Wild Card* Week in Ina’s Garden!

Welcome to the first ever Wild Card* week in Ina’s Garden! It’s a fun one because we’re asking everyone to make, post, and link up an Ina Garten recipe of their choosing.

For the past few days, Chicago’s experienced slightly cooler temperatures, which triggered my craving for comfort food. And, what’s more quintessential “comfort food” than mac and cheese? So for my Wild Card* choice this week, I made Ina’s Grown Up Mac and Cheese.

Ina actually has several mac and cheese recipes, but I followed this one. To streamline the prep work, I used Oscar Mayer bacon pieces and store-bought seasoned bread crumbs for the topping. I also incorporated sliced tomatoes, as Ina does in this version. This dish was very cheesy and gooey (which I loved) and just a tad bit salty, probably from the bacon and three different cheeses (sharp cheddar, bleu cheese, and GruyΓ¨re). I had a small serving, and it satisfied my comfort food craving wholeheartedly and completely. But, I have so much left over! The recipe I followed was supposed to yield only two servings, but it seems as if Ina used Brobdingnag’s measuring system. I guess I’m bringing in samples for the office again!

If you couldn’t join us this week in Ina’s Garden, we hope you can join us on September 1st when our theme will be “Indian Summer!

*Is anyone else reminded of Charlie Day from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” when you read the words “Wild Card”? Just me? Okay.

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36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Food,Photography & France
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 01:13:33

    The wrong amount could lead to serious discomfort food – but it does look good.

  2. Three-Cookies
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 02:20:39

    I have never made mac and cheese, I am curious to try making it now

  3. Summer Rose
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 04:01:03

    Yummmmmm Yummy C , great choice !!!
    I love the topping as well as all the gooeyness happening in there πŸ™‚
    Ha ha , well it sure looks like u had way more than 2 servings πŸ™‚
    But it sure looks sooo good!

  4. Maris (In Good Taste)
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 05:51:02

    I abso,lutely love mac & cheese ever since I was young. This looks like perfection to me!

  5. Liz
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 06:03:35

    Oh, my family would certainly enjoy this recipe! Wonderful! (And I’m bummed I didn’t get around to doing this wildcard post…went to the movies with friends yesterday :)).

  6. Parsley Sage
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 06:42:21

    Your office mates are lucky now that Surfer P is gone πŸ™‚ Ina’s mac looks sooo good!

  7. Malli's Mint and Mimosas
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 07:51:21

    It sure is a bowl of comfort food for me!! Sounds so very good with the bacon and three cheeses…..I wish I was one of those co-workers:)

  8. April @ The 21st Century Housewife
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 08:10:27

    Oh yum, this looks amazing! I love the combination of cheeses that you used!

  9. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 08:18:07

    This is great especially for people who don’t always play by the rules of a challenge, like say they don’t like salmon and potatoes and just decide to make brownies! Ha, so teasing you. This looks fantastic.

  10. Anita Menon
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 09:11:45

    Your office colleagues are so lucky. It really looks good.

  11. Chaya
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 09:53:46

    I am glad you made this and it is good to know that it offers large servings. We don’t eat that much but leftovers are always good.

    Your photo is great.

  12. forgottenbeast
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 10:17:20

    I wasn’t reminded of Charlie, but now I will be–and my day will be better for it πŸ˜€ This looks sooo good and rich! And I love tomatoes in mac n’ cheese. Pretty much the ONE non-vegan food I desperately miss.

  13. Mary
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 10:51:09

    This is a great choice.It makes a wonderful family meal. I’m sure your crew enjoyed this. I know mine would. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  14. Tiff
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 11:22:13

    Mac n Cheese is always a winner. I have to admit though, I usually prefer the blue box. Sometimes I just need a fix of childhood.

  15. JamieAnne
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 11:32:09

    Yum! That looks great! I don’t think Ina’s ever been guilty of having portions that were “too small”. Ha!

  16. Ronda
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 11:38:17

    Oh no…now I am craving mac and cheese!

  17. Ameena
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 11:55:23

    I love Ina Garten! I think she is a brilliant woman – even if she uses a ton of butter in everything.

    Great recipe…perfect for the cooler temps.

  18. ceciliag
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 13:15:17

    I love butter too! I have a few macaroni cheese fans in the house who I might surprise with this recipe!

  19. spicegirlfla
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 14:05:37

    This looks so comforting good! I love that you combined her recipes to make it look and taste even better! Great photos too, really got me desiring some mac and cheese!!

  20. Grumpy Grateful Mom
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 14:06:21

    Comfort food-take me away! This look great. I’ve been looking for a mac and cheese recipe to use for dinner group.

  21. Kristin
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 14:26:15

    OMG, that looks heavenly! “I cut the brakes! WILD CARD b*****s!

  22. Clarkie @ Beloved Green
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 14:37:39

    This is the ultimate comfort food. Looks absolutely amazing!

  23. Geni - Sweet and Crumby
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 14:42:52

    That looks like very grown up mac n’ cheese and very gooey and satisfying. YUM!

  24. erica
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 15:07:59

    OMG this looks absolutely amazing!

  25. Amanda Badger
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 15:35:12

    That looks soo freaking tasty

  26. Peggy
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 16:52:22

    Great choice for the wildcard! Sounds so good!

  27. Laural @ Being Healthier
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 17:29:04

    hmmm wildcard huh? looks pretty darn yummy, I always hated mac n cheese as a child. i like it now thank heavens.

    πŸ™‚ good luck with trial!

  28. torviewtoronto
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 18:18:16

    lovely presentation of mac and cheese

  29. Elaine
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 19:04:55

    How interesting that it has bleu cheese in it. I bet it does give it a wonderful ‘grown-up’ flavor!

  30. chunklet's mom
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 19:23:51

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I might try it and go easy on the bleu cheese since i hate it.

  31. smartfoodandfit
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 20:22:59

    Yum, perfect comfort food. I’m making this as soon as it’s cold outside!

  32. rebecca
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 21:34:33

    wow this looks tasty love the addition of sliced tomatoes

  33. Betty
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 22:52:23

    I’ve never used blue cheese in mac and cheese, but it sounds like it would be yummy. And it’s definitely better to have too much mac and cheese than not enough. πŸ™‚

  34. Life is Full
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 23:37:16

    Ina’s food tends to be very rich! I like the crumb-crusted tomato!

  35. Cakelaw
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 16:40:44

    Ooohh, this looks scrumptious!

  36. Tiffany
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 13:47:48

    This sounds good! I might need to add this to next months menu! Thanks for sharing!!

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