Honestly, the best part of dinner last night was dessert. My sweetie had been through a rough day at work, so to cheer her up, I picked up a pint of Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Half-Baked, which is chocolate and peanut butter ice cream, mixed, with hunks of brownie dough and peanut butter cookie dough. It's too bad it's a limited edition flavor because it's stupid good.
Baked Mac & Cheese
1/2 lb. ditalini (or macaroni or whatever small pasta you like), cooked
1/2 stick butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
8 oz. extra-sharp cheddar, shredded (plus extra for topping)
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour, stirring until you have a smooth mixture. Gradually whisk in the milk. Simmer on medium heat, whisking, for a minute or two, until thickened and bubbling. Add cheese, salt, and pepper, and stir until well-mixed. Add macaroni, then put into a 2-qt casserole. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle with extra cheese and bake another 5 minutes or so. Serves 4-6.
Endive, Watercress, & Orange Salad
2 Belgian endives, torn into bite-size pieces or sliced
1 large bunch watercress (or half a head of radicchio or a bunch of arugula)
2-3 oranges, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1/3 c. great quality extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. cherry balsamic vinegar (or whatever other fruity flavor you like)
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon
Salt & pepper
Toss the endives, watercress, oranges, and shallot gently. Whisk the rest together until thickened. If you're going to eat the whole salad immediately, toss the dressing with the salad. Otherwise, toss individual portions with dressing. Serves 4.