COOKING

Mac and cheese lovers rejoice over new book

Macaroni and cheese might be the ultimate crowd-pleasing party dish, and Ellen Brown’s new book, "Mac & Cheese" (Running Press, $20), offers plenty of spins on the classic comfort food dish: mac and cheese canapés, poblano chile mac and cheese, Philly cheesesteak mac and cheese, mac and cheese soufflé with country ham. Eighty recipes in all, plus detailed instructions on mastering the roux, which you’ll need to make a cheesy sauce without a mix. This dilled salmon mac and cheese actually calls for campanelle, a curly dried pasta that is one of many you can use in place of macaroni, but no matter what you make it with, the salmon and smoked salmon help elevate the dish into something you can serve at just about any New Year’s Eve party.

PHILANTHROPY

Health bar sales support malnourished kids

Austinite Joey Grassia knows he can’t save every malnourished child from dying of hunger, but he’s certainly going to help the ones he can. In 2011, Grassia founded Kutoa Health Bars, a company that, for every health bar sold, donates a nutrition pack to children who don’t have enough to eat. The idea, inspired by the popular one-for-one model established by Toms Shoes, stemed from a months-long trip to South Asia in 2007 when Grassia first saw the deplorable conditions in which many families live. A few years later, he had his own health scare that was tied to eating too many preservative-filled, heavily processed packaged foods. After his mother unexpectadly passed away in 2010, Grassia decided he couldn’t wait any longer to fill a consumer niche and a humanitarian need. The gluten-free, vegan bars come in three flavors — Cherry Cashew, Chocolate Banana and Blueberry Almond — and are available at retailers including Whole Foods Markets and even some fitness facilities, such as Pure Gym. In addition to donating nutrition packs to children abroad, the company has donated more than 15,000 bars to people in need in Central Texas. For more information, go to kutoa.com.