Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Favorite Mac&Cheese

One-Bowl Mac&Cheese
This past spring/summer, I noticed a number of food blogs posting about one-bowl mac&cheese.  And these were great recipes.  Except that I tended to omit a few ingredients and up-size the quantities.  So I decided to jot it down, just the way I make it, in case on of the kids wanted to make it.  This is my version of OBMC -  no whole wheat pasta, no artisanal cheese, no freshly grated nutmeg, and no dried mustard.

This recipe is also very forgiving.  Serve it right as it turns thick and creamy, hot from the stove, or let is rest on a back burner until the other dishes are ready.  Depending on your mood, you could add a lot of cheese or a more modest amount.

The serving dish in the photo was handcrafted by a master potter and gallery owner, Denise Kleiner of  Blue Heron Pottery  I love the color combination.

One-Bowl Mac&Cheese
1.  Add equal amounts by volume of milk and dried/uncooked elbow macaroni to a sauce pan.  I usually do 4 cups milk to 4 cups noodles. For those on non-American measuring standards, 4 measuring cups is roughly the same as 1 litre.  And 4 cups/1 litre of each dried macaroni and milk makes many servings. 
2.  Over medium high heat, while stirring continuously, bring mixture just to boiling.  KEEP STIRRING or  you'll end up with a clump.  Slowly, the starch from the noodles will start to thicken the milk and the noodles will become softer from the warm milk.  This takes about 8-10 minutes depending on how much cold milk you used.
3.  When just to boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low and continue to stir every few minutes. 
4.  When a few chuncks of Velveta or cheddar or combination, a bit of paresean what have you.  For the kids, I make it with 5-8 ounces of Velveta.  Start with a few ounces and add more as needed.
5.  Slowly continue to let the mixture thicken and melt for another 15 minutes or so. 
6.  Add a splash of milk if it gets too thick.
7.  Salt and pepper to taste.
8.  Enjoy

The kids like it cold too and have the left-overs in their school lunches (part of the reason why I tend to up-size recipes).

Fresh baked individual pumpkin pies in Emile Henry pans
With the weather a bit over-cast today, it felt like Fall was in the air even though it wasn't very cold.  But the Thanksgiving baking bug was starting to call so I made pumpkin pies.

Pumpkin pie ready for Kat - I choose red for her!
I use the pumpkin pie recipe from Eagle Brand sweet and condensed milk.  My Mom bought me the little spiral bound recipe book years ago.  When I make pumpkin pie, the kids peculiar food tastes actually comes in handy as they prefer pie without crust - go figure.  So I just spray a pie pan with Pam, pour in the pumpkin mixture and bake as directed. 

Years ago, I spent big money on Emile Henry pie pans - large and small.  I didn't have four kids at the time but it all worked out.  The smaller pans hold a double serving of pie so a standard pie recipe perfectly fills the 4 small pans.  Each kid feels like he's getting his perfect individual pie, if only they wouldn't argue over who gets which color!


1 comment:

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