just us.....and OPRAH!

Oh yes we did!

Six years ago, Mia's most wonderful husband surprised us with a trip to the windy city to properly celebrate her 30th birthday.  Not only did we get to sit in the second row, but Mia made a plea to Oprah that her birthday wish was to have a mini photo sesh backstage.  After the show, all sorts of security led us up a couple flights of stairs to her dressing room.  We waited about 10 minutes for her to come out, but don't worry.....we had Sophie and Solomon to keep us company.

She was so kind, and spent about 15 minutes chatting with us about everything from Pilates to bras. Her personality is larger than life, and she was so engaging and gracious.  We asked her if she might enjoy having dinner with us that night, but as it turns out, she had a prior engagement with Nelson Mandela. So close.

One of my favorite recipes ever from the Oprah show is this "Over the Rainbow" Macaroni and Cheese by diva-superstar, Patti LaBelle.  I only make it for special occasions (please note the fat content), but it's an absolute hit and I know you'll love it too.  Oprah claims it might even bring a tear to your eye, and THAT is a girl who knows mac n' cheese!

Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Velveeta , cut into small cubes
  • 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole.

Bring the large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is just tender, about 7 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.

In a small saucepan, melt eight tablespoons of the butter. Stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild and sharp Cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheeses. To the macaroni, add the half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta, and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and dot with the remaining one tablespoon of butter.

Bake until it's bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information798 calories, 49.3 grams of fat (and worth every gram), 28.6 grams saturated fat, 202 mg cholesterol, 786 mg sodium, 61.0 grams carbohydrates, 27.7 grams protein, 1.8 grams fiber

The last 25 years have been sweet, and we will miss O every afternoon at 3:00 for a long, long time.  We have learned so many valuable lessons and have been so entertained each day.  Tomorrow Mia and I will be snuggled up on the couch together to watch her final show.  Each of us with our own box of Kleenex. 

To date Mia has been to the O show three times, the first time was 10 years ago to witness her very own mom receive the make-over of a lifetime.  See the video highlights {here}

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for our giveaway that ends this Friday!  Enter it {here}


  1. What great pictures! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. That's so cool! That mac n' cheese looks divine :)

  3. Oh I remember the day the Oprah crew came to the Hatch house! Minda I LOVE your enthusiasm!!!
    YOu girls have fun with your tissues.. I may just be sitting on my couch... alone... enjoying Oprah & my photo wall!

  4. Hold the freakin' phone!!! So I've been reading this blog and loving it. Jill is an absolute doll and I love her daughter to pieces. But when the heck did Minda become Mia??? I was Minda's Mia Maid advisor a long, long, long time ago. Jiminy Christmas I knew Mia looked soooo familiar. So this blog just got double cool. I dig you two! Love, Sandy Bell

  5. Wow - loved reading this story today - what an experience. Great photos!

  6. That is too cool! I love that you asked and pursued it!


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Mia & Jilly

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