Okay, so we follow the 80-20 rule when it comes to healthy eating. We try to eat healthy 80% of the time and leave the other 20% for splurges. This macaroni and cheese is definitely one of those splurges. It is the dish that is the most requested at all of our family gatherings. It is always a hit, especially with the kids!
Warning.....If you bring this mac and cheese to one of your family get-togethers, your family will love it so much that you may never be allowed to bring anything else ever again!
Mama's Ultimate Mac and Cheese:
Introducing the stars of the show:
- 1 box (16 oz) rotini noodles
- 1 lb. (1/2 block) Velveeta or another brand of processed cheese spread, cubed
- 1 stick of butter
- 3 cups of whole milk
- 2 cups of any type of shredded cheese
Bring salted water to a boil. Add 1 box or 16 oz. of rotini noodles. Boil noodles for about 5 min. and then turn off. You want to make sure and cook the noodles al dente and not overcook them. Let noodles sit in the hot water until you finish cutting up the Velveeta or similar product.
Use 1/2 block of cheese spread. (I always used the generic version of Velveeta because it is cheaper.) Cube for easier melting.
Once noodles reach the al dente state, drain off water in sink. My friend Al taught me to use rotini noodles in my mac and cheese, so don't you think it's appropriate that we let them reach the "Al" dente state?!! Just thought I'd throw that in there!
Add noodles back to cooking pan. Add 1 stick of butter to pan. Let butter melt in noodles. Cook noodles and butter on low heat until butter melts all the way.
Continue cooking and stirring on low heat and add about 3 cups of milk and 1/2 block of cubed cheese. Let cheese melt in noodles. You can add a little more milk if needed.
A very important fact; whole milk makes it taste so much creamier. I bet you could even use half and half! I've never been brave enough to attempt that!
When cheese is almost melted, add 2 cups of any kind of shredded cheese. Mozzarella and cheddar make a good combination. Girls, this is when you get to clean out your fridge. Add left over cheese slices (plastic removed, of course!) and the little bit of left over cheese that's been sitting in your cheese drawer forever. Throw it in there as long as a strange fungus isn't growing on it! Melt all cheeses in noodles, forming a cheese sauce. Continue stirring, so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Once butter and all cheeses are totally melted and no longer stringy, add this amazing concoction to a serving dish.
And there you have it! Easy! No baking....no bread crumbs...no dried clumps of goo! Some of the best mac and cheese you will ever sink your teeth into. I know it looks a little runny, but just wait until the noodles absorb all of the ooey-gooey goodness, once you take a bite, you will enter into a euphoric state and will never want to return!
Warning...You will be embarrassed by your family's reaction as they put you on a pedestal and give you a standing ovation! But that may not be such a bad thing!