How to Make Kraft-Style Mac and Cheese for a Crowd: Buy Dried Cheese Powder in Bulk

Kraft Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

As much as I love gourmet mac and cheese made from artisanal cheeses, the stuff from the blue box will always be my sentimental favorite.  I recently had a little birthday dinner for my niece and used the occasion as an excuse to make some Kraft-style Mac and Cheese (never mind the fact that at not-quite four years old she’s got a more refined palate than I had when I was in college).

Cheese Powder

Making a large quantity of the stuff can be humbug and expensive (those boxes are pretty much single servings, amiright?), but it recently became known to me that you can buy the cheese powder in bulk. In BULK, people.  Why has it taken me so long to learn this?  In the event that some of you out there are similarly in the dark, I thought I’d do a quick post to clue in any interested parties.

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Arnold Palmer Sorbet (aka Half-Tea Half-Lemonade Sorbet)

Arnold Palmer Sorbet

Every summer, when it seems as though the heat and humidity can’t get any worse, I turn to my turn to my friend, the Arnold Palmer.  You may know him as a half-and-half or a tea with lemonade.  The one-two punch of caffeine and sugar with plenty of mouth-puckering lemon never fails to get me out of my heat-induced stupor.

Arnold Palmer Sorbet 1

Posting the recipe for the drink seemed a little to Captain Obvious (make some extra strong tea, add sugar, lemon juice and ice.  If you’d like a Tipsy Palmer, otherwise known as a John Daly, add some bourbon or another liquor), but it recently occurred to me that it would make one heck of a sorbet.

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Easing Back into Blogging and a Walk Around Kakaako

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Sorry for the unexplained absence, guys.  The past month and a half has been total craziness; work, apartment renovations, car trouble, the sudden, and hopefully totally reversible, paralysis of my fur brother (my parents’ dog), and some out-of-town visitors all made blogging a very low priority.

My most recent recipe posts were cooked weeks ahead of their posting date, which means it’s been about 2 months since I’ve done much cooking.  Seriously, I’ve been eating stuff like hot dogs and boxed mac and cheese (uncured and gluten-free, for the record).  But still not a good scene.

I’ve also been eating out a fair amount, which is pretty atypical for me.  After one of said meals (a great Vietnamese chicken and rice bowl at the Pig and the Lady at the Blaisdell Farmer’s Market), a strenuous workout seemed like a no-go, so I took a stroll around Kakaako  instead.

Kakaako 1

Yowsa there’s a lot of new stuff going on in the area.  Cute shops, eateries, shaping shacks, multi-function spaces, rock climbing gyms,  aerial yoga studios, oh my!

Kakaako 2

(The Star Wars geek in me can’t read the “It’s a Trap” quote without thinking of Admiral Ackbar)

It’ll be exciting to see how the neighborhood evolves as more condos are built and more people move in.  I’m just hoping that Kakaako is able to retain some of the randomness that I used to find maddening about Honolulu, but now find endearing (i.e., fancy restaurants, mom and pop convenience stores, luxury condos and old homes that haven’t been updated since the 70s all right next to each other).

And for totally selfish reasons, I’m praying my mechanic isn’t displaced.  And well, I wouldn’t mind if Home of the Brave Brewing Company served some gluten-free beers when they open.  And since I’m on a roll, I hope that the Pig and the Lady finds a permanent space in the hood.  But now I’m just being greedy.

Kakaako 3

Most of the shops and restaurants happened to be closed when I went, so I can’t wait to head back to grab some coffee at Morning Glass (inside of R&D)and check out some of the shops.  Although I may have to bust  out some Warby Parkers and a chambray shirt for the occasion (I draw the line on the high-waisted jean shorts trend) … there’s definitely a hipster vibe going on.  Anybody have a Frenchie they can lend me for a couple hours?

Looking forward to getting back in the kitchen.  My next post will be a recipe, I promise.

Indian Spiced Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken 1

For somebody who loves Indian cuisine as much as I do, I’m not quite sure how I’d gone so long without trying butter chicken, one of the most popular Indian recipes outside of India.

But now that I’ve tasted it, I can definitely understand it’s popularity.   After all, who can resist  chicken when it’s swimming in a luscious sauce made from butter, yogurt, heavy cream and Indian spices?

Butter Chicken 2

Butter Chicken 5

The hardest part about this recipe is rounding up and measuring out all of the different spices.  Otherwise, you’re just a quick saute and simmer away from a pretty great meal.

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