Almost Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese


Some days, the last thing I want to be is an adult.

Wouldn’t it be nice to pop back to childhood once in awhile? Just click your heels three times and there you are, seven years old again and free from responsibility, obligation and demands. Life is simple, and even easy. You get up and someone else is tasked with making sure you get cleaned, dressed, fed and on the school bus. Then that bus delivers you to school where other adults make sure you are safe and teach you all sorts of new things. Just when you stomach starts to utter a slight protest, you head off to the cafeteria to eat a lunch that someone else packed. After that, it’s time to go outside and play. Play! Not plan your schedule for the next day or budget for the month, just play.

To be a child again …

But we can’t go back and relive where we’ve been beyond the limits of our memories. We can only move forward, as growing, aging, experiencing beings. And really, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade my kids, husband or life for grade school. But it is fun to dream about once in awhile …

I started thinking about this recently after reconnecting with several childhood friends on Facebook. It’s strange to see the people who were so important to me 20 years ago, not as the kids I traipsed through the woods with, but as adults with careers and, in some cases, families of their own. We don’t know each other anymore, with so many experiences separating our lives, but at the same time we do.

With this surge of social networking, I can’t help but wonder if my kids are headed toward a world where their kindergarten best friend can mingle online with their college roommates. Will they can keep tabs on each other for life through Twitter updates and Facebook statuses? Are the days of losing touch with friends because of geography and school changes over?

Our world is in a time of abundant change. The methods that we use to communicate with each other are changing and adapting. Suddenly, families that don’t have time to call are sharing photos on Flickr and trading business leads on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, lives are converging as colleagues mix with cousins and school friends. It’s a confusing and strange transition. Where will it take us next?

What food would be more appropriate for a discussion of our changing world than a favorite childhood comfort food like macaroni and cheese? But this isn’t just any macaroni and cheese. With a piquant, creamy gorgonzola sauce and reduced fat half and half, this is both decadent and waist-conscious. And – Mom, are you listening? – it’s easy. Very, very quick and easy. In fact, I might go so far as to say that it’s easier than the ol’ blue box. Seriously.

And yes, the kids loved it. If you want to include young children in making this, have them pull up a chair and pour the half and half into the pan (beware of splatters though) or let them stir together the pasta and gorgonzola sauce in a large bowl.

Almost-Grown Up Macaroni and Cheese
serves four

12 ounces rotini, or other pasta of your choice … like, even macaroni
2 tbsp butter
1 large clove of garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp minced garlic)
1 cup reduced fat half and half
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
sea salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

When the pasta is about five minutes from being done, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened — about one minute. Don’t let it brown.

Add the half and half, gorgonzola, salt and pepper. Whisk together until smooth.

Mix together the pasta and gorgonzola sauce.


To Serve: This can be served as is with a salad. You can also stir in 1-2 cups of roasted vegetables (broccoli and tomatoes are pictured). You can also add grilled chicken. Or, combine the options for your own version.

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