Sunday, April 7, 2013

Slow-Cooker Mac n Cheese!

Slow-Cooker Mac n Cheese
Just another way to make the classic

I feel like these past few weeks there is so much going on. I've been interviewing for a new job, I'll know in a few days whether I got it or not, there have been dance shows, cleaning, cooking, and I've been running around like a madwoman trying to get stuff done. But the job thing is the most important right now. I don't think I've ever wanted anything so bad in my life before...well except maybe my dog.

Like my dad has said, the preschool was a nice transition from going to school full-time to working full-time, but it's not something that has a lot of potential to grow. Unless I want to get my Montessori certification and be a teacher for the rest of my life. And....I don't. I love it, but not all of it. Teachers need to have 100% passion about teaching and I have probably 75-80% not enough, not good enough. So after a second and third interview with one company I am counting down the seconds until I may possibly hear from them. I need a new chapter in my life, I need a change, I want room to grow and to be challenged in other ways than my patience please.

My dog really wants me to get this new job too. Why? So I can afford to buy her the good food, treats, and new toys. She's got my best interests at heart. I think being on a new career path is what excites me most...well and buying new clothes for this job will be fun and wearing all my shoes. Aurora doesn't see it that way, she sees food possibilities. And on that do I.

Mac n Cheese, irony of this is when I was little I didn't like it. Crazy right? What little kid doesn't like Mac n Cheese?! Me. I don't get it, I love it now. Just as long as I don't make Easy Mac...I accidentally almost set fire to the microwave at work about a month ago. I forgot to put water in the cup with the noodles. Yeah, Kendra can make shit from scratch, but can't handle the Easy Mac. Genius.

So I can make regular Mac n Cheese from a box, and I've made my Creamy Baked Mac n Cheese. I've got another idea for that one too I need to try soon as I get a couple of new kitchen toys. So today I thought I'd take my spin at Mac n Cheese in the crock-pot! I've looked at several recipes and decided to take a stab at it. So here we go, here's what you'll need!

8 oz elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
8-10 oz evaporated milk
1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted (I used Campbell's)
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Black Pepper to taste
1-2 Jalapenos, chopped (optional)

This recipe can easily be doubled, I initially cut one of the recipes I found in half to get these amounts. First thing you're going to do is cook the Macaroni according the the package directions. Once it's cooked drain it and place the noodles in a 3 quart slow-cooker. Pour the melted butter over the noodles. Now grab a large bowl and move on to the next step.

Combine the egg, 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, cheddar cheese soup, and the milk into a large bowl and mix it up so the ingredients are well blended together.

The egg is hiding underneath the cheddar cheese, I was slightly slow at taking a picture of that. Oops!

One option I can give, it to possibly substitute some of the cheddar cheese for Velveeta if you want a more creamy texture. With the egg and shredded cheese this recipe gives more of a fluffy Mac n Cheese rather than truly creamy like my baked one. But I like the fluffy texture of this one, it still tastes delicious.

Take that cheese mixture and pour it over the buttered noodles. Stir to coat them really well.

Now it's simple, put the lid on your crock-pot, slow-cooker, whatever you decide to call it. I switch back and forth if you haven't noticed. Cook it on low for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Around the 2-1/2 hour mark, check on the Mac n Cheese, if you can, if it looks done to you, fabulous! If you want it to go a bit longer, then do that! 

See how it looks more fluffy than creamy? Yes, that's because of the egg. Slightly different texture, but still delicious with all the comforts of regular mac n cheese!

Whenever you decide the Mac n Cheese is done you can add in the chopped jalapenos if you are adding them. I love adding a little extra kick to my mac n cheese, you could also add in green onions if you want, I really like green onions. Oh you could top it with Parmesan cheese or Monterey Jack...I chose this time to top mine with that remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

Let the Mac n Cheese cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the extra cheese is melted. Then serve and enjoy! This can be a great side dish to a meal or it can be a meal in itself! Like I said before, this has a really nice light, fluffy texture. But if that's not what you like omit the egg, add Velveeta, play around with the recipe and see what works best for you!

Hope you enjoy this version of Mac N Cheese!
Any comments? Suggestions? Leave me a comment!
Thanks for stopping by!
'Til Next Time!!

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