Two days ago was "No Diet Day," at least according to Shapely Prose, so I celebrated it by making homemade baked macaroni and cheese. Yum! I first made it on Tuesday for the NAMI dinner before the support groups. I had never made baked macaroni and cheese before, but when I saw that NAMI needed some, I decided that now should be the time. I chose this recipe, because it is a large portion and because it is a less complicated recipe than most-you do not have to boil the noodles before putting the dish in the oven, but just dump everything in the pot-my favorite way to cook! Of course, preboiling the noodles is not a hard thing to do, but I wanted a super easy recipe to use with the girl I tutor-cooking uses math!
In the comments section of the recipe, people kept on saying that one really needs to use a deep casserole dish, instead of the shallow dish recommended in the actual recipe, for the dish to work out right, but I did not have one. Fortunately, I did have a gift certificate to Bed Bath & Beyond, so first I went there and talked to a representative from Calphalon. The woman was really helpful and she directed me to a 5 qt. chili pot that can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven.
The pot turned out to be perfect! And so did the mac & cheese. :)
1 pound uncooked macaroni
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 pound shredded American cheese
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk
2 cups water
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I replaced both kinds of pepper with 1/2 t. of ordinary black pepper and it turned out fine.)
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a shallow three-quart baking dish, toss uncooked macaroni and melted butter together, to coat the macaroni and the inside of the dish. Add cheese, and stir lightly to distribute. (Look at all that glorious cheese!)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, water, eggs, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Pour into the baking dish-or chili pot!-with the macaroni.
3.Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the center is set. Remove from the oven, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
It's a macaroni and cheese custard! The result is a sweet, smooth goodness that is nearly orgasmic.
Baked macaroni and cheese was a big no-nofor me for a long time. All those carbs and cheese! It's certainly not a dish that I will be making everyday, but like the doughnut, macaroni and cheese is a dish filled with childlike joy and I no longer will give up joy, whether it be found in food or in other ways. My fibromyalgia has come back and I am often tired. This tiredness can sometimes make me feel a little down and I must be extra conscious in finding joy in life. I do not want my depression to return and making this macaroni and cheese was a great weapon in the fight to remain joyous.