Sep 16, 2014

New Specs. Pumpkin Mac'n'Cheese.

There's nothing I like better than combining a public health message with a spendy, designer purchase in a blog post.  So, without further ado....

Readers, if you are a heavy wearer of contact lenses, don't be lazy about getting your eyes checked on an annual basis.  I let things slide last year and only managed to front up for last year's check up a couple of weeks ago.  The good news?  My prescription in both contacts and spectacles hasn't changed.  The bad news?  I have to cut down on my lens wearing time because my weaker eye is getting a bit oxygen deprived on account of it being smothered by a thick lens for hours on end, practically every day of the year.  Fortunately, all I need to do is to give myself a couple of days a week 'air time' by wearing specs all day.

So hello new Dior specs with their special 'Asian nose' bridge as the sales assistant tactfully informed me.  As crazy as that may sound to those of you with 'non-Asian noses', what this actually means is that these plastic frames actually sit where they're meant to all day.  I also like the dramatic cats eye style of the frames.  It's even harder to do that flicked eyeliner look without my contacts in and now I don't need to bother because my glasses do all the hard work for me.

So the take home messages are: get our eyes checked once a year if you wear contact lenses and don't forget Dior if you're looking for new glasses.

In more mundane news, I bring you a recipe that helps use up any pasta, grated cheese and pumpkin you may have around the kitchen.  I whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Macaroni Cheese using a toddler friendly recipe from this blog post by Christen on her Simple Bites blog and while it's still growing on Toddler SSG, I actually quite like it.

I understand that canned pumpkin is quite widely available in the US but I substituted a half cup of mashed pumpkin I made myself.

I then got out my digital scales and switched the units from grams to ounces to weigh my 8.1 ounces of pasta, roughly 240g.  I guess the end result is much prettier if you use elbow pasta but twists were all I had.  They were organic though so that has to count for something.

Whisking the 2T of melted butter together with the 2T of plain flour.

Making the white sauce wasn't as hard has I feared it would be.  I'm pretty happy with how my Aldi Crofton saucepan fared.  Nothing caught on the enamel and it was very easy to clean.  That being said, my saucepan is already showing some signs of wear from being scrubbed a bit from other cooking adventures.

I microwaved the milk to warm it and gradually added the 1 1/2 cups while whisking.

I allowed the sauce to simmer gently for a few minutes and lo and behold, it really did coat the back of my spoon!  I'm Cordon Bleu already.

I didn't add nutmeg with the pumpkin to my sauce.  The cheese I used was a low fat grated cheddar.

And voila, the pumpkin cheese sauce is just the same orange as the gold standard canned stuff that comes in the Kraft Macaroni Cheese kit.  Fortunately, it tastes worlds apart.  The pumpkin adds sweetness and cuts the heaviness of the traditional version.

You'll have to work with me and this photo.  I write to you as a mother who has never made a bento box lunch for her toddler nor have I lovingly hand painted a mural on his bedroom wall whose floor features a rug that wasn't woven by my hand.  We could go on but the bottom line is this, 'artistically styled' are not the first two words you'd think of when describing my approach to mothering.

Back to the photo.  It's not pretty but it's tasty.  I added a grind or two of pepper and some grated reggiano to my serve and got through it pretty quickly while Toddler SSG was a bit more circumspect.  If it doesn't grow on him, I've got a few bowls of pumpkin mac'n'cheese for my emergency dinners.  Another parenting win.

What my little boy lacked in mac'n'cheese enthusiasm, he more than made up for when it came time to 'help' with the washing up.  On the one hand, I'm delighted that he had so much fun splashing around that he needed a change of pyjamas and socks but on the other, I'm just a bit sad.  I was planning to buy him one of those fancy wooden toy kitchens for Christmas but he looks happy with the adult version where the taps run and he's already managed to outsmart the safety feature on the fancy dishwasher.  The up side?  The play room bereft of the toy kitchen will be true to my 'no frills' parenting style.

Much love to you all,


  1. Hello from fellow asian nose glasses wearer. It is the best! But so limited over here.
    Pumpkin mac and cheeseeee. Gosh that sounds yum.

  2. Those glasses are hot. You should wear them as often as you can.

  3. The new glasses look divine! And yes, even in Asia, it's tough to find non-wire rimmed glasses meant for Asian nose bridges

  4. Well if you need "Asian nose bridge" I need "classical Greek nose bridge". I too was long overdue (try 10 years) & did a little dance when told all ok!
    Stronger eye actually was better than when last tested!!!
    Thanks for risotto recipe - we're trying it on weekend. Den xx


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