Mac And Cheese And I- Its A Love/Hate Thing - Wolfie's Cooking Tales Blog at - 278429

Wolfie's Cooking Tales

Mac and Cheese and I- its a love/hate thing 
Jun. 29, 2012 10:27 am 
Updated: Sep. 2, 2012 12:30 am
I absolutely love macaroni and cheese. I love the taste, I love the cheese and I love the idea of all that yummy butter for a once in awhile treat.

However- mac and cheese does not like me. The version I grew up making my husband does not like (he says its too eggy) so even though it was my grandma's recipe and to me, was always tried and true- I do not make it anymore.

I have since been on the quest to find the ultimate mac and cheese recipe and continue to fail. I have tried several here on AR (Honeys, the one with carmalized onions on top, others..) and while they have been GOOD, they have not yet achieved that WOW factor I'm always seeking. I like to see my families face light up when they taste my food and it brings me great joy when they are thrilled with a dish.

The problem is several layers of bummerness. The mac either gets too crispy on top (we dont' like crispy mac), the cheese and the butter separate so the filling is not creamy and gooey or it cools too long and just isn't good anymore.

I made Martha Stewarts version one time and it was a bomb. She put nutmeg in hers and me being me (always follow the recipe first before messing with it), I put in the nutmeg. My husband was not happy. He glowered at the dish, then said "Who puts nutmeg in their mac?"  I pointed to Martha and mumbled something about that figures.

So...yes. Its a sad relationship. I have argued with the dish, I have tried so many various cheeses and white sauces and even - GASP!- Velveeta. That one actually came the closest to being a homerun. But then, like so many other dishes I created, I didn't write it down and the exact amounts I used that one time are floating off in the atmosphere with my many other creations I failed to jot down.

Come on, Mac and cheese.. wheres the love?
Jun. 29, 2012 1:09 pm
You made me laugh. Mac and cheese should be comfort food, not angst producung, but we have had many of the same conversations in my family. My grandma made it the way my father liked it She lined a baking dish with extra sharp cheddar poured in 1/3 of her elbows, covered that with a layer of cheddar, then elbows, cheddar, elbows and finally cheddar. She dotted the whole thing with butter and added milk about 1/3 of the way up the side of the pan. She baked it until the top started to get crisp and then laid a sheet of foil over the dish to finish the baking. I grew up thinking this was the best thing ever. My husband hated it. His mother did a cheese sauce with very mild cheese. I think this is an issue that should be resolved before couples marry! Good luck on your quest.
Jun. 29, 2012 1:46 pm
This is my fav (what I grew up on and love):
Jun. 29, 2012 2:00 pm
My mom always made it with Velveeta and the sauce never broke. Granted it was a little gummy but good gummy if you know what I mean. She made a white sauce and I do remeber everything was in 2s. 2 tsp. butter, 2 tsp. flour, make a roux, and 2 cups flour. I don't remember if then it was 2 cups of velvetta chopped up of course, but it probably was and it wouldn;t be hard to tell if you taste as you go. It was not hard on top, very mild and was a main dish on meatless Fridays often (catholic) for which I thanked God because the alternate was creamed tuna on toast with peas.
Jun. 29, 2012 2:01 pm
Actually I think it was 2 tablespoons flour and butter not teaspoons. You get the idea of proportions right?
Jun. 29, 2012 2:05 pm
Covergirl, I laughed out loud about thanking the Lord for mac and cheese because the alternate was creamed tuna on toast. Just the words "Creamed tuna" sounded awful- and I LIKE tuna!!! Yes, I've done the Velveeta and I know what you mean about the gummy. Its a hard ratio of how much to add in because lets face it.. Velveeta is gooood. Yep, I know the ratio for making the roux.. such a simple step but SOOO important.
Jun. 29, 2012 4:10 pm
I love homemade mac and cheese. I just melt chedder in a roux, with a wee bit of dried onion and a skosh of worcestershire, then pour it over small elbow noodles (cooked of course) until its all inside and around em. Top it with buttered bread crumbs and cheese and then secrety stash some away to fry up with scrambled eggs the next morning...a true gourmet delicacy...ahhhhh yessssss
Jun. 29, 2012 4:54 pm
Oh my gosh, Petey, that sounds good. How long do you cook it for? I've read some recipes where they don't cook the dish at all- just serve it with the melted cheese and noodles.
Jun. 29, 2012 5:14 pm
petey is creating a bechamel sauce basically and then adding cheese. And is a normal way of making mac and cheese.
Jun. 29, 2012 5:28 pm
Yes- that is the way I usually start mine, then I put it in the oven for anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes.
Jun. 29, 2012 10:28 pm You have GOT to try this method. I've had a great recipe for years, but after this, I'll never go back. The best part is, it's a one pot dish with few ingredients. So simple, but realllly good too. I use 2% milk and full fat aged cheddar. Oh, and I find I need to add more milk than called for, maybe because I don't use skim. Good luck in your quest for mac and cheese nirvana :-)
Jun. 30, 2012 7:37 am
the creamed tuna dish was similar to chipped beef, another shudder dish.
Jun. 30, 2012 9:56 am
EWW! Chipped beef! My dad used to eat that (I think the beef was buddig) and my mom would make a cream sauce for it. I understand later in life it is also a dish served in the military called S.O.S- whatever, it was so gross! CC, I will definately give this a go- in fact, I may make some mac and cheese tonight or tomorrow.
Jun. 30, 2012 6:59 pm
about the SOS it was salted beef slices, but it changed in the 50s or so to creamed Beef (ground beef) in the navy it had a longer life but they also changed to creamed beef. there are some versions on all recipes, the official army version is here in my shared recipes, it feeds 100 soldiers.
Jul. 1, 2012 9:32 am
Thanks for the info, KingSparta! Figures my dad was leading me astray- I believed what he was eating was SOS because he's a Marine.. but he's also a massive jokster! :)
Jul. 1, 2012 5:00 pm
My best friend taught me how to make mac and cheese. I am not a measurer I just grate up a bunch of cheese and throw it in. First thing, must use ditinali (sp?) macaroni and yes, velvetta. 2nd thing 1 egg for 1 cup of milk. Layer Macaroni, cheese, macaroni, cheese and then enough milk and egg mixture to cover, then stir it all up, bake at 350 until done, 30-45 min, depending on your oven. Throw in garlic power, salt and pepper, etc. I sure wish I had some measurements on the cheese. I throw in all kinds of chees, cheddar, motz, asiago, parm. and of course velevtta, cubed. I know that you mentioned yours was too eggy for DH and so this also could be. My family luvs this mac and cheese.
Jul. 2, 2012 10:05 am
Lynda, your version sounds yummy! The main thing I'm trying to get is when I take it from the oven, it is gooey and melty inside. Most of the time, all my cheeses has disappeared in the sense the noodles are oily and there is no cheese pull. I think, just from reading everything here, I may be baking it too long. Do you cover yours?
Jul. 3, 2012 6:24 pm
I tried this recipe and my husband loves it.

Depending on the size of your baking dish you may want to reserve more cheddar to go on top. I like my noodles covered (so they don't get crispy) so I usually either add extra or reserve more than the recipe instructs for topping.
Jul. 4, 2012 10:47 am
Thanks, Betsy! I'm thinking about inviting a couple friends over for a mac and cheese cook off.. you've all posted such wonderful ideas to try!!
Jul. 6, 2012 4:13 am
My mother-in-law fave me a recipe for overnight man n cheese. One pound mac and one pound cheese of choice. Put the cheese in the bottom of a baking dish top with UNCOOKED mac. Dot with butter. pour in enough milk to cover mac and refrigerate over night. Before baking stir in enough milk to moisten - cover - and bake @ 350 for 45min.
Jul. 6, 2012 9:42 am
I have not found a mac and cheese yet that I like. and I am an old guy. My wife and daughter would live on the stuff. My mom made it every holiday for my daughter. I still sample it once in a while but still a no go. like you say it is a love or hate thing.
Jul. 6, 2012 3:59 pm
I have had similar struggles. There are a couple of recipes on here that include cream cheese, along w/ cheddar. When I made it I subbed half the cream cheese for Velveeta. It was great, and the closest to perfect I've achieved yet.
Jul. 6, 2012 4:36 pm
I found an ingredient that results in a great mac n cheese: Vermont Cheddar cheese powder. I make a bechamel sauce using 4T each butter and flour and 2 cups fat-free half and half, then I stir in about half a bag of the cheese powder. I add cooked elbow macaroni, stirring well till it's thoroughly coated. I never have measured how much because I often put some of the sauce aside for other uses but just be sure that there is lots of sauce in proportion to the pasta. Pile that into a baking dish and top it with panko crumbs if you like a crunchy topping rather than crunchy pasta and bake at 375 till it's all bubbly and the crumbs are browned. I sometimes mix the crumbs with grated parmesan but it's really not necessary to add anything if you've got lots of sauce. If you don't like any topping, cover the dish when you bake it. I mail-order the cheese powder from The next time I make it I will make note of the exact measurements and post the recipe but if you want a delicious, creamy mac n cheese, I hope you will try it :-)
Jul. 6, 2012 9:36 pm
So cool, My daughter and i have a passion for really good Mac and cheese aswell :)I did recently make a surprisingly good one that i got the base recipe from "the best of bridge" cook books. i think the recipe was called "Gourmet Macaroni and cheese" It was awesome twice around, and i'm a cook for a living!
Jul. 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Erin, interesting!!! The first time I made a pasta dish w/out cooking the noodles, I was terrified. I understood the concept (the liquid in the sauce would cook them) but I was a creature of habit cook and one always cooked the noodles first. Good thing we all start taking some chances!! Thanks for the tip, Kats. I love Vermont Cheddar on its own but the price for a wedge makes me want to cry. I saw a cheese in the local market- artisan- and it was $17 a POUND!! Waaah!!! JoJo, I made one the other night that is saved in my recipe box- its Honey's mac and cheese. It has cooked kielbasa in it- a real meal in one and it was super super good!
Sep. 1, 2012 2:33 pm
well whats your best mac and cheese recipe so far
Sep. 2, 2012 12:30 am
Ugh! It has been trial and error. I have taken so much advice from my friends here. But.. that said.. I think the best I have made is when I made a roux with flour and cheese and slowly melted in some.. gasp.. velveeta. Its amazing. Then you add the noodles (cooked) and bake with some bread crumbs or panko on top. Turns out amazing.
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Home Town
Ridgefield, Washington, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Subscribe Today!

In Season

A Day To Remember
A Day To Remember

Memorial Day is a time to get together with friends and family for food, fun, and memories.

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

Nothing beats a big bowl of cool, creamy potato salad at your cookout.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
Running at top speed mama to two, I love to write and cook. My blog focuses on cooking stories tied into life with my wild ones. I'm passionate about my wonderful children, husband, Siamese cat and coming soon puppy. I'm also an avid deleter of spam so enjoy!!
My favorite things to cook
PIZZA! Macaroni and Cheese, pesto carbonara, homemade wontons, egg rolls, spaghetti, tuna croquettes and PIZZA!.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, I serve fried rice balls with marinara sauce. Over the last couple of years, I've developed a tradition of serving a taco bar on New Years eve night.
My cooking triumphs
The first time I made bulgogi marinade for my husband. He'd not had it before and raved about the meat after he grilled it.
My cooking tragedies
The night I was making homemade wontons and due to humidity, they all decided to stick to each other. Wonton balls, anyone?
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States