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Lessons from my Mom: Macaroni and Cheese Style

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.

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I love her handwriting.

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.

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always waiting

Ingredients

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.

Cheese Sauce:

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

Cook Tips:

*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.

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W digging in. T-rex wishing his arms were longer?

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.

Do you have any recipes that makes you feel close to your family?

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3 Responses to Lessons from my Mom: Macaroni and Cheese Style

  1. Suzanne January 26, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    I have many of my Mom’s wonderful recipes, too! I have passed them on to my children. I have a step that will get your Mac & Cheese to the table quicker…make your cheese sauce in the microwave. In a large bowl melt your butter in microwave, stir in your flour until smooth, add milk and stir…return to microwave on high for 5 minutes…stir and keep adding time in microwave until it thickens. Add cheese and stir. Easy and no sticking to the bottom of your pot!

    • Rachel
      Rachel January 26, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

      Suzanne that sounds intriguing and new. I’m a little nervous of new but am learning to embrace. I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. Rachel January 6, 2018 at 7:50 am #

    Looking forward to making this! Quick question: About how much pasta for the amount of cheese sauce in this recipe?

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