The GGA Project -- Day #77 "You Start with a Stick of Butter"

That could only refer to one thing of course, and that would be any single recipe from the kitchen of everyone's favorite heart-attack inducing Southern Belle: Paula Deen.

Whenever I want to make a comfort food recipe, basically anything involving potatoes or cheese, or better yet potatoes and cheese, I will almost always go with her recipe.  I'm just thrilled there is still somebody in this world willing to put all-fat recipes out there for everybody to access, and without a hint of apology.  If you've ever seen Paula Deen's show, you know that the giant bites she takes of the finished recipe outcomes each episode convey pure joy in the act of eating--unbridled appreciation for the richer and sweeter things in life.

No way I could eat like Paula Deen everyday, nor should I, or anyone really.  But once in a while I just like to go a little crazy.

Today I had something to celebrate.  I invited my dear friend Jesse over for dinner as a way of congratulating him on landing a well-paid, right-up-his-alley internship with good full-time offer potential.  I'm so happy for him.  He has been working hard for years, and it's wonderful to see this great opportunity come from it.  Plus, he's just about the easiest person in the world to be happy for, so deserving is he of good things.

It's been cold lately, like *actual* winter, and perfect weather for homemade, carby, goodness.

Today's New Activity: Making Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

I've already mentioned my love of mac n cheese several times on this blog, but as much as I love it, I've never attempted to make it other than from a box (helpful hint: Kraft's Thick and Creamy version is the only one left out there worth eating).  Today was the day.  Mrs. Deen's recipe was easy enough to follow, and since it was a slow cooker variation on the theme, I was able to get it going hours in advance and then pretty much forget about it.

In the end, it came out looking like this:

and tasting like something that should *definitely* be reserved for special occasions.  I think I probably don't have to eat tomorrow.  Or maybe the next day either.

The only change I made was to add a good amount of garlic powder to the spices called for and to pretty much double the pepper quantity.  And I can confidently recommend it.

That is all, since I'm super sleepy tonight.

Just one more thing.  A second minor first for the day was to watch about 1 1/2 episodes of Jersey Shore.  I'm sure there is nothing I can say about that show or those people that hasn't already been thoroughly covered.  But I will say that, unlike the reel-you-in train wreck that is so many reality shows, I actually found JS to be pretty boring.  It seemed to me that the poor, overworked editors of that show dug really, really hard through a week's worth of footage to find enough even remotely air-worthy footage.  And in these days of throw whatever out there reality t.v., that's saying a lot.

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