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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Another Thanksgiving buffet idea coming right up!  At my Granny’s house on Thanksgiving, there HAD to be Mac and Cheese!  And none of that boxed stuff either!  It was homemade!  At the holidays, it was usually made by my Aunt Linda……….any other time, my Moma or Granny made it.  But the point is, they MADE it.  It didn’t come out of some box!  HOME-MADE!  Nothing less………..

So we need to get something straight here…….just because you boil the noodles, doesn’t make that box of stuff “homemade!”  It might’ve been made in your home, but it’s FAR from homemade!  I want to liberate you from the box! 

Now, I have two versions of homemade macaroni and cheese.  Ankle Biter #1 and Tall Skinny Man and Aunt Dee prefer the “real” homemade macaroni and cheese.  Ankle Biter #2 and Unk prefer the kind I grew up on and always considered homemade.  So I usually end up with both at my house to make sure I please everybody.  Me?  It’s got cheese on it, how bad could it be?  I like them both.  But one is for a little more highly refined palate or those who are open to the idea that macaroni and cheese doesn’t have to be made in one pot on the stove.

It’s only been fairly recently that I’ve been making “real” homemade macaroni and cheese.  I say real because it’s baked.  I’m not sure why that makes it anymore real than stovetop macaroni and cheese.  But the voices in my head said that whole baking thing is what makes it real.  So work with me and the voices here, would ya?  Thanks!  And the voices thank you as well.

“Regular” Macaroni and Cheese is what showed up on the table of my Moma and Granny.  There’s not a thing wrong with it.  It’s mighty tasty stuff!  MIGHTY tasty stuff.  I even had someone tell me once that my macaroni and cheese changed her life.  Umm, OK, then.  Thanks, I think.  Anyhoo, it’s simple as can be.  Let’s make it first and then we’ll move on to the “real” macaroni and cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese

*  1 pound elbow macaroni or shell pasta

*  1 pound Velveeta, cubed

*  2 cups milk

*  1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

Boil noodles in salted water for 8 minutes.  Drain.  Add cubed cheese and milk to pan.  Heat until smooth.  Add noodles back into pan. 

Yeah, see?  I told it was simple.  Nothing to it!  This is what I grew up on.  It’s fabulous comfort food for me!  BUT, my palate has grown tremendously over the years (as has my rear end, but we won’t go there)………I tried a number of “real” Macaroni and Cheese recipes over the years.  I tried Paula Deen’s.  Sorry, Paula!  I love you, but it was gross.  I tried Martha Stewart’s.  Again, foul.  Other folks may love those, but my family and I had absolutely no appreciation for them at all.  So one day, I was watching my beloved Guy Fierri on DIners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  He visited this place in St. Louis where this woman was making a VAT of macaroni and cheese.  I was totally in awe of that vat of mac and cheese, man!  It was insanely huge!  And looked insanely delicious!  So I  watched it and watched it and watched it again taking ideas for my own version of that vat of Mac and Cheese!  And VOILA!  My own version of it was born! 

Amy’s Kicked Up Macaroni and Cheese

*  1 pound of pasta, your choice

*  1/2 pound Velveeta

*  1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

*  1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

*  1 small bowl bleu cheese

*  1-8 oz. bar cream cheese

*  1 cup sour cream

*  1 medium onion, diced fine

*  1 Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced fine

*  2 Tbsp.  prepared mustard

*  fresh cracked pepper

*  2 eggs, beaten

*  2 cups half-and-half or heavy cream (more or less depending on how thick you like your mac & cheese)

Boil pasta in salted water for 7 minutes.  You don’t want to overcook it because this is going into the oven to get baked.  Drain pasta.  In the pan you cooked the noodles, add all ingredients EXCEPT the eggs!  Cook over low heat until melted and smooth.  Beat eggs in a small bowl.  Add a spoonful of the hot cheese mixture to the eggs and beat.  Repeat this step 2 more times to ensure eggs don’t scramble by adding them straight into the hot cheese mixture.  Add pasta and egg mixture to the cheese mixture.  Stir until well incorporated.  If you need extra half-and-half, add some now.  Pour into a baking dish which has been liberally sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake in a preheated 350° oven 1 hour, covered.  Remove cover, top with additional cheese if desired and return to oven just long enough to melt the cheese. 

This is so incredibly decadent, it’s not even funny!  You’ll feel like you’ve died and gone straight to Macaroni and Cheese heaven with this dish! 

If you’ve always made that stuff out of the box, I implore you, PLEASE give one of these a try!  When you put one of these Mac and Cheeses on your table, you will be a ROCKSTAR!  No two ways about it!  Enjoy!

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4 Responses

  1. my favorite, absolutely crave it often, mac n cheese is from stanfords (a really expensive restaurant!)

    what I normally crave? the cheapest box stuff – thats what I grew up on!

    Thanks Amy for a recipe to try for the jakester, I’ll let you know how we like it!

  2. I love Mac n Cheese! The last time I made it, I took it to a meeting. Everyone loved it, and wanted to know how I made it. I did like you did Amy, I used 3 or 4 different cheeses, it was so good! I will have to try your recipe, without the eggs, because I know it has to be even better…it has onion and garlic added to it! I do use onion in mine at times, when I am making it with velvetta, on top of the stove. Thanks Amy, for what I know, is another great recipe!

  3. My husbands family has decided that everyone will bring something for thanksgiving this year… So i have choosen to make 6 somethings, and The “Regular” Mac & Cheese was something that they wanted. I thought about rocking their worlds and trying the “Kicked Up” Mac & Cheese but I chickened out. Your suggesstions for Thanks giving side dishes has been a life saver!!!!!!! Love Ya

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