Cozy Mac & Cheese

When I thought about the prompt of cozy, while having food on the brain as I have this month, the first thing that came to mind was mac & cheese. When it comes to cozy comfort food, this is by far my favorite dish of all. As a kid, this fabulous treat typically came in a blue box that contained pasta and a bit of powdered orange cheese-like substance. The result was always pure magic and I would never shrug off a bowl of that same stuff today at all! But, as an adult, I discovered that when someone makes this dish with just the right blend of real cheeses, it levels up and becomes true cuisine. This particular version is certainly not vegan, but it is entirely gluten free. Thanks to a little magic provided by red lentils. This, with a few special spices added, turns this dish into a restaurant quality treat with much higher fiber and a fraction of the fat. I’ve no idea how Philippe does it, as I can’t cook a thing, but he promised to reveal his secrets very soon. So, stay tuned! 

You’ve probably guessed by now that my entire love affair with autumn is mostly due to the menu. During the spring and summer months, I’m told that these foods are “too heavy” which I’ve never understood. But a chill in the air suddenly makes all those silly rules fade away and the cheese gets to return to its rightful place in my diet. Which is basically, whenever humanly possible. Thankfully, Philippe is also a master at portion control so we can enjoy our decadent hibernation with just an extra five to ten pounds, easily shed when my diet gets restricted again in the spring. I’ve no idea if taking on those extra pounds in the colder months is necessary, since I’m not, in fact, a hibernating bear. But why not, I say! Bears shouldn’t get to have all the fun. And with just a little bit of self control it’s possible to be a bit crazy and indulge without too many naughty consequences. So, I’m a huge proponent for doing just that!

I’ve never thought of living life in moderation as a bad or boring thing. To me it’s all about keeping that lovely balance. I can dash forward down some crazy path or eat the most insanely rich meal, and then, fall back into normal habits totally satisfied. Inside, of course, my inner child is giggling with devilish glee, knowing he got his way in that moment just before. And that’s really enough to keep me feeling like I’m still living life to the fullest. In fact, I’ve found that following rather simple routines makes those moments of reckless abandonment all the more exciting. If I were allowed to have cheese every day, it would cease to be so amazing. And though I paint each and every day, there are some days when I try painting a something I’ve never tried before. Though every fiber of my being is screaming, “choose something else!”, I go for it, just to see what might happen. And that’s all part of the fun. Even if you suddenly end up with just a fork and a bit of mac & cheese.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Yellow Ochre, Red Rose Deep, Leaf Green, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Cozy Mac & Cheese - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
36 Comments
  1. Teri Casper 10 months ago

    Looks great and good comfort food.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks so much, Teri! 😃💕 Anything with cheese always counts as comfort food! hehe

  2. Louise 10 months ago

    Looking forward to Philippe’s reveal! In the meantime, the watercolor mac and cheese looks yummy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks so much, Louise! 😃💕 And yay! Philippe’s recipes, or at least a brief few, are coming soon!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 10 months ago

    Loved the post and the painting! Waiting to get Philippe’s recipe.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 We’re working on it now! hehe… hopefully the little book will be available in November!

  4. Susan Cuss 10 months ago

    Oh, yum! Home-made macaroni baked in the oven with onions in a cheesy sauce and a cheese topping baked to a crisp! Ratz, now I’m hungry!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      YUM!! You’ve made hungry AGAIN!! HAHA! Thanks, Susan! 😃💕

  5. Jakki Garlans 10 months ago

    I looked at the painting and thought, “That is no ordinary mac & cheese – Philippe must have had a hand in this!” Reading your comments I find this is so! Can’t wait for the recipes…Philippe will be a celebrity in his own right! Your little paintings make my mouth water and give me a taste of the real thing!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Awww thanks so much, Jakki! 😃💕 We’re working on the little recipe book now. Stealing time to make it happen. Hopefully it will be hitting the virtual shelves in November!

  6. Sandra Strait 10 months ago

    Mmmm! Your Mac N Cheese looks tasty. I’m interested in Philippe’s version because I do need to watch my weight – constantly. I come from a family of hefty people and gain weight just looking at food. That would be a good thing if I were living off the land, hunting and planting for my daily meals. For modern life – eh. Not so good.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      hehe… so true! 😃💕 It’s only a mini recipe book, but all delicious. And yeah, all far more healthy than the typical versions. I’ve been amazed at how Philippe can make things taste like I’m missing nothing at all!

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 10 months ago

    I keep thinking I love mac and cheese but whenever I try it, it’s always dripping with syrupy cheese-like substance and the flavor is disappointing. I don’t recall my mom ever making this, so maybe that’s why I’m not particularly attached. But then your painting is quite appealing – it’s not the stuff of my childhood but something more promising. I bet I’d love Phillipe’s mac and cheese.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks, Shari! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s all in the chosen ingredients… and the type of cheese matters most! I’m just excited that I’ve finally gotten him to agree to write these things down! Still shooting for November to release the first little set.

  8. SnehLata Maheshwari 10 months ago

    Oh yummy . Beautiful 🥀 painting.iloved this.

  9. Mary Roff 10 months ago

    mmmm…yummy. Still waiting for cooler temps to make my own homemade version of my all time favorite food.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah… cooler temps seem to always be required for this particular dish.

  10. creatingincolors 10 months ago

    Your foodie paintings are all so appealing! Mac and cheese is way up there on the list of yummy comfort food. Red lentils? More fiber and less fat? Oh, Philippe, do tell!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      hehe!! Thanks!! 😃💕 And all will be revealed soon! Not trying to be so mysterious, just have to finish the tiny cookbook we’re creating. 😊

  11. Sharon Mann 10 months ago

    You have captured cozy perfectly. And, yes cheese is such an addiction!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Truly… anything gets just a little better with a bit of cheese! hehe

  12. Lisa 10 months ago

    You regularly ruin my diet! Best line, Bears shouldn’t get to have all the fun! Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Hehe!! Glad you liked that, Lisa! 😃💕 But actually, our diet is pretty healthy in the end. Philippe has a way with making things just “seem” decadent.

  13. Jennifer McLean 10 months ago

    Ok, spill. I’m gonna seriously need that mac and cheese recipe. I have celiac disease so have to be GF. We haven’t tried the red lentil pasta yet, is it wonderful? Thanks charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      hehe! I’m totally a tease this month! 😊💕 We’re working on a tiny little illustrated recipe book which we’re launching in November. All shall be revealed!

      • Jennifer McLean 10 months ago

        so cool. Can’t wait to see Charlie. You guys’ll be a great team!

  14. Kaye Boggs 10 months ago

    I totally agree that macaroni and cheese is the best comfort food ever. But my grandson (almost 16) likes the boxed kind better and he knows how to fix it himself which is a bonus!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      hehe… I have to admit… that boxed kind still hold my heart! That’s awesome, Kaye! 😃💕

  15. Sandra Gilbert 10 months ago

    I never had box Mac and cheese until I was an adult. As a kid my mom always made homemade Mac and cheese. Sigh, now I want to go over to Mom’s house have Mac and cheese. 😆

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Aww… I want to go over to your mom’s house and have some too!! 😃💕

  16. Yvonne Reeder 10 months ago

    Ohhhh yes!! Mac’n’Cheese!! Yummy! Around here it’s a weekly food bit to augment a dinner meal or a weekend lunch faire. Good stuffs! ❤️

  17. WoodRtist 8 months ago

    looks great, and easy to make. Thanks

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