Mac & Cheese

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When I was younger, I threw some fabulous parties.  They might not have been large or extravagant, but good friends got together and ate good food and discussed ideas and shared news and we enjoyed one another’s company and had fun.

At once such gathering a conversation transpired about macaroni and cheese.  Neighbor Rose, who was a participant in said conversation, made a fine mac and cheese and was always quick to point out that she used four varieties of cheese.  Reporter friend Cate added to the mix when my bestie, Babydoll, declared, “Oh come on, the best recipe is on the back of the Mueller’s macaroni box.” She has a strong personality and has no qualms sharing her opinion.

Around this time, I asked my mom why I had no memories of enjoying mac and cheese as a child, and she explained that my father was not a fan of that cheesy pasta goodness so she neither prepared nor served the dish.

So when I gave it a shot on my own, I followed Babydoll’s advice.  She’s right,  as she often is. So may I present to you the recipe from the back of the Mueller’s box.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (recipe says optional, I say it’s a must!)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons margarine or butter (use butter!)

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar or American Cheese, divided

8 ounces macaroni cooked 7 minutes and drained

In a medium saucepan combine first 4 ingredients; stir in milk. Add butter; stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat. Stir in 1 3/4 cups cheese until melted. Add elbows. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

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