Grown up bacon mac and cheese

SO I came across this recipe while visiting one of my hilarious folk from Twitter’s blog and thought I should share it with you guys since I’ll be trying the recipe this weekend. Now is a perfect time to try this while im not counting calories and im sure my fetal friend will be pleased LOL anyway here goes..

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Excerpt From her website:

DO NOT USE PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE!!!

Please for the love of all things gooey, do not buy packs of pre-shredded cheese for this recipe. It just doesn’t melt well at all and has that weird anti-caking powder all over it. Always shred the cheese yourself. Always. I shredded an 8oz. block of cabot newyork extra sharp cheese which you can find just about anywhere — but any extra sharp white cheddar will work. I also shredded some whole milk mozzarella (the low-moisture kind, ask your deli guy to help you find it if you don’t see it out), and I used a little finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. It was perfection. I know it may seem weird to add nutmeg to a recipe like this, but to be completely honest — it really enhances the dish in way that doesn’t leave you saying “Hey! I totally taste nutmeg”. It’s super subtle despite adding a nice punch. It provides more of an aroma that really brings out the flavors all of the other ingredients and ties them together in a deliciously cheesy bind. It doesn’t make it sweet at all, it’s just an earthy essence that makes this dish so special. You only need a generous pinch here, about 1/8 teaspoon or less. One note about the garlic, please don’t use that pre-minced crap in the jar. It’s not yummy and it won’t be good for this recipe, so please use real garlic cloves that you have to peel and mince yourself. This dish is about real, grown up flavors…no shortcuts. The little bit of extra effort is so worth it here.  I’m serious…it’s got a great big bite, it holds sauce well and it’s pretty.

This recipe is super easy, pretty damn fool-proof, and can be done in less than an hour. To reduce “kitchen panic” and hysteria, prep beforehand. Have your cheeses shredded, your herbs chopped, garlic minced and ready to go. You can also fry your bacon ahead of time! Again, this is beefed up to be eaten as a main course — you could serve it as a side dish though, totally up to you.

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Ingredients

  • ½ lb dried cavatappi pasta
  • 3 cups half & half
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Cabot New York Sharp Cheddar, shredded (sold as an 8oz. block of cheese)
  • 1 cup whole milk mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup parmigiano-reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1½ to 2 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced (not the stuff in the jar)
  • generous pinch of nutmeg (about 1/8 tsp or less)
  • generous pinch of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp or less)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 slices of semi-crisp hardwood smoked bacon, chopped (feel free to use more if you’d like)
  • ¼ cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (optional)
  • *Salt to season the pasta water

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with foil and lay each slice of bacon down with at least an inch of space between each slice. Place the baking sheet full of bacon on the lowest rack of your oven and let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp but still pliable. It will crisp even further once it’s baked, so don’t crisp it too much at this stage. Drain on paper towels and chop into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

In a large pot, boil water for your pasta. Once it starts to boil, season with about a tablespoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Add the pasta and boil for 5 minutes. Reserve one cup of the pasta water just in case. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Don’t toss the pasta around, just let it sit while you rinse it — this helps keep some of the starch in place. Drain the cold water and let the cooled off pasta hang out on the sidelines while you make the cheese sauce.

Rinse the pot you boiled the pasta in with cold water to cool it off completely then place back on top of your stove over medium heat. Add the butter to melt — once it starts to foam/sizzle, it’s ready for the flour. Add the flour and whisk vigorously until smooth and lump-free. Let this cook for 1 minute to get that “raw flour” flavor out. Add 1 cup of the half & half, and continue to whisk vigorously until smooth, about 20 to 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 cups of half & half and continue whisking. Add the rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and minced garlic — mix well. Taste it! Adjust the seasoning as you need to. Increase the heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to come up to a simmer — whisking the whole time. The mixture will thicken very quickly so don’t walk away from it. It should take about 5 minutes to start simmering. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat completely. Add the parmigiano-reggiano and cheddar cheese and stir gently until it’s melted and smooth, about a minute or two. Either in the same pot or in a separate large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled off pasta with the cheese sauce. Gently fold together until it’s completely coated. Mixture should be slightly loose but very creamy and easy to work with, if it’s too thick, thin it out with a little of the starchy pasta water. Fold in the basil and green onion at the last minute.

Transfer half of the pasta and cheese mixture to a lightly greased baking dish (I used about 4 quick sprays of PAM cooking spray). Sprinkle ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese over the first half of the pasta/cheese mixture, then pour the remaining pasta/cheese mixture on top as a second layer — add the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Gently swirl a spoon or butterknife thru the mac and cheese mixture to ensure the mozzarella cheese is evenly combined throughout the dish. Sprinkle the top with the bacon and breadcrumbs.

Bake in a 400 degree oven on the middle oven rack for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bubbly all over.

Allow the dish to cool for about 10 minutes before you dive in (trust me, it’s molten-lava hot!).

Enjoy.

For more yummy recipes from Reesha you can visit her site at  CarnalDish.com

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The Power of EXIF- When photoshopping goes wrong

We’ve seen tons of Photoshop fails floating around the glorious world wide web, some clearly evident to the naked untrained eye and SOME well, lets just say  never underestimate the power of Exif data..

Read below

 

 

xaishadoll:

http://xaishadoll.tumblr.com/

some dude said i photoshop my body :/ i deff. do NOT. lol.

 

 

 

This went viral on twitter when one of her followers responded:

 

i, a female, said you were photoshopped because you are.

Then posted this

 

Her response : I don’t have a reason to lie

 

for those who don’t know much about photography exif data is like a photo’s DNA

The young lady immediately deleted her Twitter and Tumblr account after being exposed..

 

 

Bookface

I’ve been dying to blog about this topic, more so lately because every time I log onto Facebook lately it irks my nerves even more, some people are blissfully unaware of  how their posts even affect others that are reading it, I’m a firm believer in energy transference, I could be in an awesome mood, read a few depressing or drama filled FB statuses and instantly lose that feeling. I think people are beginning to use fb as a diary instead of channeling their issues towards finding a resolution in real life. Once in a blue moon its fine to rant and rave, every day? not so much I just think some things should be left unposted. While we’re on the topic of Fb etiquette, I’m just gonna put it out there, if you feel some kind of way then you’re probably a culprit LOL. Seriously, the hide news feed feature  has been the only way I’ve been able to stand Facebook lately, deleting friends is not as easy as it used to be for some reason, it’s literally a daunting task that takes an excessive amount of time grrr.

  • If a friend deletes a tag, a post, or a wall photo that you’ve placed, there’s probably a valid reason why, it wasn’t an accident, furthermore this is first on my list because it irks the living day light out of me, I don’t care how much you think your posts or pics relate to me don’t tag me in it along with 900 other friends who are going to comment and have my notifications on my phone blowing up hate hate hate, i can’t hate this enough, If its a photo that i’m in ( a flattering photo that is) then fine but tagging someone in every third post that you make is grounds for deletion. seek help.
  • Game requests – I have some friends whose entire news feed is cityville or whatever lameville game they’re currently addicted to and that’s fine, but if I’ve never posted anything about a game, what makes it ok to keep sending game requests? easy way to get blocked and unfriended.
  • Poking- its lame, this isn’t tagged or Plenty of Fish
  • Friending your friend’s friends even though you don’t know them personally I thought we left this behind on MySpace it doesn’t matter that we have 162 friends in common, if I don’t know you personally, your request will be denied. if you do friend a stranger, send a message explaining WHY u did so, and make it good like ” hi im your sister’s friend” not ” I thought you were sexy” creep
  • Quizzing activities -No one cares that you’re a stallion in bed or an excellent kisser, just sayin
  • Back to back statuses- get a twitter, quit fogging up the news feed, furthermore if you sync up your twitter to your fb and fog up folk’s newsfeeds with mundane statuses and @ symbols u might get unfriended, probably in real life too, dweeb
  • Event invites- *sigh* first, if someone doesn’t even live in your city why are you inviting them to a local event? like every week?
  • Mass fb messages- especially with stupid games attached in regards to posting numbers, fruit,food or whatever other nonsense as your status to play. Ridic, don’t do it.
  • If you’re gonna post a photo, rotate it, it is free you know..
  • The # game, here’s to beating a deadhorse, I unfriended 212 people last year alone for this stupidity. Inbox me a number so I can lie to you about how I feel about you on my wall. Go read a book
  • Group adds- don’t just assume I want to be in your stupid group, asking would be nice, now I have to go through all that trouble of removing myself.
  • Tagging in a status that’s promoting an event with 50 other people- did you see me at the last 12 events you had? ok
  • Promoting your product or business on my page- this is hella rude, I don’t care about your new mixtape or that you’re selling scentsy now,I own a business and only did this to “current” customers WITH their permission, other than that, that’s what a business fan page is for..
  • Posting pics with a dirty bedroom, bathroom mirror etc in the background, clean your room lil nasty and windex that mirror before taking photos in front of it and broadcasting your nastiness to 700 friends and their friends.
  • posting 300 photos back to back- your self-esteem and dire need to be validated is showing, furthermore they have Instagram now, you can do it there for free and people wont be AS annoyed.
  • Stealing statuses- what are we 5? kindly cite your sources if you’re sharing someone else’s status
  • Bashing significant others, babymamas/daddies on FB- guess what, you chose em, you spread for em, thanks for letting us know how reckless you really are, bashing is lame and says tons about you. This goes hand in hand with the “all men aint ish” posts every 20 seconds, we’ve all been done wrong at some point or another in life, quit broadcasting your vulnerabilities and scorn fulness, its messy and honestly we don’t care.
  • Changing your relationship status every month- ok get a grip, everyone now knows how unstable you are and how your dating life sucks, don’t broadcast it.
  • Posting pics of your children doing ratchet things ie: holding a beer bottle, holding a cigarette,- you never know who works for DSS, and these days everything is UBER public cause all someone has to do is like or comment on it and its seen by their friends- #lose
  •  Be careful adding your significant other to your Facebook page, just be sure that’s something you both decide on and are fully aware, people LOVE to say Facebook ruins relationships, NO your relationship was probably garbage before friending each other on FB , it just validated all the problems y’all already had.

on that note,

click on the photo below to view this comical video

All in all remember, your status box is not your therapy box, have fun, connect with those you love, share your experiences, just because Facebook says “whats on your mind”? don’t take that literally ! some of the stuff you can keep to yourself  or call, text up a friend and share it that way 😉