May 24 2005, 10:00 PM
So cheesy...On Thursday, May 26, four Denver-area finalists will battle it out for the title of the best mac-n-cheese recipe. The mission was simple: Create a recipe for four containing some type of noodle and at least one type of Tillamook cheese. The winner nabs $1,000, an "unveiling" of the dish at McCormick's Fish House & Bar, and a whopping 25 pounds of Tillamook cheese. The cook-off is free and open to the public. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., McCormick's Fish House & Bar, 1659 Wazee St., 303-825-1107. For more on the contest, check out www.tillamookcheese.com. Bienvenidos...Frank Bonanno's Milagro Taco Bar is open for business in the old Rhino Room space. Look for Rick Bayless-esque Mexican eats and low prices. 1700 Vine St. Hot diggity dog...Kick the Memorial Day picnic up a notch with hot dogs made from Niman Ranch pork. These hogs were raised with care and you can taste the difference all-natural diets and humane treatment makes. Find the Fearless Franks for about $5 a pack at Marczyk Fine Foods. 770 E. 17th Ave., 303-894-9499. Book smart...Cookbooks as social commentary? You bet. Browse the extensive collection of recipe books in "Exploring An American Identity Through Cookbooks" and you'll flashback to Mom's Jell-O molds and marshmallow salad. The exhibit showcasing the Margaret Husted Culinary Collection, can be seen at the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology through July 29. The collection, with more than 9,000 works spanning 400 years, and is one of the largest in the United States. If the recipes don't get you, the pictures of apron-clad June Cleaver look-alikes will. 2000 E. Asbury, Sturm Hall, Room 102, 303-871-2688, www.du.edu/anthro/museum.htm.