Superheroes and Villains

When I was a little girl, I thought that my parents were the most
amazing people on the planet.  They were these perfect creatures
that could do no wrong.  Superheros capable of easing any pain; capable
of making me feel safe and happy all the time.  They were the center of
my Universe.  Then the little girl became a teenager and the once
superheroes became the villains of my story.

I remember the
times when I was grounded.  It felt that I was grounded
throughout my entire adolescence.  What was their problem?  Why all the
lectures and rules?  Why couldn't they just let me be?  I swore that I would never
become one of them. Never.

Throughout my first pregnancy, I kept on
thinking about the type of Mother that I wanted to become.  I was going
to be fair with my kids.  'Firm, but not strong' - That was my
thought; but this is an "on the job training" sort of career.  Three
and a half years as a parent, and just now, I am beginning to
understand that this is probably the toughest, most unfair, and also,
most rewarding job in anyone's life. 

How many times did I
make my parents cry when I was growing up?  My guess:  Too many.  Now I
look back and I understand them so much better.  They were neither
superheros nor villains.  They were never perfect.  They were just trying to do the best they
could.  They were just trying to be parents.

Our kids look at us
with eyes filled with love and hope.  They, too, think that we are the
center of their Universe.  It is so hard to think that at some point in their
future they will, too, make us cry.  That at some point, we will also
become the villains.  I am also scared to death that I,
too, will one day let them down.  That one day, they will realize
we are not superheroes after all.  No matter what we do as parents, it
will happen; we will stop being perfect through their eyes, and the worst part is that there is nothing we can do about it.

I look at my own parents. They are our biggest fans and supporters. 
They think we are doing a wonderful job. They truly think we
are the best parents our kids will ever have.  Looking at them, now
through completely different eyes, makes me hope that at some point,
maybe, and just maybe, one day our kids will, too, join this parenting
roller coaster.  I guess it is true that, in most cases, it takes being
a parent to better understand our own parents.  To understand that when
they treated us with tough love, they truly wanted to prepare us for
our long life journey.   

So today, in honor to my parents, and to all parents out there, I'll be sharing with you one of my childhood favorite dishes, but this time, with a grownup twist:  mac n' cheese.  This will sure bring out the kid in all of us.  Ay Mama!


I got my inspiration for this mac n' cheese recipe from Ina Garten's mac n' cheese.  I made it with pancetta and goat, Colby, Jack and Monterrey cheese.  It is fantastic!


-2 cups macaroni
-2 oz pancetta (Italian bacon)
-1 1/2 cups 2% milk
-2 Tbsp butter
-2 Tbsp all purpose flour
-6 oz. Colby, Monterrey and Jack cheese shredded
-3 oz. goat cheese (crumbled)
-Pinch of nutmeg
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 cup bread crumbs

Click on pictures for step by step instructions.

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  • Yum; I'm hungry! This entry is featured on today's "Hot on ChicagoNow:"

  • In reply to laurenstrec:

    How cool is that?! Thanks! I'm flattered :)

  • Nina, de aqui pa Hollywood. Can I be your sidekick?

  • In reply to abelaval:

    You crack me up! Gracias a ti por la oportunidad de poder hacer algo tan chevere. Ojala nos descrubran a todas!

  • In reply to abelaval:

    Nina - Congrats on being spotlighted! Great story and love the recipe... this one is right up my alley! You go girl!!

  • In reply to llutarewych:

    Thanks Laura! It was great meeting yesterday :-)

  • In reply to llutarewych:

    Felicidades! Me encanto el entry, y los macarrones suenan riquisimos!

  • In reply to KhadineKubal:

    Gracias amiguita :-) Estan riquisimos y de seguro le gustan a tus dos chicos. Un abrazo!

  • In reply to KhadineKubal:

    Go Nina! You're heading toward being a modern day Julia Child story!
    ;-) Loved this entry... I don't even have kids yet and I can totally relate.

  • In reply to sgraziani:

    Wouldn't that be something? OMG, Food Network people, if you are reading out there, contact me :-) LOL

    Thanks for reading, Sarah! I miss you so much my dear friend!

  • In reply to sgraziani:

    Happy Easter! Great entry and yummy recipe! I see a book in the making--a story behind every recipe. That's what I see here. :)

  • In reply to sgraziani:

    You flatter me :-) Who knows! Maybe some day my stories and recipes will turn into a book. Happy Easter to you too!

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