By Teri Cayton
The Parsons Advocate
It is that time of year when you want to get together as a family and celebrate the holiday, but that is not a good idea this year. Our health care workers deserve a break too and if we have another run of the virus like we did after Thanksgiving that is going to wear them to the max. I hope the vaccine works as well as described and we can eradicate this sickness. Momma Said, “Enough is enough already!”
I do hope this finds everyone well and at least enjoying the holiday from afar with families. This might be the year to go back to the real reason for the season. Get down on your knees and thank God if your family has not been afflicted, and if not pray that He will hold your loved ones near that have passed.
This is a season and a year like no other that we have experienced and I hope we never have to again. I pray for the health of our nation and hope that everything gets straightened out by January 20th. We need to put petty arguments in the back seat and drive forward as a united nation. We need to show the world that we are strong and we can get through everything that has been thrown at us.
Finally coming to the end of this year Momma Said, “Merry Christmas to all and to 2020 I say GOODNIGHT!!!”
Best Ever Baked Mac and Cheese
(For the best mac and cheese always buy block cheese and shred yourself. The cheese already shredded is coated and will not melt smoothly)
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked (or other tubular pasta)
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese shredded (a hard yellow swiss cheese)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
- 4 tbsp. butter melted
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large 3 or 4 qt. baking dish and set aside. Combine shredded cheeses in a large bowl and set aside.
- Cook the pasta one minute shy of al dente according to the package instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and place in a large bowl.
- Drizzle pasta with olive oil and stir to coat pasta. Set aside to cool while preparing cheese sauce.
- Melt butter in a deep saucepan, dutch oven, or stock pot.
- Whisk in flour over medium heat and continue whisking for about 1 minute until bubbly and golden.
- Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream until nice and smooth. Continue whisking until you see bubbles on the surface and then continue cooking and whisking for another 2 minutes. Avoid scorching. Whisk in salt and pepper.
- Add two cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth. Add another two cups of shredded cheese and continue whisking until creamy and smooth. Sauce should be nice and thick.
- Stir in the cooled pasta until combined and pasta is fully coated with the cheese sauce.
- Pour half of the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and then the remaining mac and cheese.
- In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.