In Operation Cinderella, Macie Graham is strictly a takeout and tequila shot girl. To impress Ross, and pull off “Operation Cinderella,” she enlists the help of her personal chef friend, Stefanie, owner of the meal service, Good Enuf to Eat. (Read Stefanie’s story in the series finale, A Cinderella Seduction). Before long, savory gourmet pot roasts, short ribs, and lip smacking gumbos are making their way to Ross’s Watergate Towers condo via the service elevator. As they say, the way to a man’s heart…
Below is my recipe for Macie Proof Mac N’ Cheese, a comfort food dish so fail safe even Macie could pull it off.
Macie Proof Mac N’ Cheese
16 oz. rigatoni or ziti pasta
1 ½ sticks butter
½ cup flour
4 cups milk, whole or 2%
2 cups grated cheddar
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup Jalapeno cheese (or spicy Monterey Jack)
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Cook the pasta as directed, remove from stovetop, place in colander, spray with cool water (to keep from pastas sticking), drain and set aside.
Grease a 13 X 9 inch oven safe casserole dish (or two smaller dishes) and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt 1 stick butter over low heat. Stir in flour. Cook approx. 3 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden fork. Gradually blend in milk and increase heat to medium, continuing to stir until mixture thickens to a gravy-like consistency (about 10 minutes). Turn off burner and add cheeses to the mixture, stirring (with whisk or wooden fork) until well blended. Fold in cooked pasta.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spoon mixture into the dish.
In small pan, melt remaining ½ stick butter over low heat, then add in ½ cup breadcrumbs. Sprinkle mixture evenly over casserole.
Bake approx. 35 minutes, until mixture bubbles slightly. Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes, and then cut into squares and serve.
Grab Operation Cinderella by Hope Tarr for 99¢!
Manhattan magazine editor Macie Graham always gets her story—and she’ll do anything to uncover the dirt on famous conservative radio personality Ross Mannon. After he smears her article on his show, nearly costing Macie her job, she devises a plan to masquerade as a modern-day Cinderella and get her revenge on the infuriating Texan.
All Ross wants is a woman with old-fashioned values to be his housekeeper and role model for his troubled teenage daughter. When the perfect woman shows up, Ross is relieved—until he finds himself drawn to his gorgeous, red-stiletto-wearing new employee. “Martha Jane” is opinionated and sexy, and Ross is intrigued…and more than a little turned on.
Macie thought Operation Cinderella was foolproof, but Ross, with his rugged good looks and southern charm, proves to be as perfect behind-the-scenes as he does in public. But when she finally uncovers a secret that could destroy Ross’s reputation, she faces losing her job or losing the fairy-tale ending she didn’t even know she wanted.
Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of 25 romances, including OPERATION CINDERELLA, the first in her “Suddenly Cinderella” series of contemporary fairytale novels. She is a founder and curator of the popular Manhattan-based Lady Jane’s Salon® reading series, now in its ninth year with satellites nationwide. Prior to launching her writing career, Hope earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Education, both from The Catholic University of America. She lives in Manhattan with her fiancé and their rescue cats. Visit her at www.hopectarr.com and follow her on Twitter @hopetarr.