whether you are a person that cooks daily (like me) or a person that cooks once a week, i have found that pretty much every person has a go to dish that they love and are even confident enough to serve it to guests. for me, that dish is a baked macaroni and cheese.
growing up in a household with parents and grandparents who cooked regularly, specifically, a grandmother with midwestern/southern roots, we were all about soul food. when i was in fifth grade, i went to a friend’s house after school and mentioned i was hungry, she told me she could make us some mac and cheese “real quick”. i was shook. i had never seen mac and cheese take less than one hour start to finish. this was the day i discovered that easy mac existed. now, as a tipsy college student, easy mac definitely did the trick. pushing 30, i now want something more substantial and would like to cook with ingredients that are actually easy to identify. so over the years, i have tweaked the mac and cheese recipe my grammy and mom served to us as kids.
for me, meat is not a necessity to make something a meal. i am happy having mac and cheese by itself or paired with a salad + some cornbread with honey butter. now, if i am cooking for guests, i normally pair this with both fried chicken and a baked bbq sriracha glazed chicken, something green (i lean towards steamed broccoli with garlic and lemon or a caesar salad with bacon and avocado) and the aforementioned cornbread.
while this is called mac and cheese, i actually use medium sized shells because i noticed they cup all of the cheesy goodness in a way the small elbow macaroni i grew up on could not.
*warning – i do not measure when i season – it is more of a feeling but i am happy to do this via instagram live if that is something you all are interested in at a later date
now, onto the ingredients/necessary cookware:
the recipe is fairly simple: