A lot of people ask me how I find time to cook our meals everyday, have time to do this blog, and take care of my toddler while going to work for 10 hours everyday. Well, it takes LOTS OF PLANNING. I'm known to be quite organized (although you may not be able to tell that by the looks of the family room right now). I plan for my meals during the weekends and prepare everything I can in advance to minimize the preparation time when I get home from work. Then, all I have left to do is put everything together, heat it up and serve it to my hungry family. This Mac & Cheese recipe is one of those dishes I prepare the night before and then throw it in the oven the next day to finish cooking. It's one of my daughter's favorites. I tell her all the time (even though she may not understand yet) that she'll never eat mac & cheese from a box as long as I have this recipe. And my brother, the picky eater, suprisingly asks for this around Thanksgiving time too. Of course this a great comfort food any time of the year.
1/2 lb. small elbow macaroni (cooked according to the package)
3 Tbsp. butter, plus more for topping
2 3/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1) In a saucepan, melt butter. Add flour when butter begins to bubble. Whisk for 1 minute.
2) While whisking, slowly pour warm milk. Whisk constantly to eliminate lumps. Continue cooking until mixture starts to bubble. Remove from heat.
3) Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add cheese and mix thoroughly.
4) Add cooked macaroni into cheese sauce and stir until cheese is evenly distributed. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs. Spread small pats of butter on top of bread crumbs. Bake at 375 deg. F for 30 minutes.