Sometimes, simple things are the best. As I found out over the holidays when my oldest daughter said she wanted to make HER macaroni and cheese for one of our meals.
Now I've shared my recipe with you before (click here to see it), and it does take some time to make, but hey, it's got American, Havarti and cheddar cheese in it, plus some great spices that take it to the next level, right?
Yeah, well, nothing like being shown up by your kids.
And for those of you who are familiar with Lindi Peterson's Crock Pot mac and cheese, this is even better, not to mention quicker, than that. (Sorry, Lindi. You know I still love you.)
Here's what you'll need for this yummy dose of comfort food:
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed
8 oz. Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp cheese, grated (for whatever reason, the flavor this lends is superior to regular extra sharp cheese)
1 can condensed Cheddar Cheese soup
1 cup cream (you can also use half and half or milk, but the cream makes for a richer flavor)
16 oz. package of your favorite elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
Ground black pepper (optional)
1/3 cup bread crumbs (I prefer the Italian style, and while I happened to have the Panko (crunchy) variety on hand, you can use whatever you like)
2 tablespoons butter
Okay, if you haven't already, go ahead and cook your macaroni.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine the soup, Velveeta and Cracker Barrel cheese over medium-low heat.
Be patient and be sure to watch it, because you definitely don't want to burn your cheese.
See, it really doesn't take that long.
I like to use a whisk to help eliminate any lumps.
Stir in your cream or milk.
If you like, add pepper to taste. I added about a 1/2 teaspoon.
Add the cooked macaroni.
And stir to coat.
Pour into a greased baking pan. An oblong casserole dish works well.
Next, over medium heat, melt butter.
Like you didn't know what that looks like.
Once butter is melted, add your bread crumbs.
Stir until butter is absorbed.
Then sprinkle over top of macaroni and cheese.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden and cheese is bubbly.
That's heaven in a skillet, I tell ya.
I don't know about you, but for me, mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. One I rarely allow myself to indulge in. So when I do, I want it to be good. This fits the bill perfectly. And it's great when feeding the masses.
So today I stand before you, admitting that my daughter's mac and cheese recipe is better than mine.
Now let's talk football. How many of you watched the Super Bowl? Anyone disappointed with the game's outcome?
Not me. I like Peyton Manning and cheered him on all the way, with plate full of ribs and Amy's mac and cheese. :D