i have the most bizarre cravings. they inspire me to cook and bake. this time it was breaded mac and cheese. back in the fifth grade or so my mom sent me to this after school program, it was more of a thing to keep my brother and me busy, also in hopes of making us smarter (thanks, mom). really, i think it was a big waste of money. however, one of the few fond memories i have is of the baked and breaded mac and cheese my writing instructor made, i think it was a last day of class celebration. it was so cheesy and gooey and warm and oh, so comforting, so much the opposite of those prep programs. in celebration of my GRE exam coming up on tuesday, i wanted to bring back some of that warm gooey deliciousness.
i burnt a little of the top, but it was all the more homier. i cut this epicurious recipe in half, substituted milk for soy mlik and added my own touch with a hint of thyme, tarragon and oregeno in the macaroni (i used shells :), and a pinch of chile to spice it up a bit. i also used my magic bullet to grind 3 slices of earth-balance butered toast and a small piece of leftover garlic bread to make the bread crumbs. the breading is what ultimately makes this mouthworthiness.