Thursday, September 29, 2011


A  comfort dish for Mac & Cheese, little lighter recipe then my usual.  Wonderful, creamy and every spoonful was delicious.  I found this recipe on the Crazy Cooking Challenge. This recipe was a winner in the "Real Women of Philadelphia Cooking Contest" and Mandy of "Gourmet Mom on the go" was the prize taker.  I used a mixture of triple cheddar cheese and sharp cheddar.  Instead of the whole milk I used 1/2 & 1/2.  I also baked my Mac & Cheese in my new pottery dish given to me by my lovely neighbor, Heidi.  I love it, I think it made this dish taste even better.   Thank you, Heidi.   She is one of my taste testers!   She always comes running, always willing to taste something I have made.  Love those neighbors!  

Heidi's gift to me
Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Featured dish with Crazy Cooking Challenge

2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
2 1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 1/4 cups cheddar cheese (save some for topping)
4 ounces of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (half a brick)
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers

1. Measure out the macaroni. Using a medium size pot, bring the water to a boil, add the 1 tsp of salt and the macaroni. Reduce heat and cook until al dente. You want the pasta to still be firm in the center when you stop cooking it. Otherwise you will get soggy mac and cheese. Keep in mind that this is going in the oven to continue baking.

2. Place the Cream Cheese in a small bowl and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds to softened it. Stir it around to make it nice and smooth.

3. In a large, deep skillet melt your butter over medium heat.

4. Add the flour and whisk this until smooth and thick.

5. Add the milk....keep whisking

6. Add the chicken broth....keep whisking

7. In a few minutes you will have a smooth creamy sauce. Add 2 1/2 cups of the shredded Cheddar cheese and the warmed Philadelphia Cream Cheese........keep whisking allowing both cheeses to blend and melt.

8. Add the drained macaroni and mix to blend. Remove from stove top.

9. Spray a 9x9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray and pour your mac & cheese into this,

10. In a small food processor grind up the Ritz cracker into crumbs.

11. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top of the mac & cheese, and sprinkle with the Ritz crackers.

12. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

                                                     Happy Cooking, Andi