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1.29.2013

Vermont Lover's Hard Cider Macaroni and Cheese



 It is no secret how much I love Vermont. I think I have told you guys over and over again how we would move to our neighboring state in a heart beat if my husband could find a job that payed well. It may not be that exciting to some.... but it is my favorite place on earth to visit. It all goes back to my childhood summers.

My best memories were spent camping on Lake Champlain. On Friday nights after my parents were out of work we packed up our popup camper and all piled in my mom's van and headed up to Addison VT's DAR State Campground. Our weekends consisted of s'mores, bbq, cat fishing, riding our bikes, exploring revolutionary war forts, looking for good skipping rocks, digging for clay dogs.... and keeping our eyes peeled for Champ the sea monster, who is believed to live in the deepest parts of Lake Champlain.


As I got older I stopped camping with my parents as often, but lucky me I married into a family of Vermonters. Most of my inlaws live in VT so we get to visit often. When my husband and I were newly engaged and wedding planning my husband had one request.... that we get married in VT. So we found this beautiful farm that is rented out just for events up in Hyde Park, (just outside of Stowe) the perfect spot for a country wedding!

So today... I have an ode to my favorite state...  The Vermont Lovers Macaroni and Cheese.


This macaroni is not your average cheesy pasta. It's base is made up of Vermont made Woodchuck Hard Cider and then filled with a ton of Cabot Cheddar Cheese... and even a little King Arthur Flour (gotta keep it in the family!) Throughout the pasta there are tiny bits of granny smith apple.... I know what some of you are thinking. Cheese and fruit... together... that's gross.


WAIT. Don't go! Please I promise you this works. Apples and cheddar are a match made in heaven. It is one of the best sweet savory combinations in the food world. This is a dish you will want to serve your family over and over. Even if you have never visited the Green Mountain State... you will fall in love with these flavors!



Vermont Lover's Hard Cider Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:
1 13.5 oz box of pasta
1 cup Woodchuck Hard Cider ( I use Amber but the 802 or Granny Smith would work well too)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbs butter
3 tbs whole wheat flour ( you can use AP... I just only had wheat on hand)

1 granny smith apple peeled, cored and diced
1 yellow onion diced 
18 oz Cabot Reserve Cheddar, shredded (super aged! )

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to box directions. Meanwhile prepare your cheese sauce.

In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, add butter, diced onions and apples together. Saute for approximately 5-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle flour over them mixing continuously until the flour has coated all of the onions and apples. (It should appear pasty) Slowly pour in cider and cream. Whisking constantly. 

Bring the mixture up to a boil. Stir in 12 oz of the shredded cheese. Mix until smooth. 

Pour cheese sauce over the cooked and strained pasta. Pour into a medium baking dish. Top with left over cheese.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the sides are bubbly.      


     

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76 comments:

  1. I am seriously so excited for this dish. Girls Night Dinner will never be the same!

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    1. Pair it with a few Woodchuck Ciders and I think it's a night I want to be invited to!

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  2. So decadent and delicious! I can't believe how amazing this looks. Such a creative, very "Vermont" dish! I grew up not far from Lake Champlain on the NY side, and I've always had an affinity for VT. :)

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    1. Thanks so much Colleen! We went to the NY side often and over to Lake George as well.

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  3. OMG! There are so many reasons I love this post. Apples and cheese are a great match. Have you ever had a chunk of cheddar on apple pie? And Vermont is my very first pick for a vacation destination! I am telling my husband nearly weekly (no joke!) that we need to go to VT...it looks so beautiful and it's my food heaven (Cabot Cheese, King Arthur Flour, Ben & Jerry's, Woodchuck)! Some day. :) I can't wait to try this!

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    1. Ahhh you need to come to VT! I haven't done the Cabot tour yet... I think next month for school break I am taking the kids up!

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  4. I could totally fat kid out on a big bowl of this right now.

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    1. I did fat kid out on it. Two days in a row!

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  5. Oh my, this looks so super cheesy, Carrie! I am comin' for dinner!

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  6. I too would move to Vermont if we could get good paying jobs. What's not to love? I am apprehensive about the fruit with cheese, but I just may have to try this.

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    1. Oh you must give it a try. I love apples with cheese!

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  7. Ooo I love white cheddar, but have not made a white cheddar mac and cheese before

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  8. Vermont is a gorgeous state! We were there a few years ago and loved it!
    Your mac n' cheese is amazing! Love the hard cider and everything!

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  9. That is an awesome combo Carrie!!! You are the queen of fabulous mac and cheese recipes :-)

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    1. I am kind of on a mac n' cheese kick these days lol. Thanks so much Jocelyn.

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  10. This sounds amazing! Can't wait to try it. We are crazy Cabot cheese lovers :) And is that hard cider in cans?? We only have it in bottles in VA and GA. xoxo! eliza

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    1. Thanks so much Eliza. Oh yes they make the 12 packs in cans up here!

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  11. This looks great, bookmarking now! I have a friend coming over for dinner next Friday who would love this!

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  12. Holy Wow! That's some good looking mac & cheese... love the additional of apples...Brilliant!

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    1. Thanks! I was iffy on the apples but then when I took a bite... oh man so perfect!

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  13. I love Cabot - I seriously will only buy their cheese! This recipe? Again - perfection my friend! Keep 'em coming!

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  14. I literally gasped out loud when I saw this. WOW. Also, YUM.

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    1. Oh good! I love hearing my food has that effect on people. ;)

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  15. I LOVE apples and cheddar together, this sounds like perfect comfort food! And now you made me want to visit Vermont :)

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    1. Thanks so much Anna! Oh please do visit! It is gorgeous!

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  16. Oh Carrie... You've outdone yourself with this one! There are no words to match the level of yumminess :)

    BTW: I'm pretty sure Vermont loves you equally as well in return. How could they not? :)

    ~Regan

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  17. Hard cider is a new favorite at my house. Putting it in Mac and Cheese is inspired. Can't wait to share this with our Cabot Facebook friends, Carrie!

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    1. Thanks Candace, We have so many great New England owned cideries, it has become an obsession of mine!

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  18. Gah this looks so sinfully delicious!

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  19. This sounds incredible! I love hard cider!! And cheese! And I totally think that fruit and cheese go together!

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  20. Wow! Seeing how it's Woodchuck Wednesday and just 3 days away from the best holiday of the year, Woodchuck Day, we are more than excited to try this out! You rock Carrie!

    Hopefully you'll be able to get out to an event this Saturday! We've got ones all over the country. You can find them all here: http://www.woodchuck.com/news-events/events.html

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    1. Thanks Woodchuck Peeps! I will go check the event schedule... if you have anything on in the Concord NH area I will be there!

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  21. This mac and cheese makes me want to run to the top of a mountain and shout wonderful, happy words because I cannot believe this is real life. It's SO GOOEY OMG.

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    1. It IS real life. A crazy fattening delicious life.

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  22. Yes, fruit and mac/cheese go together! Can't wait to try this! I am making a new mac/cheese every month. Made the delicious pear/bacon mac/cheese, in the latest Midwest Living magazine, recently--delicious!!

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    1. Mmmmm I love the sounds of pear and bacon! Will need to check it out.

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  23. I think this combo sounds heavenly, Carrie! Yum!

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  24. Oh yum! We still have quite a bit of hard cider that we made in 2011 in the basement. Definitely giving this recipe a try!

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    1. Oh I hope you use it in something cheesy!

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  25. This... this is genius. You've combined two of my favorite things ever: cheese and Woodchuck. Love it!

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  26. Hard cider in the mac n cheese. Now THAT is smart thinking. That cheesy/browned top layer is heavenly looking!

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  27. This is possibly the best mac and cheese I've seen in a long time!

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  28. you're kiling me as I'm eating my salad for lunch. OMG. cider in mac & cheese!!!

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    1. Gahhh... I should be eating more salads. Must stop with the mac n cheese.

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  29. This has me wanting a whole pan to myself. Love the ingredients you've chosen!

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  30. What an interesting combination! But sounds very good! I will definitely try this out soon! Thanks a lot for sharing!

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  31. This is hands down THE BEST MAC EVER! Just made with apple juice instead of cider because I didn't have it but still A.mazing!

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  32. Made it on Friday & it didn't last the weekend! So good!

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  33. I am running out and buying the ingredients for this tonight.

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  34. Used 802! Made it! Loved it!

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  35. Thank you so much! As a native Vermonter, a lover of Woodchuck, and a fan of baked mac and cheese, this recipe hit right home. Even better than my famous mac and cheese that I have been perfecting for over 10 years. On second thought, screw you, Carrie, for putting my best-loved recipe to shame.

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  36. I've done something with similar flavors, but totally out of the box! a few months ago i made mac and cheese apple pie with pancetta! Pie crust, sliced granny smith apples, mac and cheese, and pancetta topped with buttery ritz crackers. i prefer my mac and cheese straight up and unadulterated, but folks seemed to like the apple twist! Thanks for sharing - love the idea about the cider!

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  37. Hi, coming here via a link from Aunt B, in B.C. Canada. I live in the Okanagan Valley ( wine and orchard country ) which is dry and hot all summer. Apples,wine and cider abound and your recipe is the absolute ultimate in Mac'n'Cheese that I've ever seen. Grew up with my Dad eating a block of cheese with his apple pie, so I totally agree that it's the best pairing!! :) I'll be using Summerland Cider and applewood smoked cheddar, as you are over 3,000 miles or so away. *grin*. So glad to have been directed to your page. Thanks for sharing. Don't have a blog or web page other than facebook, so have to use Anon on here. Sheryl is my name. :)

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    1. I'm also checking out this recipe because of Aunt B's Kitchen. I had old cheddar on my apple pie tonight. I like Cheese Whiz and jam together on my toast. I like mac and cheese. I like hard cider, and that's the only thing I'm trying to wrap my head around for this recipe.

      My hubby isn't big on mac and cheese, but I might be able to convince him on this one.

      (Annie from the Prairies)

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  38. OH dear God this looks incredible!! I will need to try this!! Dumb question, what is woodchuck hard cider? Like a beer? Is there another alternative? I want to make this! Sounds so yummy!

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  39. Love your childhood story! Sounds like a kicka$$ time! And this recipe..Oh. MY. GOD. Heaven on Earth.

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  40. I add a pound of crumbled sausage to this....so amazing.

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