Friday, October 30, 2009

Easy Halloween Night Dinner: Warm and Creamy Mac and Cheese

I'll be too busy to post anything tomorrow, so I'm posting double-duty today.

If you want an easy dinner for Halloween night, assemble this ahead and bake to serve before (or after) a night of trick-or-treating. It will chase away the chill and just might keep the little goblins from diving immediately into their stash of goodies (maybe not).

To attempt to counter the affects of this candy-laden evening, you can add a bit more nutrition by using whole-grain pasta and lower-fat dairy products. Just as good...

Warm and Creamy Mac & Cheese

350 degrees F
Serves a scary house-full

  • 1 lb. macaroni, cooked al dente and drained(I like Prince's "Elbows for Casseroles")
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded monterey jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs

Cook macaroni according to package directions, to the al dente stage.

In large saucepan, melt butter. Add 1/2 cup of the milk and the flour, stir until smooth. Whiskin the rest of the milk and ring to a boil over medium-low heat. Let it bubble for one minute. Stir in cheeses and a few grinds of black pepper. Continue to cook, stirring to prevent scorching, on low heat for three minutes more.

Spray a 9x13 glass baking dish (or larger casserole dish). Place drained pasta in baking dish and pour cheese mixture over top. Mix well. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Spray top of bread crumbs with cooking spray or drizzle a little melted butter over top.

Bake for half an hour or until bread crumbs begin to brown and cheese sauce is bubbling. Let it sit for five or ten minutes after removing from oven.

Add a tossed salad and a whole-wheat roll, and dinner's done!

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