Last Saturday we were at the Ottawa Health and Wellness Expo in Orleans. It was our second year participating and it's fun to see how a sense of community develops at these shows. It was great to see some familiar faces and local businesses that we know and love... like Pantry Plus and our neighbour from last year's show, My Body, who stopped by to say she missed us! I think was she actually missed the free snacks more than us though. ;)
One of my favourite things about these shows is being able to connect with people, to get to put faces to the names I see on Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest. One woman actually took the time to stop and tell me that my recent post on decluttering had inspired her!! That warmed my heart! As a business owner, we put stuff out there into cyberspace and wonder if it just goes unnoticed or if people just yawn and scroll on by... So to hear that people actually read my posts and are even once in a while (gulp) inspired by something I wrote... well that inspires ME to keep on keeping on, even on those sucky days when I just want to crawl back into bed. Because in all honesty, making cashew cheese alone in my kitchen at 10 pm is not always glamourous.
There were so many wonderful new friends and familiar faces that stopped by our booth. I gave myself a little high five inside my head when Natasha Kyssa (from Simply Raw) came by and bought some of my cheese, because let's face it.... she is Ottawa's queen of raw cuisine!! And then who should come to visit but Kathy Smart!! She actually said this: "I've been following what you're doing! I love your business!" Of course the exclamation points are my embellishment, but she is so enthusiastic and sweet that to me everything that she says sounds like it should have exclamation points. And I, the starstruck teenager, just went 'Wow!' blink - blink. Very sophisticated Lynda. Two days later when my phone said: call - from - Kathy - Smart in a monotone voice, I screeched like a school girl.
When I picked up the phone she said: "I don't know if you remember me. I saw you at the Expo this weekend..... I bought some of your cheese..... we had our picture taken together." So adorable. Like I wouldn't remember meeting Kathy Smart. She was so humble and gracious. Of course I gushed and made a complete ASS of myself. After I hung up I beat myself up and thought of all the clever things that I should have said. Sigh. I won't share the photo here for fear of looking like a total dweeb (and also because it was the end of a long day and I look like I've been through the ringer). But I did share it on Facebook, just sayin'. ;)
So down to business. If you happened to pick up one of those new Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheeses and managed to keep it in the fridge for longer than a couple of days (I've heard it tends to disappear quite quickly... some have even been known to go through the whole container in a day. But we won't mention any names.... right CARLY?????) you may want to try this recipe for Mexican Mac and Cheeze. It is kid tested and easy enough to make on a weeknight. If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, it's also great in the kiddie's lunch box the next day! Sometimes I add cooked broccoli and cauliflower to this recipe at the end, just to sneak a few more veggies in there.
I'd love to hear how you enjoy your Smokey Jalapeño!! Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments below! Thanks for visiting!
1 package whole wheat (or gluten-free) macaroni noodles cooked according to package directions
1 package Zengarry Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheese
1 yellow onion, minced
1 cup of vegetable broth
2 tsp. corn starch
1 cup of salsa
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
pepper to taste
In a large sauce pan, sauté onion in a bit of vegetable broth until translucent.
Add Zengarry Smokey Jalpeno Cashew Cheese and vegetable broth (reserve 1/4 cup) and mix until smooth.
Add corn starch to reserved vegetable broth and whisk until all the lumps are gone. Add corn starch mixture to pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly until it has thickened.
Add salsa and salt and pepper and mix well. Simmer until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency.
Add cooked macaroni noodles, mix to combine. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and serve immediately.