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Macaroni and Cheese

This week my daughter has started a new summer job in a town several hours from home. She has left life in the big city for an internship in a port town on the Olympic Peninsula. She has moved out of the dorms at college and into a house where she is responsible for preparing her own meals. It is a new experience for her and has her thinking.

So last evening she called me, a little put out, and asked where the heck THE Macaroni and Cheese Recipe was on my blog. It is a family favorite, a familiar comfort food, something she always asks for when she comes home. I make it in a big 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and there are seldom enough leftovers for a second meal. Everyone in the family digs in.

While I have been meaning to post the recipe for a long time now I never managed to get any suitable pictures until I made it when my daughter was home last week. The recipe is really nothing complicated or all that special. It is based on the recipe in my basic "Betty Crocker's Cookbook" but has been tweaked a little to adapt the quantities and marginally reduce the fat. I took out the finely chopped onion because my children don’t love onions and chopping them got in the way of throwing the recipe together at times. I use Tillamook’s Extra Sharp Cheddar for our very favorite version but a medium cheddar can be used for the sake of economy, as could any other kind of cheese you might have that melts well. And then I leave it in the oven a little extra long until the top begins to brown and the edges get a little crispy.

I have to say, it warms my heart that my children would care about this simple, modest meal. As their own lives take them on far flung adventures to new places and new experiences I hope this blog will continue to offer them a little taste of home.

Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from "Betty Crocker's Cookbook"

12 - 16 ounces elbow macaroni
¼ cup butter
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons flour
2 ¾ cup milk
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Dash of ground red pepper or Tabasco (optional)
Grated cheese, cheddar or parmesan

Cook pasta, according to package directions, until tender but still firm. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour. Return and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat.

Add the milk to the butter mixture, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat.

Stir the cheese into the hot sauce along with the pepper, garlic powder and Tabasco, blending until smooth.

Place cooked macaroni in a large rectangular casserole dish (approximately 9 X 13 inches). Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and gently stir until combined. Sprinkle the top with a little parmesan, cheddar or other cheese if desired.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top has begun to brown.

Serve hot and enjoy!


theUngourmet said...

Your Mac and Cheese is a work of art! We aren't big onion fans over here either so I would leave them out too!

I hope things go really well for your daughter as she ventures into this new chapter of her life. :0)

Cathy said...

You make it just the way we like it, Lisa. My kids check my blog for recipes too. I love it!

Best wishes to your daughter in her new adventure.

pam said...

I've been getting the same kind of calls from my college daughter as she tries to duplicate some of her favorite meals!

Kim said...

My girls call me all the time asking for recipes, or how did I make this dish. I absolutely love it! Wishing you both the best in the new chapter in your lives.

Robin Sue said...

This looks very good! That is very nice that your daughter goes to your blog looking for certain recipes. She will be learning how to cook very quicly now that she is on her own. Looks like she is in a very pretty place- love that area of our country!

grace said...

thanks for sharing a family recipe, especially one for mac and cheese! it has to be the ultimate comfort food, right? i love your version. :)

the southern hostess said...

This looks fantastic! I'm always on the hunt for the perfect mac and cheese recipe.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

The comfort foods of home is what they will remember. I was tickled that my daughter reads my blog for recipes too:D

Nic said...

I'm not surprised that your daughter would want this recipe. I wish her all the best, an exciting time for sure!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

That looks delish~
Comfort food is what it's all about!

Allison Jones said...

Oh, I love that baking pan basket thing. Like a little nest!

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