Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kraft Homestyle Comfort Food House Party

As a member of House Party, I apply for many House Party Opportunities, but only get selected for a few. I was one of the lucky ones selected to host a Kraft Homestyle Comfort Foods House Party. The star of the show is the new Kraft Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese. Have you tried this product? It comes in 3 flavors: Hearty Four Cheese, Classic Cheddar, and Old World Italian with Parmesan and Romano cheese sauce.

My party kit arrived a few weeks ago and I got busy trying to plan out the party. The party kit included 6 bags of Kraft Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, 2 of each flavor; a saucepan, glass baking dish and serving spoon from Pyrex; socks; plates and napkins; and coupons to share with the guests - $1.50 off Kraft Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese and 20% off Pyrex, online or at a Pyrex store.
Kraft provides a standard set of instructions and an optional oven finish method for each variety. I decided that in the interest of serving the food hot and at the same time, I would do three in the oven and three on the stove top. In addition, I decided I would work up three as recipes and make three according to the package.

Here's what I did:

Hearty Four Cheese prepped on the stovetop.
Hearty Four Cheese prepped following the Buffalo Chicken Mac Recipe on Kraft's site.
Classic Cheddar prepped on the stovetop.
Classic Cheddar in a modification of my Nacho Mac'n Cheese recipe.
Old World Italian prepped following the Caprese Mac Recipe on Kraft's site.
Old World Italian prepped in the oven.

To keep with the comfort theme, I decided to make a Berry Cobbler using some frozen Blueberries and Raspberries I had. It was nice and warm and served with whipped cream - yum!

Prepping the Buffalo Chicken Mac:

Everyone started to arrive as I was putting the three oven baked dishes in the oven (just as I took out the dessert). I prepped the stovetop recipes as I visited.

Making the Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese is a little more involved that making the standard Kraft blue box. After draining your pasta, you melt your butter in your sauce pan and add the seasoning pack. Once that bubbles, you add milk and then melt in the cheese sauce. Then, you stir in the macaroni. The cheese sauce, I can only describe as similar in texture and appearance to the cheese pack you get in the Velveeta Shells and Cheese box - thick and gooey.

As is always the case, I was so worried about getting the food served while it was hot, that I didn't get a picture of the food until it was mostly eaten.
The guests seemed to enjoy the recipe versions the best, although the Buffalo Chicken Mac was not spicy enough, so we had to break out the Frank's Red Hot Sauce to spice it up. I think the Nacho Mac'n Cheese garnered the most interest.

I passed out the socks to all of the guests - there was some confusion about why socks would be associated with mac'n cheese, but I explained, they are associated with comfort much like mac'n cheese is considered a comfort food. Then, I shared coupons around with everyone.

With full bellies, we moved onto the next party - Hexbug Nano In Home Party.

No compensation was received for this post. As a participant in the Comfort Food House Party, I received the party pack free of charge with the expectation that I would share the experience with my friends and family.