coleslaw and mac-and-cheese redux

Since the beginning of 2008, there has been one eensy change after another: we’ve bought some new furniture, so our living room looks largely different. I’ve changed both my work and personal computers, so finding files, editing pictures and even, say, learning control-alt-delete in Mac-ese has been a time-consuming task. We’ve (mercifully) switched gyms to one with–get this–a pool, thus I think I’ve spent a good amount of the last week (blissfully, kickily) underwater. And at work–yes, the place I hang out when I’m not having more fun with you–I’ve taken on a whole new coverage area, which while much more interesting for me seems to mean that work takes at least an extra hour each day, and that dinner at 9:45 p.m. doesn’t even raise an eyebrow. Last but in no way least are all of these major site changes we’ve been trying to put together in our ‘free’ (ha) time, including the one that, most unfortunately, took the site offline on a day I had no time to address it.

one pound of cheddarcheddar, shredded

What this all adds up to are awesome things; 2007 kind of went out with a whimper, thus you’re not going to hear any complaints for me if 2008 looks nothing like it. But when I’m trying to get comfy on the new sofa, crop a picture on unfamiliar software or looking for a contact’s phone number buried within a document I accidentally forgot to move over to my new computer (!), I do find myself aching for the familiar, the recognizable; the ability to complete the simplest of tasks without expending extra mental energy.


Which, of course, always, leads back to the kitchen, and when considering what to serve with fried chicken last week, I went straight for the archives: my favorite classic coleslaw and the easiest, cheesiest baked macaroni and cheese one could ever hope for. Sure, if you’ve been reading along the whole time you might have already tried this, but if you’re new here, come on–what are you waiting for? The slaw has converted dozens of slaw-haters and the mac-and-cheese? Requires no pre-boiling of pasta. As in, you could put it together right now and it would be ready by the time the Giants win. What? We’re a hopeful bunch.

So, what’s changed for you since the start of the year?

From the archives: Cole Slaw, Creamy Baked Mac-and-Cheese

One year ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

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33 comments on coleslaw and mac-and-cheese redux

  1. Ooohh… I like the sounds of that mac & cheese. I’d need more convincing for the slaw. Not a big cabbage fan. As for the changes in my year, they actually started last fall when I finally gave up my full-time status at the job from hell. Still technically on payroll, but I’ve worked there once in the last 2+ months. I am actually… wait, what’s the word?… oh, yeah. Happy.

  2. No pre boiling of pasta? One less step and pot to clean ? Trời Æ i ! (OMG ! in Vietnamese ) .I wish I had this luscious recipe ages ago. Maybe it’s better that I don’t cuz I can see the scale tipping. You just made my lunch with your fried chicken, now I’m gonna make some mac & cheese for dinner. I go for the rich, cheesy stuff first. Cabbage slaw, maybe tomorrow…or next week. Thanks again!

  3. Can’t imagine how I missed this mac & cheese recipe the first time you posted. It sounds exactly like the ones my grandma and aunt used to make. (Sadly, mom didn’t get the cooking gene.) Mmmm…this might be perfect for a Super Bowl dish.

    Go Giants!

  4. My mom makes the best mac-and-cheese so I will not be trying your recipe. But, I do love slaw so that I’ll give a go. I remember thinking I should try it the first time you posted it. Thanks for the reminder!

    Speaking of my mom in regards to your question about changes, her recent critical health problems have vaulted me into a deeper appreciation for embracing life (and not just any life, but a *healthy* one). As a result, I’m jetting off to Portugal for a much needed vacation I’ve been putting off and then I’m coming back home to quit my job and change careers just as I turn 30…I know 2008 is going to be one hell of a year! I hope it’s all for the best! But you’re right, Deb. Change is frustrating as much as it is exciting so good comfort food is equally important. Good luck with the new beat and the technological “advances”. :)

  5. I now have a four quart Le Creuset casserole in my cupboard, and I no longer live in a grimy sharehouse. I also finally got my food/research blog off the ground, though this is not meant to be some kind of blog pimpage as there’s very little in it yet. That’s all good. Oh, and I also moved in with a man who hates coriander [cilantro] for some reason, which means I enviously huff bunches of coriander at the market but can’t take them home with me.

    I’ve got a good feeling about 2008.

  6. Nikki

    In honor of NFL playoff weekend and the cheeseheads in Green Bay, I made the Mac & Cheese tonight for a family dinner. I’ve probably made it 10 times in the last year and it is always a hit. We kick the cayenne up to about 1/2 tsp. It makes it just that much more spectacular.

  7. Mac-n-cheese is one of my favorite foods EVER, but I’ve never done it without the boiling step. I’m curious.

    As for 2008? I’m STILL adjusting to my iMac; and as for cooking? Not so much. This baby (!!!) has kept mom quite sick and not so fond of anything … raw.

  8. Oy, just after watching that spirit-crushing Packers vs. Giants game I come here for some cheering up… and what happens?

    I relive that awful, awful soul shattering kick.


  9. Joy

    I’ve never made slaw because it looks like so much work, but I like eating it. I tasted one with pecans and loved it. I might add that when I try your coleslaw.

    As for changes — I try to take it easy on Sundays now. Last year I freak out about having all my b/f’s clothes ironed and prepared for the whole week. Crazy!

  10. I have made this Mac & Cheese on several occasions and it always pleases… well except for my kids… they want the blue box. This tastes too much cheese they say. Good! More for me! I was even able to convince Hubby that it didn’t need bread crumb/cubes on the top.

    The thing that’s changed for me, isn’t really anything. Same old, same old.

  11. omg, no kidding, it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how to crop photos on my new mac! both these recipes look great, although i’ll take mac and cheese over cole slaw any day. :-)

  12. I started making that mac and cheese recipe as soon as I read it in the Times but have since grown disenchanted with it. At first I was thrilled with the simplicity of it but after that aspect wore off, I felt that it didn’t remain sufficiently gooey for long. It is hard to keep it warm without it drying out a bit. It lacks the true creaminess of say, City Bakery’s mac n’ cheese which is an all time favorite. All this to say that I haven’t found a replacement yet and was hoping that YOUR recipe would be the one. Alas maybe there is no better..

  13. We had a couple friends over the other night, and I was in dire need of some really yummy comfort food. So, I decided that this mac and cheese was to be made, and I planned the rest of the meal around it. The thick cut pork chops were splendid. However, this is the BEST DAMN mac and cheese EVER! It’s better than my mom’s and that is saying a lot.

    In fact, I’m going to go devour the rest of the left overs right now.

  14. Amy

    I saw the NYTimes article when it originally came out, and I made the other recipe, and never got to this one. This Mac and Cheese recipe suits my current lifestyle perfectly…toddler and new twins. it took all afternoon to grate the cheese and put the whole thing together, but it was delicious.

  15. shayna

    I have never been able to make real mac and cheese, so I gave this a try. Again, ew. It was dry and gross despite bein picture perfect.

    My family makes luxion (spell?) and cheese. Boil pasta, drain, melt butter and whipped cream cheese in pasta, toss to coat (in same pot used to boil so its still wicked hot), add cottage cheese salt and pepper. Its all by eye, there is a yiddish word for it but I can hardly say it never mind spell it :o) This probably started from eatin’ a bite of kugel raw (which is really good if you don’t mind a little semonila and its really just to taste it cause everything is by eye) but who knows.

    Maybe my oven’s too hot or I missed something.

  16. I recently got a mac as well. I absolutely understand the struggles of getting used to mac-ese! But, now that I’m used to it, I much prefer the mac. Not only is it oh so functional, it’s awfully pretty too! My partner cringes every time I say that :-)

  17. Neesha

    i love this recipe. i’ve made it three times and each time it just disappears from the plate. thanks for this really simple and really wonderful recipe!

  18. Frantzie

    The mac-and-cheese recipe is indeed awesome and, of course, stupefyingly loaded with cholesterol. But what the heck – I’ve never yet come across a healthy mac-and-cheese recipe that was worthwhile.

    It formed a marvelous, tasty cheese-crust at the bottom of the pan. Now I see why you say to bake it in the upper third of the oven – can’t imagine what the crust would have been like baked closer to the heating element. But that’s my favorite part of any kind of cheese dish — the slightly over-baked bits.

    I do have a comment, though. You end the recipe with the statement, “* Next time, I will puree everything without the milk, and then add it in. I think that will put a finer grind on the cottage cheese, so no lumps remain.” I followed your advice. But while the sauce was smooth and lump-free before baking, it curdled somewhat as it baked. And it dried out a little on sitting, and didn’t stay gooey – right on, izzy’s mama. I would say the texture of the sauce was the only problem – it still tasted great.

    Thanks for re-visiting the recipe. It was worth it.