Mac & Cheese. It’s a classic. Who grew up with those blue boxes of pasta and that bright orange powder mix-in to make “mac and cheese?” I am sure most of you know what I’m talking about and most of us grew up with it, am I right? Anytime we had mac and cheese when I was a kid, that was what my mom always used to make. I have to admit – I loved it (and believe it or not – I still do)!
With the whole COVID-19 pandemic, we have been staying home as much as possible. Even with our local community in Phase II of opening, we still haven’t gone out to restaurants to eat (but do support as we can with take-out or delivery) and I am still worried about taking my kids out in public to stores even with masks. I only do pick-up for groceries and avoid going into stores as much as possible. Truthfully, I think I have physically walked into stores 3 or 4 times since March. I order online and do pick-up whenever and wherever I can.
My kids LOVE mac and cheese and those blue boxes have been hard to come by during this quarantine. They were wanting mac and cheese as they hadn’t had it in a while, and I was out. Last year, my daughter and I volunteered with her Girl Scout Troop to cook dinner for families at Ronald McDonald House. One of the dishes we made was mac and cheese and we used sliced cheese. I happened to have some extra sliced cheese in the house and decided to use it and make a homemade version. My kids went nuts over it! Now it is all they ask for. It turned out creamy, gooey, and delicious! Who needs that blue box anyway?! Once you try this recipe – you’ll never go back!
In perusing the internet for recipes, I noticed most recipes called for breadcrumbs and some even had crumbled potato chips in their recipes as a “topping” to put on and then bake in the oven. I did not do this. My kids are pretty simple eaters. The mac and cheese base mixture out of the pot was all they wanted and that was fine with me! I like that this recipe allows you to make adjustments to achieve your personal desired consistency. Some people like the flavor, but not that much sauce. Others (like my kids) love the sauce. In making it the first time, I followed the recipe. However, the next few times I made it I added more butter, milk, and cheese than the base recipe because my kids love a creamy sauce. It wasn’t too much, but it was just enough and they loved it. I’m sure you will too! Enjoy!
Macaroni & Cheese
1 lb. pasta (small pasta works best – elbows, ditalini, small shells)
1 Tbsp. butter
12-15 slices American Cheese
3/4 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain well.
- Add butter and mix well. Add cheese slices allowing the heat from the pasta to melt the cheese. Mix well.
- Add milk and continue stirring mixture over medium-low heat to completely melt the cheese slices. Add more cheese slices and/or milk as needed to achieve your desired “cheesiness” consistency. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- When the mixture is creamy and the cheese is completely melted, the dish is ready.
- Serve immediately.