When I moved out on my own and in with my boyfriend, my dad gave me a three prong adapter (don’t even ask) and my mom gave me a cookbook. It wasn’t a cookbook she picked up at the bookstore but one she made herself. It was a collection of recipes she had been cooking for us over the years and by consequence are some of my favorites. This cookbook is her collection of comfort food. Everything inside makes me feels better. She knew I’d need a little TLC being far away.
In the almost 20 years since I left home this cookbook, which began as a collection of 15 tried and true basic recipes, has grown into my family’s go to cookbook. It is also home to my children’s favorite recipe, Macaroni and Cheese: Elbows which is how the youngest requests this dinner after that one time I used shell pasta.
It is a simple recipe and because we always have butter, milk, cheese and pasta in the house the cost of homemade vs boxed equals out. I’ll let you in on a little secret; my kids won’t eat boxed Mac and Cheese. I find this super annoying and fought it for a while until I realized that making it from scratch wasn’t really any harder than a box. You be the judge.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup of milk
½ cup Cheese (use more if you like it extra cheesy)
Pinch of salt & Pinch of black pepper
Cook Pasta according to package directions.
Melt butter in a saucepan
When butter is melted add flour, stir until bubbly
Add milk, stir until thickens
Add cheese, stir until cheese melts in, remove from heat.
Add cheese sauce to cooked pasta.
Transfer to a buttered baking dish and cook for 20 minutes at 350 until bubbly
*double the sauce recipe.
*add vegetables and bread crumbs to make it extra fancy
* feel free to skip buttering the baking dish.
* the cheese sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for a day or so.
Dinner can be such a hassle sometimes. Cooking this super basic really reminds me of my mom and all the dinners she cooked for me. You can’t get that in a box.