Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Dreamy, Creamy Mac and Cheese

Saturday, May 11, 2013

For years, I've been in pursuit of the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe and have just never gotten it quite right.  Some folks do cottage cheese (yuck!), or add eggs (who wants scrambled eggs in their mac and cheese?) or use only Velveeta (good, but not perfect).  To me, the perfect mac and cheese is insanely cheezy, the cheese sticks to the macaroni, and is oh-so-creamy that it just makes you melt when you eat it.

Well, folks, I think I've finally found it.  We made this last night and J. kept going back for more.  And I'm not going to tell you how many helpings I had.  Like all good home-cooked recipes, it does take a little bit of time to put together but, trust me, it's worth it.

Here we go...

Dreamy, Creamy Mac and Cheese

Total Time: About 1 hour 20 minutes (Prep:  45 mins, Cook:  35 mins)


1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
3 cups whole milk *
1 cup heavy cream *
2 8-ounce packages sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided   **
1 8 ounce package extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded  **
1 16-ounce package macaroni, cooked
4 ounces Velveeta, cubed in small cubes
* If you don't have heavy cream, you can substitute 2 cups milk and 2 cups half-and-half for the milk and cream ingredients
** I use 1 Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp and 2 Vermont Sharp White Cheddar so that it's more white than yellow.  You don't have to use these, but do make sure you  use high-quality cheese and not just the pre-shredded stuff


  1. Put some water on to boil and prepare the macaroni as you would normally.
  2. While the macaroni is cooking, shred the cheese either by hand or in a food processor.
  3. In a big skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  4. Whisk the flour in slowly and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Cook and whisk continually for 2 minutes.
  6. Add in salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic; stir to combine.
  7. Gradually whisk in milk and then cream (or milk and half-and-half).
  8. Cook and whisk continually until mixture is thickened (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  9. Add in half of the sharp cheddar cheese; stir.
  10. Add in all of the extra-sharp cheddar cheese; stir until smooth.
  11. Add in the Velveeta; stir until smooth.
  12. Add 1/2 of the noodles to the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  13. Add 1/2 of the cheese mixture onto the top of the noodles and mix it all together so that the noodles are completely incorporated into the cheese.
  14. Add the remainder of the cheese and noodles and repeat.  It will look like it won't all fit in the dish, but trust me, it will.
  15. Sprinkle with the remaining sharp cheddar cheese. (Optional: if you like a crunchy top, consider topping this with some crushed crackers or crispy onions.)
  16. Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.

I used rotini noodles because all the folks on the noodle do a better job of capturing all that yummy, cheesy goodness.  And fair warning:  this makes ALOT of mac and cheese. 

If you try it, let me know what you think.  And if you "kick it up a notch" by changing the ingredients or adding something, I'd love to hear about it.  Hope you enjoy this recipe!

I've shared this recipe with this week's HomeAcre hop and Homestead Barn hop.


  1. I really want to try this! Looks amazing. I have so many things I need to start making lol!

  2. That looks absolutely fantastic! My mouth is watering, LOL. Mac and cheese used to be one of my best favorites when I was a kid. Your recipe sounds like the taste I remember.

  3. Yum! Thanks so much for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!

  4. This sounds completely perfect! Mac & Cheese is my favorite comfort food so this is being Pinned for later!!! Thanks for sharing it :-)


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