Attempt #9…

So I bought myself a cookbook. It’s entitled, ‘Cook Yourself Sexy.’ Seemed like a win-win to me. The premise behind the book is that the recipes use healthy, natural ingredients which will lead to feeling good from the inside out. I’m not sure there is much sexier than curling up with a bowl of Corn Flakes after a hard day’s work, but I am willing to see what the fuss is all about.

Perhaps I should have been suspicious of a Mac and Cheese recipe that purports to cause feelings of glamour rather than glutton. Perchance I should have actually read the ingredients before deciding to prepare it for a very hungry date. Possibly then I would have noticed that this Mac and “Cheese” recipe (note quotation marks added) only requires two tablespoons of cheese in the entire dish. Let me repeat that: only two tablespoons of cheese in the entire dish. But of course by the time I made this revelation I was already set up in my boyfriend’s kitchen and half way through my sorry attempt at food prep.

Butternut squash is the cheese replacement for this recipe. I’ll leave it up to the foodies to explain that one. However, I managed to chop up the squash without losing any digits and proceeded to boil the cubes in almond milk and garlic. Once soft, I am instructed to put the contents of the pot into a food processor. I was so excited for the chance to show off this new kitchen gadget of mine. It’s not actually new. In reality it was a Christmas present circa 2009, but I hadn’t used it yet. Perhaps if I had used it I would have known that it is ridiculously small. We’re talking 1 ½ cups. And I had about 8 cups of squash and almond milk to puree. Thankfully my date was willing to play sous chef. More likely he was helping to minimize the odds that I destroy his kitchen with my mini electronics. Regardless, he assisted me as we ladled squash chunks and milk into the food processor… repeatedly. Then we spread the puree onto the cooked noodles and put the pan in the oven for 45 min. At this point both our stomachs are growling because of my protracted food prep, but we settle for a glass of red wine as an appetizer and just get to chatting. Ultimately the timer dings, and all that is left to do is sprinkle those two glorious tablespoons of cheese, along with some breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and sea salt, atop the macaroni and place the dish in the broiler for quick 5 minutes. The anticipation was great. When the timer again goes off, I open the oven and… a dark cloud of smoke billows out. The good news is that my years of cooking attempts have honed my kitchen fan reflexes to a cat-like swiftness and thus I was able to prevent the smoke alarm from shrieking. The bad news is that the top of our dinner, and I am to assume both tablespoons of cheese, were burnt and black.

When the smoke cleared, literally, we sat down to eat our Cajun Mac and “Cheese.” I asked my date what he thought of the meal and he accurately and wisely remarked, “I have never tasted anything like it.” I’ll take sated over sexy any day.