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the haas machine: Broccoli & White Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese

Monday, June 17, 2013

Broccoli & White Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese

Some days just call for mac 'n' cheese. You know, the days when you just want your kid to eat something... anything. The days when you don't remember the last time you sat down apart from your 2-minute bathroom break. The days when it seems like you just need a little comfort in a bowl. These frustrating, busy, & weary days call for mac 'n' cheese & lots of it.

Contrary to popular belief, the boxed stuff isn't really any more convenient that this homemade luxury. Once I learned/remembered that you can use your food processor to shred the cheese, the time spent on making this meal was significantly lessened (basically my life was altered through this simple kitchen tool). It hardly takes any more time than the prized box stuff, but tastes SO much better & of course, is way better for you (don't get me started on the creepy ingredients in a certain blue box).
When I'm not making this crockpot mac 'n' cheese (which is even lazier than this recipe), I like to make this meal from scratch. We use whole wheat macaroni, whole milk, & high quality Wisconsin cheese. I've even started buying unsalted butter after reading a convincing blog post about why that's important. We're not about to skimp on something so sacred.

The white cheddar is the classy addition so that you don't feel like a toddler while you've scarfing it down, but feel free to sub with any other cheese if you're not in a super sophisticated mood. And of course, the broccoli addition is just my way of feeling better about eating loads of noodles & cheese. You can get all crazy & add whatever veggie additions you choose. I still need to try out this confetti mac 'n' cheese recipe soon (gouda+sharp cheddar+noodles+veggies? yes please!)
And speaking of "yes, please!" would you please head over to my fancy, shmancy new facebook page & give it a little likin'? If you like my page, I will buy you a pony. Not interested in ponies? Then I will send you a latte in the mail. Um, you're right, that would be messy. How about this-- you like my page & it will help you stay even more connected to my pics/recipes of more delish things, crazy projects we try to tackle, & sometimes adorbs pictures of my kid? OK, cool. Also make sure you check out my pinterest page, follow us on twitter & check out blog lovin' while you're at it, you savvy social media addict, you!

Broccoli & White Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese
3 cups frozen baby broccoli florets
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups milk
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
salt to taste

Fill a large pot with water & bring to a boil. Add elbow macaroni & frozen broccoli. Boil according to directions until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour & whisk to form a paste. Cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in milk, constantly whisking briskly to remove lumps. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly, until milk mixture thickens. Remove from heat & whisk in shredded cheese. Add salt to taste.

Add drained macaroni & broccoli back to pot. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni, & stir to combine. 

Recipe adapted from The Craving Chronicles

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