Broccoli White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

I ran TWO DAYS in a row! Without screaming in pain, without making my hip worse, and without going crazy and pushing myself way too hard.

I was signed up for a trail race in Pacifica on Saturday morning, and all week I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to happen. BUT after the success of Friday’s treadmill run, I decided to go for it. It was only 9 KM, but it was a ton of fun.

The VERY tiny, very informal start (my race had 38 people in it). Right from the beginning I was the second woman, but the third place woman caught me on the first downhill. Once we started climbing again, I passed her and was feeling really strong.  I was tempted to stop and take pictures because the views over the park and out toward the ocean were beautiful, but the competitor in me would not let that happen.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve been doing a million squats with Jillian Michaels or going to spin more, but my legs felt so strong and I never felt tempted to walk. At the top of the second hill, I knew it was entirely downhill to the finish so I tried to just let go and fly down without falling and breaking my face. I definitely need to practice downhills because I’m pretty timid.

I finished in 54:58, second female and tenth overall. The finish line was just as casual as the start.

The trails were in amazingly good shape considering the nonstop rain we had all week. It was also pretty nice to only have a 20 minute drive home. I had a nice pancake breakfast with Mike while Ellie sat in the high chair and talked nonstop.

We spent the afternoon browsing at a thrift store in the East Bay. There’s nothing more fun than scoping out four dollar jackets with a baby strapped to you. I actually found a fun vintage jacket that I’ll debut once it’s back from the dry cleaners.

As the day wound down, it was pretty clear that comfort food was needed.  I put a lot of broccoli into this, and used brown rice pasta (but any small pasta will work).  I don’t normally buy white cheddar, but it caught my eye the other day and it worked perfectly here.

Broccoli White Cheddar Mac and Cheese


  • 1 large head broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 1 16-oz package pasta (elbows or penne work well)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Place the broccoli in a steamer basket over simmering water and steam until crisp-tender (check often - time will depend on the size of your pieces, but 5 minutes is probably about right).
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the milk just a few teaspoons at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
  6. Toss the cheese sauce and broccoli with the cooked pasta and serve.

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