Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Cheesiest

I’m not a food snob.  I like the not-so-good-for-you processed noms almost as much as I like homemade-from-scratch noms.   They are most certainly and acceptable alternative those time when I don’t feel like cooking or am pressed for time. 

As much as I’d like to be a domestic goddess, it’s simply not practical.  Besides the bills that must be payed, I feel obligated to keep my husband in the lifestyle to which he’s become accustomed.  Trust me when I tell you that our life is nothing glamorous.

Macaroni and cheese has been an American dinner favorite since Thomas Jefferson had it served in the White House 1802.

In 1937, Kraft Foods decided to capitalize on the much loved meal by creating their one-pot dinner in a box . . . Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it.  It’s processed up the wazookie but it sure is yummy.

The initial draw to the product was that it was a fast and inexpensive way to feed a family in the aftermath of the Depression.

During war times, millions of men were away from home and serving in the armed forces, it became more and more popular as the one-time homemakers were pushed into the workforce out of necessity.  After a hard day’s work, these ladies fully appreciated the minimal effort required of a ready-to-prepare  macaroni and cheese dinner.

The directions for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese are easy to follow and require only three ingredients. The ingredients are water, to boil the macaroni noodles, milk, which is added to the dry sauce to make it nice and creamy and butter, which helps to enhance the flavor and keeps the macaroni from sticking to one another.

Growing up in a single parent household, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was a staple in our home.  It was something us kids could make for ourselves and it was cheap. 

When my son started going to day-care and pre-school, Kraft Easy Mac was a savior.  He loved it and it can’t be any easier to make . . . add water and microwave.  DING!

 My son . . . the mac-n-cheese connesouir now turns his nose up the powdered cheese saying it’s not real cheese.  Which it really isn’t; but his argument is easily debunked when his choice is Kraft Deluxe macaroni-and-cheese, which is nothing more than a liquefied processed cheese.  But I like that too, on occasion, so I’m not complaining.

By the way . . . my boy doesn’t like my homemade macaroni and cheese that IS made with real cheese.  Go figure. 


Cher’s Gourmet Mac and Cheese
  • 16 Ounces Uncooked Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Cup Habanero Cheddar Cheese, Cubed
  • 2 Cup Horseradish Monterey Jack Cheese, Cubed
  • 1 Cup Abruzzese Sausage, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Ham, Chopped
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Crushed Whole Wheat Crackers
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain.  In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly.  Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick.  Stir in ham and abruzzese  Stir in macaroni.

Heat olive oil a skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until golden.  Add crushed crackers and brown. 

Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Serve.

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