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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese: An Easy and Inexpensive Thanksgiving Side Dish

Macaroni and Cheese: An Easy and Inexpensive Thanksgiving Side Dish

by Sarah Ganly @ sarahganly.blogspot.com

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year to eat and cook. I love to bake and make huge meals, but the problem is money and time. Over the years I have devised some recipes that are not only cheap, but also quick and painless. Here is my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.
A great and simple side dish to make is macaroni and cheese. You can buy pasta for very cheap, and most supermarkets sell the cheese ends for way cheaper than sliced cheese. Get as many different cheeses as you like and cut them into chunks. One cup of cheese is enough for 2 cups of uncooked pasta. Multiple measurements to suit the amount of people you are feeding.
Cook the pasta in boiling water until it is soft. While the pasta is boiling put the cheese chunks in a sauce pan and add milk or cream until the cheese is a quarter submerged. Stir this sauce constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Make sure to keep the flame low enough to not burn the sauce. When the cheese and cream have combined remove from heat and strain the pasta. Now add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot and put the pasta back in it. Toss the pasta in the butter quickly and add the cheese sauce while stirring to combine.
You can eat this macaroni just the way it is or you can add a few special variations. Macaroni and cheese can be made with many different ingredients added in for different flavor combinations.
One delicious variation is to sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top and bake until it is crusty and golden. You can sprinkle crispy fried onions on top and bake until golden as well.
Another healthy and colorful way to spice up macaroni and cheese is by adding sautéed vegetables such as red and green peppers, celery, carrot, or onion. Diced tomatoes can also be added to this recipe; the tomatoes do not need to be cooked. Canned peas can also be stirred in for a softer taste.
My favorite macaroni and cheese recipe involves mixing some well strained spinach with the macaroni and sprinkling the top with crumbled up crackers. The spinach dish should be baked for about 10 minutes.
Thanksgiving dinner may be a little overwhelming but this recipe and the variations I have supplied can help you save time and money this Thanksgiving. The macaroni and cheese recipe is delicious as well!

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