To Make Mac-n-Cheese

    Today, we have what I consider to be a life saver. As in, this mac-n-cheese recipe makes enough to feed my family and I a couple of times. The leftovers are insane! It's fairly easy to make, there's just a little whisking involved to make that delicious cream sauce. For my birthday this year, one of the gifts Brett bought me was this cookbook, The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila. He had very astutely noticed that in the past year or so, I had started honing in my basic cooking skills. After I had Bailey, I wanted to make sure I could provide healthy and easy meals for her just like my mom did. This book has been awesome! Alana's recipes are easy to follow and remind me of the wholesome meals I had growing up. It gives me the know-how to do exactly what I want to do for Bailey, and so far she's loved everything I've put in front of her.
    These images are only a small portion of how much this recipe yields. On top of the two ramekins, I baked the bulk of the noodle/cream mixture in a baking pan. It's so nice to come home for lunch from work and have some mac-n-cheese to heat up and enjoy, especially now that it's quite cold outside. All I'm saying is, it's nice to have an alternative to a cold-cut sandwich when it's 40 degrees. Put it to the test yourself and let me know how this recipe turned out for you!

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Recipe (adapted from this recipe): yields 6-8 servings
1 pound macaroni
4 cups milk
1/2 stick butter
6 T all purpose flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper
10 ounces cheddar cheese
4 ounces Gruyere cheese
2 cups breadcrumbs

Instructions:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil then add the macaroni. When the pasta is barely cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350.
3. Bring the milk just to a boil in a heavy saucepan and set aside. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another heavy saucepan. Add the flour, and whisk over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the hot milk to the flour mixture, and whisk well.
4. Add the paprika and dry mustard, and whisk over medium heat for up to 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. If for some reason the sauce does not thicken, it's OK, it will in the oven!
5. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish and ramekins, if using. Pour the pasta into it. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta and toss to coat completely. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cheese on top. Then all of the breadcrumbs, then bake for about 30 minutes. Then sprinkle on the last 1/4 of cheese and put it under the broiler for a few more minutes, until it turns golden. Enjoy!