Mac and Cheese
4 cups Pasta (whatever small pasta I have on hand)
3 tbs Butter
3 tbs Flour
1 cup Milk
1 cup Cream*
3 cups Cheese grated any combination of cheeses ex: Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Colby, Parmesan...
¼ cup Cream Cheese*
1-2 cups Chopped Veggies ex: Broccoli, Carrots, Squash...2-4 tsp dried spices ex: parsley, garlic, thyme, sage, nutmeg...
Boil water and cook pasta. If you like your veggies softer you can steam them for about 5 min or mix them in raw for a added crunch. While pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and spices and whisk with the butter. Cook the butter and flour for 1 min stirring constantly. Add the milk and/or cream and whisk until the flour and butter is well blended. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Mix the cheese and/or the cream cheese in the sauce and stir until melted. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce and the veggies. Pour into two 6 cup casserole dishes. Bake at 350° for 30 min.
Or cover and freeze to bake later. If frozen bake 400° for 50 min
*Any combination of cream to milk can be used. Just be sure to have 2 cups. I have used just Milk or 1/4 cup Cream and 1 3/4 cup milk. Try different combinations depending on your tastes.
The cream cheese can also be left out if desired.
Sometimes I like to add bread cubes to the top of the mac and cheese. To do this mix small bread cubes with 1 tbs melted butter, add to top of the pasta before baking.
I also like to add different pureed veggies to the sauce. I mix in the puree when I am adding the cheese. Some of my favorite puree to use are butternut or acorn squash, carrot, and sweet potato. Start with about 1 cup of puree taste and add more if desired.