Mac and cheese is my new sick food. Does anyone else have a food that they always crave when they are sick, regardless of how wildly inappropriate consumption may be for their physical state? Mine used to be fried chicken... oh man, every time i got the stomach flu in college the only thing i wanted was fried chicken. Gross, right? Well now it's mac and cheese. I've been less than healthy for the better part of 2010, and I constantly crave mac and cheese! laying in bed with the stomach flu? Mac and cheese. Quarantined to my home with skin disease? Mac and cheese. Nasty cold and nasal congestion? Oh, DEFINITELY mac and cheese.
It's a problem though... because my--er-- more mature, discerning palate cannot be satiated by KRAFT mac and cheese-- that color-of-orange-not-found-in-nature-powder-cheese stuff doesn't do it for me. I like REAL mac and cheese. The baked custard kind... you know, with real cheese (maybe more than 1 kind) and cream and crunchy goodness on top? (swoon) The likes of which cannot be purchased in a box at the grocery store for 57 cents.
Mercifully, the stars have aligned in my favor, or the gods have smiled upon me... or something like that... because Panera now offers mac and cheese that is... well, passable. (It's creamy and yummy and a color found in nature, but not crunchy goodness. sigh.) And it's about as close to fast food as you are going to find a Valerie approved mac and cheese... so when the sickness hits and the desire for mac and cheese hits simultaneously... relief is only as far as the next panera. (Unless daddy is around and i can get him to make me the real stuff! :) mmmm...)