How I Lost 12.5 Pounds & Regained My Soul

Naked, as in truth, and uncensored, I share my daily quest to survive as a woman and artist, while dealing with the complications of a full life, meddling in politics, loving my children to excess, totally permanently married and on a never-ending diet. While my soul is in constant need of repair and redemption, I struggle to do the right thing. In the meantime, let's all double the love. (Love, not sex, you fool). All posts are copyrighted material.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Homestyle 'Mac & Cheese" recipe... kids adore it!

Good evening, my adorable little hummingbirds~

Tonight we are having a sleepover with a 4 and 7-year-old, which sounds difficult but is incredibly easy because of the two children involved. First of all, they both love attention, and secondly, they love to give it to each other. It has been adorable to see how loving the older child can be to the younger and vice versa.

The seven-year-old was mimicked almost perfectly by the younger one earlier today. Let's say that two girls rolling down a grassy knoll, running around threatening to tickle each other, swinging on the swings so high 'Grandma' had to threaten to shut the activity down, doing the limbo (which was quite a challenge for the little one with balance and all) and watching Barbie movies was just downright adorable to watch.

Of course, knowing that I have two small eaters, I realized it would have to be kid-fare to be appealing to both. Particularly after the 'picnic' they shared under a tree that serves as a clubhouse. So Macaroni and Cheese it was with corn and apple slices. I felt downright American cooking that meal, and I know my dad would have been proud of me with this recipe:

Baked New England Style Macaroni & Cheese

1 pound uncooked Ziti or Macaroni
1/2 cup of butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1/4 cup flour
1 cup cream
3/4 cup 1% milk (or regular)
12 ounces of Sharp Cheddar Cheese (White Vermont Cheddar is the best)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Undercook the ziti or macaroni about two minutes less than directed on the package. You want it to be slightly under-cooked so that when you bake the casserole it holds its shape and absorbs the sauce without becoming mushy.

Melt the butter on a low-medium heat in a sauce pan. Stir in the salt and pepper, then add the flour and cooker over low heat, stirring constantly. It will start to change consistency and begin looking very smooth. Remove it from the hear and add the cream and milk. Return the milk/butter mixture to the burner and gradually raise the heat, while stirring, until the mixture softly boils. Keep stirring for one minute, and then remove the mixture from the heat again.

Stir in the shredded cheese, mix well and then add this cheese sauce to the macaroni. Stir thoroughly so that the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the pasta. Grease either a deep or long glass baking dish well. Pour the macaroni mixture in, spreading it evenly across the dish.

For children there is no need to add anything further. They prefer their Mac & Cheese 'pure'.

For adults, a mixture of 3/4 cup of bread crumbs mixed with 3 tablespoons melted butter can be sprinkled on top of the casserole before baking, or simply five minutes before the casserole is done, sprinkle on some paprika to give the appearance a more interesting look.

The dish was eaten by both children with relish. I take my validations where I can get them.:) If this dish is too 'childish' for you, use the same ingredients, but instead of sharp cheddar, use any four-cheeses you like instead. It makes for an interesting dish.

Clark County Diva



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