I don't usually follow recipes, I'm more of a "cook by the heart" kind of gal. I know what tastes good together, I throw it in a pot with a pinch of this and a spoon of that and call it good.
It's called learning how to cook with your greatgrandma. I used to find it intimidating watching her in the kitchen, this amazingly cute little old lady who never followed a recipe, but yet knew exactly the right amount of spices to throw in.
That's how I learned, that's how she taught me, and that's why I love cooking, in a way. That sense of freedom in the kitchen to do whatever I want, eat whatever I wish and experiment.
As most of you already know, I'm a military wife and with that come deployments and TDY's, separations that are never easy on the soldier or the family. To make things easier and a little more bearable for the kids, we do all sorts of things to keep them connected with daddy.....and then we also give them a little more reign of certain things.
Like in this case....the Menu Planning for the time that daddy is away.
Needless to say, there's a whole lot of hotdogs, ravioli, homemade pizza, quesadillas, mac and cheese etc. going on.
So for tonight's dinner they jotted down Homemade Mac and Cheese, and that's what I gave them. No recipe, just a few things thrown together and they loved it, and my 9 year old boy said that on a scale of 1 to 10 it was a 1000. I'll.take.it!!!
Homemade Mac and Cheese
1 box macaroni or whatever pasta you have available (I used rotini)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups of milk
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
Shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar, Colby Jack cheese
Cook the noodles according to package directions, set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a skillet, melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk well....start adding the milk slowly to the skillet while stirring vigorously with the whisk to prevent lumps.
When it starts thickening, add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Add in the shredded cheeses (again to taste, if you want it very cheesy, by all means go for it). Turn off the heat and continue stirring until all the cheese is melted.
Pour the pasta into the skillet and incorporate everything well. Transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs and some more shredded cheese and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and nice and brown on the top :)
I made a pan of the mac and cheese and since it's a lot for us 3, I scooped some into small 1/4 oz mason jars for a quick lunch for the kids.
The remaining mac and cheese is cooling on my counter and will then be transferred to a foil dish, covered tightly with plastic wrap and frozen :)