Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mac and Cheese

Here's the post where I throw everything my mom ever taught me out the window and start whining like the baby I am.

I loathe winter. I'm sick of looking at the bright side of all the snow and cold--reminds us how great summer is, makes for a good growing year--bull. I am nursing a serious case of cabin fever. Every morning, I roll up the blinds to gaze out into my backyard and the snow is still there. I haven't seen the ground, nay half of my driveway, since early December. I get through long days at the office by eating my lunch outside and by taking a mid-afternoon stroll. I haven't done this since November or maybe even October. I raise my angry fist to Mother Nature, I beg for mercy and it has yet to come. I am full-on lusting after spring. I need it. I need green, water running into storm drains, chirping birds, the sun outside my window in the morning, tulips, thunderstorms, asparagus. I would gladly trade 10 tornados for a snowy day.

To compensate for my misery (yes, I use food as a coping mechanism), I've been enjoying quite a bit of comfort food lately. And this here is the creamiest, cheesiest macaroni in existence. The only thing that would make it more comforting is if I ate it while snuggling under a fleece blanket in front of a fireplace. I heard a lot about this mac and cheese from friends before receiving the recipe as a Christmas present. My first instinct is to be a little turned off by the presence of Velvetta--that yellow processed cheese able to be stored at room temperature for eternity without going bad--but man it's so good.

Hansen Family Macaroni and Cheese: from Sarah Baker Hansen
1 1/2 cup large macaroni pasta
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup onion, diced
4 ounces Velvetta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions (probably about 10 minutes). Drain.

In a separate skillet on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour. Stir continuously, the mixture will thicken, bubble and then turn a nutty brown color. Be careful not to burn the flour. Add the milk and onion, continue stirring for a couple minutes until onion has been softened slightly. Add the Velvetta to the skillet, stir until melted. Blend in the pasta, stirring to coat with the cheese. Transfer macaroni and cheese to a casserole and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Baking it gives the macaroni a nice creamy crust.


Stacy Winters said...

Try this triple cheese macaroni from Taste of Home. I searched high and low for what I think is the perfect macaroni.

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
2 eggs
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces process cheese (Velveeta), melted
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large
bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, butter, mustard, seasoned salt and
pepper until combined. Stir in the process cheese and 1-1/2 cups of
each cheddar cheese.

Drain macaroni; stir into cheese mixture. Pour into a greased 3-qt.
baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, at
350° for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are

Lainey Seyler said...

ooo. thanks for the recipe! i'll have to give it a go.

Maria said...

I love mac and cheese, though I haven't had it in ages. I like throwing in some veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Another nice touch is putting breadcrumbs on top.

Allison said...

i'm making this on monday!

Jess said...

holy COW that looks good. I am also loathing winter. this one in particular.