Thursday, July 14, 2016

Happy National Mac & Cheese Day!

Hi everyone!  Happy National Mac & Cheese Day!

It's that time again when melted cheese and perfectly cooked macaroni noodles reign supreme!  If you are on a diet, today is probably your worst nightmare.

I had several ideas on how I might want to celebrate today.  I had considered making some mac from scratch and bringing into work, but then when I saw that Homeroom was having an all day celebration including a one day only Four Cheese Mac, I knew exactly where I was headed.  I realize most of my posts are about Homeroom, but it's just because it's THAT good.

Anyway, Homeroom has some pretty sweet party stuff going on today, along with the special one day only Four Cheese Mac.  They've also giving away free homemade Peanut Butter Piereo Ice Cream sandwiches after 4pm, but only until they run out so get there quick!  From 5-7pm, they'll have live swing jazz played by the B Street Band for you to dance and tap your feet to.  There's even a Snapchat Geofilter you can use for today!

A video posted by You Don't Know Mac (@dontknowmac) on

Won my tote bag from the prize wheel!
Along with all that, there's also a prize wheel.  It's one spin per table and you can win all sorts of prizes ranging from a free mac to a beer koozy.  I lucked out and got the one I was eyeing: a Homeroom tote bag!

There's also a "cheesy" craft you can do while waiting for your macaroni.  They've got dried macaroni noodles and sting and you can craft your own noodle necklace!  I wasn't planning to take part at first, but by the end of the meal, I was in.

Yeah, I gave in to the noodle necklace
I feel like I'm a little kid again
All done!

Anyway, it's a pretty fun time, so you should go check it out if you don't know what to do yet to celebrate this special day.  I definitely had a blast at lunch :)

Also, to celebrate the day with something blog related, I created this interactive Google map for the Reviews page.  Now you can more easily find the locations I've visited and reviewed for this blog!  Here it is below:

You'll find this map updated on the Reviews page.  I'll do my best to keep it as up to date as possible.

On that note, Happy National Mac & Cheese Day everyone!  Cheers!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: Eureka! (part two)

2068 Center St, Berkeley

Okay, so I have to preface this as being a kind of "part two" of my Eureka! reviews.  My first review of a mac and cheese offering from Eureka! was in San Luis Obispo.

You can find that first review here.

So, moving onto my review of the Berkeley location...

I ordered the mac and cheese appetizer, thinking it would be the same simple dish I had in San Luis Obispo.  So I was pretty surprised when the dish placed in front of me had a mixture of noodles, bacon, chives and... Fritos.  

Yes. Fritos.  

I wasn't sure what theme they were trying to go for here.  Was it supposed to be some kind of weird Southwestern flair?  If so, I've seen better.  Or maybe they just felt that Berkeley college kids would go for some corn chips in their mac, and maybe so.  

But sadly, the chips didn't really make up for the bland flavor of the actual macaroni.  I was a little disappointed since I remembered the version in San Luis Obispo being so rich and creamy, even if it was very simple.  This Berkeley version was the opposite of simple and unfortunately seemed to lose the fundamental flavor.

Next time I find myself at Eureka! in Berkeley, I'll probably stick with a burger.  It's what they're known for after all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quick Update

Hello my amazing, loyal blog readers!  I have to start off by apologizing for not updating here in a very, very long time.  I have no excuses other than healthy diet (no fun) and sheer laziness.  Don't get me wrong, I still have mac and cheese here and there, but it's been a little less lately, so I tend to stick to my favorite places so I don't have a lot of new material to write about.

Until my next real post, however, I have some interesting things for you to check out.  First, I went down to LA for a work event and found this really awesome sculpture made of nothing but Kraft Mac & Cheese boxes.  Of course I had to snap a photo!  By the way, the "Shapes" box is truly the best.

Photo Credit: The Verge
My other fun update  for you is something that I am NOT going to recommend.  Not because I haven't tried it, but because it just sounds way too ridiculous to ever actually try.  I read a Verge article stating that Burger King now has a limited release of an item they are calling Mac & Cheetos.  Supposedly it's mac and cheese, fried with a Cheeto cheese powder coating on the outside.

Okay, guys.  This mac and cheese experimental craze is getting a little out of hand when you start getting this ridiculous.  I thought I'd seen it all when I was passed along a link to a place that makes mac and cheese hamburger buns.  That's right, mac and cheese hamburger buns.  That's just crazy.  But maybe still not as crazy as the mac and cheese pancakes I actually tried to make some months ago.  Boy, was that a disaster.

Anyway, I hope that you are all having a great start to summer and I promise to have some more updates soon, even if it's just to pass along crazy articles while I'm still trying to maintain a healthy diet.  Eat well and stay active!  National Mac & Cheese Day is right around the corner...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review: American Kitchen

American Kitchen
71 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette

Thanks to my friend, Andrea, I've found another location with a full selection of different kinds of mac and cheeses.  However, only on Wednesdays.

American Kitchen in Lafayette boasts a full list of 11 different kinds of mac and cheese variations for their Mac N' Cheese Wednesdays every week.

There's everything from a basic mac, to a truffle mac, to a cajun mac, or even a BBQ chicken mac (which is what I chose to try).  Pretty much a little something for everyone.  It's actually pretty hard to choose.  But after a glass of wine and some time to unwind after a long day at work, my friend and I chose our fates: the BBQ Chicken Mac and the Southwestern Mac.

The Southwestern Mac consisted of a mix of pepper jack cheese, crispy tortilla, roasted corn and steak.  While it had pretty decent flavor, the cheese sauce itself was rather watery.  I would wonder if that had something to do with the choice of cheese.  I've never tried to melt down pepper jack.  Not sure how that would turn out.

Andrea's Southwestern Mac

My BBQ Chicken Mac
On the flip side, my BBQ Chicken Mac was relatively creamy, probably because they add an extra topping of cheddar cheese.  It consisted of cheddar cheese, shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, and normally comes with onions, but I had those taken out since I have a weird thing about onions.  No judging!  I know a lot of people love onions.  I just don't like the texture.  Anyway, it was actually pretty good.  The chicken wasn't shredded in a way that I expected but tasted fine, and the whole thing had the taste of a BBQ chicken sandwich.  I'm not sure if that means that I would rather just have a BBQ chicken sandwich... Nah, this was pretty fun :)

There's plenty other menu options I'm hoping to try in the future, the most of which being their basic mac and cheese.  I feel like you get a better feel for how good a mac and cheese dish offering is by knowing how the restaurant makes the basic dish.  Looks like I'll just have to go back. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

I've long been a fan of Valentine's Day, whether I had someone special to share it with or a whole crew of my best girl friends.  It feels like a great excuse to get together and celebrate those people that you love and appreciate in your life.

Today is just another day to be grateful for those around you, and I'm especially thankful for my amazing family, friends, and boyfriend.  I hope that they never doubt how much I cherish my relationships with all of them.

That said, it's also a great day to celebrate with GREAT food, like Mac & Cheese!  I found this really funny matching sweatshirt set.  I love the saying, "You're the Cheese to my Macaroni".  It's pretty adorable.  Anyway, if you are interested, you can find it here on Amazon for purchase.

Again, Happy Valentine's Day from You Don't Know Mac.  Thank you so much for being a reader!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fit Tip of the Day: The Health Benefits of Cheese

Continuing with a theme of healthy living, here's several ways that cheese (in moderation) might actually help with your health!

Did you know that you can actually lose weight by enjoying part-skim mozzerella?

Or have some part-skim ricotta after a strength training session to help build muscle?

A bit of Gruyere could actually help prevent diabetes, while cheddar can help ward off cavities!

If you are intrigued, you can find out more about these cheeses (as well as the health benefits of Parmesan, Feta and Swiss) in this recent article, 7 Delicious Cheeses with Major Health Perks, from Women's Health.

See?  It is possibly to enjoy cheese and still be healthy!  Happy eating!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fit Tip of the Day: Healthy Mac & Cheese Recipes

Photo source:
It's the beginning of a new year, which often means the beginning of new, healthier diets for most folks.  In the spirit of healthy food options, I thought I'd share this article for 12 Lightened-Up Mac and Cheese Recipes I found on Shape's website.

In it, you'll find recipes for a Gluten Free No-Mac & Cheese, Quinoa Spinach Mac & Cheese, and, you guessed it, a Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.  Unfortunately, that last one still makes me feel queasy.  Let's just assume I won't be trying to make that one myself again.  There are several restaurants that make it much better than I do...

In other news, I promise I'll be posting about my NYE Mac and Cheese treat soon!  It's definitely going to be a new addition to my top ten!

Anyway, enjoy!  Happy cooking!  Happy eating!