This week, I’m keeping it simple with a dish we all know and love: macaroni and cheese. Whether it was a childhood favorite, or whether you’re thinking of getting a little gourmet at the next potluck, macaroni is a surprisingly versatile dish that every cheese-lover can get behind. 

The secret to mine is to get a little creative with your cheeses. Sure, you could just grab a standard, nondescript bag of shredded cheese, but combining some unique flavors can make a difference. While I’ve got some of my own cheese choices below, you can spice up this recipe with a little pepper jack, for example. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Just My Luck

Of course, it’s not always a happy thing to be making such a happy dish. This week has been nothing but trouble, one of those weeks where you just want to lay down and ignore the world for a little while. Worse, now I’m stuck at home. 

I was on the way to the grocery store when it happened, in fact. I was about to turn into the parking lot when another driver ran a red light and hit my car. I was mostly shaken up. My car? Well, it was a little worse for wear. 

Now, I’m stuck on crutches, and my car is totaled. So, I’m here, waiting on the insurance company and my lawyer. I could call my partner to help me out, but after all I just went through, maybe pulling up a chair in front of the oven and watching the macaroni brown is what I need instead. 

Stuck at Home? Make Comfort Food! 

Really, there’s no better way to deal with being confined to the home than to make some feel-good food. Sometimes, you’re just feeling down and out about your situation, and you need something to cheer you up. You can’t leave the house, but if you have some good cheese, pasta, and bread, you might have something good to eat while you wait for compensation for an injury

This recipe is one of my favorites. I’ve adapted it from some other recipes for my own tastes—perfection can only be tampered with so much, after all. Check out this easy, delicious side dish (or entree, I don’t judge) while you’re waiting to hear more about your claim. 

Classic Macaroni and Cheese 

Ingredients 

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 slices bread, torn into small pieces
  • 5 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup flour (all-purpose is fine)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 4 ½ cups sharp white cheddar 
  • 2 cups grated Romano cheese
  • 1 lb macaroni of choice (I prefer bowties)

 

Directions

  1. Prepare your tools by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and buttering your casserole dish–you’ll need a three-quart dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, either in a saucepan or in the microwave, and combine with the torn bread in a bowl. You’ll also need to reserve 1 ½ cups of cheddar and ¼ cup of Romano cheese. 
  2. Cook your macaroni according to the instructions on the box until al dente. Rinse and drain the macaroni in a colander, then set aside. 
  3. Heat milk. Then, with the pot you cooked your pasta in, melt the remaining butter on medium heat. Whisk in the flour for one minute once the butter begins to bubble. As you’re doing this, add in your heated milk slowly, until the mixture becomes thick. 
  4. Add the spices and remaining cheese to the mixture and remove from heat. You can then stir in your pasta. 
  5. Pour this mixture into your dish, then sprinkle the reserved cheese and breadcrumbs across the top of the dish. Bake for about 30 minutes or until top is browned. Serve hot.