Lacy and I had a dinnertime nickname when we were children. We were called the “Cheese Geewls” (pronounced g-EE-uls, as in Gasoline, Sealion, & Ultimate) which was really just a silly way of saying “cheese girls”. The truth is, we loved cheese as kids. Whenever we had spaghetti for supper (which was a favorite meal that the whole family could… somewhat agree to love) I would eat my spaghetti, plain with grated Kraft Parmesan Cheese (The Ragu sauce that was served had little pieces of onion that ruined the sauce for me) and I would also serve myself a little wooden condiment bowl full of Parmesan cheese to eat by itself. Of course, as with everything, I was picky about my cheese. No Cheese-its or any other processed cheese, please!
When I got old enough to experiment in the kitchen, Mac & Cheese was an easy meal that I made an effort to learn. After years and years of cooking it for the family, I’ve finally gained enough confidence in my mac & cheese technique to share it with others.
Serves: 6-8 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
5 cups Elbow Noodles
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 1/2 cup milk
¼ cup pasta water
1 Cup mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup fiesta blend cheese
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Italian cheese
2 cup cheddar cheese
2 oz. Velveeta
STEP 1: Cook 5 cups of the elbow noodles in a large pan, following the instructions on the package or box.
STEP 2: While the noodles are cooking, fill a medium pan with the butter, milk, and cheeses. Also, while the noodles are boiling, take a spoon or ladle and take some of the white foamy water, putting it into the cheese sauce as well. Don’t take too much because you don’t want to flavor the cheese with it; just take enough for the nutritions.
STEP 3: Cook the sauce, stirring often so the cheese and milk won’t burn, until the cheese is all melted and very runny. This is what will prevent your Mac & Cheese from being stringy.
STEP 4: After the noodles have been cooked, drained, and placed back into the pan that they were cooked in, pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir it in until all the noodles are covered with cheese. Sprinkle pepper over the mac and cheese and stir it in, too. Sprinkle a little more pepper on before serving.
STEP 5 (Optional): For a more formal version of this recipe to take to pot lucks or parties, pour the mac and cheese into a casserole dish with a lid and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, covered. I love baked mac and cheese, even though I don’t fix it this way because it’s such a quick and easy meal without this last step, and also the rest of the family prefers the mac and cheese when its not baked.
STEP 6: Serve the cheesy macaroni with a delicious freshly chopped salad!