Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Time to switch gears for a couple of seconds... I'm going to go from home decorating to recipe sharing. And this probably won't happen often because I am by no means an expert cook. (not that I'm an expert home decorator either but....I digress...)

Mark and I got this lovely crock pot from my Aunt and Uncle for a wedding present. This was a little bit of a struggle when I wanted to register for one because Mark is not a big fan of crock pot meals...but my mom cooked some delicious meals in the crock pot for us growing up so I insisted we add it to our registry! He agreed after I promised to learn to cook delicious meals in it.

My first attempt = disaster. Chicken and rice casserole that turned out to look like baby food and Mark was not impressed. He was gracious enough not to rub the fact that he doesn't like crock pot meals in my face though.

Only a couple of weeks after that, we were over at Mark's parent's house and his mom made a crock pot macaroni that we loved! I decided to give it a try myself because Mark LOVES macaroni and cheese so I figured it HAD to better than my chicken and rice dish that failed.

I gathered all of the ingredients:

8 oz. of Elbow Macaroni Noodles
1 Large Can of Evaporated Milk
1/2 Cup of Butter (Stick) - Melted
1 1/2 Cups of Milk
1 Cup MILD Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Cups of SHARP Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp of Salt
1tsp of Pepper
Slices of American Cheese to cover top of mixture
Optional: Paprika to sprinkle on top

Step 1: Grease bottom and sides of crock pot with butter
Step 2: Cook Macaroni Noodles according to package

Step 3: Mix together all ingredients and then poor into crock pot.

Step 4: Cook on LOW for 3 hours. 

My mother in laws crock pot cooked her dish on a Low setting in under 1 hour so you'll have to play around with your crock pot settings. I was gone at work for about 4 hours after I put this in the crock pot and it turned out great! (The recipe doesn't specify whether it should be covered/uncovered but I covered mine. I just felt better with it being contained since I was leaving for work.) 

I laid the American Cheese over the top a few minutes before serving to allow time for it to melt. You can also add it in in the beginning as it's cooking.

It tasted amazing! Not to mention it was so refreshing to walk through the door after getting off work at 7pm and knowing that dinner was already made and ready to go.

Over all Mark was way more impressed with the crock pot this time around, so I'm hoping with a few more good meals in this baby I just might be able to change his feelings towards this 
small kitchen appliance.

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