Field Trip! Station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Mac & Cheese Chick

We’re in New York City at least twice a year, and in the past few years we’ve been branching out from Manhattan itself. Which is how we ended up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn recently. And conveniently located just outside the subway is Station.

Field Trip! Station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Mac & Cheese Chick

Kismet, no? I think so.

Since we arrived at around 11:00am on a Sunday with no prior brunch reservation (amateurs, we are…), they were booked solid. But, we could grab a seat at the little bar if we wanted.

Field Trip! Station's Black Truffle Mac & Cheese Gnocchi in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Mac & Cheese Chick

Four seats total, butts facing every other diner in the place…oh, what the hell. Why not, I wore clean underwear. So we sit. And our waiter comes over looking harried but competent. He hands us menus, but we already know what we want.

Field Trip! Station's Black Truffle Mac & Cheese Gnocchi in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Mac & Cheese Chick

The special up there? The holy-crap-on-a-cracker special that says “Black Truffle Mac N Cheese Gnocchi”? Yeah, we want one of those. And if it’s good enough, we just might order another one.

The harried pace continues around us but interestingly enough, since we are facing the wall (and a giant mirror) we feel like we are a million miles away from the hubbub going on in the dining area directly behind us. Sitting at the little bar, it is as if we have the best seats in the house to the show that is Sunday Brunch in a popular restaurant. Fascinating.

Field Trip! Station's Black Truffle Mac & Cheese Gnocchi in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Mac & Cheese Chick

The Black Truffle Mac N Cheese Gnocchi (it SO deserves the capitals at the beginning of each word) is gently placed in front of us, as if we were supposed to bow to it. And perhaps that is exactly what is necessary. For it is THAT good. Luscious, decadent, amazing, my-thighs-would-never-recover-if-I-lived-in-Williamsburg good. Black pepper bite that breaks up the fight between creamy and creamy. I’m honestly lucky I didn’t swoon right off my bar stool. Because that would have been embarrassing.

In the name of all things holy, this dish must still be on the menu when I return to Williamsburg. If not, there will be a serious reckoning. Five elbows *woop-woop!* enthusiastically up for this one – go there now. No, really. NOW.

Field Trip! Station's Black Truffle Mac & Cheese Gnocchi in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Mac & Cheese Chick

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Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar

by Mac & Cheese Chick on August 22, 2014

Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar - Mac & Cheese Chick

If you follow my blog, you already know that the folks at Pirate’s Booty were kind enough to send me four boxes of their new Mac & Cheese to try.

Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar - Mac & Cheese Chick

This is the third box I’ve tried – three down, one to go! All four varieties of their new mac & cheese line are made with organic pasta (certified organic by Oregon Tilth) and ingredients you can actually pronounce. Good deal!

Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar - Mac & Cheese Chick

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare this mac & cheese.

Box, butter, and milk. Easy! As with the other varieties I’ve tried, Pirate’s Booty recommends 1/2 tablespoon of butter but I like my mac and cheese rich, so I went with a full tablespoon. And to rationalize counteract balance the additional butter, I used fat-free milk.

Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar - Mac & Cheese Chick

Following the directions on the box, I added the pasta to six cups of boiling water and cooked it for seven minutes. After draining the pasta, I added it back to the pot and threw in the butter, milk and cheese powder.

Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar - Mac & Cheese Chick

I gave the mixture a good long stir, as I have learned that it can take a bit of stirring to remove all cheese clumps and ensure a nice, velvety sauce. Once mixed, I let the pot and its contents sit for about three minutes before plating, as this time allows the mac & cheese to thicken just a bit.

Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar - Mac & Cheese Chick

 

So how was it? Three and a half elbows up. The mac & cheese had a creamy, mellow flavor with no powdery aftertaste – delicious!

Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar - Mac & Cheese Chick

 

DISCLAIMER: Pirate’s Booty sent this product to me for review. This not a compensated review, but they were kind enough to send the product to me gratis.

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Field Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing DistrictField Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District

Every year, we are down in Orange County (I grew up there – if you call it “The OC” I will upchuck upon you) for an annual conference. And each year, I love getting together with childhood friends and reconnecting.

Field Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District - Mac & Cheese Chick

This year, there was a big buzz about the opening of the Anaheim Packing District – so of course, I needed to go check it out myself. I met up with a friend of mine on a Saturday around 11:30am. We agreed to meet up a little early as we’d heard that parking could be difficult and we didn’t want to be surrounded by a hungry mob. My friend mentioned that she’s heard there was a hidden speakeasy within the space, and so that made it to the top of list of spots to find while there.

Field Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District

Once we met up (it’s been so many years!), we set out finding the speakeasy. Along the way, we sampled some delicious meats and cheeses from Wheat & Sons (my friend completely confounded the gentleman helping us at the counter, to the point that both I and the rest of the staff were giggling at the ongoing exchange) and ended up grabbing some to-go as we looked for the speakeasy.

As it turned out, the speakeasy, The Blind Rabbit, was almost across from Wheat & Sons. And, we were just a little early as they didn’t open until noon. That didn’t stop my friend from popping in the open door and striking up a conversation with the staff. We ended up grabbing two overstuffed chairs around a nice low table (it felt as though we were in our living room, in a good way) rather than bellying up to the bar.

Field Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District - Mac & Cheese Chick

Since we knew we were “home” and here for the duration, we got cozy and after asking if it was okay, unwrapped our Wheat & Sons parcel to nibble. And the entire staff, by the way, was amazing, knowledgeable, and friendly. Aces, every one. You see that libation above? The one with the big ole ice cube and a hunk of bacon perched atop?

Field Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District - Mac & Cheese Chick

That’s a Bacon Old Fashioned (bacon-infused bourbon, Grade-B maple syrup & Angostura bitters) and it is waaaaaay better than you could ever imagine. So much so that I had three of them. Hey – I was there for over five hours. And I am now trying to find out to make bacon-infused bourbon; if you have a recipe, I’d love to try it!

Field Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District - Mac & Cheese Chick

But amazing drinks aside, around the middle of my second Bacon Old Fashioned we realized that we were both ready to grab something more substantial for lunch.

After perusing the Blind Rabbit menu, we decided to split the Duck Confit Mac N’ Cheese (truffle oil, topped w/Panko crust + micro fine herbs). Of course we did.

Field Trip! The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District - Mac & Cheese Chick

How was it? Weeeeeellllllllll, I want to tell you that it was amazing. Unfortunately, the parts appeared better than the sum. It had a nice afterburn from a little cayenne pepper and it had a nice overall mellow, creamy flavor. Unfortunately, it was on the dry side and that exponentially worsened after it sat for more than two minutes. I’m giving it three elbows, but there is definitely room for improvement here. I was a bit sad, as I really wanted to love it (it sounds amazing!!!), but a third Bacon Old Fashioned helped ease the pain a bit.

Me? I’ll probably be back next time we’re in town for the drinks and the staff – and hopefully, the next mac & cheese I try there will knock my socks off.

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Lavender Macaroni & Cheese with Buttered Thyme Breadcrumbs

August 7, 2014

To make a short story long, my parents are moving up to my area soon. That means parental-unit visits on a regular basis, which I LOVE. That also means field trips around the Pacific Northwest, one of which brought us to Garden Treasures, a lovely farm stand operation in Arlington, WA recently. Actually, we’d been [...]

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Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Mild Cheddar

July 12, 2014

Recently, the good folks at Pirate’s Booty were kind enough to send me four boxes of their new Mac & Cheese to try. All four varieties of their new mac & cheese line are made with organic pasta (certified organic by Oregon Tilth) and ingredients you can actually pronounce. So, of course I was more than happy to give [...]

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Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Shells & Cheese Aged White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

June 24, 2014

Recently, I was contacted by the good folks behind the Pirate’s Booty brand. I was aware of their popcorn, but this new offering was right up my alley: Mac & Cheese! And not just one, but four different flavors! All four made with organic pasta (certified organic by Oregon Tilth) and ingredients you can actually [...]

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Wensleydale Mac and Cheese with Cranberries and Asparagus

May 16, 2014

Wensleydale. You can’t say it aloud without feeling just a slight bit uppity and with a hint of a proper English accent. Go ahead; try it if you don’t believe me. But what is it, you ask? Well, the folks over at cheese.com do a great job explaining the joys of Wensleydale. It was developed [...]

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Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese with Hatch Chiles

April 11, 2014

Did you know that April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Day? No? Well, now you do! And in honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, I created a wonderful toasty-golden grilled cheese sandwich featuring Hatch chiles and, of course, macaroni and cheese! I had some leftover fire-roasted Hatch chiles in the freezer (always good to have [...]

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Product Review: Trader Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese

April 4, 2014

Yes, I went a little nuts in Trader Joe’s recently and purchased every single mac and cheese item I could find. Can you blame me? With this product review, the fifth in the series, we move from the boxed, powdered mac and cheeses to the big leagues: frozen. Okay, so maybe not the big leagues, [...]

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Product Review: Trader Joe’s Microwavable Mac & Cheese – Single Servings

March 28, 2014

Because Trader Joe’s offers so many mac and cheese options, this post is the fourth in a series of TJ’s mac and cheese product reviews. This review is for Trader Joe’s Microwavable Mac & Cheese – single servings. Here is the nutritional information. Pasta and cheese powder.  Ingredients needed: 1 packet of Trader Joe’s Microwavable [...]

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