When I was a kid, I had a friend whose mom always made home made macaroni and cheese. She'd serve it on these chunky pottery plates, and I thought it was the best thing ever.
At my house we had Kraft Dinner. Oh don't get me wrong; my Mom is an excellent cook. I just don't even remember her making home made macaroni and cheese.
So once I was an adult, one of the first things I wanted to do was learn how to make my very own mac and cheese!
8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
2 1/2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 onion, chopped very finely (if you or the kids cringe at the thought of onion, leave it out-but it adds a lot of flavor and is really good)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups milk (for really creamy, try evaporated milk)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
Cook your macaroni in boiling salted water according to package directions until it's el dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
In a medium sized pot, melt your butter over medium low heat and add the onion. Cook the onion in the butter until it's translucent and soft. Then stir in the flour. Cook it for a little bit, stirring until it's a nice paste. Then gently stir in your milk, a bit at a time, whisking and pouring, whisking and pouring...you don't want lumps so just keep pouring in a little and whisking until it's smooth, then pouring some more.
When you finally get to the point where you can just dump in the rest of the milk, go ahead. Turn the heat to medium and stand there, occasionally stirring the sauce while it heats, so it doesn't burn. Keep stirring while it heats up and thickens somewhat.
Once it's thick-ish, add the salt, pepper, and shredded cheese. Continue to stir while the cheese melts into the sauce.
In a large bowl, combine the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni before pouring into a casserole dish to put into the oven. Cover with foil and back at 350 F for about 20 minutes or so.