September 1, 2010


macncheese-1.jpg picture by sarahjmorriss

Perhaps I'm showing my age when I say ~

Macaroni & Cheese
A comfort food that I absolutely adore!  How about you?

My great-grandmother's recipe, of Pennsylvania Dutch origin, is what I was raised on.

My Kids
They won't eat it unless MY dad Mike makes it.

Culinary muses, whose recipes and ideas make our mouths water, are all around us.  My Muse for this post was Morgan at Becoming Home Grown. I recently enjoyed her post "Mac and Cheese of Doom", and it got me thinking, no, make that daydreaming about MY FAVORITE MACARONI AND CHEESE.

My husband and I were looking for a Macaroni & Cheese recipe that could be put together easily and relatively quickly, would have some depth and character, without compromising the classic taste that transports us to the land of Cozychildhoodville, and would please a crowd of diverse palettes (enter ~  my children ~ Miss Pickypants #1 and Miss Pickypants #2).  It had to have a creamy, melty middle and a delicious, golden, crunchy top that virtually begs for you to pick at it, despite the risk of severe, palette numbing burns, the moment it emerges from the oven.

We modified the Martini Mac & Cheese recipe from Cooks Country (the sister of our favorite publication, Cooks Illustrated), knowing full well that the addition of green olives and cocktail onions was tantamount to putting a live snake in the macaroni, as far as our girls were concerned.  The panko bread crumbs on the top were my addition ~ absolutely, gotta have a good buttery crunch!  What resulted was pure excellence!  A hit!  The cheddar gave just the right tang; the parmesan the perfect level of saltiness and nuttiness; and the gorgonzola contributed a depth of flavor in a sneaky sort of way (in that you wouldn't leap to the immediate conclusion that the cheese sauce contained a blue-veined cheese).  

Here's our recipe...

Rook No. 17's Favorite Macaroni & Cheese

(with three cheeses)


  • 1 lb. dry elbow macaroni
  • 5 TB butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low-fat milk
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs (found in the Asian foods sections of grocery stores)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack adjusted to middle.
Grease a 13x9 baking dish and set aside.

Step 1:  Bring 4 quarts water t a boil in a large pot. Add dried macaroni and 1 TB salt, and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to pot.

Step 2:  While pasta is boiling, prepare the cheese sauce by melting 3 TB of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for one minute. Whisk in the milk and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened (5-7 minutes)

Step 3:  Off the heat, whisk in 3 ½ cups of the cheddar, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and the Gorgonzola until melted.

Step 4:  Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until evenly combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheeses evenly over the top.

Step 5:  In a large sauté pan, melt remaining 2 TB butter. Remove from heat. Add panko bread crumbs and stir to combine . Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs over macaroni.

Step 6:  Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown ~ approx. 20 minutes. Cool for ten minutes before serving


  1. Oh, that is luscious looking mac and cheese! I am a child of the 70's, and grew up on my mom's whole wheat "vegeroni" and cheese, with tomato slices on top. My palate wasn't quite ready for that!

  2. Dear Jenn,thank you for your nice comment about my hand felted jewelry.
    In Poland we have the recipe for macaroni with very strange ingridient : sauerkraut. Very tasty!

  3. 3:30 in the afternoon and now all I can think of is your mac and cheese!


  4. Jenn,

    Thanks for your sweet comment about my clock! You are more than welcome to use it with a link back to vintage revivals!

    love your guts

    ps your blog is awesome!!

  5. I love, love, love mac and cheese. This recipe looks fantastic - can't wait to try it!

  6. I love mac and cheese. This recipe is almost like my mom's. We use cheddar cheese, I would be willing to experiment. Thanks for sharing.

  7. this is just cruel. i am trying to eat healthier... and then i see this and it just looks like heaven!

  8. I love all things Mac & Cheese. Thanks for the recipe :)

  9. Mmmmmmm! I love Macaroni Cheese and SESAME STREET never goes out of style!
    I have had to figure out a way to make gluten free macaroni cheese since my daughter is now gluten intolerant :(
    It's just not the same. Close, but not quite good enough.

    I'm visiting (and following) from BF "Leave your blog link" discussion

  10. Yum! This looks so good! We love mac and cheese here, although my Miss Sarah is picky about her mac and cheese, too! She will only eat homemade!

  11. That looks yuh-hum. I actually just made a homemade mac and cheese today, too. Wishing I would have stopped here first for something different...thanks for sharing!


  12. Hi!! Thanks for following me on blogfrog! I'm following you on blogfrog & on here as well. I love your blog!! It's very creative! I love Mac & Cheese what a coincidence I'm having some now actually. lol

  13. That mac n cheese does look delicious! It's funny you mention Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking because I too grew up on it and am trying to get away from it to be healthier, but I'm stuck in a crossroad...trying to learn about what's healthy and what really isn't. Nice post! I look forward to trying this recipe!

  14. MAN that looks so GOOD!

    Thanks for your kind comment yesterday! Hope to become good blog friends :)

    And OMG send me some of that Mac&Cheese with your next comment okay? I swear I can almost small it. MMMm.

  15. Hi Jenn, this sounds delicious!! Just found you from blogfrog, and I'm sure glad I did. You've got a fun little corner of the internet going here. I look forward to seeing what you post next :-) ~Kristin from Windy Poplars

  16. Jenn ~ returning the follow. Your blog is ...delicious :). I love mac & cheese; I will have to try this recipe out. Yum!!

  17. Stopping from SITS! I love mac and cheese. This looks like a great recipe.

  18. You're reminding me it's been a very long time since I made macaroni cheese. Time to put that right, I think :D

  19. That looks like a plate of comfort!

  20. I love a good recipe for Mac & Cheese. I bought a thermos for our son so he can start taking it to school with him. Hard to find foods you know they'll eat.

  21. Yep, agreed that it sounds quite scrummy. I might have to try making it Jenn. and here was I thinking that it was made with just cheddar cheese! Love the idea of all different types in it. I get the impression that Macaroni and Cheese is more of an American Institution? I think peeps tend to eat it more from packets over here! I could be wrong though, not normally being an M & C lover myself. eek, couldn't think of anything worse personally. :o)

  22. That looks delicious. I love mac and cheese, but I'll be totally honest and confess how truly lazy I am. I always make it from a box. Lame, I know.

  23. I have literally DIED and gone to heaven! I'm from Pennsylvania Dutch country myself, and nobody but nobody could make homemade macaroni and cheese like my mom. Your recipe looks exactly like mom's used to look, and I am totally going to give it a go next week after we do our grocery shopping! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  24. M is also for mmmm, mmmm, good! And for Making me crave some macaroni. Yours looks absolutely delicious!

  25. Just stopping by from SITS! Mmmm that Mac and Cheese looks amazing!!! I want some NOW!!! hehe

    Feel free to visit my blog if you have some time!

    Have a good day! :)

  26. You mac and cheese sounds and looks heavenly. I love Mac n cheese with Parmesan cheese and that buttered breadcrumbs I gotta try.

    Found you at SITS

  27. Happy Labor Day!!

    Found your blog via SITS!! OH, my...drool.....that looks sooo yummy!! Following you on twitter too. I love discovering new fabulous blogs. :)

  28. I love mac-n-cheese! It is my bestest, most favoritist comfort food in the whole world, well, beside choc chip cookies, and um, ice cream, and um, well... it's ONE of my favorites, lol!


  29. Stopping by from SITS to say hi! The mac and cheese looks good! Have a great week!

  30. Thanks for being my 100th follower! i love your mac n cheese post... mmmm my fave! I am now following you your blog :)


  31. YUM! This looks great! I could live on mac & cheese because it's so darn good!

  32. Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.


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