I love macaroni and cheese. The stuff in the blue box is okay, but I try to go for something healthier. Annie's makes some very good varieties of boxed mac-n-cheese, but they are expensive and you don't get much out of one box. I have several recipes for homemade mac-n-cheese, either baked in the oven or cooked in the crock pot, but those are time-consuming and sometimes labor intensive. A few years ago I found a recipe for homemade stove top macaroni and cheese, and it was exactly what I needed in a recipe: quick, adaptable, yummy, and hopefully not completely devoid of nutrition. It's easy to have the ingredients on hand. My kids love this.
Stove Top Mac n Cheese
3 cups dried whole wheat elbows (I use Barilla Plus elbows), cooked per package directions
8 oz container creme fraiche
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, but good)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
freshly ground black pepper
While your pasta is cooking, whisk the creme fraiche and red pepper flakes together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.
Just before draining the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add it to the cheese sauce.
Add freshly ground black pepper to the cheese sauce.
Drain the pasta, return to pan, and pour cheese sauce over the pasta.
In case you've never used creme fraiche, this is what a container looks like:
I find it helpful to know what something looks like when I'm shopping for it! I never used creme fraiche until I tried this recipe. Now I buy it all the time. It's in the cheese section of my grocery store.
Oh, and the light bulb? We had another one burn out yesterday. Funnily enough, after my declaration that I change the light bulbs in our house, I don't think I'll be changing this one. It's right over our stair case and completely out of my reach, as well as my husband's. We had our upstairs remodeled in 2002, and the contractors put all our light bulbs in for us back then at the end of the job. We wondered how we'd go about changing the bulbs, and now 7 years later, I guess we'll finally find out!