This one was in the Herald yesterday, but with a mistake by me. It’s 16 oz of cheese, not 8. Sorry!
It’s no secret that food is one of my favorite things in life. When I plan my meals, I have to make sure it is going to be something really tasty. One of the biggest disappointments to me is eating a meal that just isn’t that good. It feels like such a waste to me, a missed opportunity for something I love.
The thing is, for me it isn’t just about the taste. Sure, I want it to taste good – but it also has to feel good. I’m a texture person. It took me well into my teenage years to be able to stomach peas – not because of how they taste, but how they felt in my mouth. The pop of the outside followed by the mush on the inside was just more than I could handle. I’m not sure what made me finally get over it, but I’m fine with peas now.
Often times when planning meals, I plan more around the texture I am craving than the taste of the food. One of my favorite textures is smooth and creamy. Whether it is a dessert made of cool whip and pudding or a pasta dish with a rich creamy sauce, these foods are just as satisfying to the soul as they are to the palate.
Like most children, mac and cheese was one of my favorites growing up, and it still is. The good ol’ box will work in a pinch, but Mom’s homemade mac and cheese is better than anything else. My favorite part has always been the fresh sliced tomatoes layered on top with the crunchy breadcrumb mixture finishing it off. A bite of warm, creamy pasta with the slight tang of tomato and just a tiny crunch is the perfect texture recipe for me. And just to top it off, it tastes incredible as well. This is one that you just can’t go wrong with.
Mom’s Mac and Cheese
1 box macaroni (elbows or shells are best), cooked al dente or a tiny bit less
1 tomato, sliced
16 ounce box Velveeta, chopped
¼ stick butter
¼ cup flour
2 to 2 ½ cups milk
1 tablespoon minced onion
Parsley to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Over low heat, melt butter. Whisk flour into it, and then add milk slowly. Before boiling, add cheese, bring to a slow boil. Add minced onion, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir in macaroni. Place in a 13×9 inch baking dish. Top with parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and sliced tomatoes. Bake for 30-45 minutes.