Macaroni and Cheese

How many of you like Macaroni and Cheese?  How many of you have ever made it without the box 'o stuff?  Don't get me wrong - when my kiddos were little the box was an easy lunch.  They loved it.  I didn't.  I don't know what the orange powder is, but I'm pretty sure it's not cheese.  Now that my kiddos are older, I won't buy the box.  That's right.  I won't.  I don't tell my kiddos that they can't eat the orange powder.  Not at all.  If they want it, however, they can buy it themselves.

Happy Day.

Here is my go-to recipe for Mac and Cheese - using real cheese. You know, the kind you have to grate.  It really is better.

Macaroni and Cheese

 1 pound macaroni, cooked and drained
1 whole egg
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoon) butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1-2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 pound sharp Cheddar, grated but not pre-grated - they add plastic to the pre-grated so it won't stick together. (I usually use cheddar and whatever else I have - even brie and goat cheese) Salt Seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated pepper

If you are going to bake it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, beat the egg.  In a large pot, melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour.  Whisk together over medium heat.  Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking constantly.  Don't let it burn.  Pour in the milk, add the mustard and whisk until smooth.  
Cook until thick, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the egg.  Whisk together until smooth.  Pour the egg into the sauce, whisking constantly.  Stir until smooth. (You can skip the egg part, but it really does add something good.) 
 Add the cheese and stir to melt.  Taste to see how much salt it needs.  I will usually add about 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoned salt.  Sometimes, I will add a squirt of ketchup to the sauce and stir it in - but don't tell Jacob.  He hates ketchup, but loves my mac n' cheese.

Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.  Serve immediately (while it's still very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese and bake until bubbly and golden on top, 20-25 minutes.

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