Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ditch the box Mac and Cheese

I am home from vacation, I missed you all and this blog more than I expected! This is really becoming a part of my life now. I have an empty fridge. In fact, I may take time out from unpacking to give it a cleaning while I can. Tomorrow the kids are going with Grandma and Grandpa for a while, so food shopping can wait. Seems like a perfect chance to get to making and posting this recipe I have been thinking about. I have some friends who don't like to cook, I can't relate. But they do want to make their kids healthy meals. Over dinner we got to talking about Mac and Cheese and my friend Elaine (Hi Elaine!) asked me if I had a good recipe that came close to the box. This is it! You can make it healthier by using whole grain pasta (I like the yellow barilla box), skim milk and lowfat cheese. Or go full fat and white flour and just feel good about feeding you children something "homemade" and less-processed. I like to make this with some steamed broccoli (the steamers for the microwave are easy and yummy) and a can of reduced fat crescent rolls. Or maybe I will make those pop overs. Ok, let's not complicate this, it is fine by itself. Try it and please, tell me how it works out for you!

2 T salted Butter
1 lb cooked elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded yellow cheddar cheese (I prefer to shred it myself, but the bag of pre- shredded works fine.)
2 C milk
1 1/2 T corn starch

1/2 large sweet onion- grated
3 cloves of garlic- grated
As an alternative to the onion/ garlic- you can use some garlic powder and some onion powder.

8 strips of bacon- cooked and chopped and some shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup of bread crumbs mixed with a few T of melted butter

Basic recipe-
In a skillet, melt butter. (this is where you would add the onion and garlic and saute a few minutes) Mix milk and corn starch in a bowl and add to the skillet slowly. Add any spices you want. Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Stir and cook until it comes to a boil (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and add cheese, stir to melt cheese and combine. Add cooked elbows to the skillet, mix and serve.

Super easy.

If you add the bacon and parm or the bread crumbs, do it when you are done. You can prep this ahead of time and reheat in the oven, or serve right from the skillet.

1 comment:

  1. Elise,
    I am making this for about the eleventh time tonight. Ashley loves it. Thank you for the recipe!!! (Jake, of course, will not even try it and insists on the Kraft...he is a work in progress).