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Recipe: Mac ‘n Cheese (And What I Did With My Weekend Too)

mac n cheese baked

Nothing. That’s right. I did absolutely nothing constructive this weekend except for a bit of cooking and a bit of paperwork for my job. Otherwise, zip, zilch, zero, nada. I didn’t leave the house except to go four blocks up the street to go get a little food. I haven’t talked to anyone for any length of time. I’ve slept, I’ve surfed the web, and I’ve read lots. In the end, I’m finally starting to feel better! YAY! My new problem is sore muscles from lack of movement. This will be a busy workweek, so that will be quickly taken care of on Monday.

However, today I felt so slothful that I decided I needed to DO something with myself. Plus, I was hungry. One of my medications has a light steroid in it that always makes me feel like I could eat the siding off my house. I decided I would make comfort food for myself today. For me, that turned into mac ‘n cheese, fried chicken, and some steamed veggies. YUM! And since I was feeling the need to play with my camera, I took pictures of some of the process to share. Here we go.

The first thing on the agenda was to make mac ‘n cheese. I love mac ‘n cheese. However, I don’t make it all that much anymore. Today’s mac ‘n cheese is baked in small souffle cups. Why souffle cups you ask? What is a girl who can’t cook without a recipe even doing with bakeware for a complicated dish like souffle. Well, you can credit a good friend of mine with that. He’s a great cook and periodically clears out his kitchen of cookware he seldom uses. A few years ago, I received a large portion of his French White Corning Ware, including 3 souffle cups. I use them to make single servings of mac ‘n cheese.

Here’s my mac ‘n cheese recipe. It’s so simple it’s sad. However, it tastes really close to the kind my great-grandmother used to make. And if that isn’t comfort food, I don’t know what is. First, the ingredients:

  • Sharp cheddar cheese – the cheapest off brand you can find, preferably in a block. If you do purchase block cheese, go ahead and shred it.
  • Elbow macaroni
  • Butter
  • Milk

Here’s what I do to make this mac ‘n cheese. First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven preheats, boil the macaroni until it is cooked to your preference. Drain the macaroni and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of butter that has been cup into small sections. Now, if it doesn’t look like enough butter for your preferences, put more. This isn’t a real hard-and-fast recipe.

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Use a spoon to swirl around the macaroni and butter until the heat from the macaroni melts the butter. Next, throw in some of the cheese you shredded until it looks like enough for your taste buds. Mix it all together.

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Spoon the macaroni and cheese mixture into the souffle cups, for individual portions, or into an appropriately sized baking dish for the amount you’ve fixed. In my extended family, we make this stuff in large aluminum cake pans to feed the masses. We love this stuff!

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Finally, top with some more shredded cheese…

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and bake until brown on the top.

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Don’t those look yummy? Let me just confirm for you now…they were yummy!! Or at least the one I ate was yummy. The next thing on my menu for lunch was a bit of steamed veggies: green beans & carrots, my bento staples.

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And with that I made fried chicken. I am not the world’s best fried chicken maker. However, this recipe helped me with alot of my troubles. It is by Paula Deen, and I found it on Recipezaar. I love that website. :) Here’s my fried chicken.

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Here are all three elements together on a plate. Whew, this was a satisfying lunch and kicked the craving I had for something filling. Now, to figure out what I’m going to have for bento lunch tomorrow. Fried chicken is sort of hard to pack.

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Hope anyone reading this had a great weekend. I’ll “see” you this week with more bento lunches. :)

Comments

  1. This baked macaroni and cheese look delicious! I must try it, kids will love it :) Thanx, Margot

  2. Yvo says:

    OMG that looks so good. That first picture of the macaroni cups (pre-baking and pre-topping with cheese) looks so fsking good?! The lightingis just right and it makes me want to chew on my monitor. Ach. Why is fried chicken hard to pack btw? If you toaster oven it and let it cool so it’s crispy… before you pack it… omgss…. sigh. My waistline hates you !

    YVO: Never fear…my waistline hates me too. :) Don’t chew on the monitor though. I’d hate to think of the resulting dental bill! The thought of packing fried chicken is hard for me. Not due to crispiness, but due to the fact the chicken won’t squish into the box the way I want since it isn’ deboned. I would have to do alot of packing with gap fillers to avoid a weak looking bento. So in essence, it is more that I’m just super lazy. LOL!

  3. Yvo says:

    Ooh… you could slice it off the bone and then pack it? I do that sometimes for something really yummy. Makes it easier to eat, too, you can eat with a fork :)
    I’m going to have trouble with lunches soon; my dog moved back in with me and it’s hard to find time to walk her AND pack a lunch in the morning so it appears as though I’m going to have to start packing the night before… which isn’t easy for a lot of the things I like to eat… how do you do it??

  4. Sile says:

    Wait! You listed milk in ingredients! Where does the milk come in!!?!? Tell me!?!?!!? OMG!!! ;)

  5. admin says:

    Whoops Sile. I forgot to mention about the milk didnt’ I. Okay, I sometimes forget to put it so it doesn’t surprise me I forgot to add it in here.

    For baked mac and cheese, after you’ve assembled everything in your baking pan, pour a bit of milk over the whole pan. You’ll here the milk bubble and basically cook out in the oven. It’ll make everything taste delish too.

    Now, here’s the really bestest best mac ‘n cheese (in my humble opinion) using milk. Uber easy too. You need: American cheese slices (the real cheese, not that “cheese product” stuff), milk, and boiled macaroni.

    1. Place saucepan on stove on low heat. Heat pan a little.
    2. Place a few slices of the yellow American cheese into the saucepan. They will immediately being to melt and try to stick to the sauce pan.
    3. Pour in a bit of milk.
    4. Start stirring. The cheese will melt beautifully and integrate with the milk.
    5. If it’s looking too thin, throw in another half or whole slice of cheese.
    6. If it’s looking too thick, pour in a wee bit more milk.
    7. Make as large or as small of a batch of these cheese sauce as you think you need for the amount of noodles you boiled.
    8. With a large spoon, put boiled macaroni into cheese sauce. Mix all together until mac is well coated with cheese sauce.
    9. Sprinkle a little black pepper in it all and stir some more. Of course, this is totally optional.
    10. Take a bite. Moan.

    :) That is my FAVE way to eat mac ‘n cheese. Now, I’m thinking I need to make it this way and post as a complete and total new post. Thanks for making me think of it. ;)

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