Forget the most popular person in the room. They aren’t whom you want to talk to. Trust me. In the end, they are the most boring, and often the most attention seeking person in the room. Instead, search out the quiet individual hiding in the corner, the one avoiding eye contact, the shrinking violet, or the individual without anyone within arms distance. They are the person you want to get to know.
Lately I’ve been confronted with a few situations where I’ve felt like people were urging me to make the popular decision, instead of the decision that would be best for me. Thankfully, I’ve been in an uncooperative and very self-centered frame of mind as of late, and have immediately made the decision to say, “Hell No!” I don’t choose to join your group. What makes you think you know what is best for me? My life choices might not make a huge difference in the grand scheme of life, but that doesn’t mean that I myself don’t make a difference. Listen up! I make a difference every day I get out of bed and confront the world. And if you think less of me because I don’t follow the road most taken, then screw you, because you have your own issues to work out.
I want to live my life knowing that I cherish what is the most important to me. I want to be the lover of mac and cheese, that ultimate comfort food that is so simple, so boring, but yet always takes you straight back to your childhood, when things were at their best. You can keep your fancy canapés, foie gras, black truffles, and cornichons, because in my world those things just equal out to be pimento cheese on a cracker, liver that no one in their right mind wants to eat, fancy mushrooms which are way overrated, and not nearly as good as the morels that are to be found out in the neighboring woods, and plain ol’ pickles out of a jar. You can slap whatever label you want on something, but that doesn’t make it the be all end all. Seek comfort in what is special to you, and stay true to your own path, instead of getting stuck living someone else’s dream. Remember, you make a difference just by being you.
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Pound Pasta
- 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
- 1 Large Sweet Onion, Diced
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 2 1/2 Cups Milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
- 4 Cups Blarney Castle or Gouda Cheese, Shredded
- Bring water and 1-teaspoon of sea salt to a boil, over high heat.
- Add the pasta and cook until desired doneness, and then drain well.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the butter to a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, when the butter is melted.
- Cook for 5 minutes, and then lower the heat to medium.
- Cook for 5 minutes, and then lower the heat to low.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, stir, sprinkle with the flour, stir again, and increase the temperature to medium-high. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Whisk in the milk, pepper, salt, and mustard. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Whisk in the cheese and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Combine the sauce with the drained pasta and serve immediately.
- This pasta would be really great using egg noodles, in lieu of gnocchetti, which I used.
- I happen to love Blarney Castle Cheese, which is available in bulk at Costco around St. Patrick’s Day. If you cannot find it at your local market, replace it with Gouda.
- This pasta tastes wonderful reheated, but the texture will change slightly. That’s not a bad thing, just different.
- Bacon, bacon, and more bacon!
- Top with fresh herbs before serving.
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