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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Food Nanny Fired Up Mac & Cheese

Now that Summer has arrived, I'm up to my elbows in family reunions.  It means quite a bit of baking and cooking for said occasions.  Since there are always going to be youngsters around that probably won't dig the coleslaw (not that I blame them) or five-bean salad, I decided to take it upon myself to come to the aid of those with a picky palette.  I've never gotten a complaint about this baked macaroni and cheese, only comments on how great it was.  In fact, my 5 year old nephew was asking me for the recipe.  This recipe will kick your boxed Mac and Cheese's trash.  For Realz.  You may think time is an issue, but the whole putting it together part (as long as all the ingredients have been previously measured) takes a little less than 20 minutes.

Here's what you need to put together this yummy dish:
  • 2 cups Elbow Macaroni
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/8 tsp Tabasco/Hot Sauce
  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese
(Note:  The Cayenne and Tabasco Sauce add a little kick of flavor, but the amounts shown are the smallest amounts and don't make it too spicy.  For a more spicy flavor use 1/2 tsp. Cayenne and 1/4 tsp of Tabasco.  You can always up the amounts for more heat.  I'm a pansy and like my stuff mild.) 

For the Topping:
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 slices of Bread
  • 1/4 cup Butter
(Another Note:  The recipe says 2 or 3 slices of bread.  I like to push the limits so I go with 3 since I use the 9x13.)
    Start off by cooking the noodles as directed.

    Keep an eye on it and stir it every so often so it doesn't stick to the pot.
    While that's doing it's thang, melt the butter:

    Once it's fully melted, sprinkle in the flour:

    Mix it well so there are no clumps.

    Once it starts to bubble, add Milk and stir until thick.

    Then add the Salt, Cayenne, Worcestershire, and Tabasco.

    Stir together until well mixed.

    Take off of heat and add the cheeses.

    Put over low heat and mix until well blended and the cheese is fully melted.

    At this point if your noodles aren't already finished, they should be now and you should have drained them.

    Then add to the cheesy mixture.

    Mix it all together and then put in a baking pan in the size of your choice.  The recipe says 8x8, but I like more servings so I go with a 9x13.

    Now for the yummy crumb topping.  You can forgo this, but Ty and I discovered that we like it better with the topping.  It just adds a nice texture to the dish.

    Using a food processor, turn your slices of bread into a thousand itty-bitty pieces.  We like to call them crumbs.  (Looking at the picture it almost looks like the crumbs aren't in the container, but I swear on the limited amount of A/C I get in my apartment, it is.)

    Next, put the butter into a medium-sized bowl:

    Stick it in the microwave and let it melt.

    Toss in the bread crumbs.

    And mix together.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but if you're using a spoon, you'll notice a difference in the weight of the crumbs.

    Now add the cheese.

    Again with the mixing.

    Are you excited yet?!

    Oh you should be!  Now bring your Mac & Cheese and Bread Crumb topping together.

    I was thinking a little more like this.

    Sprinkle the top evenly.

    Place it in the oven at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

    I don't have a picture of the finished product since I'll be baking it later on during the reunion.  That's sorta the beauty of this concoction.  Doesn't take long to make and you can save it for later when you want to bake it.  It even tastes good reheated.  Trust me.  I know.  If I ever need to make a meal where there are picky eaters, I'll be making this.

    Seriously though, if you want to be a big hit at the reunion, bring this guy.  It has not failed me yet. 


    1. I do the same thing, when I have to take a dish somewhere, I always take something kid friendly. I also like to do PB&J sandwiches cut into quarters.

    2. You can delete this comment - since it is unrelated. lol. Buut...

      Holy Cow small world! I was reading you and your husband's blogger profile, and when I read "moses lake" I had to laugh. I have a really good friend from Moses Lake. I've never been there, but it looks like a pretty small place on the map. :)

    3. That sounds really delish! Also, you are hilarious. I love how you write.


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