Mac and Cheese Throwdown!

After years of smack-talking, compliment-gathering and behaving like a general brat about my mac and cheese skills, my friends challenged me to a throwdown. Because it was so much fun, I chronicled the party for Wednesday’s paper (and because maybe I thought I’d win.) You’ll have toread it to find out, but there’s a reward: macaroni and cheese recipes of doom, including mine.

My favorite details: using fresh pasta from the grocery store as napkin rings and setting the table with basil and sunflowers. (Directions, details, everything here.)

Tomatoes from my dad’s garden made for a harvest-themed centerpiece and a fantastic salad.

My friend Kerry Arya played hostess.

Alphabet coasters I’ve been hoarding from Banana Republic for at least six years finally emerged from the craft closet for their big day: labels for our “blind” taste test.

And since the mouse gets the cheese, I made chocolate mice for dessert.

(Our genius online producer Kylie says I should make these mice in white for Halloween, and call them mice ghosts. Awesome.)

Again, the recipes for your own wicked calorie fest are here. Enjoy. We sure did. (And we’re already plotting the pie throwdown next.)

Photos by Michael McNamara.