Monday, November 19, 2012

Mac and Cheese Contest Entry #3: Bonnie's Grammy's Mac and Cheese

Before sharing this week's macaroni and cheese entry, I want to share a photo.  You remember my dog Toby, right?  Yep, he's a cute little fella as you can see below.


But wait a second.  On closer inspection you'd notice that to the side of my cute posing pup is a book.  And that book has a chunk of the cover chewed off.  And if you were to look at that same book in real life, you'd see doggy love bites all over as well.  And that same book, my dear readers, was the copy of Mac & Cheese by Ellen Brown that I had planned to give away in this contest!

How he got to it I'm still not quite sure as it was sitting high up on my desk.  And, it had been sitting there for weeks before Toby finally decided to do a "taste test" of his own.  Yes, Ms. Brown, the photos in your book look SO delicious that even my dear beagle could not resist taking a literal bite out of them.  Only, Toby must not have gotten the memo that there wasn't ACTUAL mac and cheese inside the book!  But fear not, this just means that I get to keep this now well-loved copy and will buy a brand new one for the winner.  Because as cute as he is, I'm sure you don't really want the one that has been in my dog's mouth...

So back to recipe sharing.  This recipe comes from Bonnie and she got it from her grandmother.  Looking at it, you can tell it's totally a family recipe.  There are no measurements.  I'll admit that when I first saw this in my email, I was skeptical.  Just four ingredients and using cheese that's not freshly shredded?  Humph!  The cheese snob in me and the cheese goddesses Ellen Brown and Laura Werlin would turn their noses up at this straight away.

What's funny is that in her submission, Bonnie said "I hope you enjoy this even if you don't choose it for the contest".  But a contest is a contest and so I dutifully made it...adding a splash of cream for extra richness.  I made homemade stewed tomatoes from my stash of canned tomatoes figuring if this recipe was going to have a few simple ingredients, I might as well start from the best.  I stirred it when it came out of the oven and well...it looked a little soupy.  But that's okay because Bonnie also mentioned that she personally thought it was better only slightly warm or even the next day as the flavors continue to meld together and the cheese sauce becomes thicker.

Tentatively, I took a bite.  And then, a big smile spread across my face.  I closed my eyes and was taken back to my own childhood.  It was something I had long forgotten but this recipe took me back there.  I remembered a nostalgic time of Mom making a homemade chicken broth and serving it with macaroni noodles.  Being the cheese head that I was (and still am today!) I would sometimes add a slice or two of Kraft American singles and microwave it until melted.  I'd stir it together and call it macaroni and cheese.  Come to think of it.  That was probably one of the first original "recipes" that I ever made myself.

You see, this recipe is so simple and so pure.  It's best eaten with a spoon instead of a fork because the sauce, though very creamy and cheesy, is liquidy.  But it's addicting.  I really can't explain it!  My mother-in-law felt this was the best recipe to date.  I also thoroughly enjoyed it so thank you so much Bonnie for sharing your grandmother's recipe!

Thank you to those that have been sharing and then commenting on each of my Mac and Cheese Mondays posts.  To make it easier for you, every post always has social media buttons for sharing at the bottom of the post.  I noticed there are more shares than comments so if you want to make it count as a contest entry, please be sure to leave a comment letting me know you have shared as this is the only way I can keep track of who you are!  You want to do this so you can enter to win one of two great cookbooks: Mac &Cheese by Ellen Brown or Mac and Cheese, Please! by Laura Werlin!  See this page for full contest details :).

Three Years Ago: Classic Pot Roast

Bonnie's Grammy's Mac and Cheese


Ingredients

  • 1 box large elbow macaroni 
  • 1 package Kraft American singles (the orange kind) 
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes (I usually use the Italian seasoned ones, but any flavor will work!) 
  • Milk (Christine's Option: Add a little cream for extra richness and extra creamy mac!)

Directions
  1. Cook the macaroni until al dente, according to the instructions on the box.
  2. Put the pasta back in the pan and add the stewed tomatoes (juice and all!).  Pour the pasta and tomato mixture into a clear, glass lasagna pan.  Add enough milk directly into the pan so that it reaches half-way up the sides.  Cover the top of the pasta with a layer a cheese slices. 
  3. Bake in a 350 oven until the cheese is melted.  Take the pan out of the oven and carefully stir the melted cheese into the pasta.
  4. Eat!
Source: Bonnie's Grammy as submitted by Bonnie

3 comments:

Sara said...

This reminds me of when I was younger I would make Ramen noodles (no seasoning) and melt American cheese on top!

Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christine said...

Posted for Bonnie from an email sent to me on 11/19/12:

I am so glad you and your mother-in-law enjoyed it! You happened to pick the perfect week to post this. My grammy passed away about eight years ago. My wedding was yesterday and she was very much in my thoughts. To come home today to find your post brought tears to my eyes and capped off an amazing weekend. Thank you for accepting my entry. I hope that you and your readers find as much comfort from this recipe as I have over the years.