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This post originally ran on February 28, 2014. Since today, Monday, July 14, 2014 is National Macaroni and Cheese Day (yep), we decided to re-run it. Happy National Macaroni and Cheese Day? -ed.

By Kyle Martin. Kyle Martin is a comedian based in Los Angeles; for all your shitty and pretentious needs go to his website Shitty Food Made Pretentious.

Mac n’ Cheese

Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top-notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re dining on macaroni and cheese. Mac n’ cheese should be easy, as it has been popping up all over the Food Network the past few years. It’s the same thing every time – a fat white guy with man tits has a hankerin’ for some “Down home cookin’” and travels to some old black woman’s kitchen to try her “World famous mac n’ cheese”. I saw them do it so often that I began to think that maybe mac n’ cheese was a black thing. Growing up my mom used to make my brother and I mac n’ cheese and at no point was she black. I conferred with Adrianne (my black roommate/ liaison) just to make sure. She confirmed my suspicions..mac n’ cheese is not actually a black thing, but some people may disagree…

So maybe mac n’ cheese is a black thing, but making it look pretentious is certainly a white thing, so let’s get started. We’re going to start with a standard box of mac n’ cheese. The shittiest kind available is the generic store brand, but I decided to go with Kraft mac n’ cheese for a few reasons.

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First, sometimes you just have the blue box blues. It’s kind of like blue balls for the ladies. No ladies want blue box at the end of the night. Am I right?! Eh? Eh? Second, if you look closely at the box that I chose, Kraft has gone ahead and taken steps to make it more pretentious! Instead of using the traditional macaroni they’ve replaced it with “mini-shell pasta”. You’re probably saying, “Wait isn’t mac n’ cheese named for the noodle macaroni?!”. IS THIS EVEN MAC N’ CHEESE ANYMORE?! Once you’re asking those questions you know you’re on the track to being a totally pretentious asshole, which is the exact track you want to be on. Now you can tell your guests, “This is really more of a creative play on mac n’ cheese.” Third, they made it a three cheesy blend! Three different cheeses?! Holy shit! Luckily I have a very refined palate for shitty food and can detect the nuances in cheese flavor when they come in a dried powder form. Pretentious people will rave about the three cheeses which is really the main goal here.

Now that you’ve got the correct mac n’ cheese picked out boil the shit out of that pasta! When you’re done strain the shit out of it too. And by shit I mean water. IMPORTANT: DO NOT BOIL YOUR PASTA IN SHIT. IT IS ONLY AN EXPRESSION.

Typically when preparing mac n’ cheese from a box you’ll return it to the pot, mix in butter, milk and the powdered cheese. Don’t do that; you’re better than that..or at least act like you’re better than that. While the pasta is boiling, mix the butter, milk and powdered cheese in a separate bowl. I went with reduced fat milk, because, as I’ve stressed before, “What’re you a fat kid?” No you’re not.

Once you have all of that prepared, it’s time to get straight up pretentious with this mini-shell pasta n’ cheese. You’ll need a white plate, as we’d like the cheese to be as bright and obnoxious as possible. Your cheese should be the color of the Lakers uniforms. If it’s not you’re doing something wrong. Now it’s time to plate the pasta.

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Based on the picture, you may be wondering, “Kyle, is the pasta so far away that it’s blurry?”  No, there’s just so little of it on the plate that the camera was totally confused on what to focus on.  That’s the perfect amount! If your camera is confused just think how confused your dinner guests will be. “How am I supposed to eat this without looking like a fat kid?!”  How perfect is that? Their subconscious will force them to take tiny pretentious bites. “Oh you eat more than one noodle at a tiiiime? I’ve heard about people like you.

A Little Side Note on Serving Size

Serving tiny portions is also a great pretentious move for any dinner party as it will allow you to impress your guests with your knowledge of the obesity problem in this country and the hunger issues around the world. Be sure to look up some stats beforehand so you seem educated, but make sure that you only reference stats from pretentious sources like Mother Jones or The New Yorker.  If you can mention world hunger stats and Mother Jones in the same sentence your guests will be so impressed they’ll probably shit themselves on the spot.  They’ll totally forget that you’re feeding them nothing!

Now for the cheese; we’re going to use two blends of cheeses.  The shitty, ‘Three cheese” blend that came in the box as well as some shitty Parmesan cheese.  FOUR CHEESES!!! Get a couple of shot glasses and fill them up with the cheeses.

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This is going to be way more cheese than they need which goes against everything I just said, but another part of making shitty food pretentious is distraction and confusion.  The amount of cheese will keep them confused while the presentation of the cheese will also keep them distracted as they have to pour the cheese on themselves.  Treat your guests like idiots too – smear some of the cheese across the plate as if to say, “See dummies…this is where the cheese goes.” Oh so pretentious.

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Finally, don’t forget to hide the taste. Be sure to hit your guests with a blend of shitty spices.  It really doesn’t matter what kind of spices so long as they’re colorful.

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Tell them you procured the spices from your Ethiopian neighbor who had them imported from Africa on a ship that only comes in once every 3 years. You don’t have an Ethiopian neighbor?…for this meal you do and he’s the only person you get your spices from!  After all his family back in Africa also happens to eat the same portion of noodles over the course of a month that you’re now serving to your guests, so at least now you can talk about it…

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