I got a phone call from our church office last week asking if I’d be willing to make a meal for a lady that is undergoing cancer treatment and her husband. I said “Absolutely! The only two days that aren’t good for me are Wed and Thurs”….well, wouldn’t you know the one night that she needed was this Wednesday evening. I told her that if I could take the meal over on Tuesday (today) then I could do it. So yesterday, the secretary that had called last week called back and asked if I could please take a meal today. Yep, no problem! Now having had friends and family members that have undergone cancer treatment I know that it can really affect your appetite and your taste buds, so I wanted to make whatever this sister in Christ wanted, and I have a pretty good stock of food in my freezer/pantry, so I could accomodate just about anything. So I call this morning to set up the logistics, get directions to their house, etc, and asked what she would like for dinner. She told me that she had gotten a lot of soups and stews and they were kind of tired of soups and stews. She said that what she would REALLY like is macaroni and cheese…..now do you remember what I posted that I didn’t have any of earlier this week? You got it! Pasta! But this lady has cancer and deserved to have macaroni and cheese, and if I do say so myself, I make a yummy homemade macaroni and cheese. So, I called a friend and asked if there was any way that she could stop at the store on the way here (she was picking my daughter up for Spanish class) and get some macaroni and some sharp cheddar cheese (I didn’t have enough for a whole batch)……she said she would be happy to!
So, I thought I’d share my recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese…..It’s NUMMY and so easy!
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
from Lori4squaremom (http://lori.scottdomain.com)
2 pounds elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter (or you could do all evoo)
1 small onion, finely diced
4 cups skim milk (I use skim, but you could use a heavier milk if you prefer)
1/4 cup corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup water
1 tsp. dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I make my own and season them with a little garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese)
1 tomato, thinly sliced (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 13 x 9″ baking dish (preferably deep dish) with PAM or evoo.
In a large sauce pan, melt butter with evoo, add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent and soft (about 6-8 minutes) stirring often to keep from burning. Add mustard and milk, bring to a slight simmer, then pour in cornstarch/water slurry and whisk continuously over med high heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add grated cheddar cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper, continue stirring until cheese is completely melted.
Place cooked pasts in baking dish, stir in cheese sauce, mix well. Spread bread crumbs over top of macaroni and cheese mixture, top with tomatoes if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bread crumbs are lightly browned and the cheese sauce is nice and hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
For our family I made a crockpot dish. First I layered 7 red potatoes that had been sliced into 1/4” slices, and seasoned them with salt and pepper. Then I added 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, and topped it with 1 red bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper, both thinly sliced. I made a “sauce” of 1 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 T. olive oil, and 1 tbsp. salt free garlic and herb seasoning blend (it was a little too much) and poured that over the whole thing, and turned my 7 quart crockpot onto HIGH and cooked for 6 hours. My oh my was this delicious! I served with with steamed swiss chard (Yes, I steam it, I don’t like my greens “cooked to death”), and green beans.