Oh, hello! Did you call for a giant bowl of cheesy, gooey, creamy pasta? Great! Because Allison and Erin from Oakland's Homeroom restaurant — a West Coast mecca for mac n' cheese — are ready to serve it to you, cookbook-style. If you can flip through this book without your stomach rumbling at least once, then you are a stronger person that I am.
• Who wrote it: Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade
• Who published it: Ten Speed Press
• Number of recipes: 50, including some side dishes and desserts
• Recipes for right now: Classic Mac, Smoky Bacon Mac, Sriracha Mac, Shepherd's Mac, Vegan Mac, Pesto Mac, Roasted Carrots with Citrus Vinaigrette, Banana Cream Pie, Lime Bars
• Other highlights: While I wouldn't exactly call cooking the same stovetop mac and cheese time and again a "rut," I will allow that there could be some variation in the routine. Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade are all over it with enough different takes on the classic mix of pasta, cheese, and bechamel to keep us happy all winter long. I particularly love their section on international recipes: macs that incorporate the flavors of Greece or that re-invent shepard's pie with a layer of baked mac and cheese. I also feel inspired to branch out of my usual cheddar and give goat cheese, feta, gouda, and other cheeses a try.
Definitely take the time to read their section of expert tips. These ladies have churned out enough batches of mac n' cheese to know a thing or two about what makes a good one, like don't waste money on super-fancy cheeses, panko is better than bread crumbs, and how to cook the best noodles. I also really appreciate the beer and wine pairings with each recipe.
Some nitty-gritty details for you: The book covers recipes for classic mac and cheese, recipes from around the world, macs made with surprising ingredients, a bevy of side dishes, and some decadent desserts to top off the meal. It's filled with bright, gorgeous photos of the recipes and fun kid-friendly drawings. The book has sturdy cheese-resistant pages and has no trouble laying open to the page you want. The recipes are easy to follow — most have five or fewer steps.
• Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who appreciates a good bowl of mac n' cheese. I also think anyone who does a lot of cooking for potlucks or big family dinners would appreciate the ideas and many variations in this book.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Mac + Cheese Cookbook by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade
• Visit the restaurant website: Homeroom
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)