White Roux & a Few Reviews

14 Jan

Cold weather makes me want to make (and eat) comfort food.  The supreme comfort food? Mac and cheese, of course!  Tonight, I made Spinach-Bacon Macaroni and Cheese and it turned out amazing.  I got the idea from this recipe by, of all places, Kraft.




3 cups medium shell macaroni (I used elbow), uncooked

1 pkg. (6 oz. ) fresh baby spinach leaves

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 Tbsp. flour

2 cups milk (I used Horizon Organic 2%)

2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided

1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese




HEAT oven to 350°F.

COOK macaroni as directed on pkg., adding spinach for the last min. Cook bacon in large saucepan. Remove bacon; save drippings in pan.

ADD flour to drippings; cook and stir until bubbly (this is the white roux). Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 3 to 5 min. or until thickened.



White Roux (you MUST stir constantly)

STIR in 1 cup Cheddar and Parmesan; cook and stir until melted. Add bacon and macaroni mixture; mix well.
SPOON into 1-1/2-qt. casserole; top with remaining Cheddar. Bake 20 min.

Right out of the oven!

Creamy goodness!


Result: This recipe is fairly easy to make; you just need to monitor your roux and bacon so that neither burns.  If you burn your roux, you MUST start over.  As one who has made rouxs before, there is nothing worse than burnt roux.  This made a delicious dish — kind of like a “grown-up” macaroni and cheese.  It also includes simple, easy-to-find ingredients, and is thus budget-friendly.  If I were to make it again (and I most likely will), I would add more cheese.  Even though the creamy texture is great, it lacks the cheese that one would expect from a traditional macaroni and cheese dish.  This is also a bit of a rich dish with all of the cream, so keep that in mind when serving portions.




My book, The Glass Crib, has had some wonderful reviews, recently: one here from Mead Magazine and one here from Tom Holmes (editor of Redactions: A Journal of Poetry & Poetics).  In fact, due in large part to social media, Tom’s review caused my book’s HUGE spike in sales ranking on Amazon from 1.7 million to 189,000 (ballpark) in just a few hours, which is awesome for a book of poetry!  It’s really exciting!  Another review is forthcoming in the journal Shenandoah, so be sure to look for it!

I will be giving 3 reading at this year’s AWP in Chicagoduring the first weekend in March (one with BlazeVox Books, one with Gigantic Sequins/Rose Metal Press, and one with my publisher, Zone 3 Press).  If you’re going to AWP this year or will be in theChicago area, I’d love for you to come out and hear some great writers & say hello!  More details to come.



A final note: I can now say that my second manuscript was a finalist for the 2012 New Issues Press Green Rose Prize judged by Jean Valentine!  It didn’t win (and congrats to Jaswinder Bolina for his triumph!), but this does give me hope about the collection’s merit and future.  I’m still sending it out, so fingers crossed!


4 Responses to “White Roux & a Few Reviews”

  1. j9kovac January 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM #

    I wish I had a wittier way to say that I just enjoy these posts so much. They’re simple and sweet and always leave me feeling warm inside.

  2. Amanda Auchter January 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM #

    Thanks so much, Janine! That’s very sweet of you! Will you be at AWP this year? If so, we should try to meet for a drink 🙂

  3. Sandy Longhorn January 15, 2012 at 9:32 AM #

    Congrats on the news of the manuscript! It’s only a matter of time. Can’t wait to read it.

  4. Amanda Auchter January 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM #

    Thanks, Sandy! :).

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