The best does come in that familiar blue box

28 03 2010

THE CORNER section at the Intel Corporation café in Folsom, California – the one right between the omelet maker (where everyday I’d get my usual mushroom and provolone omelet) and the Chef’s exhibition – meant comfort to me.  For a year-and-a-half, it dished out a menu that was a collection of things that I would just love to eat.  Those that I just found so comforting and homey.  Like the macaroni & cheese dinner I never failed to get on the day of the week it was available.  It always came with a Southern style fried chicken quarter that was so huge it almost always felt to be half.

So before my relocation came to an end, I resolved to perfect making macaroni & cheese myself.  That was when I discovered Martha Stewart’s macaroni & cheese 101 recipe.  Hers could very well be the exact same recipe the Intel café chef followed for their versions were almost identical – made with the perfect bechamel, smothered with the combination of light cheddar and gruyere cheeses (accounting for their pale yellowish color), spiked with very little cayenne, laced with a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, and finished off with a golden brown, crusty, crumbly top of bread cubes and more cheese.  I need a bib right now because I’m already drooling.

But whenever time is of the essence, that’s when I would turn to my foolproof second option – Kraft EasyMac (big box, please!) in the familiar blue box.  Locally, I used to get it only from the Makati Supermart branch at Alabang Town Center.  It was always on the shelves on top of the frozen food section (weird shelving theory!).  Unfortunately, lately, they seem to have stopped carrying it.  That’s when the quest for my next macaroni & cheese dinner fix – from a box – came to be.

Macaroni & Cheese dinners from the pack – San Remo and Springfield.

My brother presented me with two options.  The first was “delicious & creamy” San Remo La Pasta Macaroni & Cheese, available in a 120-gram pouch good for 4 side servings – or, one dinner serving for me!  The other was Springfield Macaroni & Cheese Original Style Dinner, available in a 206-gram blue box good for 6 side servings – or, you guessed it right, one dinner serving for me!  I’ve made both already, following the stovetop cooking directions and not the microwave version.  The San Remo needed milk, water and butter to be brought to a boil, before the macaroni, already with the cheese sauce powder mixed into it, was added.  Simmering to doneness took 10 minutes.  The Springfiled was more traditional in the sense that I had to cook the macaroni separately for seven to 10 minutes.  I drained it and brought it back to the pot, at which point I added milk, butter, and the cheese sauce mix.

The verdict?  The best does come in “that familiar blue box.”

A macaroni & cheese dinner pack calls for the addition of milk and butter.


Stovetop cooking directions are very simple.


With San Remo, the cheese sauce powder is already mixed with the macaroni.


You can see that I was very subjective with the "one teaspoon" of butter that the San Remo recipe called for. Hahaha! Everything's just better with butter.


Water, milk and butter put together in a heavy bottom pot.


The butter has already melted, with the mixture on the verge of boiling.


The mixture is boiling and ready for the macaroni to be added to.


The mixture is now boiling. Package directions dictated to simmer this for 10 minutes until the macaroni becomes tender.


The San Remo macaroni & cheese is done! The yellow color is very intense and the sauce has thickened.


A small serving of the macaroni & cheese! I used an Oneida Silversmiths soup spoon for this. It was very delicious, though some lumps formed inside some of the macaroni. This was because some of the cheese sauce powder mix had been trapped in the hollow of the macaroni.


The Springfield Macaroni & Cheese is next! As you can see, the box has the macaroni and cheese sauce mix separate. And the macaroni is in the shape I like!


The macaroni is cooked separately, for seven to 10 minutes. I timed it for 10, because I want the macaroni to be really tender.


I put the macaroni back in to the pot and add in the butter, milk and the cheese sauce mix.


The Springfield Macaroni & Cheese Original Style Dinner is done! As the cheese sauce mix was separate from the macaroni, no lumps formed. The color is also a more appetizing yellow. And the taste was superb. I loved it! It's now on my shopping list.


Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.




7 responses

28 03 2010

when i saw the title of this blog the first thing that came to mind was (i’m pretty sure you’ve guessed this right)…..TIFANNY & CO. 😀

i know you blog mostly about food but tiffany is something i know you’re likely to blog about too.


28 03 2010

Partner!!! You’re so right. It’s always the title I toil with with my posts. And when I decided on this one, I thought you’d think I was writing about Tiffany & Co. Hahaha!

Is there something I’m missing? Are you sporting a giant rock I should know about?


30 03 2010

OMG partner i am so ashmed of myself – i just saw that i misspelled tiFFany! of all the things that i’d misspell, tsk, tsk! 😦 (must be the reason why i still don’t have that bling until now :P)

interestingly, getting one is actually way below my list (which is topped by a miumiu handbag (drool!)), a level below a box of cupcakes from sonja! hehe 😀

but i did get the blue box for christmas (from mommy, who else?) but it came with something you wear around the wrist and not on the finger…i’m still grateful though 🙂


31 03 2010

Partner!!! I wanna see that gift from your mommy! Send me a pic naman. Amishoo!


6 04 2010
Harry Stamper

photo in a silver platter, coming up! =p and also, Partner wants to say, amishoo back! =))


7 04 2010

Harryboy! Where’s your promise na???


8 04 2010

have you tried the one from Velveeta?


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