Grandma's Famous Mac-n-Cheese

 My grandkids asked me for "grandma's famous" macaroni and cheese.  

Hmmmm...I had to think for a minute.  Which Grandma were they referring to?  My Grandma made good mac-n-cheese, but we never considered it to be famous.  

My daughter,their mother, said, "They're talking about YOUR macaroni and cheese".  

"So, I'm the Grandma"?  

That is SO weird.  When on earth did I get this old?  I swore that I'd never grow up.  

Maybe that's it.  

I look my age, but don't act my age.  

I should probably reverse that.

I'm going to share with you the recipe that became "Grandma's famous" macaroni and cheese. 

(I just thought I was throwing ingredients together)

You will need:
8 oz elbow macaroni (1/2 of a package)
2 cups shredded Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheese
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Add a good amount of salt to a large pot of boiling water.  Enough salt to make the water taste like the sea.

To the boiling water add the macaroni.  Broil, stirring occasionally.

Cook the macaroni until it is a little less than al dente.  It will finish cooking while it bakes.

Drain the macaroni.

Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a sauce pan melt only 2 tablespoons of the butter.

Add 2 tablespoons of flour.

Stir with a whisk so there are no lumps.  Cook until the mixture begins to smell like English Toffee cooking.
I hope you know what that smells like.  If you don't, perhaps you should make a batch of toffee.

Whoops!  I'm missing a photo.  Hmmm...don't know what happened to the picture of me pouring the cream into the milk/flour mixture.

Go ahead and pour int the cream and whisk until smooth and beginning to thicken.

I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking that I'm crazy for using cream.  You don't have to use cream. You can use half and half, whole milk, 2%, 1% or even skim.  If you do you are no longer making my  FAMOUS mac-n-cheese.  You will be making YOUR own version of mac-n-cheese...just sayin....

Add 1 teaspoon salt or whatever amount of salt you  like.

Add just a pinch of nutmeg.

Several grinds of pepper.

Whisk until smooth and thick.

Remove from heat and stir in the shredded Cave Aged Vermont Cheddar.

Once again, you do not have to use this type of cheese.  You can use your favorite cheese just as long as it's NOT processed.  Just remember that if you do use a different cheese that is is no longer my FAMOUS get it.

Stir in the cheese.  Don't worry about it melting completely.   It will do that in the oven.

Grab that cooked macaroni that you set aside for a minute.

Stir in cheese sauce.

Butter your favorite gratin dishes.  

I think my grandkids liked this so much because I baked them an individual serving in a ramekin.

You can easily use a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Divide among the serving dishes.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and add the the fresh bread crumbs.

Stir to combine.

Sprinkle on top of the mac-n-cheese.

The topping of the macaroni and cheese creates a bit of contention in our home.  My son prefers a large amount of cheese that turns crispy smothering his mac-n-cheese, My daughter and I prefer the fresh bread crumb topping because it gets crispy and we love the bite.  My grandkids like nothing at all on their mac-n-cheese.  The husband that rarely reads this blog prefers Kraft from a box.  (I married him?) He doesn't deserve me.

Why can't we ALL get on the same page...MY PAGE?

Trust me and go for the bread crumbs topping.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes.  Time depends on how large of a dish you are using and how crispy you like the top and edges of your macaroni and cheese.

 I like mine golden brown and just beginning to bubble around the edges.

Chances are you are going to make this recipe and think that this isn't very famous at all.

That's ok.  I don't care.  All that matters is that it's famous in the eyes these kids.

My Grandkids. 

 Even the one pouting.

Grandma's Famous Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
fresh ground black pepper
2 cups shredded Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheese
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Cook macaroni in a pot of salted boiling water until slightly less than al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

In a medium size saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Add flour and whisk until smooth.  Add cream and continue whisking until sauce begins to thicken.  Add salt, nutmeg and ground pepper.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheddar cheese.  Pour over reserved macaroni.  Pour into a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and mix with bread crumbs.  Sprinkle over the top of macaroni and cheese.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. 

Makes 6-8 servings. 

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  1. HI;
    This site is soooooooooo AWESOME and easy
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Wow, this is glorious-looking!! I'm a sucker for good Mac-and-cheese :) Nutmeg is the secret ingredient to perfection!! Your breadcrumbs look tempting too :) Yum. And I don't think you should ever have to act your age. I never plan to!

    1. Why thank you, April. What a nice comment. Great advice. I plan to NEVER act my age.

  3. I bet my grandkids will love this! Thanks. By the way, you're grandchildren are darling and they have a strange resemblance to some kids that used to hang out by my creek every summer. Take care.

  4. You read my mind, Janet. So. Doing. Tonight!

  5. I've never added nutmeg but will sure give it a try now! Adorable grands, even the pouter. ~ Maureen

  6. Absolutely love your story, but you should look at it as a compliment. You're famous! ;)

    And by these pictures, I know why. This mac and cheese looks ridiculous, I'd love to make this as a special treat when guests come over. Pinned!

  7. I just love your comments. Thanks for making my day.

  8. thanks for sharing.

  9. This looks great! I must try this for my kids! I am trying to get away from boxed "mac and cheese" and get the kiddos to appreciate the real stuff! Your grandkids are the pout face. ;)

  10. Hi Janet,
    that looks delicious! I love pasta! Of course, this recipe is cooked! BTW, sweet grandchildren!
    Greetings from Germany

  11. So, I am a HUGE fan of your blog, and have made at least a dozen of your recipes (which, by-the-way, has elevated my cooking to a whole new level, so thank you so, so much!!) When I saw this I knew I had to try it. How can you go wrong with Aged Vermont Cheddar and nutmeg, right? Apparently I can, because that lovely, creamy cheese sauce that I poured over the noodles before I put it in the oven, had separated by the time it had finished baking. Whereas yours looks still gooey & creamy. I'm trying to figure out where I went wrong. Did I cook it too long on the stove top and get the sauce too thick? I thought I'd ask.

    1. Take the sauce off the heat before adding in the cheese. Don't worry about the cheese melting in the sauce, it will melt during baking time. That should remedy the problem. Don't over bake. I hope that helps. Thank you for following my blog. You must be a fabulous cook. Just my recipes you do the creating. Good luck.

  12. Wow, what a hit! I'm a working Dad that promised my wife and daughters that I'd make dinner tonight. I followed your recipe lock-step (but added ham, because....well....I'm a guy). Huge success, thanks! 1 their opinions of my culinary abilities are WAY inflated!!!

    1. Ha ha way to go dad. Maybe if I started putting ham in my mac & cheese my husband would eat it. Great idea. Lucky family.