Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

Earlier this week, we hosted a small dinner party for 22!  Our daughter’s field hockey team dropped by for a team dinner during Spirit/Homecoming Week.  It was a busy schedule with 3 home field hockey games, reunions for alums, lots of other sports games with the Homecoming Football game last night.  The big dance is tonight!

What do you have for all these hungry girls?

IMG_1425On the Menu:

  • Mexican Deviled Eggs
  • Tossed Salad
  • Baked Macaroni and Cheese (affectionately called “Crack Mac”, it’s addictive)
  • Grilled Italian Chicken
  • Grilled Flank Steak
  • Southern Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream
  • S’mores at the fire pit by the Chesapeake Bay

I have been making “Crack Mac” for 4 years now, feeding it to all of our daughter’s sports teams.  It is a huge hit.  My mother always made Kraft Macaroni and Cheese out of a box (It was the Deluxe type.)  She never really saw the appeal of this wonderful comfort food…maybe it was because she had it a lot growing up…much like “slippery potpie.”

My husband’s mother, on the other hand, was a master (rather mistress) of macaroni and cheese.  For all of our married life he requested I make macaroni and cheese like his mother’s.  The problem was….there was no recipe.  She would just wing it every time.  One occasion I was there as she made it and watched intently trying to guesstimate the amounts of ingredients she used.  My attempts to recreate her magic in my kitchen would receive comments like, ” It’s good but it’s not like Mom’s” or “I think it needs a little ______.”  Anyway it was never quite right and very discouraging for a woman like myself who prides herself on delivering good food to a satisfied family.

And then I found a recipe, tweaked it a little, and viola!  Crack Mac was born and the compliments on my cooking started coming my way again!

IMG_0135

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (affectionately known as Crack Mac)

Recipe adapted from Patti Labelle’s Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 8 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb. macaroni
  • 1/2 cup Muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2 quart baking dish.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil.  Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon oil.  Cook for 7 minutes or until somewhat tender. Drain well and return to the pot.

Saute the diced onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until soft and transparent but not brown. Add to macaroni along with 8 tablespoons of melted butter.  Stir well.

In a large bowl, combine all of the shredded cheeses.  To the macaroni, add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheeses, half and half, the cubed Velveeta cheese, lightly beaten eggs, seasoned salt and pepper.  Stir.

Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and bubbly.  Serve hot.  Sit back and enjoy the compliments!

Serves 8-10.

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