This is my Mamma’s mac’n’cheese!
Will you believe it when I tell you that I never had Kraft mac’n’cheese at home growing up? And I mean never. Ever. Never ever. My mom was a firm believer in the “none of that crap out of the box” philosophy, which I also adhere to (generally).
I won’t say I didn’t eat my fair share of EZ Mac in college, I practically lived off of the stuff! But there is just sooooo little good and sooooo much absolute crap in it, I can’t bring myself to make it for Simon. If I eat a box of it for dinner, with nothing else, I’m awake at 3am starving because there is so little nutritional value it literally can’t get me through the night.
On the other hand, we make baked mac’n’cheese on a regular basis. This stuff will get you through the night. This stuff will get you through a marathon. This stuff is not low fat in any way shape or form, so if you’re watching the calories…save it for a special evening. This stuff is not for the lactose intolerant or anyone who avoids dairy. This stuff is a calorie packed, high fiber, high fat bomb of cheesy goodness that never fails to make my husband grin.
Ingredients:1 box whole wheat penne pasta 5 tbsp butter 3 tbsp all purpose flour 3 cups milk (we use 2%) 1 clove garlic, smashed ~2-3 cups grated cheddar (we used some fontina as well because it was on hand) + and additional 1/2 cup for topping 1/2 c panko bread crumbs Tony Sacherie’s seasoning salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions, but slightly undercook (just shy of al dente). It will finish cooking in the oven.
2. Warm milk in a saucepan on the stove with garlic clove. Remove garlic clove.
3. Meanwhile, melt 3 tbsp butter in a saucepan (or in your small dutch oven like mine that also serves as a baking dish)
4. Whisk in flour and cook briefly to get rid of flour flavor.
5. Whisk in heated milk a few ladle’s full at a time , whisking briskly to get rid of all the lumps.
6. REMOVE FROM HEAT once the milk has been incorporated. It’s important not to add the cheese if the milk is almost boiling, because the cheese will separate and get all funky and grainy. Add a handful of cheese, it should melt slowly as you stir. Add the remainder of the cheese and stir until melted.
aaaaand….for some reason the photo isn’t uploading…sorry
7. If you made the sauce in your dutch oven then just dump in the pasta and stir to combine.
8. For the topping, melt remaining 2tbsp of butter in a bowl and add panko and a generous shaking of Tony’s to taste. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of pasta and then sprinkle the bread crumbs.
9. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or so, or until it’s all bubbly on the edges and the panko is browned.
Just thought I’d drop a quick line here before we head off to Houston for the weekend.
I found three recipes on the internet that I tried to great success with Simon, so I thought I’d share.
First, on a quest to make arancini last Friday night, I had to start with risotto. I used Giada’s recipe, but left out the mushrooms and peas. Simon loved it. I froze it in cubes and mix in diced chicken, peas, carrots, etc. It looked really boring, so I took a photo of the arancini instead! It was da bomb!!!
And why the hell have I never made black beans in a slow cooker before? This was pretty much the easiest damn thing ever. It easily took 10 hours to cook, as she says in the recipe. This is definitely a recipe for the whole family. I made black bean tacos out of it. Did you know that black beans and corn are a complete protein? Simon likes it in his grilled cheese.
Lastly, this morning I made blueberry and cream cheese french toast, and it was AWESOME…albeit a bit dry. I think next time if I press the aluminum foil right up against it while it’s baking and then seal in the edges it will be perfect. I also made it with challah bread, since I had it on hand. It worked out wonderfully!
Holla! Or should I say, Challah!
God I’m cheesy…..
Speaking of which, I made homemade mac’n’cheese last night! Blog post coming soon!
We have two teeth coming in this week. They’ve been lurking for a while but I think they’re going to cut this week. What’s that mean? It means that Simon has put himself on a steady diet of Cheerios and yogurt for the last 48 hours. Maaaaaybe he’ll eat a smoothie if I use a straw and put it in his mouth, dropper style. Even his favorite plain grilled cheese is POISON! Poison! Mommy is trying to poison me!
Oh, and sleep has gone to shit. Not that it’s great anyways, but it’s especially shitty right now.
Someday. Someday I will sleep through the night again (at this point it’s all about ME! not about HIM! Mommy is TIRED!). Ibuprofen seemed to help last night though, so we’ll do that again tonight.