Best Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

I was searching the best homemade macaroni and cheese recipe…. And I found the best one!  I like to cook, but I know I’m not amazing at it.  So, I was looking for something that was fairly easy, but ooey-gooey cheesy and yummy… Sometimes it’s hard to find something that ticks all the boxes.  For those of you who love mac and cheese, this is the recipe to try.  No dry noodles, no gritty texture from the sauce.  It was the best homemade mac and cheese I had ever eaten.  I am really looking forward to the leftovers for lunch!

I got the recipe here at Kitchen Treaty.

The Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Ever

Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 25 mins
Total time 55 mins
Yield: 5 – 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups macaroni or other medium tubular pasta (like penne or conchiglie)*
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard *I used a squirt of mustard because I didn’t have any dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 2½ cups 2% milk *I used 2 cups milk and 1/2 cream because I didn’t have enough milk
  • 3 cups grated medium cheddar cheese
  • *bread crumbs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, and return to the pan you boiled it in. Set aside. (Mix in a little butter to keep the noodles from sticking if it’s going to be awhile before you make the sauce)
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika. Stir constantly over medium heat for about three minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk.
  6. Keeping on medium heat, whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  7. Remove from heat, and stir in 2 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted.
  8. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and toss gently until all noodles are covered.
  9. Add half the noodles to a two quart casserole dish. *I used a 2.5 quart dish so there was more top surface area for the boys’ topping.
  10. Sprinkle on half the cheese.*I didn’t do this, I put the full cup on top as Jon and Makaio love the crispy crunchy cheese.
  11. Add the rest of the noodles.
  12. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, and dust lightly with the smoked paprika.
    *This is where I added the breadcrumbs to help make a toasty crispy layer of cheesy crunchy goodness on top for the boys.
  13. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until it starts getting a slightly dry and a tiny bit brown on top.
  14. Serve 

Notes

  • Adapted from the Bev’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe on Food.com
  • Please resist the urge to add more noodles to stretch the recipe. You need a lot of sauce with that pasta because the pasta soaks so much and it otherwise cooks down. Over-dry mac and cheese is such a disappointment – don’t do it!
  • Also resist the urge to add more cheese to the sauce. This can do weird things. Sprinkle more in between and on top if you must have more cheese.

So Good Sugar Cookies

I found this SUGAR COOKIE recipe online… And it worked perfectly.  You don’t have to chill the dough before rolling out to cut.  You can do that right away!  Thought I’d share the recipe to the easiest thing I’ve ever baked… They are perfect for decorating!

Thanks to YUM YUM YUM – Cooking with Erin

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a large stand mixer, cream softened butter and sugar together.
  2. Add egg and vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda and add to bowl and mix well.  (I don’t dirty a second bowl – just toss it all into one big mixing bowl.)
  4. Divide dough and roll it out!
  5. Cut into shapes.
  6. Bake at 375 on cookie sheet (lightly sprayed with cooking spray or on parchment) for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Searching for the Perfect White Wine Sangria

I am beginning my summer search for the perfect white wine sangria.  I had an amazing one that I loved in summer 2009, and my life has never been the same…. And I never got the recipe.  And I’ve never had one that’s been that good… I keep trying them and well, I’m searching for the best one.  So, as I find and try them, I’ll post the recipes – but please, if you have a good one, send them my way!

Jon and I made white wine recently and bottled it just a few weeks ago, so the base of all these will be a Johannesburg Riesling.  I don’t know if this matters to any of you… Who knows if any of my readers are wine connoisseurs.  But who is kidding who, if you are a wine connoisseur, you are not bottling it yourself, and you aren’t making sangria out of it either… Anyways… Bring on the recipes!

Here’s the first I’m going to try:

Peach Sangria

  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle white wine
  • 1 cup peach schnapps
  • 1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 nectarines, sliced
  • 1 cup green or red grapes, whole or sliced (we think you get more flavor from them if they are sliced!)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher.
  2. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. (we prefer to make it the night before to give the fruits a chance to really get all their flavor out!)
  3. Stir before serving!

Check out my pinterest for more recipes I’m going to try!

VERDICT:  Absolutely delicious.  I made a few changes as we tasted.  Full can of frozen lemonade concentrate and then when pouring added some club soda in with the sangria to give a little fizz.  I found it too sweet with the schnapps and wine and quite “concentrated”  but I liked the tangyness of the extra lemonade…. So more lemonade and club soda.  It also made the drink go further, but it also had less alcohol per serving.  But it was oh-so-tasty!