Instant Sunday: REWARD YOURSELF

Ah, Sunday.

I love Sundays. I also hate Sundays when it reaches 5pm. WHY CAN’T SUNDAYS BE A WEEK LONG?!

Sundays are reserved for a walk in the beautiful park with your dog, for a picnic in nature or a drink out in some swanky cafes over overpriced everything with friends. Sundays are for happy. Sundays are hardly ever wrong to begin with. Sundays are for comfort food and cheat days. I can go on and on about Sundays. Did I mention Sundays are for comfort food?

My Sundays, barring times where I have events or activities or places to go, are mainly for enjoying the quiet morning without my alarm demanding my attention, then to be awaken by my alarm-dog barking at 8am sharp, to having a series of “CAYLY! NO! KEEP QUIET!” from across the house, to my sister opening my parents’ room door for my dog to go in, to my dog scratching the door to come out, to me pulling my dog up onto my bed, to my dog trying to wrestle with my hand because apparently she decides her own play time, to yet another “NO! CAYLY! NAUGHTY GIRL!” to me getting up grudgingly and throwing her dirty looks to which she takes as “BATH TIME!” and jumped off the bed like an olympic diver waiting eagerly for me at the stairs to bring her to the groomers, to me grunting and making my way to the bathroom and fast forward to when she’s at the groomers and now there’s peace and quiet in the house. By this time I’m mostly hungry and need something quick.

What better way to reward yourself than to have comfort food? I know, my headline sounds like wallet-digging, money-spending kinda reward but no. This post doesn’t need that. My sort of reward comes in packets or boxes in supermarkets. I’m talking mac and cheese. The instant kind.

Well, I’m not exactly promoting health food here. I’m far from being the health food kinda girl. Girl’s gotta have what she’s gotta have, ya know? So, seriously, if you are disgusted with anything that comes with the word instant, then you should instantly leave this blog. Or if you’re gonna leave nasty comments, read DISCLAIMER: NOT HEALTH FOOD ENTHUSIAST HERE. TAKE YOUR CONCERNS ELSEWHERE. INSTANTLY. ahaha. I have overdone that one.

I have tried a few instant mac and cheeses including the KRAFT ones that they are well known for. I have found my favourite in the limited selection that we have here. Introducing San Remo La Pasta Macaroni Cheese, photographed amateurly by yours truly. This is such an unflattering picture.

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4 side serves? THAT’s A LIE!!

If you’re asking in your head why didn’t I make some myself instead of choosing the instant option, well, I live in a small town called Muar. (And Public Service Announcement (hereinafter referred to as “PSA”): Muar is not in JB, Muar is nowhere near JB, and Johore has many other districts other than JB. We are closer to Melaka than JB and please do not give me that OH MY GAD YOU CAME ALL THE WAY TO KL FOR THIS? well yeah, it takes almost the same amount of time going either way). Muar isn’t exactly stocked with many options and the only cheese we have are those we can pronounce. Therefore, mac and cheese from scratch? That’s a no go.

I’m not gonna go into details on the nutrition value or the fat contents or any of the health concerns in this pack. It’s there on the back of the packet if you ever decide to browse the supermarket aisle and come across it. I’m gonna go about how good it is, how you can make it better and how not to embarrass yourself cooking instant mac and cheese. Because I have.

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I should hire professional photographers on standby next. This is a shame. 

For starters, follow the instructions on the back of the packet. I tried to make it the first time with my peranakan agak-agak attitude, and to say the least, it did not go well at all. Agak-agak and westernised food do not mix. Second tip: I know it says low fat milk on the packet but full cream milk tends to work best for that rich flavor and satisfaction. You will only get disappointment with low fat milk. And I mean are you really that concerned on having low fat milk with instant mac and cheese. The irony, though.

Third most important tip: DO NOT and I repeat, emphasise DO NOT USE HL MILK. It gives a really odd taste. This first time I made this, HL milk kinda ruined the whole experience for me. It was so notoriously bad I stayed away from any sort of cheese based meal for a whole month before I attempt another shot at this. HL milk with this mac and cheese is more gangsta than Mr. Big.

htb1tnn3mpxxxxbsxpxxq6xxfxxxf Said Mr. Big in question, accurate to size. 

Common sense would dictate you do not yogurt it as well in case you’re wondering whether you can yogurt it as a healthier option. And again, this isn’t exactly your go to meal to think about healthier options.

Tip 4: Stir it up constantly. The packet says let it simmer and stir occasionally but really you need to be constantly stirring and checking it especially at the end where it’s almost reduced to a gravy because it will burn. Fast. That’s not a good taste either.

I like to add a little umph of cheese to my mac and cheese so I add a few mozarella pieces and stir them together till it melts into a smooth beautiful golden concoction with a side of pasta. Or if you are the kind that likes to have mouthfuls of stringy mozarella, put the blocks in and let them heat do their job.

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This isn’t a promotion for healthy. No greens in sight. Also, on a more relevant note, you have to let it simmer while stirring till it’s this dry to be a successful mac and cheese maker. Patience, young macawan.

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And voila! You got yourself a week’s worth of comfort food that you have to run treadmills for. Now isn’t that a beautiful yellow?

How does it taste like? Heaven. I’m a big cheese fan, not the connoisseur kind, the everything cheese I will eat kind. It will get a little rich for people who are not used to creams or cheesy meals, and this cheese taste nothing like the fake cheese they use in KFC’s cheesy wedges. I mean this may be fake as well, but its better than the fake fake. KRAFT’s to me taste like that fake fake and this is a tat bit better at fake. If done precisely according to the instructions, the macaroni is al dente and just the right amount of bite. All of it is coated richly with cheese without being too overwhelming. It’s a Sunday meal you don’t have to fork out a chicken set price just to get it as side dish with.  Hearty and overall satisfying. Comfort food ma, right?

That shall conclude the rant on instant mac and cheese. I really need to write stuff with more substance.

Having mine with a side of iZombie, how has your weekend been going?

Alicia.