I just got back home today from a little vacation I took with my mom. We spent three lovely days in Savannah, Georgia. I will have a full trip recap for you soon! I had such a good time and it was nice to spend time with my mommy. Last night we had our final dinner at Paula Deen’s restaurant – The Lady & Sons. We were looking forward to this dinner the whole trip! I know we’ve both wanted to try this restaurant for a long time. I would say my Mom and I are pretty big fans. Not like, huge fans… but we’ve watched her show quite a bit and have some of her cookbooks. Actually, I might be a bigger fan than I think I am. I remember watching several different Paula shows on Food Network plus her sons’ shows. Remember Paula’s Party?!
We made reservations for 6:30 on Wednesday evening and ended up waiting maybe fifteen minutes before being seated. Paula was there that night! She kept smelling this bouquet of flowers and smiling the whole time. It was kind of bizarre.
We hung out and chatted for a long time. She was so nice! Surprisingly tall, too. :)
We had the option of ordering off of the menu or eating the Southern buffet ($18). We chose the buffet that way we could try a variety of things. Even though we’re not really buffet people.
This is my loaded plate. I tried to fit everything they had on one plate but it did not work out. These are some of my favorite foods: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, cheesy broccoli, candied sweet potatoes, potatoes, dressing, green beans and corn casserole. They had turkey too but I forgot to get some.
Aerial shot. Also included: griddle cake and a biscuit. I ate everything except the dressing. It was kind of wet and didn’t have any flavor. I thought everything was pretty good… my favorites were the fried chicken and sweet potatoes.
The piece of chicken I had didn’t have a lot of meat, so it was necessary for me to get more. :) I also tried the collard greens, black eyed peas, and some sort of baked cheesy meat pasta dish. The chicken was excellent. Not sure if I like black eyed peas that much.
For dessert my mom and I chose the gooey butter cake and banana pudding. We were so full at this point that we could hardly take a couple of bites. Both desserts were good. Maybe we would’ve appreciated them more if we hadn’t been so stuffed.
Overall we had a nice experience and would give the restaurant 3 1/2 stars out of five (this is what we mutually decided after dinner). I’d probably go back if I were going with someone who hadn’t eaten there before. It wasn’t gourmet food, but it was good Southern home cooking. I left miserably full. I recommend not overdoing it like I did.
This Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli reminds me of something Paula Deen might make. If you took her baked mac and cheese and cheesy broccoli from the buffet, you’d have this dish. Except I used whole wheat pasta. I do like whole wheat pasta but in this case I wish I would have used plain macaroni. There’s no sense in attempting to make this healthy if there’s a stick of butter in it and a ton of cheese. Although, there’s a pound of broccoli in it. =healthy.
I used a combination of cream cheese, muenster, parmesan and sharp cheddar for the cheeses. The sharp cheddar flavor was strong, so use mild cheddar if you’re not a fan.
If you’ wanted to make this more decadent you could use whole milk and full-fat cream cheese in the sauce. Enjoy, Y'ALL.
Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups reduced fat milk
- 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
- 4 ounces shredded muenster cheese
- 4 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar + additional for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound fresh broccoli, steamed, coarsely chopped
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 14 ounces whole wheat pasta or macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
Melt butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat; whisk in milk until hot. Reduce heat to low and whisk in cream cheese, muenster, parmesan and cheddar until melted and smooth. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, pepper and broccoli until combined. Whisk in eggs until combined. Stir in pasta until combined. Pour pasta into prepared baking dish; top with additional shredded cheddar, if desired.
Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
Makes 6 servings