For those of you that don’t know, I moved to Kissimmee Florida at the end of October. And for those that didn’t know last year was one of the worst years of my life. I battled my work related injuries, that Doctors told me couldn’t be fixed, constant pain and a bout of depression that came as the result of those injuries and the fact that I could not continue working as a chef at the school I loved so much, in a profession that defined me.
Our move on top of everything else only added to the problems as did losing my mother in June, and then our beloved rescue Bernese Mt. Dog Beau. It may be wrong to mention the two of them in the same sentence but they both loved me unconditionally, and I have missed them everyday since they’ve been gone from my life.
Now the good news is I feel much better! My depression is a thing of the past and I’m living in a virtual paradise in Florida! My back hasn’t felt this good in a very long time, and since I’ve stopped working as a chef my carpal tunnel has eased up considerably. It’s hard to feel bad when the skies are blue and the sun is shining. We visit Disney on a regular basis, and have been sunning on the beaches in December, it just doesn’t get any better than that!
Those of you that have read my blog with any regularity, know that its not just about food, but also my adventure on Google+. For those of you that haven’t tried G+, you really need to. Don’t believe the stories about it being a ghost town, or too hard to figure out, because if you like people and enjoy engaging with them its the best place to be. And the food bloggers on G+ are amazing, tempting you with outrageous creations daily….it’s truly the best source for Foodporn anymore!
You can find me on G+ in two places as Chef Dennis Littley and at the G+ Food Bloggers Community. Now you won’t find any foodporn in my community, because its a place for bloggers to ask questions and share best practices with their peers, helping each other become stronger and better bloggers. You can also find me on G+ with my two weekly shows Good Day Google+ which airs every Friday at 1 PM EST, and can be found in reruns on my YouTube Channel and The Bloggers Guide to Using G+ Effectively that I co-host with the amazing Dr. Jean Layton where we break down all the different components of Google+ in easy to understand terms with screen shares of the topic, so that you can better understand how Google+ works and begin to enjoy it as much as we do.
And that brings me to todays post. For those that don’t follow me on Google+, I’d like to say that G+ has been very, very good to me. I just broke the 400,000 mark for followers on Monday and have made some amazing friends there from around the world. A few weeks ago a few of those friends Ronnie Bincer, Martin Shervington, David Amerland and Jim Shankle asked me to join them in a project they were working on to show how we can affect search on Google+. The point of the study was to show Brands that have been resistant to coming onto G+ that they were mistaken if they didn’t think Google+ was important and to show them how it could help their buisness.
We looked over products that would be available on more of a world level than just a national level, since G+ really makes the “World a Small Place After All” and most big companies are world wide these days. We came up with two Kraft products, Kraft mac and cheese and Cracker Barrel Cheese.
Now you might wonder why a Chef would even think of using Kraft Mac and Cheese, and the answer is simple. It holds some of my fondest childhood memories of first learning to cook. I remember both my mother and father helping me as I stood on a chair, mixing in the ingredients. I also remember how I would tear the cheese powder packet open to lick the inside of the package to get what residue of cheese was left in there after adding it to the macaroni.
I’ll even admit to still eating it on occassion when I’m home alone and much to Lisa’s chagrin, right out of the pot I mix it in…. But when they mentioned those ingredients to me, admittedly I balked thinking it would hurt my credibility..lol, and then the memories came flooding back. Food will do that to you…..sigh
So here my friends is my contribution to the #KraftyCooking campaign on Google+, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
- 1 package Kraft mac and cheese (7.25 oz)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons Philly cream cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- 4 ounces of pulled cooked chicken from thigh or breast
- 1 oz of blue cheese crumbles
- 1 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan and remove from the stove
- add in hot sauce and honey and blend well (do not continue heating)
- Pull the chicken meat so its small and thin pieces
- Mix the chicken into the buffalo sauce and set aside.
- cook noodles in boiling lightly salted water for about 6 minutes under cooking just a bit
- drain macaroni and return to cooking pot
- add in cream cheese and butter and mix to melt both into the macaroni
- add in milk and mix well
- add in cheese packet and blend well
- place half the mac and cheese into your baking dish and carefully add in half of the buffalo chicken and half of the blue cheese crumbles. Do not stir them in, just spread them around evenly.
- Add the remainder of the mac and cheese and then top with the remainder of chicken and blue cheese spreading it evenly.
- Do not mix the chicken and cheese into the mac, but gently push it down into the noodles.
- top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake at 350 for 15 minutes