Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Comfort Food

Brent was home for a few days last week between his intercession class and his summer school courses at the University of South Carolina.

And, as luck would have it, he got sick. I don't know whether it was something in our house or something that's blooming and aggravating his allergies.

But a little comfort food was certainly in order. Macaroni and Cheese filled the bill.

Back when the kids were really little, I remember making homemade macaroni and cheese for my two and for a little neighbor girl I was babysitting. And all of them turned up their noses and wanted the boxed version with the powdered cheese. I remember thinking that I didn't know why I'd wasted my time.

But my two eventually came to appreciate the homemade version. It's just a simple, nothing-fancy recipe from my old Betty Crocker cookbook.

Nothing says comfort food like mac and cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese
1 to 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (or other pasta)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
About 1/4 cup chopped onion (if desired)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 cups milk
8 oz. processed cheese loaf, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cook macaroni as directed on package. Melt margarine; add onions and saute until softened. Add flour, salt and pepper, stirring constantly, over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minutes; remove from heat. Add cubed cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.

Add drained macaroni to the cheese sauce. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Bake, uncovered, in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes.

If desired, make a crumb topping from:
1 sleeve Ritz-style crackers, crushed into crumbs with a rolling pin
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Stir together cracker crumbs and margarine. Sprinkle over the prepared macaroni before baking. Bake as directed above.

Serve with BBQ Meatballs and a green salad.

Note: I didn't have elbow macaroni, so I substituted mini farfalle.

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