Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Tired Gourmet #2 - Mac & Cheese ~ Lazy Style

Okay, okay, so it's another noodle-based recipe. I can't help it; I like pasta. My mom used to make the best mac & cheese. She put a lot of effort into it though, which involved making a béchamel sauce first, using nearly an entire large block of cheese, having a wicked thick crust of melted cheese on top, and even adding the buttered bread crumbs. Wow, that was some good stuff. Well, I'm sorry, but I'm tired. You're tired. I'm lazy. You may well be lazy too. You want a mac & cheese that will be good like that, and yet, you are like me, and have no patience for standing there stirring up your white sauce, then adding the cheese to it. Fair enough. I also don't put any buttered bread crumbs on top. I can't be bothered--when I'm in the mood for mac & cheese I simply want pasta loaded up with cheese. However, if you're sad that I've omitted it, by all means go crazy. I also skip the thick layer of melted cheese on top, since I figured this thing's already loaded with fat and calories. If you NEED it though, just grate some more cheese. So, are you ready??? Let's get LAZY!

Mac & Cheese ~ Lazy Style
time: 15 minutes prep time (unless you're tired) +
1 hour for cooking
Serves: 4 (I should say 5, shouldn't I!)

1) 5 cups uncooked pasta (your choice--I'm a fan of rotini personally)
2) 1 can (284 ml, 10 fl oz) condensed cream of cheddar cheese soup
3) 1 1/3 (soup) cans milk
4) 1 1/2 small blocks sharp cheddar cheese, grated ( 300 g. Note: 1 block = 200 g, or you can use 2/3 of a large 500 g block)
5) 3 generous tablespoons mayonnaise
6) 1/2 tsp salt

! Note: the mayonnaise is important. It adds a little 'tang' to the dish. If you don't use it, your mac & cheese will taste like the processed soup. The mayo gives it a 'homemade' taste.

Grease a large casserole dish (3 qt/2.8 L) lightly with a little olive oil, or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Fill a large pot with salted water on high heat to bring to a boil.
In the meantime, measure out dry pasta into a bowl and set aside. Grate cheese. Set aside.

Prepare Sauce:

mix condensed soup, milk, salt, mayonnaise and all but one scant cup of the grated cheese together in your casserole dish. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, if you're cooking immediately.

When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook for TWO MINUTES LESS than minimum al denté time. For instance, if directions indicate to cook pasta for 12-14 minutes, add pasta to boiling water, and as soon as water comes back to the boil, set your timer for 10 minutes.

When time is up, drain pasta, dump into casserole dish and coat well with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil, dull side out, and either bake immediately for one hour, or set aside till ready to bake, and then bake for one hour in a preheated 350 degree oven. Serve with a nice, green salad, and brag to everyone about how much you rock.

Sssh...the mayonnaise is the secret (especially because THE MAN hates ALL CONDIMENTS)

mmm...blob of soup...

making that sauce better with spoonful of -- HURRY UP AND MIX IT IN BEFORE YOU'RE CAUGHT!!!

stir, stir...

add your nice, al denté pasta

sprinkle, sprinkle!

Holy moly that looks good! (Incidentally, that's a refreshing and simple salad of crisp romaine, and carrot shavings tossed in a zippy balsamic dressing)

And now that you've saved all that time making this easy dish, look at all the fun stuff you can accomplish:

time for a little light reading...

(someone needs to stop walking around outside in her bare feet...)


  1. did you pose for all those hillarious pictures?

    I like your whole post especially hiding it from the hubby.

  2. Karen!!!!!!!!! You're so gay! Oh, that was hillarious. I was snickering out loud. SNICKERING! My favourite is the one of you vacuming... not just vacuming.. but vacuming with such delight! hahahaha.

    P.S. wash your friggen feet already. ;)

  3. My feet are very clean today.

    Cranberry, I did indeed pose for all those pictures--my sister can vouch for how ridiculous I can be. What's even funnier was the long-suffering look on the photographer's (THE MAN) face.

  4. but don't forget the mac & cheese--it was DOPE.

  5. Karen you are still cute as a button and funny too! I love your photos! This recipe looks great!
    I bet Sam would love it. I have a gourmet one that uses cream cheese and i add bread crumbs with butter (Italian bread crumbs) and parmesan it is so good and HE DOESN"T like it!!! I bet he'll like this one. Mayo you say?
    You finally got a comment out of Aimee!

  6. Now, what you need to ask Sam is precisely what could be wrong with anything to do with pasta and cheese??? Yeah, this is a kid-pleasing recipe. Probably that's what influences me, otherwise I'd enjoy feta cheese more often.
    Yes, the mayo keeps makes the mac taste like you made the white sauce first and only used real cheese. The soup saves a ton of time and effort, but it has a less "real" taste.

  7. oops, red wine typo...omit "keeps" from the mayo part of the comment

  8. Love the red wino typo lol that's what i need right now!
    He doesn't like the breadcrumb part and he actually prefers cheese whiz and fast cheat version.
    I loved the book you were reading ..had me laughing there!!!

  9. that book was disappointing garbage. Every now and then I sign one of those types of books out from the library, and Jon just rolls his eyes.

    cheese whiz is great--but I wouldn't eat it on pasta I don't think. Actually, one could add some to this mac & cheese and it would be just fine

  10. Hey I have those feet to, and to be honest about it, it is because I hate washing the tile floor only to have my husband and kids walk in the house with their shoes on. For that reason I could be washing the floor twice a day, so I don't.
    MMM I am going to try your recipe next week, I must say that my kids prefer the box, yes I am sorry but they have tried homemade, by someone else and out loud mind you, they said, eww yuck mom, that's not real macarroni and cheese. I wanted to crawl under the rug, I did not enlighten anyone as to the kind my kids prefer.
    I am so glad your version leaves you plenty of play time, ha.

  11. oh my! these pictures made my week!they really did make me 'lol'. i love the book it looks real 'deep' ha.

  12. you know, as a kid I used to love the boxed kind too, but since I growed up, and started making my own, now when I make the boxed stuff I think; "hey, this kinda sucks."
    Yeah, my floor has crap on it all the time too--in fact, I should sweep it right now.
    Let me know how it goes if you make it!

  13. Paula, I'm glad I made you LOL. Every once in a while I LOL too. Yeah, that book is a classic. The writing in it is so horrible, I felt like blogging about it, but somehow it just feels mean. Feeling any better???

  14. You know, even I learned something from this recipe entry...vacuuming can cause spontaneous orgasms. Less pressure on the guy. Your blogs are GOLD. Guess who's getting a new Dyson for Christmas...

  15. if you are looking for escapist novels with good writing try 'outlander' by dianna gabaldon really you will be addicted, and there are 7 books in the series! also try the 'fever' or 'highlander' series by karen marie moning..good stuff! matt calls it 'literary porn'. i guess i know what i'm getting for christmas...

  16. LOL MATT!!

    Good, because this wal of evil vac sucks a tiny bit, and not in the good way that vacs are supposed to.

  17. oo! Thanks Paula! I'm always looking for book recommendations. When I ask for them at the library, the librarian always looks a little uncomfortable, like nobody ever puts them to the test, and they're not sure what the right answer is.

  18. i like the pixie feet!!!!

  19. yeah, but when you say 'pixie,' do you actually mean FILTHY? Ha ha ha...seriously, that's some good mac & cheese though.


I lurv comments. Thank you for the comments. They are scrumptious.


Related Posts with Thumbnails