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macaroni and cheese

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OK soooooo this was quite an experiment. on a whim at the supermarket I thought hey I’ll make mac n cheese this week. don’t have a lot of experience with making mac n cheese. I did make some once a while ago, but didn’t like it so much, and never made it again! so I bought at the store some large shells, a 2 cup bag of shredded yellow sharp cheddar and another 2 cup bag of shredded white sharp cheddar.  But then I used some of the shredded yellow sharp cheddar for something else! ah! so I was left with about 3 cups of cheese. Did a quick search of various recipes, internet and cookbooks. And I got worried, most called for 6 cups of cheese!!!!!!!! also about 4 – 6 cups of milk, which I also did not have! I knew I had to make a bechamel sauce to then add the cheese too, but didn’t realize I had barely any milk in the fridge! so here is what I came up with!

for the macaroni
boil 1 lb of large shells until al dente, drain.

for the bechamel/cheese sauce
melt approx 6 tablespoons of butter until frothy and bubbly
whisk in approx 6 tablespoons of flour
whisk well until thick and golden
whisk in 2 cups heavy cream (it’s all I had!!!)
continue to whisk on medium until thickened
add in and whisk well the 1 cup of shredded yellow sharp cheddar and 2 cups of shredded white sharp cheddar
this was getting REALLY really thick. so I started to whisk in about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of half and half I had!
I then also melted in 2 slices of sliced white american cheese broken into pieces.
the result was rich, thick, super creamy cheese sauce. and it tasted oh so good!!!!!!!!
next time, to help with calories, definitely milk instead!!! and probably a bit more. maybe 3 cups total or so?

mix cheese sauce and cooked pasta in 9×13 pan. eat with spoon and hide from husband. it tasted soooo good.
I should have stopped here!

However, I then melted about 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and toasted about 1/3 cup of panko breadcrumbs for a few minutes. Sprinkled it on top of the pasta. now I had read various things…… broil for just a few minutes to brown and set or to bake for 30 minutes or so at 375. for the sake of saving time I threw it under the broiler. BIG mistake!!! I set the timer for 2 minutes! but within one minute it started to smell like something was burning!!!!! fling open oven to find smoking pan and black crunchies on top of my perfect cheesy mac! set off smoke alarms and manage to pick off a good amount of the blackness. it still tasted good, but would have been better sans the burning. the smell instantly made my head hurt and caused me great nausea while eating. The husband had no complaints however, eat too much of it and packed up the leftovers for himself for work, non of which he intends to share with me. boo hoo.

oh and P.S. it’s MEATLESS MONDAY DINNER!
P.P.S. I scraped off all that black stuff.

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