The good thing is, she's not someone who'll complain about it, oh no -- she offers her solution!
Enter one of my dear friends, outspoken, generous, warm- hearted,do-not-mess-with-me-but-if-you're-my-friend-I-might-die-for-you, Shauna Bowling of Bravewarrior's Feathered Pen.
Anyway, Shauna has determined we need a really easy and good Mac 'n' Cheese recipe, and she's right! What would this book be like without it?
Short of readers - that's what!
My many thanks to you, Shauna, for submitting your secret, wonderful recipe to this good cause, and also for sending your pics with your really great write up.
Here she is . . .
Easy Creamy Baked Mac 'n Cheese
Fortunately, I’m not and I hope you’re not either or this recipe isn’t for you.
I made this recipe up years ago. It saves you the time of making a béchamel sauce and the precise measurements and constant stirring it entails. Mind you, when I make gravy, I start with a roux, but you bachelors probably don’t want a lesson on what the term means let alone how to pull it off.
Every time I serve this dish I get rave reviews and am asked for my recipe.
At first I wanted to keep it a secret, but – hey – give the people what they want, right? I’m not your Grandma, but if your guests like this recipe, I’d appreciate credit where credit is due.
Ready? Here we go!
Oh, wait – I’m not ready. I have to tell you I eyeball this recipe. After all, when you make recipes up there are no rules - just eyes and taste buds. However, knowing I wanted to share this delicious recipe with you I made it a point to take note of my approximate measurements.
‘K - now we’re ready!
Stuff you'll need to know ...
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Start to finish: 50-60 minutes
Serves: 4 people or plenty of left-overs for yourself
Nutritional value: comfort food for the soul
2 Tablespoons butter
½ - ¾ can Cream of Celery soup, undiluted – meaning DON’T add water (I use
Campbell’s Healthy Request; it’s lower in sodium, fat, and calories)
¾ Cup milk (I use Simply Smart fat free – it has the consistency of 2% milk)
3+ Cups shredded cheddar cheese (I sometimes do half cheddar and half blend of
Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Muenster)
3 Roma tomatoes, quartered lengthwise (they’re shaped like footballs)
Salt and pepper to taste
Making the magic ...
(Food photos via Shauna Bowling)
**al den·te / äl ˈdentā adjective & adverb (of food, typically pasta) cooked so as to be still firm when bitten.
You don’t want the noodles soggy because you’re going to cook them further in the oven.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350º F.
3. Drain the noodles and place in an oven-proof casserole dish. It should be of at least 3 quart capacity.
4. Add the butter and stir until melted.
5. Add the soup and coat the noodles well. This is where eye-balling comes in. You don’t need the whole can. Add a spoonful at a time until all the noodles are coated.
thicken up when you add the cheese.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste. You shouldn’t need a lot of salt because the cream of
celery is a tad salty, as is cheddar cheese, so taste before you salt.
8. Add the cheese in batches, mixing well between each addition. When it’s pretty thick with cheese, but still creamy, you’re good.
9. Smooth out the top and line the outside of the dish with tomatoes. Run them up the
center as well. The tomatoes add a zingy taste and moisture to the dish.
10. Place in oven, uncovered and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cheese bubbles and the tomatoes are kinda wrinkly.
11. Take out of the oven (don’t forget the oven mitts!) and cover until ready to serve. This will allow the juices to combine and the mac to remain creamy.
The Deadline's Here!
This one doesn't count, but if you have not been a contributor to our wonderful fund raising M&M books, you have a great opportunity to alter that now!
The Mysterious and Miraculous team are waiting for more simple recipes to be donated for this wonderful cause so please visit the Legacy Archives Foundation website, take the time to get familiar with their volunteer efforts and prepare to be inspired!
Thanks a bunch for answering the call to help those struggling to find time or reasons for cooking! The deadline for our competition entries is July 31 2014. Details are on this post. The plan is to develop and publish a cookbook of simple recipes, and 70% of all proceeds from this will go to http://www.k9sforwarriors.org/
Wishing you all a great forthcoming weekend. And if you get a chance, please don't forget to thank a veteran.
That's it for now!