Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Healthy(ish) & Delish Macaroni & Cheese

Liliana's Elmo and Dora 2nd birthday party is this weekend!  The party is at 4 pm and though we won't be serving dinner, I did want to have some food for our guests to enjoy.  In comes the Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  We had tried it before, were very impressed, and knew it would be something a little different from your typical "cheeze whiz + noodles = macaroni" recipe.  However, I knew I would be able to make it even a tad bit healther, because let's  be honest, the kiddos are probably going to scoop MOUNDS of this stuff on their plates.  Sunday evening, while Evan was making a beer bottle chicken (DEAR LORD it was good), I stayed inside tackling the macaroni and cheese.  The results of my slightly healthier version?  DIVINE.

In fact, it was good enough to warrant my designing this little sweety to help display our entree on Saturday afternoon.

I mean, if it's Elmo's favorite, how can it not be amazing, right?

I tweaked quite a few things so follow along if you'd like to try a fun twist on the Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and Cheese!

Elmo's Favorite Macaroni and Cheese


4 cups dried macaroni (about 1 16 oz box)
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 c. flour
2 cups 1% milk
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 c. grated cheese
1 teaspoon salt (or more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


1. preheat oven to 350.  Cook macaroni, still leaving it quite firm (in other words, instead of 9 minutes in boiling water, leave it for approximately 6 or 7 minutes).

2. in a small bowl, beat the one egg.

3. in a large pot, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter.  then sprinkle in the flour.  take your time with this and mix it constantly.  do not let this burn.

do this for about 5 minutes, until your mixture looks like this (or a little thicker preferably)

4. Pour in the milk & dry mustard.  Give it another 5 minutes (at least) of whisking constantly.

5. take 1/4 of this mixture and pour it in to the bowl with your beaten egg.  (you are doing this to avoid having the egg turn in to a scrambled egg because of the heat)

6. pour the egg mixture in to the sauce and whisk until all smooth.

7. add the cheese (all except for 1/2 a cup).  This will take at least 5 minutes.  Make sure to stir often or the cheese will just stick to the bottom.

8. add the salt and pepper.  take a taste.  add more salt if necessary.

9. add the firm noodles.  put the entire thing in to a pre-sprayed casserole dish.  top with remaining cheese.

10.  cook for approximately 20 - 25 minutes at 350 in the oven.  get excited.



  1. Sounds delicious!
    By the way (don't know if I've said it before), your new blog "do" looks great!

  2. This looks amazingly delicious! Seriously have to try it.