So it has been a year. It really does not seem like it has been that long. Isn't it interesting how fast time goes when you are busy? So much has changed - both personally and with the restaurant. Personally -
Sam is in DC and loving it there
Theo is preparing for graduation from High School
I retired on 1 Aug and am working with the VA.
For Mac N' More:
We added being open on Mondays, then on Sundays, started serving breakfast, got beer and wine, and started lunch specials.
We fought the weather. We opened and then got hit by a freak snow storm that closed down Olympia. Then we got over 70 days of straight sunshine in the summer. Go figure. Western Washington and sunshine?! Who knew?
But we made it and we are looking towards the future.
We had a killer Birthday Party (pictures posted tomorrow.... yeah I know...but I really, really, really, really promise!) and I will talk more about it then.
When you think of November, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Easy answer - right? Thanksgiving. Once you start thinking of that, then your brain follows a trail.... Black Friday, Christmas, and the holiday parties. Oh and don't forger the seasonal football games that just scream to invite friends over to watch. Cause really - watching a football game by yourself is really not as much fun. But with all of that, it seems that you will forver be in the kitchen right? Well, except for Black Friday....And when you can't face the kitchen - you do what I do most likely - pick up the phone for pizza.
Did you know that we can do bulk orders with just an hour's notice? You can get a tray of Mac and bread at a reasonable price and it becomes one more thing off of your list of things to do! Or if the bulk mac is not what you were thinking about, give Steve a call and you can work out a menu that fits
10 cups of our Original Mac
Our three cheese mac made to feed between 5 - 10 22.95
add any .75 item for 5.00 add any .35 item for 2.50
20 cups of our Original Mac
Our three cheese mac made to feed between 10 - 20 38.75
add any .75 item for 7.50 add any .35 item for 3.50
10 pieces of our garlic parmesan crusted bread 2.95
20 pieces of our garlic parmesan crusted bread 5.95
As you know, we are a house divided. We have one daughter who is a Cougar and the other that is a Husky. While they are good natured about their schools' rivalry and they down play it most of the time, it comes out loud and clear during the Apple Cup. Which school is going to win? Which school is better? So we decided that we would help them figure it out - but in a way that makes everyone happy. We put together our own version of Apple Cup.
People can order one of two gourmet Mac N' Cheese entrees for 10.95 from the 1st of November until the 30th. The Washington State University Mac, designed by WSU alum Samantha, reflects not only the university colors but the Palouse area it resides in. The WSU Mac has 2 1/4 cups of Mac N' Cheese, chunks of roast beef, spicy Italian sausage, garlic, onions, red bell pepper and is topped with Cougar gold cheese. The University of Washington Mac, designed by current student Jordan, also includes their colors and honors the environmental spirit and qualities Seattle is known for. The UW Mac has 2 1/4 cups of Mac N' Cheese, Draper Farms chicken, bacon, pepperoncinis, jammy onions and is topped with Beecher Farm's flagship cheddar. Mac N' More will be keeping score and 5% of the proceeds from each Mac will be donated to a foodbank located near the university it represents. The WSU Mac will benefit the Community Action Center in Pullman. The Community Action Center (http://www.cacwhitman.com
) offers services to more than 5000 peole that include emergency and transitional housing, food supplements, and energy assistance. The UW Mac will benefit the University District Food Bank in Seattle. The University District Food Bank (http://www.udistrictfoodbank.org
) assists more than 1100 families a week by providing groceries and access to a network of community resources that helps them achieve self-sufficiency.
Both are really good causes and allows alumni, family and current and future students to show school spirit while enjoying some great food!
Yep, the 18th of October is National Meatloaf Appreciation Day... who knew? But we figure it is perfect for us! The only day better is National Mac N Cheese Day (that one is in July). I think there are a few things that everyone shares. Meatloaf is one of them - and believe me everyone who knows me knows I am a Meatloaf gal... In fact it is the food I missed the most on deployments. I was never quite sure what the D-Fac meatloaf was made of. When I would get home - either on leave or for good (at least til the next deployment), I wanted meatloaf. Particularly Steve's meatloaf. Y'all will know it as Mamma's Meatloaf from the restaurant. I have to admit that I am addicted to the stuff.
As for the success part of the title... remember when I said that I would get Steve to give me a recipe... (Yeah, I knew it was a long time ago) but Steve has given me the recipe for his Mamma's meatloaf to share with y'all. So here goes:
1.25 pounds Ground Beef
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons Pork Sausage
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Bacon Pieces
2 tablespoons celery
2 tablespoons onion
1 1/8 teaspoons Worcesteshire Sauce
1/2 cup cracker meal
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons canned green chilis
2 1/4 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons eggs
1 1/8 teaspoons garlic powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 380 degrees. Finely chop the celery and onion. Saute in olive oil. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with your hands until thoroughly combined. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put the mixture in the pan and compress the loaf. Pat it down with the palm of your hand.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes- ish (to quote Steve it depends on the size of your pan). When a thermometer is inserted in the center, it should be 150 degrees and then it is done. Let it set at least 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan and serve.
I never thought that I would welcome the rain back to the greater Northwest! But after a long and beautiful summer, it is time for everything to go back to normal. Cloudy, overcast and slightly cool. Just as the weather has gone back to normal - so has the yearly schedule. The kids are at school, Halloween is around the corner and - yep... Christmas decorations are already in the stores. I have to admit that I love autumn. I love the crispness of the air and the way the leaves turn color. I also love all of the smells. Autumn is the time of soups, chili and all around comfort food. I guess I have gotten used to the way the house smells this time of year. Steve is continuing the tradition at the restaurant - which unfortunately means the house does not have those cool smells (thank good for candles...). Every weekday, he is coming up with a home made soup that we sell until it is gone. Last week, he did a cream of tomato, broccoli cheddar, chicken pasta, minestroni and Italian Meatball and Macaroni. Like everything else - his soups are home made.
BTW - did you know that soup can burn? I never knew this until Steve told me a couple years ago that a co-worker of his kept burning the soup. I was like - but isn't soup made of liquid so wouldn't that be like burning water? He explained that it is easy to burn home made soups. It is important to do everything in order (which explains why my soups always taste terrible) and the soup will burn if the burner is up too high or it is not stirred enough or it is thickened too early... He says that thickening the soup is the last thing and once you do that, you need to take it off the burner.
We survived the summer and we learned a lot of things for next year.... the main one being that everyone loved sitting on our patio and sharing meals in the outdoors. We will be investing in some tables for that...
As fall rolls around, everything changes: the weather, the leaves, our schedules as the kids go back to school, what we wear and ...yep - even what we eat.
Steve has changed the menu at Mac N' More to reflect suggestions that we have received:
1. We have updated our meatloaf and chicken dinner plates. They are now called the All American Plates and for 8.95, you can get a choice of our meatloaf, turkey chipotle meatloaf, buttermilk marinated grilled chicken breast or corn flake crusted fried chicken breast with either a house or caesar salad and a choice of mac n' cheese, french fries or mashed potatoes along with a slice of parmesan garlic crusted bread.
2. Steve has finally remembered that working parents have a hard time when the school year starts. So he has made the All American plates available as a family meal to go. You can get one of the entrees fixed up as a meal that serves four for only 23.95. Of course it includes a salad, choice of starch and bread just made up for four people. Phone it in, pick it up and have a nutritious meal for dinner for your family!
3. We have added a couple of items to the menu: loaded potato fries and a hotdog. Both items reflect the good old fashioned comfort food we love.
4. Steve will be starting two specials of the day... We will have a sandwich of the day and a soup of the day...
Well ... I will have more on these
Okay so I have definitely ensured that I really am NOT a blogger. So to play catch up since the last blog....
Well professionally we have opened on Sundays. yes that is right. You can get your mac fix on Sundays. And we now have a wide selection of bottled beers. (Finally, our beer and wine license came through. I admit that timing is not our strong suit. We opened and a week later a freak snow storm hits the NW. We apply for a beer and wine license the same time all of the grocery stores in Washington did.) Steve is still thinking of the perfect wines to compliment his menu.
Also sometime in July we will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am. Steve has developed a kickin' breakfast menu and we will be serving brunch. Not only will we have all of our normal menu available - but we will also have the normal breakfast fare as well.... eggs, omelettes, scrambles, egg samwich, pancakes, oatmeal... well you get the idea. And like the rest of our menu, everything will be made in house from scratch.
Speaking of that - a couple of questions have come up. Yes - all of our dressings are made from scratch. The only things we do not do in house is that we do not churn our own ice cream and we do not cut our own fries... but everything else is made to order. And our breakfast will be the same. Look on Facebook for when we start serving the brunch menu. I am really excited about it!
Personally, our oldest is getting ready to move across the country to the other Washington.... D.C. that is and we wish her the best of luck. I know that she will be successful.. Jordan (of cookie fame) and Theo (who you can find in the kitchen on weekends) are still on course. Jordan just finished her sophmore year at UW and Theo will be a senior at River Ridge next year. I am on terminal leave from the Army .... which basically means I have retired after 25 years. And Steve - well he is taking care of his "baby" (aka Mac N' More). Okay before this post gets too long... I am trying to get Steve to give out some of his "secrets" - you know basic tips or recipes that anyone can do at home that can improve any dish.... But trying to get someone that does not use recipes and does everything by taste is INCREDIBLY difficult... Hopefully next post will include a special tip from him and I promise it will be sooner than the usually month or so...
Alright, I am not a great blogger. You know I am the person who loves to buy journals, promise myself that I will write in them daily and then give up after three days. Not really the greatest at it. It has been a very busy couple of months though. Lets see - where to start.....all of the changes:
1. Our Mac of the Month contest is in its second month and we have gotten a lot of interest. This month Teena Danforth won with the suggestion of a Mediterranean Mac. It has black olives, chicken, feta and artichoke hearts. I hear it is awesome! (I do not like atrichokes.... so I have not tried it). For June, we have narrowed down the choices to three....We will be doing this just about every month.
2. Our beer and wine license came in!!!! So we are now serving a variety of craft beers and a couple of mainstream ones. We are still looking for wines that will complement the food.
3. Starting on the second of June - we will be open on Sundays.
4. In about a month, Steve will be starting a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. We will be serving breakfast foods in addition to our full menu.
We have started to feature a specialty Mac of the Month. The month of March sees us featuring Philly Cheesesteak Mac. I am going to gather suggestions each month from our customers and then we will put it to a vote... the winning Mac will be featured each month! I am thinking that next month we will do something with chicken to honor Easter! Post any suggestion to Facebook.
Things are going well as the buzz grows and we have settled into a routine.
Well - since I last posted anything - we have been very busy! We finally got our new sign outside. People can now see us when it is dark! We have lost and hired employees. I suppose that is part of the growing pains of being a new business. However - Steve is happy with the new kitchen folks and the new front of the house person is doing well. We have also been in the press - which is really cool. We got a great review from the Weekly Volcano
about two weeks after we opened. We were also featured in the on post paper - the Northwest Guardian
. So all in all some good press. We have also gotten some good reviews on Yelp and Urban Spoon.
We are working out the bugs in the menu and figuring out how to best meet out customers needs. Okay enough about the catch up - and on to some of the interesting things:
1. Everybody loves the chalkboard tables. We have a number of budding artists, both big and small.
2. The number one question is "What are jammy onions?"
3. Jordan's cookies sell out almost as soon as they come out of the oven.