Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Messy Macaroni and Cheese

Once a week I try to fix one meatless meal.  I do this for several reasons.  It started as a way to make sure our meals were diverse and it is often a less expensive way to eat and healthier.  I recently came across this idea of a meatless meal once a week in the blogging world.

Today is not Monday, which is the popular meatless day in the blogs, but I want to share one of our favorite meatless meals;  baked macaroni and cheese, green beans and stewed tomatoes.

Yum, it just makes me think of eating this meal at home growing up.  We always ate these three elements together. My mom recently told me that she learned to put them together from my grandmother.  My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago so it feels good to be thinking of her tonight. Below is a picture taken this summer of four generations who have enjoyed this meal.

Sometimes I use Alton Brown's recipe which is delicious but today I used the Betty Crocker recipe.  It is a little more mild than Alton Brown's and the one we always used growing up.  Addy and I made it this morning and put it in the fridge.  Then about 45 minutes before we wanted to eat I put it in the oven.

Cooking with Addy today was particularly messy.  This was because there isn't much she could do to help other than grate the cheese and then hang out with my while I stirred the white sauce on the stove. But it was also partially my fault. I crushed some crackers for a crunchy top and dropped them all over the stove and floor.  We had to vacuum.

She did well holding the grater very carefully and helping me hold the cheese.  She doesn't have the coordination or the strength to grate by herself but she does have the desire.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups uncooked macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
2 cups grated or cubed Cheddar cheese plus more of sprinkling on top
1/4 toasted bread crumbs or about 8 Saltine type crackers

Cook noodles as directed.  Melt butter in saucepan then add flour, salt, pepper, ground mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir  over low heat until thick and bubbly.  Stir in milk, bring to boil while stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.  Turn off heat, stir in cheese until melted.  Stir noodles into cheese sauce and pour into a 2 qt. casserole.  Add a layer of grated cheese and then top that with a layer of buttered toasted bread crumbs or cracker crumbs.  I like a sprinkle of Italian seasoning in the cracker crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

I hope you enjoy it.  I highly recommend paring this with green beans and stewed tomatoes.

What meatless meals do you enjoy?


  1. Thanks for posting the four generation picture of Betty - I miss her too. It was great dating your mom at their house.

  2. How wonderful to have the photo of the women in the family. I'm sure you treasure it. The mac n' cheese sounds delicious. Will your little one eat it? My children were blue boxers until they were in their 20's.

  3. Actually Addy loves just about any pasta with just about any sauce. She even likes pesto and will ask for noodles with green sauce. We do the boxed around here for lunches and reserve the baked goodness for dinners.