Cooking for Kids: Mac and Cheese

Two thumbs (and a tongue) up
Are your kids mac lovers like mine? I'm pretty sure my daughter would eat mac and cheese all day, every day if we let her. And my son, well, he pretty much eats anything we put in front of him.

I've made homemade mac and cheese a few times using a recipe from the Betty Crocker Bridal Cookbook. It's great, but there are a lot of steps involved. I don't know about you, but I usually don't have time for a lot of steps. I've also made the kids Annie's Mac & Cheese quite a bit. It's organic so it's good for them, right?

Then a friend of mine told me about some one pot mac and cheese recipes that are made by cooking the noodles in milk. It seemed very similar to Pasta Roni Shells and White Cheddar, which I'm a little embarrassed to admit, I totally love. No wonder my kids love mac and cheese. Their addiction probably started in the womb.

I tried out two of these one pot mac and cheese recipes in the last two days. One is from White On Rice Couple and another one is from Macaroni and Cheesecake. They were both pretty similar. The White On Rice recipe cooked the noodles in butter, milk, mustard powder and salt. The Macaroni and Cheesecake recipe cooked the noodles in milk alone and added the salt and dijon mustard at the end. Both were super delicious. I think I preferred White on Rice Couple (probably because I love butter) but my kids did not have a preference. They loved them both.

Real men wear pink bibs
This little boy loved it so much he decided to style his hair with it. Totally put a kink in my bathe-the-kids-every-three-nights schedule.

If you're going to do a boxed mac and cheese night to save a bit of time, these one pot recipes will be just as fast. And even more delicious!

After a few tries, here's the recipe I like best.

  • 2 cups noodles
  • 2 cups milk (I used full fat since that's what my kids still drink, low-fat is fine, too)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  1. Combine milk, salt, mustard powder, butter and noodles in a sauce pan.
  2. Over medium heat bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. (If you leave the room this WILL boil over and make a huge mess, if you stay in the room it won't. It's some strange law that noodles always follow.)
  3. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, turn down the heat and let the noodles cook at a very low simmer.
  4. Stir the mixture frequently. The cooking time varies based on the noodles you use. Just keep an eye on it and cook until the noodles are done and most of the milk is absorbed. You can always add a bit more milk and cook for longer if you need to.
  5. Stir in cheese.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Take a little taste because you can't stand to wait.
  8. Add a lid and wait impatiently for 5 minutes.
  9. Stir and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Looks easy to make and I love mac and cheese! I think mustard powder always adds a special kick that you can never quite put your hands on. I also love the part about the milk boiling over when you leave the room. That always happens to me. I will definitely be trying this one out!