Smokey Macaroni & Cheese

Did you all love Samantha’s posts last week? I sure did! I especially can’t wait to make her crockpot applesauce. How’d I get so lucky for such an awesome friend?! Make sure to follow her blog, Playdates and Pearls!

We just got home from our vacation Saturday night and man, I wasn’t ready to come home.  I really think we need to move somewhere warm, ASAP. We woke up Sunday morning and had no food in the house so my husband got up and went and grabbed milk and eggs for breakfast.  We were suppose to make it back to the store for groceries buuuuuut never did.  We were given a “Made in Oregon” food gift basket from a friend and I started rummaging through it looking for “dinner”. I found extra sharp cheddar cheese and immediately thought to make mac & cheese. (A much better dinner than the cheese and crackers I was planning on.)  I’ve loved macaroni and cheese for as long as I can remember.  One of my favorite memories growing up was making this dish with my Grandma.  We made it with the “special cheese”, aka sharp cheddar cheese. 🙂 Here’s a twist on the original version. If you don’t like the smokey flavor, just omit 1 ingredient and you still have a delicious macaroni and cheese.

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What you’ll need:

2 cups noodles

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I like the italian flavor)

6 tbsp. butter, divided

8 oz. grated cheese, any kind you want. I always prefer a sharp cheddar.

1/2 cup milk or cream

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 smoke paprika

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring 5 cups water to boil in medium saucepan.

Add noodles and cook for 7-9 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp. butter in small dish. Stir in breadcrumbs and set aside.

Once noodles are cooked, drain and return to saucepan.

Over low heat, add to noodles: grated cheese, milk, 4 tbsp. butter,  salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir until cheese is melted.

Pour into greased baking dish and top with breadcrumb mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes.

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 And here’s a picture from our last night in Hawaii.  Missing it already…

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