So... if you don't know me, or if for some reason I haven't already made you painfully aware, you need to know I love macaroni and cheese. I sort of consider it blasphemy to speak ill of the mac. I find it annoying when people consider mac & cheese simply a side dish. It is a way of life.
I grew up eating the blue box constantly. In fact, in my faster-metabolism, track-running days, I was known to make an entire box for myself after school. If my older brother expressed interest in perhaps having a bowl, I'd gladly throw another box in the pot. But I would not ever, could not ever part with the three-and-a-half servings I was owed.
We ate a lot of Polish food in my house -- kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut. Once in a while, my dad would whip up some Kraft as a side to the kielbasa. Umm, no thanks, Pop. I'd have a sliver of the sausage and pile my plate high with macaroni. For some reason, I had to be sort of the Christopher Columbus of macaroni and cheese for my fam. Listen, I'm not saying I discovered mac & cheese. I'm saying I discovered it for my people. Deal with it. I haven't, as far as I'm aware, killed anyone along the way.
We do have a Praz family recipe that is a distant, perhaps Polish, relative to mac & cheese, but it involves onions and cottage cheese. Another time...
As I got older, I got into something called "baked mac and cheese." The only times I had previously experienced it was via the Stouffer's frozen variety. That stuff is pretty good, too. Once I started working in a restaurant after school, I realized how good mac & cheese can be when it comes out of the oven. Covered in stewed tomatoes... why not?
In college, I ate a lot of mac. In the dorms, I was mostly relegated to Easy Mac. Not terrible, but simply not enough. Make two.
I have once or twice fallen prey to the healthy mac and cheese gimmick.
Dear Lean Cuisine & Smart Ones,
Your mac is no good. Stop trying.
And don't try to tell me that I can fake macaroni and cheese with cauliflower. More blasphemy.
So I've had Delilah's famous mac & cheese in Philly; I've recreated Alton Brown's mac & cheese, one or two of Rachel Ray's, the crockpot mac & cheese; I've tasted gourmet mac & cheese with ingredients like lobster and truffle oil. I'm not going to say I'm an expert, but you could say it and I probably wouldn't disagree.
So here's where I should probably digress and move on with the product review. I have made this Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Homestyle Deluxe dinner twice. Big fan. I won't go through the instructions, because any dummy can do that. I will recommend using the "oven finish" method for the optimal mac attack. It involves extra cheese and bread crumbs. I recently made this in a pinch when I didn't have enough time to defrost some meat I had bought. Then realizing John needed to have some meat with his mac (yes, he's one of those people), I cut up a couple Hebrew Nationals and served those on the side. That's right, mac & cheese for dinner with a side of hot dogs. Carrying on my dad's
|Out of the oven... after an attack. Don't judge me.|