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Macaroni and cheese is a timeless institution. Whether it traces its origins to the pastas of Italy or the epicenter of Goulash in modern-day Hungary, it is now here.

It is here, it is everywhere, all ages adore it, and--most importantly--it's full of opportunity.


A recent Reddit thread asked for input from the creative minds of the internet's far reaches. Noodle artists came from far and wide to offer their artistic visions for the basic mac and cheese canvas.

The list came together to offer a wonderful menu of new options for the future of your mac and cheese making. Various meats, spices, preparation methods, and oddball ingredients were all covered.

The thread was an illustration of crowd-sourcing at its finest.

Redditor_2017 asked, "What do you add to enhance Mac and Cheese?"

Necessity Drives Innovation

"Picky eaters in my house have caused much experimentation with this already wonderful meal."

"Some upgrades:"

  1. "Any protein. Sausages, tuna, turkey, and so on."
  2. "Try adding small amount of other cheeses to the mixing step. Velveeta for cheap. Parmesean for flavor and texture. Try Gouda for smoky. Sure, you could just add more cheddar (mild for additional cheesy flavor, medium for subtle uptick, sharp for a lot more cheesy bang)."
  3. "Hot sauce. There are endless flavor variations here."
  4. "I've heard cream corn is good to add, but I'm not that crazy."

Fats and Lipids, Baby

"Bacon and a little tiny bit of truffle oil."

"My friends and I had a mac'n'cheese competition night a few years back. We all made our own versions of loaded mac'n'cheese and everyone + significant others voted on their favorite. These were my favorite additions."

"PS most of the people in my friend group are at least slightly lactose-intolerant, but we persevered."

-- nwcoconut

Covers All the Bases

"I like to combine smoked Gouda + old sharp cheddar + mozzarella. You get the strong flavor, melted stringy cheese goodness and some smoked flavor that is always welcomed." -- moy-moi

"I like sharp cheddar, Parmesan, and goat cheese, plus I replace the butter with mascarpone. Sometimes I add some fresh, finely chopped rosemary, too." -- Rubinev

Trifecta

"Bacon, garlic salt and cayenne pepper." -- GrilledStuffedDragon

"Can interchange bacon with chicken and jalapeño or any peppers will do. The college meal would be hot dogs" -- Shi**yLiftingTips

"garlic salt and pepper automatically make any dish better. it is known" -- Pyrle

Mustard From Out of Nowhere

"Gruyere, paprika, cayenne, ground mustard." -- 01kaj10

"I made this exact mixture the first time I made homemade Mac and cheese. It's delicious. I just threw it all together without any recipe thinking 'this might be good.' "

"If I make boxed Mac and cheese now I always throw in some smoked paprika and fresh ground pepper. It tastes so much better." -- pocketchange2247

"Yes. Also English mustard and mustard seeds. I put mustard seeds in way too many foods" -- Lonelysock2

Ideal Leftover Collaboration

"Mac n cheese and baked brown beans are DELICIOUS together. Nothing fancy, just Kraft and Bush's"

"I also love when the stars align and I have leftover mac n cheese AND leftover taco meat. They are so good mixed together!"

-- peon2

Protein Boosts

"Chorizo is the best addition I've come across so far, a friend suggested it a little while back and it's quickly become my favorite enhancement!"

"Tuna has also been pretty good, I'll usually put in a can and it mixes in pretty well."

-- Anjodu

The Right Tools

"Well I'm not sure if this is going to count, but instead of using a stove I use my pellet smoker. If you have a smoker I 100% encourage you to try this!" -- BlueCollarComedyTour

"I will for sure be giving this a try." -- Thechaser45

"Bro, do you smoke?" -- Genocide_Fan

Very Enthusiastic About Bread Crumbs

"BREAD CRUMBS" -- picklesupreme

"Onion powder works pretty well too, plus some freshly grated cheese (as opposed to pre packaged grated cheese)" -- picklesupreme

"Hol' up" -- Crumbs04

All the Food Groups

"Peas. Because peas are awesome and I can lie to myself about now unhealthy my meal really is" -- SaltyChickenDip

"Oh my gosh all the indulgent answers had kind of shamed me out of saying this! So I'm glad there's someone else out there!" -- Manatee3232

"I came here to find somebody else commenting 'peas.' Peas and tuna all the way." -- Niles4Me

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Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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