Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
We have been in the depths of the flu virus over here this week. 5 out of my 7 kids have been hit and I have been running around like a crazy person trying to feed the one who is starving, medicate the one who is burning up, holding the hair of the one throwing up, while the baby is doing all he can to raid the medicine cabinet. It has been crazy!! I was able to sneak out to the store this afternoon, during naps, so we could get better stocked to weather the sickness storm. I had a little bit of extra help when my healthy daughters got home from school, so I got busy in the kitchen. Comfort food and sports drinks are pretty much all anybody wants, so that meant it was mac’n’cheese on the menu. This is our mild version. I love spicing it up with salsa and cumin- but we needed it pretty easy on the gut tonight.
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1 lb macaroni noodles, cooked
1 lb melty cheese (like Velveeta/American), sliced into chunks
1/2 lb ground beef (or ground turkey or ground sausage)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 onion powder
12 Ritz crackers, crushed
2 TBSP butter, melted
sprinkle of chopped parsley
* if you want your macaroni and cheese with a little more kick, substitute 1/2 cup of the milk for 1/2 cup of salsa, add 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chili powder.
Grab out a large sauce pan and heat up to medium high heat. Throw in your ground beef, season with pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and brown until no pink remains. Drain the fat. Add melty cheese chunks and lower the heat to medium. As the cheese is melting, slowly add in the milk and shredded cheese. (If you are making it with a little more spice, this is when you add in the substituted ingredients.) Once everything is melted and smooth, you are ready to combine with the noodles. Put your noodles in a large oven safe dish, pour the cheese sauce on top and stir together. Sprinkle with crackers and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 F degrees for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a few pinches of parsley and serve.