Isabella’s Favorite Mac and Cheese

We are a Disney family. Growing up behind the Orange Curtain, I was always at D-land. Even when I got married and then we moved to Nor Cal and had a family, we had annual passes and would go down there all the time. (Sadly we had to stop when the kids hit high school as it was too hard for them to miss classes. However, they’re almost both in college and then maybe Bill and I will get passes again. Woohoo!)

Back to my story…There’s an attraction called Talk Time with Crush where Crush from Little Nemo talks to audience members. Kids can ask questions and he answers them. Every time we’ve been in that show, Crush has called on Isabella, from the time she was little until now at 19 years old (it ticks off her sister Maddie). One time Isabella asked Crush, “What do you like to eat?” and he responded, “Green sea grass. That’s why I’m this green color.” Then he asked Isabella what she likes to eat and she replied, “Pasta.” And here’s where Crush earned his bonus when he responded, “Is that why you’re pasta-colored?” Anyone who knows Isabella knows that her two main meals are pasta with “Bella Sauce” (Bernstein’s Cheese Fantastico dressing) and macaroni and cheese, and she’s very fair or pasta-colored as Crush would say.

Home for the winter break from Pacific University, Isabella asked me to make her mac and cheese — twice! I made it for her last meal before heading back to school. I had five slices of bacon, so I cooked those up, ate one of them, crumbled four of them, and tossed the crumbles into the mac and cheese. Oh, it was so, so, so good! Feel free to get creative and add anything that strikes your fancy.

Mac and cheese ready to go in the oven.

Mac and cheese ready to go in the oven.

The finished product. Warm and bubbly mac and cheese to keep my college student happy.

The finished product. Warm and bubbly mac and cheese to keep my college student happy.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Muenster cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 ounces cubed processed cheese food
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the oil and the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain well and return to cooking pot.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons butter; stir into the macaroni.

3. In a large bowl, combine the Muenster cheese, mild and sharp Cheddar cheeses, and Monterey Jack cheese; mix well.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

5. Add the half and half, 1 1/2 cups of cheese mixture, cubed processed cheese food, and eggs to macaroni; mix together and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a lightly greased deep 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese mixture and 1 tablespoon of butter.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbling around the edges; serve.

 

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About Chef Ro

I am executive chef of Barcellona Bites, a boutique catering and personal chef service in Folsom, CA. I am also a wife, mom of two college-aged daughters in the Pacific Northwest, yogi and animal lover. Please LIKE my facebook page for tasty recipes, helpful information and kitchen, cooking and lifestyle tips. www.facebook.com/barcellonabites
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