Rounding out the Holidays

Our Christmas and New Year holidays are winding down with snow, skiing, and comfort food filling the house with warm, nourishing goodness.

We’ve enjoyed family and friends, and time spent on The Bay.  Perfect!

While we didn’t have a white Christmas – for the first time in a long while – within a couple of days the snow flew and the ski season was on.  Hunting for Bay critters on Boxing Day was a novelty this year.

The gatherings were plenty, and the food sublime.  Far too much to write about in detail here!  But, I’ll share today’s creation.  After the ski hill, the kids are enjoying an old favourite: homemade mac and cheese.  Nothing beats this rich, tasty, warm treat after a day outside on the slopes.  And not only the kids like it: adults and dogs do too.  If you’d like to try it, the recipe is below.

It’s always sad to say goodbye to the holidays.  It’s back to school now, and routine, and looking forward to a couple months on the slopes.

Homemade Mac & Cheese

1 tablespoon kosher salt

olive oil

one 375 g package of macaroni noodles (I use whole wheat)

4 cups milk

8 tablespoons butter

½ cup flour

2 cups cheese, grated (we like a mixture of Parmesan, Gruyere, and maybe some Comté, but any cheese you love that melts well will be delicious)

4 cups extra-old cheddar

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs (if you prefer a less crunchy texture, homemade breadcrumbs are delicious too)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just soft (al dente). (About 6 minutes.) Drain immediately.

Heat the milk in a saucepan, until it is hot but not boiling. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot, and then add the flour. Stir with a whisk until combined. Then add the hot milk, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Take the mixture off of the heat, and then add the cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and combine. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish.

Melt remaining butter and combine with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the mixture. Bake casserole for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are browned.

Enjoy!

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