some days wound you...

I am very loyal,  it's just the way I am. I know! There are a lot of recipes for this pasta and cheese dish, and they all come with a kaleidoscope of memories {I dare you to eat a bowl of baked macaroni and cheese and not feel seven years old again!} Ever since I can remember making macaroni and cheese, I remember using this recipe. Oh, I may do a little mucking around with it, using different cheeses to make it a little more ooh la la-ish, or trying different spice combination's,  but the basic recipe...the same. The recipe, it's flawless [just throwing myself a bone here] but seriously people, this is the best macaroni and cheese...ever, although I do highly recommend donning expandable pants after making it. While I rarely make this anymore [let's face it, eating this often could only be beneficial to your cardiologist's pocketbook] I recently found myself in serious need of some comfort food [every once in a while you will have a day that wounds you], and baby there is nothing more comforting than mac and cheese, [oh, come to mama].

Like I said I hardly eat this at all anymore [tee hee] sooo, when I made it the other day, my intention was to only have a few bites then give it away, w-e-l-l as you know, things don't always go as planned. So I had a few bites,  and I had a little more...then I [here's the shocker] ended up over-serving myself. I ate a huge scoop, yes, that's right, with total abandonment and no thoughts of remorse. So, just be warned, you will love this and you will despise it...keep some for yourself and get the rest of it out of the house as fast as you can...I'm just saying, you do not want to be alone in the house with this macaroni and cheese.
baked macaroni and cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente (in well salted water) and drained
6 cups grated cheese, I like to use half white cheddar and half sharp yellow cheddar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
pinch of nutmeg
3 cups whole milk (at room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave)
5 slices bread, I use Pepperidge Farm sandwich, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat your oven to 350*F. Butter a casserole dish. Cook the macaroni as directed in nicely salted water, drain in a colander and rinse nder cold water. Drain well.

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the flour all at once while stirring constantly. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes to get rid of the flour-y taste. Whisk or stir in the milk s-l-o-w-l-y. Continue to cook until roux is smooth and starts to thicken, keep stirring it. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices. Stir in about 5 cups of the cheese (reserving about 1 cup to use on top) and stir well. Add the macaroni and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan.

Mix the cubed bread crumbs with the melted butter and set aside for a few minutes. In the meantime, sprinkle the reserved cheese on top of the mac and cheese then sprinkle on the buttered bread cubes.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until brown and bubbly and you just can't wait any longer. 
Serve with a big green, crunchy salad (if that makes you feel better)!
bon appetit!


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