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
HOMESTYLE MACARONI & CHEESE
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.