Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Macaroni and Cheese Muffins, found over at Angie’s Big Love of Food. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. Oddly, just last week (or.. the week before? Recently, anyway.) I was catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, and there was a wedding and they were serving macaroni and cheese muffins. Funny that I’d never heard of them before I saw them on Grey’s Anatomy and here I was about to make them.
The ingredients: elbow macaroni, eggs, milk, garlic, ground mustard, butter, and cheese. I used a cup of what was labeled “triple cheddar” (sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, and vermont white cheddar), and a cup of plain ol’ sharp cheddar. I wanted to use up the triple cheddar so it would stop taking up space in my fridge, partying all night and sleeping all day. You know how that triple cheddar is. Also, the original recipe calls for parsley, but I think I’ve mentioned my dislike for parsley, which everyone else considers the least offensive herb on the face of the earth. YOU AND I KNOW THE TRUTH, PARSLEY.
Prepare your muffin cups. I used my (CLEAN, BUT STAINED) silicone muffin pans, and put them on a (CLEAN, BUT STAINED) baking sheet. No matter what kind of muffin pan you use, you’re going to want to put it on a baking sheet, otherwise you’re going to end up with melted butter burned to the bottom of your oven, and who wants to deal with that when you could have prevented it? Also, original recipe suggests you use paper muffin cup liners. Whatever works for you works for me.
First thing you’ve gotta do is cook your elbow macaroni.
The wooden spoon will stop the pot from boiling over. TRUE STORY.
I have some awesome magnets on my refrigerator. This is one of my favorites.
When the macaroni is cooked, drain it.
Then put it right back in the pot you boiled it in, and put it back on the stove (turn the heat to low).
Add butter, garlic, dry mustard, and about half the cheese. Stir for a few moments ’til things (cheese and butter) start to melt.
Then whisk your eggs and milk together and add to the pot with the macaroni. Add the rest of the cheese. Stir until the cheese is mostly melted. It looks like soup. This is the point where I realized there was nothing in the original recipe about when to add the salt and pepper, so this is when I added mine.
I assure you, even though it looks like you could serve it in a soup bowl, this is how it’s supposed to look.
Hey, look. Fred harvested the lemons off our miniature Meyer Lemon tree (it’s in a pot in the garage; when the weather turns warmer, we’ll bring it out and put it on the driveway). Aren’t they pretty?
Still soupy. I’ll admit, at this point I was like “There’s no way this shit is going to pull together and I’m going to end up with little muffin cups of mac and cheese soup.”
I filled those things almost all the way up to the top. And again I said “Yeah, there’s no way. What a waste. Oh well, the chickens will like mac and cheese soup!”
That’s Baby Beans. Most of the time I had no idea where he was, but the instant I walked into the kitchen and started making something, he’d just APPEAR. Sitting there, looking hopeful that food would appear for him. Then as soon as the cooking stopped, he’d disappear again. This was his expression when I told him about the mac and cheese soup. He was less than impressed.
I baked my mac and cheese muffins for the full 20 minutes (recipe calls for 15 – 20), and then let them sit for five. They popped right out of the cups, and they were perfectly solid. It’s like magic!
The verdict? I really liked them, actually, and I’m not usually much of a fan of mac and cheese (I know, right? What’s WRONG with me?) We ate them with dinner, and then I had one with lunch the next day, and then again the day after that, and then I was like “Are these mac and cheese muffins ever going to go away?” and fed the rest of them to the chickens (who thought they were awesome).
Fred thought they were good, but said that he thought they had too much butter and would probably be okay with about half the butter. He should probably just shut up, because the more butter the better, AM I RIGHT?
I’ll probably make them again. This – like the cheesy bread from last week – would probably be a good Super Bowl party recipe.
(My Super Bowl Shuffle continues to set you free!)
I actually thought long and hard about sharing a mishap that I had in my kitchen while making this because it’s so embarrassing. I am 47-years-old and have been cooking a very long time. I know better. Or at least I thought I did.
I was in a good mood when I started to make this recipe. But the husband ended up annoying me. He is always yapping about how fluid ounces are different, blah*math*blah*science*blah when I’m cooking. I know that it’s different, but I don’t want to mess around with all of that stuff when I’m cooking…I just wing it. It has become an issue between us because he just has to say it and I just have to get pissed off when he mentions it. Which is probably why I don’t usually try new recipes when he’s around. Imagine having Alton Brown up your ass yapping every single time you tried to make something!
The recipe called for 8 ounces of elbow macaroni. I measured out 1 cup (8 ounces = 1 cup, SHUT-UP about OUNCES ALREADY), tossed it in the water, threw a wooden spoon over the top (because of Robyn) , snapped a picture and walked away. I left him standing there babbling to himself about how he thinks he figured out the trick to the wooden spoon thing. Whatever.
I was reading something on my laptop when I heard the smoke alarm go off.
No, this is not a blurry picture. This is smoke. The smoke that filled the downstairs of my house and went up the stairs in order to set off the smoke alarm on the second landing. Nice.
I have no idea where the hell Rick went. The last time I saw him he was standing at the stove yapping about that damn spoon (ROBYN). I was annoyed and ignoring him, remember?
I just gave up that night and decided to try it another day. A day in which my husband was at work. Ahem.
Oh, look. The spoon trick might work this time. Because I’m standing there. Making sure that it works. By watching it. And stirring it as needed. Because who needs a firetruck pulling up when you’re just trying to make mac & cheese?
I decided to use green cupcake liners because I’m almost positive that I won’t be making Saint Patrick’s Day cupcakes. Please ignore my white-trash nail polish. Those are the peel and stick ones. They were on clearance and I wanted to try them. They work pretty good. But I’m not into jungle prints. Hell, I’m not into any prints when it comes to nail polish. Why am I talking about nail polish on this web site? Please accept my apologies, Amanda.
It’s all ready to go into the cupcake tins.
My mother took this picture while I poured it in with my left hand. Be impressed.
This is what it looked like before I put it in the oven.
This is right after I took it out of the oven. I let it bake for 20 minutes.
When I pulled them from the cupcake tin they were dripping with butter/grease. Cheddar cheese is a greasy cheese so I’m not sure why all the extra butter was needed. My mother dug in right away. I told her she was supposed to wait until they cooled down, but she wouldn’t listen (bullhead alert). She ended up scraping a lot of hers off of the cupcake liners with a fork. You would think that they wouldn’t stick considering how much butter/grease is in there, but no, they stuck pretty hardcore.
I waited about a half hour before I tried them. They still stuck to the liners (they were Wilton® brand liners). I think (I’m guilty of skimming) that the idea for the cupcake liners is about portion control. Maybe the foil liners would work better. Probably.
These are fried macaroni and cheese balls from The Cheesecake Factory®. They are delicious and come to you in a perfectly proportioned state. Allow yourself to eat one ball and pass the rest off to whoever you are with (sharing is fun!). You won’t regret it. And you also won’t be picking cupcake paper out of your mouth.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used a mix; use whatever you have on hand)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard (try dijon if you don't have dry mustard. Why don't you have dry mustard? You should.)
- 1 T dried parsley (if you must)
- Salt and pepper to taste (I used ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper)
- Preheat your oven to 400. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners (or use a silicone muffin pan and forgo the liners). You'll want to put your muffin tin on a baking sheet to catch any overspill during the baking process.
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions, drain, and return to the pot. Put pot back on the stove over low-medium heat.
- Add butter, garlic, dry mustard, parsley (if you must), and about ½ the cheese. Stir for a few moments until things begin to melt.
- Combine eggs and milk together, stir, and add to the pot of macaroni. Add the remaining cheese slowly, and stir. Let sit on the heat for a few minutes. It will be very soupy; that's okay. It all works out. PROMISE.
- Ladle the macaroni soup into your muffin pan and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until bubbly.