There is a reason there are a million and one recipes for macaroni and cheese. Total.comfort. food. Anything that can warm you from the inside out is worth putting into your rotation. Just sayin’. Of course all the cheesy goodness comes with a price. It might mean an extra Zumba class at the gym or another 30 minutes on the treadmill, but surely the ends justifies the means, right?
When it comes to macaroni and cheese, Nick tends to be a blue box kind of kid. He will eat a few bites of the other homemade versions that I make, but he really prefers Kraft or Velveeta. He’s entitled. Madeline will eat any kind. That is, when she stops long enough to actually put food in her mouth. When I saw The Pioneer Woman had her own version of macaroni and cheese, I added it to my to-try list. I made this one back in February after one of the umpteen times that we got hit with a crazy amount of snow. Can you tell I’m a bit behind in sharing recipes with you?
Even while taking pictures of the kids in the snow and doing laundry, the macaroni and cheese was simple to make and uses basic ingredients you just might have on hand. The taste? This is a good standard mac and cheese recipe. Not OMG, but basic goodness. And the real test? Nick came back for seconds. Winner winner, mac and cheese dinner.
“Do you want the Dora seat?” No. “The Princess one?” No. “How about Elmo?” No, Mommy. Clearly she was getting exasperated with me. “Which one do you want?” Go Diego! Diego it was. We have successfully entered Day Four of Diaper-Free, Accident Free Territory. Whoo-hoo. I used the same boot camp method I came up with when training Nick (was it really that long ago?!) and though Madeline is much younger than he was, it worked like a charm. Really should patent the O’Malley Method. ;) Forget Go Diego … go Maddie!
Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
- 4 cups Dried Macaroni
- ¼ cups (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
- ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
- 2-½ cups Whole Milk
- 2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
- 1 whole Egg Beaten
- 1 pound Cheese, Grated
- ½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
- ½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
- ½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
- Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme
Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.