown their own; and we have a reputation for being fierce, loyal and passionate. But above all that, we have FOOD: Tastykakes, cheesesteaks, scrapple, Peanut Chews, soft pretzels; there’s a veritable plethora of options that taste just oh-so-good in the City of Brotherly Love!
One of my favorite Philadelphia staples, something I didn’t realize until I went to college in a different state was specific to Philadelphia, is Cooper sharp cheese. I’ve been informed that, like Yuengling lager, the cheese has broadened its horizons and can be found in other locales, but, like me, it is a Philly native. MMM. I think it’s widely known that anything is better with cheese, but until you’ve layered Cooper on your mashed potatoes, or baked ziti, you haven’t lived.
Everyone enjoys the comfort and tradition of baked mac ‘n cheese but my youngest and I experimented with a pound of Cooper and some heavy cream. We came up with what we call our “World Famous Mac ‘n Cheese.” Of course, the world is my house and our closest call to fame is the adoration of my brother, currently living in southern Maryland, who had the opportunity to sample some and fell in love with it. Each time we make this rich dish, I snap a picture and send it to him via our cell phones to tease and torment like a good big sister should.
BECKY AND MORGEN’S WORLD FAMOUS MAC ‘n CHEESE RECIPE
16 oz elbow macaroni
1 lb cooper cheese, block, shredded
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup scallions, diced
3 cups heavy cream
¼ cup butter, salted
2 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp butter
1 cup crushed garlic & parmesan croutons
Pinch ground red pepper
- Cook macaroni according to package. Drain.
- In a skillet, mix butter & croutons. Fry till browned.
- In pot, make roué out of butter and flour. Add heavy cream. Slowly stir in cheeses & scallions. Mix on low heat until all the cheese has melted and the sauce has begun to thicken.
- Put macaroni in a large, lightly greased [I prefer to use butter] baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top and mix well.
- Spread topping over the macaroni. Sprinkle ground red pepper on top.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
I don’t know about you but just reading that recipe makes me hungry! Food is such a fantastic thing really. It can provide comfort, trigger memories and in some situations, seduce. Carter McAlister, the hero in my newest release, is from Philly. He loves his local foods and takes pleasure in feeding his woman.
“I like eating too much not to figure out how to feed myself. But other than grilling, there’s not a lot I’m good at, except stir-fry.” He spooned seconds onto his plate, motioning to her nearly empty plate. She shook her head. “Next time we’re in Philly, I’m going to make sure you fully experience the food. I’m talking cheesesteaks from Steve’s Prince of Steaks, Stock’s pound cake, soft pretzels off a random street corner, one of Tony Luke’s pulled-pork sandwiches, and cannoli from Isgro Pasticceria.”
“Seducing me with food?”
“I am if it’s working.”
About Fated Hearts:
Psychiatrist Henley Elliott fled her quiet life in Cleveland for a gypsy lifestyle, trying to stay one step ahead of her painful memories. When she breaks down in quirky little Trappers’ Cove, Minnesota, she meets Sheriff Carter McAlister – a man healing from his own share of hidden heartbreaks.
At the request of a friend, Carter offers Henley a job to help her get back on her feet . . . but soon he can’t resist trying to sweep the intriguing woman off them. Breaking through her carefully built shell proves to be a near-impossible task, and to make matters worse, a dangerous new presence in the Cove seems to be targeting Henley. They must learn to trust in each other in order to keep her safe.
Can Henley and Carter leave their secrets and scars in the past to get a second chance at happily ever after?
Where to Buy Fated Hearts
A city girl, born and bred, I place my stories in and around southeast Pennsylvania, or at least have a character or two from the area. Home is where the heart is and I make mine with my very own knight in slightly tarnished armor. When I’m not busy living my own happily ever after, I’m writing about someone else’s.
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