Food & Drink Magazine

Mac & Cheese Slice

By Greengirl @GrinGarl
Mac & Cheese Slice
I liked to believe I'm a normal parent with a normal kid and a childproof house. Except walking till the neighbors house or outside to water the plants I've never left the house without Tiffany. She was in my sight almost all the time. Our house was filled with her laughter. She loved to play and enjoyed every second. A second ... that's all it took and our lives were completely changed. The other day our paths led to the nearest emergency room. Although she was put in the room immediately after we got there it took almost 2 hours until the doctor came  and two more hours to prepare her surgery room. We were trying to be as calm as possible, the last thing Tiffany needed was more stress coming from us. I hold her little hand while they start the IV.Shortly after she fell asleep. The surgery was done quick and we were whispering love words making sure she won't be scared when she opens her eyes. 5 minutes passed, 10 long minutes passed and she wasn't showing any signs of waking up. "It's close to her bed time, my husband said, maybe that's why she's not waking up." Another minute or two passed and the doctor came in to tell us she was overdosed and they can't tell us how long is going to take until she wakes up. I could see the doctor still talking but I couldn't hear a thing. A medical error. I put my baby's life in the hands of people I could never trust again. I felt my husband hand holding mine while the tears were washing my face. In front of my eyes I could see the first 21 months of my daughter's life. The first time I hold her in my arms, her first smile, the first time she held my finger, first tooth, first time she called me Mama, her willy nilly walk ... So many mixed emotions. The love I was feeling for our baby and the fear she may not wake up. I don't think there's greater love than the love someone feels for their child. She's our everything and without hesitation we'd give our lives for her. Despite the fear we knew we have to be strong. Tiffany needed us and our love more than ever. We continued to hold her little hands, talk to her, kiss her, caress her. 
Mac & Cheese Slice
Three long hours passed, the longest three hours in our lives. With her first more a little hope appeared. We felt her little hands holding tight to ours while trying to open her eyes. It took another two hours to have her completely awake. Later that night, after a complete toxicology report we were able to come home. Yesterday she slept most of the day. She's still tired. The doctor said she's going to be alright, there have been more than 24 hours since the surgery and slowly her body is getting back to normal.
While she was sleeping I made these mac&cheese slices for her. I've made them before and she liked them very much. I have the recipe from my grandma, who used to make some almost every Sunday afternoon or when she was short on rice to make rice pudding.
  The Romanian style mac & cheese is way different from the American one. Ours is not savory. It's a sort of dessert. No, don't walk away, I promise you we're not going to be sorry for giving it a try. The slice is a sponge like pudding. Al dente pasta is mixed with cheese, dried fruits and eggs and baked until the mixture is set. My grandma used to make it with homemade farmers cheese, but I've made it with both cottage cheese and ricotta cheese and works great!This time I used tofu (it's cholesterol free) and to everyone's surprise it turned out amazing! It's light, not too sweet, creamy and the dried fruits add just a little chewy bite to it.
Mac & Cheese Slice
The only not so good part about this slice is that it requires a couple of hours to cool before slicing. If you plan of having it for breakfast, like we did, i advice you to make it let it the evening before and rest over the night in the fridge. 

Mac & Cheese Slice 
8 oz dried pasta1/2 cup sugar (you can add more or less depending on your sweet tooth)3/4 cup cranberries (or your choice of dried fruits)14 oz firm tofu (or the same amount of cottage/ricotta/farmers cheese)1 tbsp vanilla extract6 egg whites (you can use 3 eggs if your cholesterol is fine) 
butter/oil for greasing the pan
Pregeat the oven at 375F. Cover in aluminum foil a 9X5 in loaf pan and grease it. Cook the pasta al dente with a pinch of salt. Drain well and let it cool. When cooled, mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for one hour. Let it cool couple of hours before slicing it.

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