homestyle mac n’cheese

I didn’t grocery shop today as I spent my morning digging up this giant bush in my yard. I have this grand picture of starting a veggie garden with the boys this year but as I was digging up that [explicit language] Euonymus bush (have I mentioned I loathe Euonymus bushes? and I have three  more of those suckers in the yard.) and finding all sorts of gross crap in the earth such as worms, and grubs, and various other creatures I’d rather not know the existence of, I started second guessing my lovely plans. I don’t like gardening. I never have. What on earth am I thinking? But… I’ve dug up way too much of my lawn to look back though. Stay tuned for more of engrossing posts about growing a vegetable garden with a 2 and a 4-year-old.

Needless to say, because I spent my morning destroying my lawn and my afternoon visiting with some lovely girlfriends, I had nothing really planned for dinner. I had some cheese in the fridge along with a head of cauliflower. Hence a meal of homestyle mac n’cheese …. with a side of roasted cauliflower resulted

It’s pretty monochromatic but the tastes are great together; cauliflower and cheese sauce has always been one of my childhood favourites. When I asked the husband if I should just add some steamed cauliflower straight into the mac and cheese, he didn’t seem to impressed so I roasted it instead. We love roasted cauliflower. I could eat a whole head of it myself. Roasting at high temperatures brings out the sweetness. When tossed with a big of coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper it’s perfection!

My recipe for mac and cheese is all in my head. I usually make it up as I go. here’s how I made it tonight.

Macaroni and cheese
4 cups dried macaroni
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups 1% milk, warmed
2-3 cups grated sharp cheddar
3-4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
White pepper
Panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp butter

Boil a pot of water and cook pasta as per direction.

While water is boiling and pasta is cooking, prepare your cheese sauce.

Start off with a roux: melt butter over medium heat, add garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add flour until a thick paste is formed. Allow to cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, to get rid of the raw flour taste. Slowly add warm milk, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the white sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add 2/3 of the cheese. Stir until melted. Set aside.

Drain your pasta and place it in an oven-safe dish. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Place a few dabs of butter over topping and broil a few minutes until the dabs of butter and cheese have melted and the breadcrumbs have browned nicely.

Roasted cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Trim the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. In a large bowl combine the cauliflower, oil and salt. Toss to coat.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the cauliflower pieces on the sheet. Roast for 1 hour, turning 3 or 4 times until most of each piece has turned golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!



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5 responses to “homestyle mac n’cheese

  1. RnR

    I should try the roasted cauliflower again and see if the little one is willing to give it another try!

    • M gobbled it up. T refused to try it claiming he “haaaaaaaaaates” cauliflower. I argued that he needed to at least taste and eat one piece. Which he did, and gagged on. haha!

      • RnR

        Both kids gobbled up plain ol’ steamed cauliflower tonight. But if I roasted it, I am sure L would refuse because it’s brown from cooking. Kids! I still want to try again though.

  2. That mac ‘n’ cheese looks divine! We tried to get N to eat fried cauliflower once – a hilariously epic failure.

  3. I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award!

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