Citizen’s of Macaroni

Seeing old friends is always a refreshing stance during the hurried, work-filled weeks. Catching up on lives that have all changed so much puts into perspective how quickly time passes without a sudden care.

I had been to Citizen Public House before for a Valentine’s dinner with the fiancé. Although, I usually hate set menus, I enjoyed each course; just never made it back to the dim-lit, upscale and cozy pub.

The setting last week was for the well known crafty cocktails, appetizers, and talk about the future.

The Citi-Zen handcrafted cocktail was my drink of choice. Made with Absolut Pear vodka, Domaine de Canton, ginger liqueur, housemade sweet & sour.The best part is the rock candy that doubles as a martini stirrer.

Pork Belly Pastrami with a Brussels sprout sauerkraut, Burrata and Chicken & Waffles made it to the table to share. We couldn’t be satisfied without a couple orders of the Bernie’s Mac and Cheese as well.

Citizen Public House Macaroni and Cheese

Citizen Public House Macaroni and Cheese

Cavatappi is not my favorite pasta, but it was cooked well so no complaints. I couldn’t tell if it was the Emmental as it can become spicy when aged, but the M&C had a bite that I loved. The Gorgonzola and tomato relish gave it the savory component that had us order two more bowls for the table.

We ended the night with the peanut butter dessert and smiles.

After I left, I kept thinking of the rock candy in the Citi-Zen and the elementary science experiments when I had home made. For all of you who never had a rad teacher who showed you how to make rock candy..here’s your rock candy recipe:

Homemade Rock Candy recipe

Homemade Rock Candy recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2-3 cups of white sugar
  • Food coloring
  • Wooden skewers
  • Clothes pins
  • Champagne flutes or a mason jar
  • Pot to boil water

Directions:

  1. Boil the water and add a quarter cup of sugar until all is dissolved.
  2. Clamp a skewer with a close pin near the top, dip in the simple syrup, then roll in sugar. Place in flute or glass jar to dry.
  3. After cooling the simple syrup add to your flute/mason jar. Then use a generous amount of food coloring to each glass. The more the better for the sugar to catch the color. Make sure the skewer is in the middle of the class and not touching the bottom.
  4. Wait 3-7 days, then break the top of the sugar with a butter knife. Hang it upside down to get excess liquid off. Package for a later day or enjoy!
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Cheesy Valentine’s

Prequel: I have a fiancé and he will be mentioned in many of these posts, but as JRS.

Present time: Valentine’s Day. A day for wasting money to prove your love. Don’t take that last sentence as if I don’t love receiving delivered flowers at work. Just a statement that I recognize now that I’m older.

JRS and I had multiple things to celebrate last weekend and decided to have an early Vday dinner at the new Chandler steak house CHoP. It is owned by the same creators of The Living Room and Sushi Room. Walking in, it reminds me of The Keg. Hostess in short FBD, with an immediate view of the simple, modern steakhouse engorged by a large bar. It was super busy so it is evident that South West Chandler needed something of the sort. Long story short, I ordered the mac and cheese even though there were multiple options to accompany my filet, because obviously it’s the right choice. This decision is prior to this blog, so no decent pic to share. #morechzplz rating? It was a four out of five. Not the bees knees best, but definitely good enough to come back for. The tender and perfectly cooked filet next to it may have flawed my judgement.

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This dish inspired my day of Valentine’s dinner cooking with the following mac and cheese side to accompany our own filet and lobster meal:

Inspired by the Chandler, AZ steakhouse.

Inspired by the Chandler, AZ steakhouse.

Preparation for two (with plenty of leftovers).

1.5 cups of shell macaroni
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half (or more milk)
1.5 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1.5 shredded jalapeno jack cheese for some bite
3/4 cup breadcrumbs

Cook macaroni following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water; set aside.

Butter a baking dish. Heat oven to 350°.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir flour into the butter until smooth and bubbly. Stir in the dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually add milk and cream, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese and continue to cook and stir until melted.

Combine the macaroni and the sauce and pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and bake for about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and topping is lightly browned.

Second day reheat still magnificent.

More Chz Plz: The inception of a highly caloric blog

Who doesn’t love cheese? From the time I was a toddler my most memorable dishes included the gooey, creamy substance.

Recently I noticed that I have fallen into the habit of craving the ingredient a certain way; paired with macaroni. Previously, it was not a surprise for Ashley to hoard unnecessary amounts of The Blue Box in her kitchen cabinets. Over the past couple of years, an addiction to order macaroni and cheese at Donovan’s steak house (or of the sorts) has become a norm.  One could worry, considering this aging broad is getting married in two months. But, for me, it was a chance to once again spark my writing and share with the those reading my experiences of the most simple, yet comforting food.

This blog will share my experiences from others menu’s with a sprinkle of my own creations at home. Feel free to send tips my way if you think I missed any of the best versions… because you know I will go, try and write.

Posing with Macaroni in Santa Monica, CA

Posing with Macaroni on Santa Monica, CA pier