Homemade Mac and Cheese

It’s Monday. Which means the weekend is over. Which is sad, considering the beautiful weather we had this weekend. But I did lots of cool things this weekend and can’t wait to update you on all of them. First, let’s start with Friday. No thrilling activities occurred that night because I decided to have a relaxing night to myself. However, what did occur was a craving for some comfort food (and some wine, of course). I was flipping through my new issue of Cooking Light and saw some macaroni and cheese recipes. While the recipes sounded good, they were a little more gourmet than what I was feeling. All I wanted was some pasta and lots of cheese. I looked at a couple of recipes online and made a list of the ingredients I needed and headed to the store. I located everything I needed and then much to my delight, the wine aisle was right across from the cheese. I was super excited to see they were having a good sale and I got a $14 bottle of a white blend (Chardonnay, Riesling and Moscato) for only $6! Could my night get any better?

photo 2 (1)

Troublemaker wine…

I got home and put the water on to boil, then began getting out all the ingredients I needed. Pasta, check. Milk, check. Cheese, NOT CHECK. I realized with a panic that in my excitement about the wine sale I’d totally forgotten to grab a bag of cheese! You’ve got to be kidding me. What was I going to do? I couldn’t make macaroni and cheese without CHEESE! And I literally had no other food thanks to my limited budget (hey parents, you’re taking me grocery shopping when you come visit Thursday). I was so mad at myself and my water was just about to boil but I had to turn it off, leave the apartment again after I’d already settled in for the night, and head back to the store. Thankfully, a new Target was built a mile from my apartment so I didn’t have to go back to the grocery store but it was still a hassle. Finally, I got my silly bag of cheese and got to cooking. Luckily, the mac and cheese was worth it. It was creamy and cheesy and everything I was craving. I went ahead and made the whole pound of pasta (I used penne because that’s what I had) so I would have lunches (or late night snacks) throughout the week, too.

I looked at a few different recipes but mostly based off of this one from theKitchn, with a couple of changes. This was good the first time, and even better leftover. I think it was because some of the cheese sauce was absorbed, so it wasn’t as rich.

Oh, and the wine was great too, despite the trouble it caused!

photo 1 (1) Homemade Mac and Cheese
Adapted from theKitchn

1 pound of pasta
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded cheese (I used Cheddar Jack for a combination of flavors)
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring about 4 qts. water to a boil. Salt the water generously. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain; set aside.

While pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce. Heat 1 cup of milk in small saucepan. In a separate bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup of milk with flour. When milk in saucepan is warm, whisk in milk and flour mixture. Whisk until the mixture thickens to consistency of heavy cream, about 3-4 minutes. Begin adding handfuls of cheese and stirring until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.

Pour cheese sauce over pasta (in bowl or pot, if cool) and stir until evenly coated. Serve when warm. Enjoy!

I didn’t need to any extra milk when I reheated it for leftovers, but if you find your mac is dry after reheating, just add a splash of milk!

P.S. Maybe one day when I can afford a new, non-broken lens for my nice Nikon I’ll have some non-iPhone photography 🙂

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