Following the Ingredients to… Macaroni and Cheese

I am not a recipe writer; I’ve been learning a bit about food blogging lately and that seems to be the most daunting of the aspects of it: what if my recipe works for me but fails because I forgot some detail I needed to tell the readers? Perhaps this is why I like trying other people’s recipes and tweaking them, because it is easier than writing my own.

Lately though, since I started daily posts, I’ve found that I don’t get around to enough new recipes a week to keep the blog full up on only completely new recipes. For instance, we were quite tired the other night, so I did something I call “following the ingredients” – I start with one thing I know I want to eat, then add things that I think will be good until a food emerges.

For me, it started with some pasta shells. They looked like they were aching for some cheese, so while they boiled, I scrounged in the fridge. I found a smoked gouda spread that we were given a long time ago; since we don’t sit down with fancy crackers and cheese spread very often, it really hadn’t found a home, but I had a hunch it would make a good cheese sauce, if I added (consults fridge) the last of this block of cream cheese!

When the shells were finished, I put some leftover cream from when I made liquid truffle, and began dissolving the two kinds of cheese into it. In went my go-to spices for italian food: oregano, garlic, sea salt, cracked pepper. The bowl of recently-picked cherry tomatoes stared up at me accusingly, reminding me that there was no vegetable matter in this dish. I sliced them all up in halves and threw them in with the pasta on the side. The cheese sauce smoothed out, and a few leaves of basil later… something was born.

Husband loves cooking this way, just throwing in what we have, not worrying too much about recipes or whether the flavor mixes are perfect, but personally? It feels like a one-off – when I’m a little lazy, it’s great, and I’ll tell you – smoked gouda cheese spread doubles as a killer mac and cheese sauce. Recipes still are my favorite though: getting to be a part of that difficult, long-term creation process starting with originator of the idea and coming all the way through a bunch of grandmothers and mothers and food bloggers and pinterest-pinners all the way down to you. It’s pretty special.

15 comments on “Following the Ingredients to… Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Chloe Edges says:

    This is exactly how I cook all the time. I’ve had to start weighing and measuring and writing down what I put in as I go along for my blog but I continue to cook the same way – I just keep a pad and pen handy in the kitchen.


    • That’s smart! I should add a pen to the little magnetic notepad on my fridge – that would help with blogging. It’s hard enough already to remember to keep a camera or my phone handy to take a picture – you really have to be impressed by some of these blogs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel exactly the same about recipe creation! This pasta, aka Macaroni & Cheese looks so good!


  3. looks yummy! I love doing the same thing .. finding recipes and tweaking them to make them my own 🙂 check out my page for some other recipes you may like Xo


  4. Hang in there it takes a minute to find your groove when starting out. Sometimes if I know how many I am cooking for ahead of time I will try to get the portions down in a word document or as much of it as a can first then copy and paste into the blog later on. You can build up a quick little cheat sheet this way so later on writing is a little faster if you know how much pasta you always use, brands, or portion sizes for certain things that cross over to other dishes.
    So when I am cooking the dish I can focus on photos, video or other content.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If this is a “wrong” way to cook then I don’t wanna’ be right. This has been my method for 40 years…no complaints.
    Well, there is always one consistent complaint, from my husband.
    “You didn’t write this down. Why didn’t you write this down? We’ll never have this again, will we?”
    I am improving on the jotting things down. But, a decades-long habit is hard to break : )

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mackmarie says:

    I have never thought about using smoking Gouda spread ! Oh my lanta- this just flipped my world upside down 😂


  7. Hi, thanks for visiting my site and follow…you got a nice blog..


  8. shanaart says:

    This looks and sounds delicious! This is how I cook all the time! My boyfriend doesn’t get it, but I love it. Thank you for the follow, I am looking forward to learning some delicious recipes! 😊


  9. nancyruth says:

    This is how I cook. Remembering to write it exactly is the hard part. Especially if you’re just cruising your fridge for ingredients as you go. I love the idea of using the Gouda cheese spread as you did. And this looks like one tasty Mac and Cheese dish!


  10. Looks great, gonna try your twist on my mac n cheese next time ❤


  11. foodinbooks says:

    This looks delicious and obviously tasted just as good. The way you’re cooking is the best way to learn. That’s how you develop your palate and also learn what goes with what. You develop that inner sense of how things will mingle. Excellent dish and recipe!


  12. Oooh you make me so want a mac and cheese right now!!!!


  13. Frost says:

    I’m hungry now. 0.o
    Awesome recipe post 😀 and thank you for following my blog 🙂


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