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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baked Macaroni - So Terribly Out of Practice

I used to make macaroni and cheese a lot. It was one of my go-to standard meals and I would make a few times a month.



The Girl really liked my mac and cheese but she also liked the box kind. She would get mad at me when I told her we were having mac and cheese and I would hand her a plate of my mac and cheese and not Kraft or Annies. We decided we needed to call my version Baked Macaroni and the box version Mac and Chz.

(side note - Once The Girl spent the night at her friend's house. When she came home she told me that her friend's mom had made THE BEST mac/chz and would I please get the recipe. I called up the mom and she laughed and laughed. It turns out it was Annie's brand.)

It's been years and years since I made Mac and Chz. It's probably been about 2 years since I made Baked Macaroni, until yesterday. I was making a batch for some friends who just had a baby.

The Girl and The Boy were so super excited that we were going to actually have pasta in the house and they were going to get to eat it.

Man-o-man-o-Manischewitz am I out of practice.

Although I'm pretty sure the recipients of my baked macaroni got a good batch, I bought way way less pasta than I thought I needed and made way way way more cheese sauce than I needed. This resulted in the Kiddies not getting any, and the recipients of my creation wouldn't get as much as I wanted them to have.

It started out fine. The onions and garlic were sweating nicely. The secret ingredients were doing what they were supposed to be doing. When it came time to make the roux, the flour cooked nicely and nothing burned or stuck to the bottom of the pan. Trouble came when I added the milk. At first I didn't add enough. Then I added too much. Then it didn't get thick enough so I had to add some flour.

Because of this accidental augmentation of the bechamel I underestimated the amount of cheese I should use. I had a giant block of Tillamook extra sharp Cheddar as well as some Parmesan. I had to dig into our regular stash of cheese to make the cheese sauce cheesy enough. I was able to make a 9x13 pan of the baked macaroni but the kiddies didn't get any.

Even though we don't cook pasta at home anymore, I'm not heartless. I promised the Kiddies they would get some mac/cheese goodness and they will. I've got a pot of pasta shells boiling right now, and not the whole wheat kind.

I guess it's a good thing I have become out of practice of making delicious but unhealthy foods. It means I'm getting better at feeding my family the foods we should be eating.





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