(Oh How) Happy…Hangover?

by Sarah on January 28, 2011 · 14 comments

Before you get all nervous based on the post title that I’m taking this blog in an altogether different direction, please remember that the girl* writing this is the same one who needs her arm twisted to have even one glass of wine on a school night and whose most common “I drank to much last night” side effects are a strong craving for plain, roasted chicken and a general sense of malaise. The food in this post is for all. [It’s just especially good for some.]

*Technically, I’m not a small child…but don’t you find it odd to call yourself a woman? I don’t think I’m one of those really either…perhaps a lady…or a belle (Southern preferably)?


In honor of the weekend upon us, I am going to present you with a cure-all for something some of you might experience over the course of the next couple of days, depending on your interest and enjoyment in drinking beverages of the “adult” variety. Trust me, take a bite out of this——and, while you still might feel a little ill…at least you’ll also be happy. :)

I’ve mentioned my roommates a lot, and if you haven’t figured out yet, they tend to love the night life, Alicia Bridges style, a wee bit (whole lot, whatever) more than I do. [I mean, last weekend, one of them said, as she went to bed at midnight, “Wait. I’m going to bed and SARAH’S STILL AWAKE?!?!”]

Being the best (and most humble) roommate ever, I cook and bake for them on occasion, and their favorite thing I have ever made was the macaroni and cheese I made during post-Halloween “lethargy” [read: hangovers]……from the remnants of the Pumpkin Cheese Ball I’d made for my Pumpkin Party.One of my roomies (let’s call her ‘N’) loved it so much that she talked about it for weeks afterward (no joke, one of her best friends told me she was doing so), and I even had to attempt a recreation one Friday night after unearthing the last remaining portion of the original “ball.” Sadly, we had no small pasta, so I improvised with broken lasagna noodles…….and toasted Sourdough bread. (I’m nothing if not inventive [slash] creative [slash] a culinary genius.)It tasted kind of like mac & cheese fondue…so yes, AMAZING.

Oh how happy you have made me…oh, how happy you have made me!
[Thank you, Shades of Blue]
And then, oh, how sad (face) when it was all gone…

This past weekend, when faced with a few struggling roommates camped out in various positions on couch and futon, I knew what had to be done.

Clearly, it’s not realistic to expect cheese balls to be pre-made and at-the-ready for any and all Mac & Cheese Emergencies*…so I had to turn that cheeseball into a stand-alone sauce for a little something I like to call…

*Yes, I did feel that that state of affairs should be capitalized.

(Oh How) “Happy Hangover” Mac & Cheese
[Yes, you should listen to the song while you read this, make this, and eat this.]

While my dear friend Molly from college has mastered the art of the stovetop blue box variety of mac & cheese (real butter, best eaten straight from the pot while lamenting the harsh way boys treat us), I like to think that this might be the perfect non-blue-box variety.

To quote ‘N’: “Best. Mac. And. Cheese. Ever.” (Repeated 10 times throughout the course of the day…and the following evening when she returned to the fridge for the leftover cheese sauce and made it AGAIN.)

[Note: Before we go any further, YES, I am aware that technically this should be called “pasta and cheese sauce” or something, because I have yet to actually use macaroni…but really, people….really?]

This amazing recipe is based on Southern Living‘s Pumpkin Cheese Ball recipe, which is what I used for my Pumpkin Party.

You will need 4 cups (or so…I mean, what’s a little extra?) of shredded sharp (or extra sharp) cheddar cheese.You could shred it yourself…but if YOU are the one with the “headache” I would suggest avoiding all extraneous activity. However, it IS a good idea to buy a package with a cow on it.

Always a good idea to know where our food comes from.

You will also need a 1/2 a tub of Chive & Onion cream cheese…

…and a box of the pasta of your choice—and since I probably should state the obvious in that this is in no way a healthy recipe*, you might as well use white, enriched, no-real-nutrient pasta while you’re at it.

*Oh, how happy mac—a—ro—-ni….oh, how happy, and unhealthy!

[These were the coolest noodles EVER by the way…they literally unravel if you pull the end of them. So not only were you eating well…you got to PLAY with your food too. :)]

You will also need 2 cups of milk…
…and liberal dashes of ground red (cayenne) pepper and paprika.
[Also a little S & P, but those always seem to show up late to the party, when the camera’s been put away (or the photos no longer make sense….if you know what I mean).]

So then you pretty much dump the pasta into boiling water and melt the cheeses together in milk you’ve brought to a bubble on the stove. Drain the pasta, and pour it directly in the cheese sauce (unless you don’t like uber-cheesiness, in which case you’ll want to pour the pasta back in it’s OWN pot and add the cheese sauce to your liking). Remember: cheese sauces thicken up as they cool, so make it a little saucier than you think you should.

Mmmmmmmmm….mac & cheeeeeeeeese………..
And you should probably know that it’s good even if you don’t have a hangover. Which I hope you don’t have this weekend.
Or ever, really.
(Oh How) “Happy” Hangover Mac & Cheese

1 16 oz. box pasta [preferably rotini, trottole, or something with ‘grooves’ :)]
2 cups milk
16 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz. chive-and-onion cream cheese
paprika, ground red (cayenne) pepper, garlic powder, salt, pepper [all spices to taste…about 1-2 tsp. each]

1. In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk to a bubble.
2. Meanwhile, bring a second pot (big enough for the entire box of pasta) of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. [That means “however you like it cooked.”]
3. Into the milk, add the cheeses, and paprika, cayenne, salt, and black pepper.
4. Stir until all the cheese is melted. Taste every so often….just to be sure you like it. :)
5. Drain the pasta and pour it either directly into the cheese sauce, or back into it’s pot….to which you would then add the cheese sauce.

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Tricia @ Saving room for dessert January 28, 2011 at 8:07 am

Hey the box of trottole reads "enriched macaroni product" so you're covered! Mac 'N Cheese it is and oh it looks terrific. You must be the best roommate ever! Happy weekend.

Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free January 28, 2011 at 8:29 am

I was never a huge fan of mac&cheese, but my sister LOVES it. Seriously, she used to eat it every day. If this is the best, I must make it for her!

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean January 28, 2011 at 8:46 am

this looks so good right now. i want some and i'm not even hung over!

atastelife January 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

ummm, seriously?

please read my post today to understand my reaction.
i swear we share a brain. except you obviously got the bigger half.

Cara January 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

wow never thought to add cream cheese for whatever reason. genius.

Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life January 28, 2011 at 10:41 am

chive and onion cream cheese- BRILLIANT!! That stuff is amazing, and your mac and cheese looks BOMB.

molly January 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

love.it. (though if we were hanging out this weekend in ATX together, i would still insist on blue box mac n cheese out of the pot, just for old time's sake. but i probably wouldn't hungover. but that's ok. life is good. ok, i'm done, have a good day :)

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day January 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

This is the opposite of a Paleo meal and therefore one of the first things I'm eating after the 30 days of ridiculousness is over. Then I'll have a mac and cheese hangover, which is totally more worth it than an alcohol induced one.

We would get along so well in person. I rarely ever drink because I'm scared of becoming drunk. It concerns me, as if I were an innocent 12 year old.

thehealthyapron January 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

haha oh the hangovers…we have a wedding tomorrow night…hoping NOT to have a hang over the next day!

Natasha January 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Ha! You are the best roommate ever and I stand by my quote– Best.Mac.And.Cheese.Ever :)

Leila January 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Lucerne chive and onion cream cheese is the best. I eat it straight up with triscuits…I call it my white trash appetizer. Love it. Never thought of adding it to pasta. This may have to be made and consumed pronto.

tehstotehara January 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Oh dear me. I love pasta and cheese type meals. All of them. This looks incredible. And, seeing as how I just used cream cheese for quesadillas I am definitely a believer. While I will not have any hangovers for quite a while I do have morning sickness that lasts all day. I think I need some of this mac n cheese for it. Right now.

Eden January 29, 2011 at 2:03 am

Dude, there is no shame in a hangover! Esp when it calls for tasty food! I, however, never get hungover because I can't drink (liver issues) and your draw might drop so be prepared to pick it up, but I dont like cheese (your gasping, right?). I know I should like cheese because everyone does, but I suppose its how I feel about people who dont like chocolate….
anyhow, I'l quit my rambling.
You flaunt those hangovers!

Missy January 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Hah…you seriously have your roomies wrapped compromisingly around your little fingers on nights like these.
You could a) Bait them with food but use "if onlys" … like "if you mop tomorrow, I'll make you some"
You could feed them things they would never ordinarily eat…and turn them around. I have a friend who doesn't like veggies….hmm…my brain is churning.

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