Panera Macaroni...Baked.

I am Southern. We bake our macaroni! haha I will admit I am getting on the "creamy" mac and cheese bandwagon just a little bit, but who says you can't have the best of both?! I made this for Befana(read about that here

We had a great weekend! Basically did a bunch of not a whole heck of anything. Getting to be my favorite kind of weekend! Started out on Friday by having dinner and a movie. The dinner was less than stellar, then the movie more than made up for it. Except for that one tiny moment when I got up to go to the bathroom and knocked my husbands root beer bottle onto the floor and it shattered...about 3 rows in all directions. Ooops...who did that?

We went to see Silver Linings Playbook and I can say that I probably had a different view of that movie than 75% of the people watching it. It revolves around a man who had been released from a mental hospital and diagnosed w/bipolar and trying to figure his way through and make the best out of it.(and sometimes being a slight punk) There were parts that were absolutely hysterical...and then there were the scenes that everyone was howling with laughter and I silently cried. Very close to home and not funny when they're struggles you know well (although, I have certainly never been violent or arrested, I'll just throw that out there;) But I loved the movie. It was...real and honest and almost as good as the book. If you get a chance, see it. 

Saturday it was 70' here and I went for a walk in my favorite park and then Saturday night we hit up a sushi place and watched the Ravens/Broncos game. Currrazzzyyy. Wiki got his fill of buy one/get one sushi and I had steak.  
oh, and I did indulge in a dark chocolate dunkachino. Yummmsss.

On Sunday I got to have lunch w/a favorite at this new Mexican place in Brier Creek. They had frozen margaritas and sangria. And then I remembered no alcohol for 2 more weeks and I got all kinds a sad. then I had their queso and I got over it;) 
and now...the recipe

I found panera's recipe on their website(ummmm, awesome) and then decided to twist it just a bit to make it my own.

1 pound penne(or any fork pasta)
8 oz shredded cheddar(set aside 2 oz)
8 oz shredded gouda (set aside 2 oz)
1 cup cream(I actually used half and half)
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp dijion mustard
splash hot sauce
2 tbsp butter

cook macaroni to desired taste, strain. In pan, melt butter. Add 1/2 cup cream and whisk together  Once heated, slowly add in cheese and cream, whisking continually till all cheese is melted and you have a "sauce" add in the mustard and hot sauce. Whisk together and add pasta back in, careful to coat all pasta. Pour into a baking dish and top with remaining cheese and cream. Bake at 375' for 20 to 25 min.

and yes, I had the reaction of "there's mustard and hot sauce in their recipe?!" 
I have said many times that Wiki is one of those low carb people. He will "cheat" for occasions. He ate 3 servings of this and then declared "Ummm, hands down best macaroni you have ever made" I am still in the after glow of his adulation.
So you should probably make this...just saying.
Hope everyone enjoys their week! 

5 comments on "Panera Macaroni...Baked."
  1. sounds like a busy/fun weekend- following now from the gfc hop!

  2. Girl, I love me some mac&cheese! I'm going to have to give this a go! I made a chili over the weekend (family recipe) and it was by far the best I've EVER made hubby's words were...this is the best you've ever made! ha! When I tasted it half way through, I was like, oh yeah...this is going to be good. ha! It's the simple things in life, right?? ;)

  3. YUM! Chris and I have mac&cheese at least twice a week...I will be making this soon!

  4. Your recipe sounds so YUMMY! need to give it a try! shoot when will my diet start?

  5. Um hot sauce and gouda is a win in my book! Looks so good!


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