For years, as a quick and easy meal for the kids, we’ve often turned to those boxes of instant quick and easy “Mac & Cheese.”
Somewhere along the way, we discovered that Kraft’s “Mac & Cheese” had a bit of disclaimer: they didn’t really use cheese but a “cheese product.”
So we decided to try store-brands: Wal-Mart, Costco’s Kirkland Signature, etc. with real cheese. And they were better.
But not by far.
And somewhere (farther) along the same way, we thought: “Macaroni is just pasta. Cheese is just… cheese.” How hard could it be to make this dish from scratch?
Tonight, I tried my hand at it, following the famous Pioneer Woman’s recipe for baked macaroni and cheese.
How did it turn out? Well first, the quantitative evidence:
- I had a great time cooking it; for the first time preparing a roux and tempering an egg (click through to the above recipe if you don’t know what I’m talking about).
- I liked eating it. But then, I cooked it, I’m prejudiced. But I would actually choose to eat this — not just when I was desperate for something quick & easy.
- Our youngest daughter asked for three servings. Unless it’s loaded with sugar, she never asks for three servings! Gonna do this one again! (Never mind that she kinda had a sparse lunch.)
Qualitatively speaking, it wasn’t bad either (in other words, “presentation is everything”) — we added our own flair with panko bread crumbs on top:
Digging into the third serving! Did I mention that it was her third serving???