So, I finally did it. I up and left my gym. After nearly three years, I cut the cord in favor of a classier gym with way better looking dudes. It’s not like I’m just now realizing I could do better, but I had my loyalties to the gym who took me in when I was a nomad/vagrant. Now I’m all kinds of settled, and they want to keep my rate the same as when I went to every single location. I can’t let that happen, on principle, so I chose to pay more elsewhere. At least I have my dignity.
As part of my enrollment, I got to have an in-depth conversation with a trainer all about me and my gym going. I can’t remember the last time I was so enthralled. He said having a trainer is basically your insurance policy, and I thought that was just f-ing BRILLIANT. I almost offered up $600 on the spot, but then I remembered that would put me back in the red. I much prefer to be in the yellow (ok, orange), so I just signed up for my complimentary personal training session this Thursday. I’m SO pumped about this.
All that talk about getting me all Bundchen-like had me craving mac & cheese, so I stopped by the cheese shop for inspiration. Some cubed gouda and white cheddar cheese later, and I was good to go.
I started by cooking some whole wheat penne pasta I picked up at TJ’s.
While that al dente-d (look, I made a verb!), I got down with my skillet. I melted a few tablespoons of butter, and then gradually whisked in about 3 tablespoons of flour. I added a couple of cups of skim milk and about 1/4 cup of chopped red onion, and then simmered it all for about 10 minutes. I added the gouda and white cheddar, and then stirred until melted.
I need my spicy, so I added in LOTS of red pepper flakes. I stirred in my pasta, tossed it in a casserole dish, and then topped with bread crumbs and shredded hot jack cheese. I baked it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, and it came out looking like this:
It was undeniably beautiful, but I have a hard time indulging in something so clearly comfort food-y without adding a few greens. I served it alongside the Simplest Salad in the World, so as not to detract from its obvious sex appeal. The salad started with arugula, and I added a quartered Roma tomato. I then topped it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and let it be. It was the most understated salad ever. It could NOT have been less interested in the spotlight.
All in all, it was pretty delicious and totally photogenic. See below: