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Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese
by Jennifer J. Hayes

November 22, 2019

Turns out Jennifer isn't just a Love expert, she also knows how to holiday. Jennifer shares a holiday recipe that is a must have for the season.
by Jennifer J. Hayes

Jennifer's List of Ingredients Needed

  • pound dried pasta like elbow macaroni, shells or penne
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons (45 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups (1180 ml) milk, warmed, whole or 2% reduced fat preferred
  • 1 pound white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Now for Some Help Making your Dish!

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta then follow package directions, but cook 1 minute less than the package calls for. Drain.

Meanwhile, make the creamy cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a large high-sided pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk the butter and flour together and around the pan until they smell toasted and look light brown; 2 to 3 minutes.

While whisking, pour in the warm milk. Continue to cook, constantly whisking until the sauce begins to simmer and thickens.

Turn the heat to low then stir in the cheddar and cream cheeses, salt, and black pepper. When the sauce is smooth and velvety, stir in the cooked pasta. If the sauce looks wet/thin, don’t worry, the pasta absorbs some the extra moisture as it cools. Turn the heat off, and then cover with a lid. Leave for 3 to 5 minutes, stir once more, and then serve.

Now it's Time to Bake!

After adding the pasta to the cheese sauce, spoon into a large baking dish, scatter breadcrumbs (optional), and more shredded cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven until bubbling and browned on top; 25 to 30 minutes.

Ask the Love Expert Jennifer J. Hayes

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#LoveBIGLiveBIG, Loving Big means caring about it more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, wanting it more than others think is practical, and expecting it more than others think is possible. LoveBIGLiveBig is a regular feature on JustMy by Love Expert Jennifer J Hayes.

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