First - we need some dried pasta.  I chose elbow macaroni.  If I told you - that this recipe called for 1 cup of dried macaroni - this would only be precisely accurate if you were using the exact brand of pasta that I was.  Pasta varies by shape and each shape will take up more volume in a measuring cup.


To illustrate - I poured 1 cup of my macaroni into a measuring cup, that had been set on my kitchen scale - after hitting the tare button to zero it out.  This 1 cup of dried macaroni weighed in at my home as 5 ounces.


So - now that you know you need “5 ounces” of dried macaroni - you can be free to substitute shells or something similar. ... and you just need to measure out 5 oz.

The same holds true for measuring out grated cheese.  I’ve shown 3 different types of cheeses.  The top row is a sharp cheddar cheese - if I told you to use 1 cup of grated cheese - that wouldn’t be enough.  You can see that 4 ounces of grated cheese is about a cup and a half (1-1/2).


The middle row of photos shows what 2 ounces of grated white sharp cheddar looks like.  And the bottom row presents an entirely different situation with this Velveeta cheese.  This is roughly a 1/2 inch slice, weighing just over 2 ounces.


Ok - I’ve chatted long enough - but hopefully this may answer some of your questions if you’ve been challenged with some recipes you’ve tried!


Time for the recipe ... and then it’s time to gear up for the Super Bowl!!!

I mentioned up above that I use a box grater, non-stick cooking spray and wax paper ... that’s what I use for grating my cheese.  I spray my box grater with non-stick cooking spray and set it on top of a sheet of wax paper.  This makes all around clean up a whole lot easier!!  My helpful tip of the day!


Ok - here’s what you’ll need:


  1. -5 ounces dried macaroni, cooked in salted water to al dente, drained, not rinsed (about 1 cup, and cooked roughly about 1 minute shy of package directions)

  2. -6 ounces (3/4 cup) evaporated milk

  3. -4 ounces grated Sharp Cheddar cheese (yellow)

  4. -2 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese (white)

  5. -2 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed

  6. -1 Tablespoon cornstarch

  7. -1 teaspoon garlic powder

  8. -1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

  9. -3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

  10. -2 big dashes hot sauce, or to taste (mine are more like glugs instead of dashes)

  11. -6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled (about 1/2 cup, can be done in advance and refrigerated)

  12. -7 scallions or green onions, white and crisp green parts, diced (use less if you’re sensitive to onion, can be done in advance and refrigerated)


P.S. - Check out this recipe for Mini Macaroni & Cheese Cups (w/ Bacon & Scallions) for an idea and fun way to repurpose your leftovers!


Directions:


In a zippered plastic bag, combine cheeses with cornstarch.  Shake the bag well and set aside.  I often do this step in advance and just stick the plastic bag back into the refrigerator until it’s time to cook.


In a medium saucepan, begin heating the evaporated milk over medium heat.  Watch the pot - if it’s heated to hot, it will bubble over.  To the milk, add the garlic powder, chicken bouillon granules, dry mustard and hot sauce.


Once the milk is heated, start whisking in the cheeses.  I like to pull the saucepan off the heat as I whisk in the cheeses in batches - making sure the first batch is fully combined before adding the next, etc.  Taste and adjust seasonings.


When the sauce is done to your liking, add half of the scallions and bacon.  Stir to combine.  Taste - and you can either dump the rest of the bacon and scallions into the macaroni and cheese, or reserve for garnishing.  I like it both ways.


And that’s it ... Serve hot and eat!!!  ENJOY creating your own version!!


OH - and any leftovers ... check out the Mini Macaroni & Cheese Cups (w/ Bacon & Scallions)!  Have a great weekend!