Some days I look in the fridge and all I see is a piece of lettuce and a cup of milk. When that happens I can usually root around and find a few ounces of cheese and at least a half of box of noodles which typically means Joe and Marston are getting macaroni and cheese for dinner (not that either of them complain). Here’s my recipe for simple macaroni and cheese from scratch that everyone will love.
This macaroni and cheese recipe has only five ingredients and is a crowd pleaser. My grandma made it for my mom when she was growing up and my mom made it for me. Now I make it for Marston and he also loves it.
Notes on Macaroni and Cheese
You can use any kind of noodle for this, I’m not crazy about the macaroni noodle for macaroni and cheese, so I use bow tie. It hides the cheese in all its nooks and crannies. I love it.
One thing that’s important to remember about this particular sauce. It’s a béchamel sauce with cheese (which I guess technically makes it a mornay sauce), so it’s a roux (flour mixed with fat, in this case, butter) with milk. The sauce can come out tasting floury if it doesn’t cook long enough. To avoid this, make sure you cook the roux for a minute or two which will take away the flour taste.
Also I Started Online Culinary School (sort of)
Speaking of roux. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I like to cook. In my dream world I go to culinary school in Paris. However, the life of someone who is raising a toddler and running a family business is not very conducive to taking 8 hours a day to start a new career. Also Joe says we’re not allowed to go back to Paris until we can afford to rent a two bedroom apartment (apparently his back hurts after sleeping on a sofa bed for two months).
A few months ago, I started hunting around for cooking classes online. I found a couple of youtube videos that taught me a thing or two. Then I found one program that called itself an online cooking school, but it was really surface level, teaching you about more recipes.
I wanted something that would teach me ingredients and technique and science and history. I wanted to know everything there is to know about food and the kitchen. When I finally discovered Rouxbe Online Cooking Schoo,l I spent four hours watching every single sample video, reading every little article and even emailing back and forth with the CEO a few times. I was in heaven.
I didn’t sign up when I was in Paris because my kitchen was the size of your refrigerator, nor did I have any of the tools I need (like a proper chef’s knife). And then when I got home life was just too crazy busy (sister getting married, planning a move to California etc). I considered postponing until after California but then I thought, there’s never going to be the perfect time, you’ve just got to make it happen.
Last week I signed up. I am so excited. There are a number of different paths you can take. I’m only taking entry level courses right now – it’s more like an audit (but you do get a certificate of completion). They have an actual certified professional chef section that I REALLY want to take, but I need to save a few more pennies as well as figure out where to find the extra time.
For the time being, I’m excited to learn more and bring you along on the journey. If you have particular questions along the way let me know, because I can find the answers now!:)
4 ounces of cheddar cheese diced or shredded
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 pound of farfalle noodles
- Boil pot of water and cook noodles to al dente about 11-12 minutes.
- Melt butter in sauce pan on medium heat. When melted, whisk in flour. Cook for 30 seconds and add milk. Whisk to blend butter/flour mixture with milk. Allow to thicken, creating a béchamel sauce. Whisk occasionally and making sure flour mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of pan.
- When milk has thickened to consistency of add in cheese. Remove from heat and allow to melt.
- Mix together noodles and sauce. Enjoy!
Serve with: apple slices and baby peas
Drink with: water (but if you decide to serve this for the spouse, a wheat beer pairs nicely too).