Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tasty Tuesday....Oven Baked Mac & Cheese

When my sister and I were young, we would spend a couple of  weeks during our summer break in Knoxville, TN with my grandfather and his wife....

PapPaw......what a man he was. As a child he seemed larger than life, and to be honest, if he were still here today he would still seem that way to me. He was a character in every sense of the word. He had sayings about everything and I find myself smiling because I can hear myself saying the same things to my own kids.

There are so many stories I have about my PapPaw, but, the tittle of the post is "Tasty Tuesday" so I'll get to  the point.... 
{but one of these days I'll have to tell you more about him....he really was something else}

During our visits to his house we learned that not a lot of cooking went on there...so we ate out, a lot. To me this was awesome, I was a picky eater so going out to eat meant an entire menu of options and I got to choose.
My favorite place that he would take us to was the S&S Cafeteria. Like the name suggests, it was a cafeteria style restaurant.... grab a tray and head down the line. I have a feeling that my PapPaw liked this type of restaurant because it reminded him of his Navy days eating in the Galley...only with better food.

The options were plenty but I only had eyes for the baked Mac & Cheese...double portion for me, yep, even as a child I knew to double up on all of life's goodness ;)

I have tried to recreate this recipe many times over the years....tweaking a little here and there....until finally, I took a bite and there I was, 7 years old again and sitting at the S&S Cafeteria with my PapPaw......

2 cups uncooked macaroni shells
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
2 slices American cheese {Kraft}
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 dash nutmeg
salt and pepper

Heat your oven to 350 F
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a decent amount of salt to the boiling water, cook the macaroni shells until they are tender...

While the shells are cooking, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Once the butter is melted whisk in flour until no lumps remain. 
Sprinkle in the onion flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper

Cook the four mixture for a few minutes then start to whisk in the milk. You will notice immediately that the mixture with thicken...just keep whisking until you have added all of the milk.

At this point you can remove the saucepan from the heat and start to stir in your cheeses. Don't worry if the sauce seems to thick, it will all work out ;)

In a small bowl crack and whisk the egg. Now it's time to "temper" the egg
{this just means to slowly bring the egg to a warmer temp so you don't end up with scrambled eggs in your dish}
To temper the egg, add a spoon full of the cheese sauce to the bowl with the whisked egg and slowly stir them together. 

Pour the egg mixture into the cheese sauce and stir it all together. 

Drain the pasta, and stir it into the cheese sauce. If your sauce looked like it was getting to be too thick before, adding the warm pasta should have thinned it out...if not, add a small amount of milk {1 tablespoon}

Pour the mac & cheese into casserole dish, top with 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar and bake, uncovered for 30 minutes.

And that's it! I do hope you enjoy this recipe.....it's packed full of goodness and memories too!

I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

One Artsy Mama


  1. i always doubled up on the mashed potatoes :)
    i sure do miss PapPaw!!
    love you sis!

  2. Awww, that is the greatest story to go with an awesome-looking recipe. I want me some of that mac 'n cheese right now.


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