Cheese vs. Cheese vs. Cheese!

If you were wondering where I've been for the past month, I couldn't tell ya! But I can tell you where I was last weekend....hanging with my cousin and her boyfriend. We spent all weekend playing games, drinking, and eating. And of course the most important part of all of that is the eating.

My cousin and I seem to share a love for cooking, so I was really looking forward to what she had in store for us. I knew that Saturday night was homemade mac n' cheese night, but that soon turned into an impromptu mac n' cheese throw-down! So, below are the two recipes we feasted on, and the last recipe is where I'm going to throw in the long awaited blog of "how I jazz us mac n' cheese (from a box)".
Raechel's Mac N' Cheese

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound Colby cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the half-and-half and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add one-half of the cheddar and colby cheeses and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted.
  • Stir in the mustard, nutmeg and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain very well. Return the macaroni to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and the remaining cheese and stir until combined. Spread the macaroni in the prepared baking dish.
  • In a small glass bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a microwave oven. Add the bread crumbs to the butter, season with salt and pepper and stir until evenly moistened.
  • Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the macaroni and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbling and golden on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Laura's Mac N' Cheese

4 strips of bacon - substituted with prosciutto
1 large, sweet onion
5 oz elbow macaroni - used wheat pasta
12 oz mozzarella, shredded
2 - 4 oz blue cheese
1 cup of half-n-half
1/8 tsp. black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cook prosciutto in large skillet until done, cool, then crumble (Be sure to save any drippings in the pan)
  • Cook onion in the pan for about 5 - 8 minutes
  • Cook and drain macaroni, and then pace in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish
  • Add, prosciutto, onions, 2 cups of mozzarella, blue cheese, half-n-half, and the pepper. Stir.
  • Bake uncovered for 20 min. Stir again and then top with remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake for 10 more minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Cheese How I jazz up Mac n' Cheese

  • Make a box of regular Kraft macaroni and cheese
  • In a separate pan, cook up some ground beef and season with a packet of taco spice
  • Combine the mac n' cheese with the ground beef
  • Toss in the following: sliced black olives, chopped green onion, and diced tomatoes (could also substitute with Rotel)
  • Stir, then add some hot sauce to taste

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