Apple pie, beef stew, chicken pot pie, chili, and macaroni and cheese...what do all of these dishes have in common? If you answered "comfort food," then you are correct. Who doesn't love comfort food? There's just something about it that brings us back to our childhood years and makes us feel all warm and cozy.
Last night, my husband and I were the dynamic duo, him manning the grill and me at the stove, as we prepared an all-American dinner. That's right, our meal consisted of hamburgers, corn on the cob, and homemade macaroni and cheese. And, to top it off, we enjoyed bowls of ice cream for dessert.
The first time I enjoyed one of the best homemade macaroni and cheese recipes was in my middle school years and it was prepared by my friend's mom. After the first bite I was hooked. Throughout my high school years, whenever I went over to this friend's house for dinner, I always requested her mom's macaroni and cheese. Was I a high maintenance friend? I would like to think not. I just always had such a craving for her mom's homemade version. I could never get the taste of my head.
As the years went by, my friend and I went off to college and even though we were separated by distance, we were there for each other through it all. My friend and her mom were both invited to my wedding shower and it felt so good to give each other hugs after all of the distance that tried to separate us.
As part of the shower, my mom requested that everyone bring with them their favorite recipe to add to my recipe box. As soon as I returned home, I opened my recipe box and sifted through all of the recipes that I could not wait to try. I came to a quick stop when I recognized my friend's handwriting and drew my eyes to the top of the recipe card and read "Mom's Macaroni & Cheese." I immediately hugged the recipe card and promised myself that I would never lose it.
This Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe holds such a special place in my heart and I'm hoping that it will do the same for you and your loved ones.
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 lb elbow pasta
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Melt 1/4 butter and flour together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add milk and stir constantly until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted.
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta and return to pot.
- Pour the cheese mixture into the pot filled with pasta and stir to combine the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour the pasta into the prepared casserole dish.
- Cover the top of the pasta with the crumbled crackers and then drizzle the melted butter over the top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crackers and slightly browned and crispy. Serve warm.
What is your favorite comfort food?