Monday, November 22, 2010

Fancy Mac

I used to be a pretty decent chef but unpracticed skills get rusty, you know. You may wonder why my culinary abilities are so sorely under-used. After all, I have an appreciative husband with a healthy appetite and three growing children who require sustenance. It's a pearls-before-swine kind of thing. My kids do not, do not, DO NOT like normal, good food. Chicken nuggets, cheese quesadillas, ramen noodles, Little Caesar's pizza and corn dogs near the top of their dinner request lists. Sad and gross, but true. Brent values quantity over quality in his dining (and spouse!!) selections so great effort would be wasted on his dulled tastebuds. Besides, he arrives home from work well after real people dinner time and if I wait around, I snack on as many calories as dinner costs me. Not good.

So, I don't cook very often. On occasion, however, I dust off my homey food prep skills and try, try again. Tonight's selection seemed to have promise--Four Cheese Pasta. It's just an upgraded Kraft Mac-n-Cheese, right? Wrong. Todd took an obligatory half bite and euphemized, "I don't hate it." Kenna claimed she liked it before I added the breadcrumbs. Alec's forkful evoked a gag and flappy dance that made me suspect an underlying seizure disorder had been triggered. Brent inhaled a bowl and rushed out the door to burn it off during a 5 mile run. Defeated at the table, I dished myself a sad second helping. Don't be discouraged and dissuaded from your homemaking duties by my experience though, your family will love it!

Four Cheese Pasta
  • 1 (16 ounce) package pasta
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Muenster cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
  • 8 ounces cubed processed cheese food
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c plain or seasoned breadcrumbs
  1. Boil pasta in a large pot and cook according to package directions until al dente; drain well and return to cooking pot.
  2. Add butter to drained pasta; stir until mostly melted.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Add the milk or half and half, 1 1/2 cups of cheese mixture, cubed processed cheese food, and eggs to pasta; mix together and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer to a lightly greased deep 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese mixture and then with breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling around the edges; serve.


Colett's Corner said...

Thanks Rita. Our kids could eat together all the time. Cereal is a big hit around here too. They love mac-n-cheese. We will give it a try. Hope you guys are good. Love ya.

The Bullknitter said...

Sounds yummy, Rita. I hate it too when my kids turn their noses up at my cooking. My husband always tells me they will appreciate me when they are on their missions. Holding out for that!

Barb said...

Oh Deets, nothing more grumpy to me than this! I still haven't figured out what to do or how to react.

Katie said...

We are totally going to make this! And by "we" I mean Abe. Rita, you and your culinary skills are welcome at our house ANYTIME! And every ounce of you and your skills will be appreciated! Promise, cross my heart! We'll even invite Harris over. ;)