Macaroni and Cheese

I hit on a pretty good mac and cheese recipe tonight. A few weeks ago I started with BBQ Dan’s recipe, and after a few modifications I think I hit on something pretty good and a bit easier to make.

Start by dicing up 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, 8 oz medium cheddar, and 4 oz monterey jack. Melt 6 tbsp butter over low heat (real butter — no margarine). Slowly add 6 tbsp flour, stiring frequently. Once that’s going zap 1 cup 2% or whole milk in the microwave for 45 seconds, then add it to the butter/flour mixture. Repeat this two more times for a total of 3 cups milk, then bring the heat up to medium-low.

While that’s going put on a pot of hot water and start boiling 1 lb of elbow noodles.

When the milk/butter/flour mix is up to temperature, add about 1 tsp salt, 1-2 tsp black pepper and 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper, then start slowly adding the cheese. Start with about 4 oz of medium cheddar and 2 oz of the other cheeses, and then add more of each type of cheese as your taste necessitates. Depending upon the strength and flavor of the cheeses you’re buying you may need to adjust the ratios, but I found that 6/8/4 sharp/medium/jack works for me. I haven’t tried it yet but I think a hint of smoked gouda might serve well too.

Once the cheese sauce is ready drain the noodles and pour the cheese in. Mix it all up and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Hot Buttered Rum

I had an excellent hot buttered rum at Astro Lounge in Bend the other night, and I’ve been obsessed with making the ultimate hot buttered rum ever since. Here’s the best I’ve got so far…

Start with a tall 8oz glass. Get the top of it wet and dip it in brown sugar. Add a shot of 151. Light the 151 on fire and, holding it a little sideways, rotate the glass for a bit until the sugar caramelizes. Blow out the 151 when you’re done. Be careful not to burn the sugar! Add 1 heaping tsp powedered sugar, 1 heaping tsp brown sugar, a hefty pinch of ground clove, a drop of bitters, the smallest pinch-of-a-pinch of salt and 1/2 tbsp butter. Top with ~6oz boiling water and stir until butter has completely melted. Once butter has melted add a splash of half-and-half.

For a richer flavor, only use enough 151 to caramelize the sugar and for the rest use Bacardi Select or a dark rum.

Dark Mirror end of year awards

Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror is starting to bring in some serious awards!

Best PSP game of 2006 from “…it showed everyone what the PSP could really do. It set the bar when it shipped earlier in the year, and no game has breached it since.” IGN also gave Dark Mirror runner-up for best graphics, and Sony Bend runner-up for best developer!

#3 game of the year on PSP from “Dark Mirror… absolutely floored us with what can be done on a PSP.

Best PSP action game and Best PSP multiplayer game from “Not only are the missions awesome but the multiplayer mode will steal your soul.

Best game of the year and Best action/shooter game from “It is, in a sense, the perfect game…

#5 game of the year and action game of the year runner-up — on all platforms — from Game Revolution: “Here, finally, is a game that proves the PSP is a strong console in its own right—and for that, it is one of the best action games of the year.