Missed the fest? DIY recipes

Cook%27s+personal+recipe+for+a+basic+macaroni+and+cheese.
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Missed the fest? DIY recipes

Cook's personal recipe for a basic macaroni and cheese.

Cook's personal recipe for a basic macaroni and cheese.

Cook's personal recipe for a basic macaroni and cheese.

Cook's personal recipe for a basic macaroni and cheese.

By Samantha Cook, Reporter

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We all love a good comfort food, especially at the end of the semester to combat the stress of finals. And what better food to find comfort in than macaroni and cheese?  With the gooey golden cheese and the perfection that is pasta, you can never go wrong. But there are plenty of ways to elevate a good dish like mac ‘n’ cheese and make it even better.

When asked what his favorite type of mac ‘n’ cheese is, freshman engineering sciences major Ismeal Martinez said, with eyebrows raised, “There are different types?”

Indeed, there are different types of macaroni and cheese, and students at CSU Bakersfield offer up some great suggestions on their best ways to spruce up everyone’s favorite pasta dish.

Savrina Hawatmeh, a senior biology major said, “One time I tried it with lobster… It was bomb.”

This suggestion paired perfectly with sophomore nursing student Drei Libao’s advice. “Mac and cheese is a carb, so why not add some protein?” he said.

Libao recommended proteins such as bacon for a classing American alteration, to some less common must-try additions like chopped spam or fried vienna sausages – both perfect for a student’s budget.

Among the amazing suggestions came one from senior biology major Mamjimber Brar, who recommends a delectable restaurant dish from the Macaroni Grill.  “Their mac ‘n’ cheese truffles are so good. They’re basically breaded, fried balls of mac ‘n’ cheese,” said Brar.

Both Hawatmeh and Brar said that adding a variety of cheeses leads to a more interesting rendition of the dish. Libao can attest to this with a Mean Girls reference that never steers anyone wrong, as he said, “When it comes to cheese, as Cady Heron says, ‘The limit does not exist.’”

A personal suggestion from my own kitchen is to add cream of broccoli or cream of mushroom to the cheese base to create a richer texture. Also, topping the macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs before baking in the oven will make for the perfect texture pairing.

For those who could not attend the Mac and Cheese festival, fun versions of the dish can be made at home for your own mini festival. Just invite some friends to make their own version of macaroni and cheese, then sample each other’s.

Here is the most basic recipe for macaroni and cheese that dates back to decades of home economics classes. Start with this recipe, then make any of the adjustments above or get creative for a macaroni and cheese that is as unique as you. Whatever you do, never make macaroni and cheese in the microwave, or your dish will be sadly mediocre.