Macaroni & Cheese

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This was a great weekend.

In terms of school, I did practically nothing. But in terms of relaxation, I accomplished a lot. And it all started when this guy on the left pulled into town on Thursday.

Paul and I will have been dating for two years on December 29th. It’s been a great two years for both of us, and I’m looking forward to celebrating in a few weeks. Having a long distance relationship is tough though, and we have to plan carefully to make sure we can spend time together.

This was one of the rare weekends when Paul had a chance to visit. We hit some highlights of Cincinnati–Findlay Market, the IKEA in West Chester, the Blind Lemon in Mount Adams, Skyline Chili!–but I also dragged him out to an end-of-quarter department party. I have to go to most of these events as a “single” person, so it’s nice to have a significant other to bring along when I can!

The party happened to be a potluck dinner, so we made macaroni and cheese to share. I got this recipe from my Betty Crocker: So Simple cookbook–and while I was skeptical at first, it actually is pretty simple to make macaroni and cheese from scratch. And it was a hit!

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (7oz, or about half a box)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Scant 1/2 tsp yellow mustard (or 1/4 tsp ground mustard if you have it)
2 cups milk (I used skim)
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar (or the cheese of your choice)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on package.
  2. Meanwhile, in a three-quart sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Cook over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. (This step always seems to take a very long time, so be patient! The sauce will get very thick just before it boils.) Boil and stir one minute.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
  5. Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Pour into an ungreased two-quart casserole dish.
  6. If desired, melt two tablespoons of butter or margarine and combine with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese.
  7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly.

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