“If you don’t like macaroni and cheese, you don’t know how to have a good time.” -The Barefoot Contessa
I cannot tell you how true this quote is! This really is the South’s philosophy! If you are a true Southerner, like me, Mac ‘n Cheese is a requirement for the holidays, church dinners, get-togethers, parties, etc. I don’t mean to brag, but this is the recipe that everyone I know goes CRAZY over. No, crazy is an understatement. It is always requested for every event! It’s so insane that I would probably be kicked out of the party if I did not bring it! It has become so popular that I have to bring two pans! TWO?! Yes I said it, two! This mac ‘n cheese is devoured every single time and it is a rare occasion if anyone gets to take a sliver home. I receive many compliments after every occasion, even from people I do not know. I’ll hear someone holler from across the room, “So, who made the Mac ‘n Cheese?” I humbly raise my hand and I am told from everyone how much they enjoyed it. I cannot express the happiness and swelling I feel in my heart and soul when this happens….. Not to mention my head, too! Ok, bragging session over! Ha ha!
This recipe will get your crowd rootin’ and ravin’ I can assure you! After 100+ likes on my Facebook page, I am a little behind on delivering this to my followers. I had every intention on keeping my promise! But now, IT’S SHOW TIME! The moment you have all been waiting for! I present to you, the Show Stopper!
*Fair Warning* I am not a photpgrapher in the slightest.I take all my pictures with my iPhone because that’s all I have. As my Momma always says, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it tastes good!” That is my main focus!
Cara’s Country Mac ‘n Cheese
Makes 8-12 servings
2 Cups Dry Elbow Macaroni Noodles
4 Cups 2% Reduced Fat Milk
1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Salted Butter (I prefer Land O’Lakes )
8 oz. Cream Cheese
2- 8 oz. Packages Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper, or enough to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. (My first recipe I’ve posted on my blog that actually requires an oven!)
Put a pot of water on the stove at high boil. Cara’s Cooking Tips: Before I put in the dry noodles to boil, I always drop a tsp of salt in the pot. It helps the noodles not taste as bland. The main reason why I do it is because it helps the noodles not become so mushy and stick to the bottom of the pot. I don’t care if anyone disagrees with me. I have made this many times and it works EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Take 2 cups of dry elbow macaroni and place into the pot.
It will take FOREVER to boil the noodles. So, let’s go onto the next step while the noodles are boiling. Yay, Multi-tasking!
This recipe does require a mixer. You may use a hand held mixer but it will take much longer and may get messy! I have a Candy Apple Red KitchenAid mixer and it is my prized possession in the kitchen. Isn’t it beautiful? I use this mixer attachment because it will mix all the ingredients better than the others. It’s called a Burnished Flat Beater. See? I learn something new every day!
In the mixer, combine the milk, eggs, butter, salt, black pepper, cream cheese, and one 8 oz. package of the Colby Jack cheese. We will use the other Colby Jack cheese package later. (I pulled the cream cheese apart into chunks so it would mix completely. I promise the eggs are in there. They sink to the bottom of the bowl.)
Turn on mixer on the lowest setting. Make sure all the ingredients mix completely. Even with a stand mixer, it might splash out a little bit onto the counters. Make sure to take a spatula and push down the cheese that might make a ring around the rim of the bowl (while the mixer is off, of course!) Also, push off ingredients that are stuck on the beater as well back into the bowl.
Now that the ingredients are mixed together, the noodles should be ready. Drain the elbow noodles into a colander and shake off excess water.
Spread noodles in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
Spread the mixed ingredients over the noodles in the dish. This should create a bath-like mixture for the noodles. Bake for 50 minutes.
After the noodle bath has solidified a little bit more and starts to look spongy, take it out of the oven. Remember the other package of Colby Jack cheese that you haven’t used yet? Now it’s time to take that package and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top! Pit back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Now, look at that! Yummy, spongy, country goodness!
Voilà! The finished product! It even browned the cheese on the top right hand corner!
There you have it! My Mac ‘n Cheese recipe!
I promise you will get this reaction every time! (Thanks, husband, for catching me off guard!)
Reactions may vary.
Side effects include: moaning, eye rolls, eyes closing, head rolls or head drops, smiles, and mmmmms!
You are welcome to improvise any way you want. I know I do! Wait, you didn’t think I would tell you how I really make this for my friends and family, did you? I am the only one that knows how I really make it and that’s how it will remain. I am the cook after all! A lady never tells her secret!
Hope you enjoy Cara’s Country Mac ‘n Cheese!
Here’s to happy writing and happy stomachs!