Saturday, September 25, 2010

Macaroni & Cheese That Will Make Joslyne Shudder with Revulsion

I made this after buying some of the Kraft-brand processed cheese stuff (like the Velveeta cheese) that I bought in a vain attempt to figure out a way to get Charlotte (my 2.5-year old) to eat mac & cheese with healthier pasta than comes with the boxed stuff. This recipe was inside the box, so I gave it a whirl. Joslyne doesn't believe that processed cheese is an actual food, so I'm posting this just to make her skin crawl. You're welcome, sweetie! I altered the directions a little after realizing places they were a little unclear


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, divided
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
8 oz. Kraft Deluxe Pasteurized Processed American Cheese, cut up
2 cups elbow macaroni, COOKED AND DRAINED*
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese**
1/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers***

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Crush the crackers. Melt 1 tbsp. butter and stir it in with the crackers. Set this aside.

3. Boil the pasta until it is al dente and drain it. Dump it into a large bowl. (Do this before the next step because everything starts happening really fast and you don't have time to monitor and drain the pasta.)

4. Melt 3 tbsp. of the butter/margarine in a medium saucepan on medium low heat. Add the flour and mix well. Cook 2 minutes or until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Gradually add the milk, whisking until well-blended. Cook on medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring CONSTANTLY. Add the processed cheese chunks; cook until melted, stirring frequently.

5. Dump the cheesy sauce onto the macaroni and mix until all of the pasta is covered. Spoon into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese and then the buttery cracker crumbs.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through. Makes 5 servings according to the original recipe, but I think this only applies if you have the superhuman portion-control discipline of my tiny mother-in-law or have some really kick-butt side dishes to go along with it (other than the canned green beans I served).

* I used Ronzoni Smart Taste rotini instead of the elbow macaroni, and it was very fun.

** I used shredded "Mexican Blend" cheese instead of the cheddar because that's all we had. It was yummy.

*** I used saltines because I didn't have any Ritz, and it tasted pretty darn good to us.

The recipe turned out really good, but unfortunately Charlotte had eaten her afternoon snack a little too close to dinner and didn't eat very much. CURSES. Foiled again. Maybe next time. Peter, my 9-month-old, loved it, so I declared him the favorite child that evening. Just kidding. He was declared the favorite child of the year.


  1. I would totally make this . . . just without the fAKE PLASTIC CHEESE. :)

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  3. Doh I realized it was the pasta you were trying to replace! It sounds delicious, although I'd also skip the plastic cheese!

    I think I saw the Annie's Homemade Mac n Cheese in a box had wholewheat pasta in it. Or if it's the Kraft sauce she likes you could maybe replace the pasta from that with cooked Ronzoni SmartTaste? I wish Caitlin would eat anything with sauce on. She is so fussy.

  4. Ooh - I don't think our Publix has the Annie's. I'll have to check though. I have just stolen the Kraft Mac & Cheese powdered cheese out of a box of it before, but then I feel bad throwing away the pasta. I do buy the 50% whole grain Kraft Mac & Cheese, but It doesn't have the nutrition that the Ronzoni Smart Taste does.


  5. Publix carries Annie's. My kids love it.

    Plastic cheese's only place is on the nachos of drunken NASCAR fans. Just say no.

    P.S. You're a really good mom for going to all this trouble to give her what she likes in a better way.

  6. I saw this Kraft Mac and Cheese powder for popcorn - I wonder if you could sprinkle that on the better pasta. Hmm. Interesting idea! And I agree that you are amazing for going to all that effort!