Monday, November 2, 2015

Mom's Mac and Cheese

Hiya!  Been spending a lot of time walking down "food" memory lane with my mom and one of my sisters recently.  We were talking about our favorite foods that mom made.  Every year on our birthday we got to pick our meal, and I always picked her spaghetti and meatballs.  She made meatballs about the size of her fist, and sauce that cooked all day, with her homemade tomato sauce, etc.  I am guessing I was 20 years old before I knew spaghetti COULD be made in under 12 hours. HA!

ANYWAY, my sister was speaking about my moms mac and cheese.  Now, to be honest, I only remember having it a handful of times, on special occasions.  We grew up without a lot of money and so we didn't get to indulge in boxes of mac and cheese like many other kids, or anything really that wasn't truly homemade.  When I think about it now, it was awesome, at the time, I just wanted what other kids had!  My sister, #1 (first practice child) still makes her mac and cheese this way which I had no idea about.  OK, well not exactly the same but I wanted to make it just like my mom did.  I used every processed thing she used, and do NOT feel bad!  So for some of you this recipe may be out the door before it even starts, for some of you, it may be your dream, for me, it was an awesome step back into my childhood.  I don't think any other food of my moms that I have eaten, literally made me close my eyes and say, "OM-GOSH, this is like being a little kid, in Ord, NE, eating mom's food". This did.  While I love that about it, and while I enjoy it, I don't make macaroni and cheese on the regular like this.  But once in awhile, when I am missing my mom's cooking, this will cure all that ails me!

Thanks mom for the food memories, thanks for all the birthdays you made spaghetti and meatballs when you probably didn't want to and thanks for laughing now about all the things you had to do to stretch a buck.  I will never forget 32 ounces of macaroni with 1lb of hamburger in it for goulash, or your canning pot full of chili with 2 lbs (on a good week) of hamburger and 20 cans of beans.  I love you for all those things and thankful in hindsight that we grew up like that, but mostly that those days are so far behind you.

Now, make sure when you cut up the cheese you cube it in perfect squares, tiny squares, because if my mom finds out you didn't, she is NOT going to be happy.  Oh yes mom, I love you for your OCD and thank you for passing it on to me! HAHAHA

Here we go!

16 oz. cooked elbow macaroni
16-18 ounces of Velveeta cheese, cubed very small (my mom is watching)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 T melted butter
3/4-1 cup of milk

Breadcrumb Topping
1 cup breadcrumbs (not seasoned!) I used my homemade
3 T butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Boil your macaroni for the low end of time.  If it says 10-13 minutes, go 9 or 10. Feel me?  Drain and let cool.  This is the one time I won't give you side eye, if you rinse it with cold water.  Stop the cooking and separate.  Do that right away and then before adding to your bowl.

Now prepare your breadcrumb topping.  In a small skillet, melt your butter, add in breadcrumbs and toast up for 2-3 minutes, when they are golden brown and the butter is absorbed, turn off and set aside.

In a large bowl, add cream of mushroom soup, milk  and melted butter.  DO NOT add salt.  I repeat DO NOT add salt.  Do you KNOW how much is in that soup and cheese?  OK.  Good.  Mix to combine, now add in rinsed and drained macaroni and the cubes of cheese.  Mix just until combined.

Pour into buttered 9x13 or any casserole dish it will fit in to, and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs like toasty, buttery rain and bake for 30-40 minutes.

There you go.  This is how my mom made baked mac and cheese.  While I make it different for my family, this turns back the clock to happy memories as a child.  I hope you enjoy as well!


  1. When I work with macaroni that has to be rinsed, I run thru my salad spinner to remove excess water. This keeps things from getting too soupy.