Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And the the baby turned one...

 Well, she did it. Annalise went and turned one! No longer a baby, she's now a silly sweet little bundle of toddler. To celebrate the big one, we had a little party with both sets of grandparents in town. While her dinner party lasted only a few hours she partied hard for about a week straight with so much love from Grammy, Grandpa, Nanny and Papa during their visit.
 We decked the house in pink and white. Charlie helped make the circle garland and stamped some snowflake cookie cutters for our table center piece. Isn't she crafty? :)
 We put out some clear jars and bowls of pink and white candies: Good and Plenty (am I the only one who loves these?) and M&Ms and Hershey's Kisses (I bought Valentine's day packs of the M&Ms and Kisses and picked out all the red ones.)
For dinner we had every toddler's favorite meal...Macaroni and Cheese! A very delicious and grown up version with Gruyere and Cheddar. It. Is. The. Best. (Find the recipe at the bottom of the post) And there was salad, and such a great (and affordable) bottle of red wine from here.
 There were presents of course...plenty of noisy, glitters, wonderful presents.
 And of course the cake! I wanted a pink cake so I made the Smitten Kitchen pink lady cake. I substituted raspberries for strawberries, it was delicious but the raspberries made for a purple cake...oops! Also, rather than make it three layers I made it two and used the rest to make Ann her own little heart shaped smash cake and some cupcakes.
Clearly, she is so excited to be one...and we are excited too! We love you Anna-wiggles!

And, as promised, here's the crowd pleasing Mac and Cheese recipe...

Barefoot Contessa's Mac &Cheese

Vegetable Oil
1 Pound elbow macaroni
1 quart milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided
½ cup all purpose flour
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (3 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (3 cups)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cups fresh sourdough bread crumbs (use food processor to make bread crumbs)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add macaroni and cook
according to directions on the package. Better to be a little al dente. Drain

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6
tablespoons of butter in a large (4 quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over
low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot
milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off
the heat, add the Gruyere, cheddar, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked
macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh
bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 25 minutes, or until
the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni/bread crumbs are browned on the top.

To make ahead, put the macaroni & cheese in the baking dish, cover, and
refrigerate until ready to bake. About ½ hr. to 45 minutes prior to baking,
remove from fridge and let macaroni & cheese come to room temperature.
Put the bread crumbs on top and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. Enjoy!

In Him,

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