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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese

This is the best mac & cheese. Ever. Since it is my mom's recipe and I grew up begging for her to make it, I might be slightly biased, but the overwhelming consensus from everyone I've made it for is in agreement with my previous statement... Best ever.

My ability to make this mac & cheese is probably why Adam decided to put a ring on it. Just kidding! At least I think I'm kidding... He does drool over it and take seconds regardless of how full he is...

Anyways, it is a tasty dish. Give it a try! Don't worry about having all of the "perfect cheeses". I've made it with all different kinds, and chances are if you use the cheeses that you love (the ones that are probably already hanging out in your fridge) you will love the end product, too.
Oooh. Ahhhh.

First melt butter, then mix in flour (stirring constantly so it doesn't burn).

Next, add milk. This amount can vary somewhat depending on how much cheese sauce you want. I like my noodles swimming in it before it bakes (leftovers are less dry this way!).

Heat milk, stirring constantly, until it starts to simmer slightly. Then dump in all of your cheeses! Like I said before, you can use any combination really. Here I uses a pre-shredded cheddar- colby jack, some extra sharp white cheddar, a little bit of white garlic cheddar, and a few tore up slices of havarti.

Continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted and incorporated into the sauce. Then mix in spices: pepper, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.
Meanwhile, cook your noodles until al dente. I couldn't resist using these garlic chive seashells we just bought at Pike Place Market (yum!), but any plain store bought noodle works great.

Now pour your cheese sauce all over the noodles in a baking dish...

And top with a little more cheese. Don't back out now - You might as well go all out!

Now cube up some slices of bread, pour a couple of tablespoons of melted butter on it, and season lightly with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Completely cover the noodles with the bread cubes. This will prevent them from drying out. You will want a lot anyways because people will be fighting for them!

Top with some Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

You will know it is done when the bread is browned, the cheese sauce is bubbling on the edges, and your house smells irresistibly delicious.

I added some chives on top because I was inspired by our garlic chive noodles, and it actually worked great!

Remember when I said that all that extra cheese sauce would make for great leftovers? This is what I was talking about.
 Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese Recipe:

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
3 cups milk
3 cups cheese (at least)
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
Salt to taste (taste sauce first, as cheese is salty in nature)
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 lb. noodles (seashells, penne, macaroni, etc.)

Bread Topping:
4 slices of bread (I used potato)
2 T. melted butter
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese  (enough to top bread)


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