Archives for posts with tag: macaroni and cheese

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Homemade Mac and Cheese is a bit time-consuming; so, you have to plan ahead. But, it is really easy to make and really delicious.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish or other large baking vessel with butter.

2. Grate 2 1/2 to 3 cups or so of your favorite cheese (the more cheese the cheesier your mac and cheese will be) — cheddar, jack, mozzarella are all good choices. Feel free to use a combination of cheeses.

3. Fill a pot with water and some salt. Boil water. Add about a pound of your favorite pasta. Cook according to instructions on the pasta box. Drain pasta and set aside.

4. While to pasta cooks, add 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium-sized saucepan. When it melts, add 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook the flour on medium-low heat for a few minutes. Add 2 cups of non fat or whole milk. Simmer for 15 minutes. Take off heat and add 2/3 of the grated cheese.

5. Combine cheese sauce and pasta in the a large bowl or the pot you used to boil the pasta. Add half the mixture to you baking dish. Sprinkle some grated cheese on it. Add the rest of the pasta and cheese mixture. Sprinkle remaining grated cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

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I have been experimenting with various skillet mac and cheese recipes.  My goal was to find a recipe that is as easy or easier then the stuff in the box.  I was discussing my quest with my friend (and co-conspirator in the kitchen) Eva.  She said that she just puts cream cheese and shredded cheese on hot pasta to make a mac and cheese for her daughter.  Based on this information, I went to the internet and searched for recipes that had pasta and cream cheese and I stumbled upon a recipe on food.com that made a sauce for pasta by putting milk, parmesan cheese, and cream cheese in the microwave.  The microwave!  I always forget to use my microwave.  So, I took the food.com recipe, tweaked it a bit, and created this recipe that is so easy that a 3 year old can make it in 10 minutes or less (depending on the cooking time for the pasta).

First, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.  Put the pasta of your choice in the pot of boiling water and cook it according to the instructions on the box.  I prefer small shapes like macaroni, shells, bow ties, etc.  Then, put 6-8 ounces of cream cheese in a medium-size bowl with 3/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and about 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Put the cheese mixture in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  The sauce should look smooth and creamy.

At this point, I add a bit more shredded cheddar cheese and stir it into the sauce.  This isn’t necessary; but, I am a cheese freak and I like my mac and cheese extra cheesy.  When the pasta is ready — drain it.

Pour the cheese sauce over the hot pasta and stir well.

Enjoy!

The only problem with this recipe is that it may be too good and too easy.  I find myself making it at odd hours of the day when no one else is around.  And, when I am not making it — I am thinking about making it.  So, be careful!

10 Minute Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

6-8 ounces of cream cheese, cubed

3/4 cup of milk (I use non fat)

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1- 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

1 pound of pasta (preferably small shapes)

Directions

1.  Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta according to instructions on the packaging.

2.  Put cream cheese, milk, parmesan cheese, and 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  Check the sauce after 1 1/2 minutes to make sure it isn’t overcooked.  When the sauce is smooth and creamy take it out of the microwave.  Stir in more shredded cheddar cheese to taste.

3.  Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir well.


For many years I have been searching for a macaroni and cheese recipe that is as quick as the stuff in the box.  I had some rules for this mac and cheese recipe.  First, I wanted to make the cheese sauce while boiling the noodles; so, the sauce had to be quick.  Next, I wanted a recipe that included milk, butter, cheese, flour, and noodles — no weird spices (that my kids would notice and reject) and no weird milk products.  Many recipes I found had ingredients like dry mustard or condensed milk.  I gave up for awhile.  Then, I came across this recipe from Simply Recipes.  Their recipe has lemon juice, ham, and black pepper in it; which, I didn’t use.  But, the genius part of this recipe is that they toss the grated cheese with corn starch to prevent the cheese from clumping up and to quickly thicken the sauce.

So, you need the basic ingredients I mentioned with the addition of corn starch.  The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you probably have all this stuff in your kitchen already.

Toss corn starch in the grated cheese (genius).

Boil whatever pasta shape you like.  If you are making this with kids you may want them to pick the pasta.  If they pick the shape of the pasta, it is more likely they will eat this.

To make the sauce, you melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add some flour and heat the flour.  Then, slowly add milk and allow the sauce to thicken over the heat.  Then, you add the cheese.

Drain the pasta, and put the pot on the stove over low heat to incorporate the sauce and the pasta.

Put in the appropriate serving vessels.

Enjoy!  If you want to get some of this good stuff you better grab a bowl before your kids devour it.  I love macaroni and cheese and I really love macaroni and cheese that takes less then 20 minutes to make.  So, throw out the boxes of mac and cheese (yes, even the relatively healthier one with the bunny on it)!  You can now make your own mac and cheese that is just as fast and even tastier.

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese

adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients

2 quarts of water

1 tablespoon of salt, plus more to flavor sauce

2 cups uncooked pasta

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated

1 teaspoon of cornstarch

2 teaspoons of flour

1 cup of milk

1.  In a medium sized bowl, mix corn starch with grated cheese, so that the cheese is coated, set aside.

2.  Boil water with one teaspoon of salt.  Add the pasta and cooked according to instructions on the box.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat.  Whisk in the flour.  Slowly pour in the milk, while whisking until the sauce is smooth.  Slowly add the grated cheese, while whisking, until smooth.

3.  When pasta is done, drain it, and put it back in the pot.  Add the cheese sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sauce is incorporated with the pasta.