Friday, October 7, 2011

The Many Incarnations of Mac and Cheese

In our home Mac'n'Cheese is a simple favorite, at least for my more picky eaters in the family. Lex is the pickiest followed closely by Mom, then Petra and Nova, but most of the time the mac will do for all. Because of this I have made up or adapted several recipes to my needs as a Dad: simple, quick, and tasty!

Basic Mac (Some Twists included)
What you'll need:  
1lb of Pasta
8oz or more of cheese (to taste)
1/4 stick of unsalted butter
1/4-1/2 cup milk (more milk is creamier)

  First cook your pasta to perfection, meaning not soggy or crunchy. Although any pasta will work, we have a leaning towards tri-color Rotini, because of the veggie content and Rotini holds the sauce so well. 
    I always melt the butter before the mixing. This always gives me a chance to make it into Garlic Mac by adding a little extra butter and cooking a copped garlic clove in the butter, you can do this if your family is a fan of garlic like mine. Stir in your melted butter (or cooked butter and garlic mix) first, then your cheese followed by the milk, do this while the noodles are still steaming. For a kick occasionally I replace the milk with sour cream.
   When it come to cheese most often we use Colby-jack, but almost any cheese you like can be used, we have used ALL kinds of cheddar, Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan and Feta (use no milk with Parm and feta). My kids would never stand it but I want to try a garlic pepper-jack. What do you think would be popular with your clan?
   For variations I add veggies and/or meat. The kids like me to keep it simple so most of the time we will stick to simple veggies like peas and broccoli. Note: these must be cooked separately and added just before sauce mix or served on the side. Steaming is fine, but I really like the veggies in olive oil saute'.
   Cooked sliced kielbasa makes a great addition to round out this single dish dinner, but we have also tired many types of sausages, and in some incarnations even shrimp. I would love to hear some of your other combinations you can come up with. You can be as simple or complex as you want, ours is even seasonal. Mac and cheese can be out of the box or it can be out of this world, and it does not take long to find a few new, "great old standby's" for your family. 


  1. this is some good stuff trust me, now what about the cheesy potatoes?

  2. Actually my next food post is planned for "Rice." But I will start working on my Potato post!