The goal of this site is to find as many kinds of mac n' cheese as possible and try them so you don't have to! Stove-top, frozen, quick prepare (just add water), home made and anything served in a restaurant are all fair game! If it's name has macaroni n' cheese in it, I'm trying it.

My hope is that this blog will help you discover new varieties to try (and to avoid) or that killer home made recipe that is worth the work to make yourself.

When I'm not collecting video games, I'm eatin' mac n' cheese. Thanks for following me on this journey as I see what it takes to make me bleed cheese.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happiest Hot Dog On Earth

I went on a mini vacation last fall. While on this vacation I swung by both Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland and discovered that they had some work for me to do while I was there for play.

I have for years always made it a point to stop at one restaurant in the park because they serve one of my favorite foods (that's not Mac n' cheese) the Mickey Mouse soft pretzel.  While these pretzels are located in carts and other places around the park, I've always made sure that I get one (at a time, on the hour <_< ) from the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner located at the end of Main St.

Imagine how surprised I was that making my first trip back to the park in years and finding that they've added a special hot dog just for me.  I just had to add it to one to one of my soft pretzel orders.

The Review

Yup, still here!

Mac & Cheese Hot Dog at the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner

Can't miss the stained glass fixture just above the entrance.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Happiest Mac On Earth

Every family has a place that they go a bit more often than others for escapes and vacations. My family's escape place is without question is "The happiest place on Earth" Disneyland.  I've been to the park probably 50 times (if not more) in my relatively short time on Earth.  While I know the park like the back of my hand, the many twist and turns of the rides, the best places to get a snack and the quietest parts of the park it doesn't change my ability to enjoy each and every trip I've made there and still want to return for more.

Having already hit Knott's Berry Farm, I continued on with my short notice vacation by spending the final day and half at the Disneyland Resort parks before the car ride back up to the Bay Area.  The plan was for a full day at Disneyland and the half day at California Adventure and after a successful find of mac n' cheese at Knott's, my eyes were peeled for what I could only hope to be mickey mouse shaped mac.

Disneyland opened to the public on July 18th, 1955 but like any good story, there was plenty of drama and intrigue related to it's opening.

Walt Disney had already made a name for himself and his studio had cranked out a huge number of animated shorts, films and other works by the time Disneyland was being thought up.  It's inception came about while Walt took his own family to different amusement parks in the 30's and 40's and hoped to (like Knott's Berry Farm), have it act as a sort of tourist attraction for those who came to visit the Burbank studios where his artists worked to put together classic cartoon shorts and feature films (both live action and animated) that were being made there.

What initially started out as an idea for a small park on a few acres with a boat ride and other themed areas and attractions ran into a rather large problem.  Those on Walt's design team had created too much stuff for the small 8 acre parcel of land purchased.  With some help from the Stanford Research Institute a new larger space was searched out, with the purchase of 160 acres of orange and walnut groves hoping to fit the designs created and support the projected growth of Orange County, where the land was bought.

Funding was difficult to come by and some shrewd business relationships were made, principally with the new television network ABC to net the money needed to turn the dream into reality. Disneyland (the series) was born and Walt introduced cartoons both new and old and live action properties like Davy Crockett to America.  This partnership created a new corporation, made up of Disney himself, ABC, Western Publishing (best known for their little golden books) and Walt Disney Productions who then managed the development and operations of the park.  The park eventually bought out the shares from Disney, Western and ABC by 1960 to take control back "in house" as it were.

The construction started on Disneyland (originally planned to be named Disneylandia, bleck!) on July 16th, 1954 and opened to the media and special guests just one year (and a day) later on July 17th, 1955. Anything that could go wrong at the 'International Press Preview' opening seemingly did.

First off, there were somewhere in the range of 28,000 people at the opening, with almost half of those people there having purchased counterfeit tickets.  Traffic around the park was horrible, and celebrities who were supposed to arrive through out the day, all arrived at the same time. It was a balmy 101 °F that Sunday and because of a local plumbers strike during construction, Disney had to chose between having operational toilets or drinking fountains for the opening day guests.  While he smartly chose to have the toilets work, backlash was experienced because many felt that it was just a cheap tactic to sell more Pepsi (then a park sponsor) to thirsty guests who had no other options.

Vendors ran our of food (at the time, many of the restaurants and shops were not controlled by Disney, but were sponsored by companies like Carnation and Dole).  Construction continued almost up to the opening of the park, with asphalt laid just before the opening of the park, still not set before visitors were walking over it, leaving impressions with their shoes on it.  A gas leak sprung up in Fantasyland that afternoon that was serious enough that it forced the closure of Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland for the remainder of the day.

Disneyland's opening was aired as a special on ABC and while things didn't go as planned on the opening and with much negative press to show for the many problems, 50,000 guests still arrived the next day for it's public opening.

The park has had numerous ups and downs over the years and while many parts of the park have been changed (for both good and bad reasons depending on who you may talk to) it's more popular than ever, with admission totals of almost 16 million guests in 2012.

Disney knows it's clientele and with as many children at the park, if I didn't find a mac being served at one of the many restaurants I'd have been sorely disappointed.  I can gladly say that Disney didn't disappoint my desire for mac n' cheese.

One of the most photographed locations in the world and the first thing that every guest sees when entering the park.

The Review

Tomorrowland Terrace's Toddler Meal Yummy Cheesy Macaroni
*Mac and cheese isn't available at all restaurants in Disneyland, but the following do serve it/have it on their kids menu.
Cafe Orleans - New Orleans Square
Carnation Cafe - Main Street
French Market (Toddler meal) - New Orleans Square

*In addition some California Adventure restaurants also serve mac on their kids menus.
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta - Paradise Pier
Taste Pilot's Grill - Condor Flats
Pacific Wharf Cafe - Pacific Wharf

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I have stumbled onto quite a few different mac n' cheese related items that aren't actually real mac n' cheese.  Mac themed bandages and realistic doll house food have gotten the review treatment and a few others are waiting in the wings.  What this has taught me is that the power of the dish of cheesy golden noodles has found its way into practically every aspect of our lives (at least here in America) and I'm O.K. with that.

Back during the summer (I know, I know, I'm just a smidgen behind in my posts) I saw that the retailers had swung into full gear for back to school and with sales abound the supplies flowed through the aisles.  Having heard from a few different people who thanks to having little ones, being teachers or are just artistic that Crayola has a crayon that I would be interested in.

Crayola started by two cousins, Edwin Binney and C. Harris Smith of New York in 1885.  Originally known as Binney & Smith, the company produced pigments and colorants for industrial use.  Their products made tires black (and last longer) and gave paint it's color and they invented dustless chalk just after the turn of the century.  Separate from the success of B&S, Edwin Binney and his wife Alice Stead Binney, developed a wax crayon product line that she named Crayola.  The name came from a mashup of 'craie', French for chalk and 'ola' for oily/oleaginous.  Within two years there were 5 crayon sizes and 18 different packaging and crayon counts by 1905. Numerous sets were aimed at both artists and children and over the course of the next thirty years acquisitions allowed for a vastly expanded selection of crayons.  In 1958, the classic 64 crayon box with sharpener was introduced (and is still available today).  Over the years, the crayon selections have expanded and changed, growing to practically any color one can think of.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do to properly show off the macaroni and cheese crayon, since attempting to draw on my own is just a internet meme waiting to happen.  I do however have a cute mini coloring/activity book that a close friend created to promote his web series and numerous ebooks (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 and Book 4 available on the iTunes book store for the iPad) The Boy With The Dreaming Key.  It's the perfect thing to color!

The Review

Crayola's Macaroni and Cheese Crayon
Teachers love us!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Gobble!

I hope everyone (that celebrates it) has a great Thanksgiving, spending the day with family and friends.  Making sure to fill up on metric tons of food, because that's how we do it here in 'Murica. 

My mom found a comic strip that she thought would be right up my alley yesterday.  I'd have to agree.

To view the comic (and give Mark Tatulli, the creator of Lio his clicks) please click here

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Knotts Berry Mac

Have you ever seen that Halloween episode of the Simpsons, where they're spoofing Stephen King's The Shining and Homer snaps because he didn't have TV and beer?  A refresher in case you don't remember it.
Woob woob woob woob!

Well, while I don't need TV and beer to function (though it may not hurt things), I have not, however taken any kind of extended vacation yet this year and that has helped bring me to the point where I could "go crazy".  A day here or half day there, to keep my hours down below capping just wasn't cutting it these past few months, so I finally took a week off.  Part of this much needed week off had me jumping in the car and driving down to L.A. where I hit up both Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland.  I couldn't go and not look for mac n' cheese while I was down there, and fortunately I did find that both amusement parks had some ready and waiting for me to review.

Knott's Berry Farm, I learned was truly a firsts kind of place, that thanks to the success of the Knott's, the family steered how amusement parks would operate even today based on things they did first as they were just trying to keep people entertained while waiting to order a meal.

In 1927, seven years after the Knott's family settled on 20 acres in Buena Park on Highway 39, Knott's Berry Place got it's first building, which served as a five table tea room and berry stand to sell the farm's wares.  In 1932, Walter Knott created the Boysenberry (a hybrid of red raspberry, blackberry and loganberries) and named it after a friend.  By 1934, with the Great Depression firmly entrenched across the country, Walt's wife Cordelia reluctantly served to tea room customers her fried chicken, on their wedding china to make ends meat.  By 1937, they had greatly expanded the tea room, given it a full kitchen, dining room and parking lot for their customers.  That Thanksgiving in 1937, 1,774 dinners were served.  Soon, old west buildings were being bought and moved to the property to entertain customers waiting for tables in the restaurant, allowing Walter to create a whole new western town, 'Ghost Town' to occupy the minds (and wallets) of the those restaurant customers.  1947 saw the Knott's Berry Place get renamed, Knott's Berry Farm.

What started as an attraction to keep people busy who came for fried chicken dinners had converted to a full fenced in, admission amusement park in 1968. It's now owned by Cedar Fair, who own amusement parks all across the country, including California's Great America in the SF Bay Area.

Though the park has had some ups and downs over the years, it's still very much alive and kicking. The park has some great roller coasters including the massive wooden GhostRider, the non-inverted loop (you take the loop from the outside!) Xcelerator, the suspended coaster Silver Bullet and the Pony Express, where you ride like you're on a pony!

While the park is a great place to spend a day if you're in L.A., what I think is their best kept secret is still Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The restaurant is outside of the park to the left of the entrance and you can not only get food to go if you so choose, but park for free (with validation from the restaurant) and have some incredibly tasty chicken.

I had decided to make part of my visit to L.A. include Knott's because I hadn't been there in so long and because I knew that I'd need a good dinner after the long drive down.  When I peeked at the posted menu before going inside I knew I was in for a treat if the mac n' cheese that I saw on the menu was half as good as their chicken.

The Review

Mr.s Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant macaroni and cheese

A little difficult to discern, but this was really the only angle I could (safely, while standing in the middle of the road) get a shot of the restaurant's name.

The best restaurants don't need flashy names to attract your attention. Direct and to the point.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Itty Bitty Mac

One never knows where they'll find their next mac & cheese.  The obvious places are those that serve  or sell food.  Restaurants and grocery stores have been the root location of 99% of my blog posts so far, with an honorable mention of inedible mac bandages found at a candy shop in San Francisco.  Easy marks.  What if you up really want to challenge yourself.  Where would you look?

How about an antique store.

Now I bet you're thinking, antique shops don't sell food.  They can't. It's against the law, or it'd be a crime against humanity to buy some mac that was last sold in the Eisenhower administration.  Well I've not found any food (or any old packages of mac for that matter)... yet, but I did find something pretty damn cool. Miniature dollhouse sized mac n' cheese.

I had found myself back in the Niles district of Fremont, once again wandering the shops on a Sunday afternoon.  While I did walk by Bronco Billy's and their tempting mac bites, this post is about on one of the antique shops a few blocks down.

My Friends And I is located at 37521 Niles Blvd.  Like almost all the shops (as far as I can tell) on Niles Blvd., they have a bit of a focus, and numerous vendors that work to that shop's theme.  This shop (like any good one) has a little bit of everything, vintage and new but something I've noticed as I've been through the area a few times is that they make sure to decorate up their shop and work with their vendors to do so for calendar events.
The shop was pretty busy when I was there, but remember, they close at 5PM daily, so no late night antiquing for you!

Not only is that a good sign of rotating inventory, but a store that has vendors who don't want to just have a stagnant look that in my opinion, turns off the potential customers.  Why go in, if the stuff you can see in the front, is the same stuff you saw three months ago?  They want to sell their stuff and by rotating and bringing in new stuff regularly, it's actually an adventure to go in and browse. 

Besides, the ladies that work there are really nice, so even if you don't buy anything, you'll have a great conversation.

The Review

Dollhouse Miniatures Macaroni and Cheese
While that's not the 'brand', this was the only sign in the booth (which was filled with miniatures for dollhouses), so huzzah for impromptu namings!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mother Approved, But Kid Tested?

I've reviewed a number meals marketed for/to kids.  So far, meals made by mom, promoted by Elmo and ones that have include brownies haven't really been something that any kid should be eating (based on taste alone and not even factoring in 'nutritional value').  In yet another regular walk through the frozen section of the local grocery store I saw that a new line of meals had appeared, aimed at kids.  There were only three options, all of which were pasta dishes but one was a mac. Another instant purchase as I tossed it into the basket handles my arms were wrapped around.

I didn't look at the packaging beyond the picture on the front, as I really didn't want to know about hidden veggies or anything else that may make me skew my opinion before I put this up against any other kids macs I've already reviewed.  So I just tossed it in the freezer and did my best to ignore it until it was time to heat it up.

They had a customer, I just needed to find a good time to eat and review the darn thing, which thanks to it being freezer ready was just a week or two later.

The Review

Kidfresh Wagon Wheels Mac + Cheese

Packed with goodness AND hidden stuff. Oh boy!