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Anna N

Macaroni and cheese recipe, please – – kid friendly.

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 I can’t believe we don’t have a macaroni and cheese cook-off. But I cannot find one. It’s not a dish that I like or that I make very often but I just got a call from a good friend who is looking for a “from scratch” recipe — kid friendly (I interpret that to mean as much like the blue box as possible!).

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10 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 I can’t believe we don’t have a macaroni and cheese cook-off. But I cannot find one.

 

Hard to believe, and something we should rectify.

 

Quote

It’s not a dish that I like or that I make very often but I just got a call from a good friend who is looking for a “from scratch” recipe — kid friendly (I interpret that to mean as much like the blue box as possible!).

 

This is dead-simple (none of that bechamel or emulsifying-salts stuff), and kids like it: 3-Ingredient Mac & Cheese.

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Posted (edited)

Edit: Dave beat me to it, agree 100%


Edited by Yiannos (log)
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Posted (edited)

Good one Dave. Evaporated milk is an under rated product - seems to have fallen out of fashion. Since it is sorta heat stable it makes things creamy easy.


Edited by heidih (log)
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Here's mine.
 
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
 
Cook 1/2 pound of macaroni, about 2 cups dry
 
Mince 1 small onion and cook in 2 tablespoons butter until softened.
 
Add and cook for about a minute:
 
1 T flour
1/2 t dry mustard
3/4 t salt
Pepper
 
Slowly stir in 2 cups milk, cook until smooth and hot.
 
Add 1 package on McLaren's Imperial cheese, the kind in the red round box, cut up into chunks.  Stir to melt and incorporate.  Mix with the macaroni.
 
Meanwhile, melt some butter in a saucepan, and toast a couple of handfuls of panko.  Put the mac and cheese in a casserole, cover with panko and bake uncovered, 20 minutes or until heated through.
 
 
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I like the above 3 ingredient recipe. However, I am not a fan of cheddar cheese. So, I make it either with swiss or I make it with mozzarella and top it to replicate a lasagna top with: grated mozzarella, a sprinkling of dry oregano, and paper-thin sliced onions. (ok, ok, the kids probably won't like the onions)

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18 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

This is dead-simple (none of that bechamel or emulsifying-salts stuff), and kids like it: 3-Ingredient Mac & Cheese.

 Thanks very much. I have forwarded it.  

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Mine's similar to the dead-simple, and much better than the blue box:

 

1/2 pound elbow macaroni noodles

water

salt

 

4 oz grated cheddar

4 oz cubed American cheese

4 tbsp butter

1/2 cup half and half

 

Cook the noodles until al dente. Drain and return to pot. Add butter, cheeses, milk to pot. Stir over low heat until cheese is all melted. Dig in.

 

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Although I remember my own Mother's Macaroni and Cheese recipe with great fondness, I have no idea how she made it.  Not like any other I've ever tasted.

 

And the very first thing I ever learned to cook at age 7, taught by my long-time friend, Rosie, was Kraft Dinner.  That was 1948.

 

Ed is the Macaroni and Cheese maker in our family and here's his Mother's recipe:

 

Mom's Macaroni

2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni

2 large onions

1 large can of tomatoes (he likes diced)

2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (26 oz)  Ed usually uses sharp Cheddar (Canadian) 

crushed saltines (I don't know the amount)

salt & peppers

Saute onion to clear.  Cook macaroni.  

 

Good heavens that's the end of the recipe.  I know he bakes it in the oven, but there are no instructions here.  I'll get back with the rest when I can wrest it from him.  Talk about like Mother like son.

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I remember my brother going on a Boy Scout outing in the 50's when the boys had to provide their own food within a certain dollar amount.  One item he took was Kraft mac 'n cheese at $0.07 cents a box.

How times have changed.

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I'd recommend cavatapi rigati instead of traditional macaroni.  A little bigger...more forkable...still looks like macaroni. 

 

I make it with a cheese bechamel, a shot of sriracha, and diced canned tomatoes that have had the water squeezed out.  Still not fine dining, but way better than the Kraft/mondelez stuff. 

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4 hours ago, Darienne said:

Although I remember my own Mother's Macaroni and Cheese recipe with great fondness, I have no idea how she made it.  Not like any other I've ever tasted.

 

And the very first thing I ever learned to cook at age 7, taught by my long-time friend, Rosie, was Kraft Dinner.  That was 1948.

 

The year I popped.  I don't recall ever cooking macaroni and cheese or having been served it.  Kraft or otherwise.  Maybe someday I shall try it.

 

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16 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

The year I popped.  I don't recall ever cooking macaroni and cheese or having been served it.  Kraft or otherwise.  Maybe someday I shall try it.

 

Mac and cheese never impresses me, even my own. I make it when it's presence is needed by guests who like salads with jello and marshmallows.

But  Kraft is vile, made with powdered cheese product, and seems like what one would find in an MRE eaten during a lull in combat. 

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Yes, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, or Kraft Dinner, as our Canadian friends call it has become vile. It used to have actual cheese in the powder, but now the main ingredient is whey, a waste product. Some boxed mac and cheese products still contain actual cheese, but not Kraft for many years. Here is a link to the ingredients of Kraft, and you will have to scroll down a bit.

 

I love baked mac and cheese with a light bechamel sauce and good cheese, but a good stovetop one that the kids will like can be made by boiling elbows, returning to the pot, adding butter, milk and torn up American cheese, either white or "yellow" (actually orange). I kinda like it myself, and my husband loved it.

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5 hours ago, gfweb said:

I'd recommend cavatapi rigati instead of traditional macaroni.  A little bigger...more forkable...still looks like macaroni. 

 

I make it with a cheese bechamel, a shot of sriracha, and diced canned tomatoes that have had the water squeezed out.  Still not fine dining, but way better than the Kraft/mondelez stuff. 

Ah, but the kids don’t want better.   They want the blue box.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Anna N said:

Ah, but the kids don’t want better.   They want the blue box.

 

That's exactly what happened to me, many years ago. Niece and nephew were coming to visit for the first time, with their 5 - and 8-year-old children. I made macaroni and cheese in advance for their arrival, knowing they'd be hungry. I'd never made mac and cheese before, so I was careful to use a reliable cookbook, and I used cheddar. My niece had assured me that the kids "would eat anything" but they especially liked mac and cheese. 

 

They arrived, hungry and blown-out from a late departure and heavy traffic. 8-year-old great-niece looked at the lovely, perfectly-normal-to-my-eyes macaroni and cheese casserole, asked what it was. When I said it was macaroni and cheese her face crumpled. "I don't LIKE it!" she wailed, before it was even on her plate. Parents were mortified - first because of her behavior, but also because it became clear that Mama only cooked from boxes. :wink: They got her to try some. She still didn't like it, and she still wailed. The great-nephew was quieter but just as disapproving.

 

I think the kids ate buttered noodles that night. Without ketchup, because I didn't have any. More wailing. But that's another story. (Incidentally, the children have grown up to be lovely, interesting people despite what might have seemed an inauspicious beginning.)

 

 

 


Edited by Smithy Corrected typo. Darned dog. (log)
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@Smithy

 

Yep I once made it for my granddaughter and got pretty much the same reaction.

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

(Incidentally, the children have grown up to be lovely, interesting people despite what might have seemed an inauspicious beginning.)

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is hope for my nephews...

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Amazing the traps parents set for themselves. They feed the kids junk food, cater to their whims, and then are trapped by them.

 

We were mean parents, made them eat what we ate, never an option not to, and they never minded it.

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My ex-wife's parents and mine fell into the old-school "you'll sit there until it's gone" camp. My ex and I had the milder rule that they had to have at least two bites (real bites, not hold the fork to the mouth and make guppy-lips in the general direction of the food) before they decided whether or not they liked it. If they didn't, that was fine...but there was nothing else to come in its place. "Leave it" was a valid option, but "trade for something you like better" was not.

 

My longtime best friend's wife takes a very clever tack with her grandkids, pointing out that they wouldn't know they liked ice cream or bacon if they'd just decided "I don't like it!" without that first taste. Apparently this works well at present, though it's capital she expends very selectively.

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19 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

 

We were mean parents, made them eat what we ate, never an option not to, and they never minded it.

 

Mine were mean (like that)  as well although I've always been appreciative of that.  There's very very few things I don't care to eat and will try most anything new.  I feel sorry for those I know who are picky eaters when I know that they haven't ever tried many of those things they think they don't like.  Some will try something once and never again not realizing that foods prepared differently by different people can taste very different.

 

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46 minutes ago, chromedome said:

My ex-wife's parents and mine fell into the old-school "you'll sit there until it's gone" camp. My ex and I had the milder rule that they had to have at least two bites (real bites, not hold the fork to the mouth and make guppy-lips in the general direction of the food) before they decided whether or not they liked it. If they didn't, that was fine...but there was nothing else to come in its place. "Leave it" was a valid option, but "trade for something you like better" was not.

 

My longtime best friend's wife takes a very clever tack with her grandkids, pointing out that they wouldn't know they liked ice cream or bacon if they'd just decided "I don't like it!" without that first taste. Apparently this works well at present, though it's capital she expends very selectively.

 

My parents too were in the "you'll sit there until it's gone" camp.  To this day I detest most sandwiches.

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My parents never made me eat anything I didn't like but I don't remember disliking anything except for runny eggs (story told on eG elsewhere).  And we never made our own kids eat anything they didn't want to eat and ditto for not recalling them ever refusing foods.

 

Now I love Brussels Sprouts (Ed not so much) and I remember one day thanking my Mother for introducing me to them at a young age, thus setting the scene for adult life.  "You never ate them in my house" said my Mother with some pride and force.  I guess she hated them.  I have no idea.  But I still remember my shock and subsequent laughter (not in front of her).  

 

I've already reported on my childhood diet before...every night either a Porterhouse or a T-bone steak grilled to shoe leather.  My parents were vegetarians but the paediatrician refused to care for me unless my Mother fed me meat.  I haven't eaten a steak since leaving home 58 years ago.  And I can live forever without red meat.

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There's the usual anecdote about how the kids would see mom making mac & cheese with the open blue box near the stove. Except it was an old box that she kept pulling out of the pantry every time she made her own homemade version of mac & cheese. The kids were none the wiser. :rolleyes: :B

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For something very close to the blue box mac & cheese, but with higher quality ingredients, try the King Arthur Flour Cheddar Cheese Powder and the recipe on its container. It's quick and easy and a hit with the 6-7 yr old crowd. Plus the cheese powder is quite nice in bread, savory muffins, and on popcorn.

 

I also second Thanks for the Crepes' suggestion above for the stovetop mac & cheese where you toss the cooked noodles with butter, milk, and torn up American cheese - a midwestern roommate taught me that in grad school, and it's really quite tasty.

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