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Friday, February 27, 2015

Nana's Macaroni and Cheese

Ooh! I've been dying to post this recipe since I first started the blog but I'm always too lazy to take the pictures when I make it for lunch. I ate this almost every weekday of my childhood. Nana made a pot every day at lunch for my cousin J and me to share. She's probably made it for me hundreds of times, if not thousands.

This is not a fancy macaroni. Nana doesn't use expensive cheeses like smoked gouda. She doesn't bake the macaroni with toasted, seasoned bread crumbs or crushed crackers on top. She doesn't add vegetables or meats, not even bacon or pancetta or leeks, but this is and always will be my favorite mac and cheese.

I've talked a lot about comfort foods on here and maybe I've even used the phrase "ultimate comfort food" but this really is the absolute ultimate comfort food for me. Sure, it's nostalgic, but it's so much more than that. It's like home in a bowl. It makes me feel well when I'm sick, happy when I'm sad, loved when I'm lonely, calm when I'm anxious... basically it's an emotional cure-all.

And of course it helps that it's warm, creamy, and cheesy.

Nana's Macaroni and Cheese

Source: Family Recipe

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1/4-1/2 cup milk
7-9 slices American cheese
salt and pepper

Cook the macaroni according to package directions in a medium saucepan (and don't forget to salt the water). Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Return the pot to the stove over medium-low heat and add the milk (start with 1/4 cup and add it in splashes as needed).

Stir in the cheese two slices at a time. Stir until the cheese is melted into the milk before adding more cheese.

Once you've reached your desired cheesiness season with salt and pepper.

Serve warm. This is great as a side dish with dinner and just as great all on its own for lunch.

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