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Each year, as summer is winding down and we gear up to send the kids back to school, I always remember what it felt like when I was in their shoes. Never ready to give up the long summer days, the relaxed schedule, and that amazing sense of freedom you get when summer begins. But here we are, setting the alarm, buying school supplies, filling out mounds of paperwork, and menu planning for school nights.
It’s this time of year the family meal becomes especially important. At the end of the day, everyone is tired and there is so much to share. Although, if your kids are anything like mine, it can be like pulling teeth to get them say a thing about their day. So I say, ply them with food. It works!
This is one of those recipes that is just pure comfort, plain and simple. A zillion times better than the boxed variety for sure. If you feel guilty about the indulgence, serve it up as a side dish to some grilled chicken. I promise it’s worth it.
Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup butter divided
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups milk warmed for 1 minute in microwave
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup Italian style panko bread crumbs
- Cook elbow macaroni in boiling, salted water for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in large saucepan on low heat. Blend in flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in Lawry's Seasoning Salt, mustard and pepper and then add Velveeta and cheddar cheese; stir until melted.
- Stir in macaroni, mix well and remove from heat. Pour into a lightly greased 1 ½ quart casserole.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle casserole with bread crumb mixture.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
- For a nice browned top, at end of baking time, crack open oven door, turn to broil and cook for an additional 2 or 3 minutes. Watch closely and remove from oven as soon as it is golden brown.