Updated: Best Macaroni and Cheese Ever

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I know I said this was the best macaroni and cheese recipe, ever, but I was wrong. This one is. I promise. It’s delicious no matter the season and equally good in the dead winter as it is on a hot summer day.

Ingredients:
1 box Elbow macaroni uncooked
1/2 cup Butter (1-stick)
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper (if you’re feeling adventurous, use white pepper)
1/4 teaspoon Dry mustard (we occasionally add a bit more up to a 1/2 teaspoon)
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (we occasionally add a bit more up to a 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups Milk (we use skim)
2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese (8-oz), grated (you can use more, we occasionally use up to 10 ounces, it just becomes cheesier and more delicious)
About 1 cup panko crumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling water cook the pasta to al dente. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly (this is important or it bubbles over). Boil for about one minute, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in cheese and cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Drain macaroni and gently stir into cheese sauce. (Or pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni (whichever pot is bigger). Just make sure to mix it all together. Pour the entire mixture into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle panko on top. Bake uncovered until bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Set broiler to low (or high if you’re adventurous!) and broil until the top is a nice golden brown. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

My opinion:
While this looks complicated, it really isn’t and is easy to make for a weeknight meal. We make the whole batch at once and then usually freeze half. It is deceptively filling. If eating for a hot summer (or later summer dinner) let it come to at least room temperature before eating. Winter, eat it hot. Enjoy!

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S’s Eclair Cake

Eclair Cake

S brought this to the office last week and it is to die for. Her modifications from the original recipe made it taste like a fancy bakery put this dish together.

Ingredients:
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant french vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) container fat-free Coolwhip
3 cups skim milk
1 (16 ounce) package graham cracker squares
1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting

Directions:
In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers. Cover the cake and chill for at least 30 minutes. Then heat the frosting in the microwave for 30 seconds and pour over the cooled cake up to the edges of the pan. Cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

My opinion:
So so so good. Plan to take this out of the house or you just might eat the whole thing.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Party Dip


I love cookie dough. And chocolate chip cookie dough is my favorite. I also know all about salmonella and the dangers of eating raw cookie dough. Now that one of my very dear friends is expecting (Congrats again!), I had to find a way to indulge in cookie dough. I found this recipe on Pinterest and modified it a bit.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Garbonzo Beans
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Almond Butter, No Stir (or peanut butter for a peanut buttery taste)
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Skim Milk
3 tbsp Oatmeal

Directions:
Add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove from processor and add to serving bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips. Serve with graham crackers or graham cracker sticks.

My opinion:
Even though I know it isn’t real cookie dough, it’s close enough! I’m really tempted to make this for an upcoming party and not tell anyone it’s mostly healthy and see what happens.