Feb 26, 2015

In the Kitchen w/Chicbusymom: Mini Macaroni & Cheese Cups

I have been traveling recently for about 2+ weeks straight for work. Like a true road warrior my bags and I went back and forth to Los Angeles twice and then to Florida. At the end of my last trip I checked my calendar and remembered with a audible choice expletive that it was my youngest son's Family Visit the next day at school. 

What's a Family Visit you ask? It's when the entire family comes in and gets interviewed by twenty 5 and 6 year olds. The goal is to learn about everyone's family differences and similarities. You then break off into 4-5 stations where each family member demonstrates different aspects of the family dynamic--LAWD! We opted for a reading corner, an art station, a red carpet/event production station as well as the mandatory snack station. Of course that meant me making his favorite meal, macaroni and cheese.

I had learned from my daughter's previous Family Visit to keep the snack simple and not fussy- it was kids after all. That memory of fresh lemonade all over the floor will be cemented in my memory forever (plus I was beyond tired). With that in mind, I decided it would be easier to make individual cups of mac & cheese vs. an entire tray. This way the kids could pick it up and handle the portions easily and the clean up would be basically nothing. #smartmomswin

It was so easy I made it that morning before school and guess what?! It was a super hit this time (see  the finished cups above). Below I've included my recipe plus a few other variations that I found on Pinterest including two great ones that include vegetables.

MY RECIPE

1 Egg

1 Can of Carnation's Evaporated Milk

1 Box of uncooked macaroni noodles

1 Tablespoon of butter

3 Bags of your preferred  shredded cheese (buy the pre-shredded cheese. It will save you lots of time). I use Sharp Cheddar, Mild Cheddar and Monterrey Jack

Secret ingredient: Half of a medium sized onion cut in four (you will need a food processor of some sort for this. I use my Magic Bullet). Don't worry the flavor is not overpowering and kids will love it.

Salt & pepper to taste

1 Muffin pan and cupcake cups

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 8 minutes, it should still be a little bit firm. Remove from the heat, drain and return to the pan; stir in the butter.
  3. Fill each muffin cup with macaroni noodles 
  4. Bechamel Cheese Sauce- Take onion and chop in your food processor until it becomes a puree. Remove blended onion from processor and pour into a separate pot. Next pour in entire can of milk and add the egg. Heat and blend egg until all combined. Add 1/2 to 3/4ths of your cheese (all kinds) and little salt and pepper. Heat and stir until cheese has melted and all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Leave this mixture on extremely low heat so as not to burn but to keep the ingredients mixed.
  5. Pour your Bechamel sauce into each muffin cup until well coated but do not overfill. Overfilling will lead to your pan burning in the oven.
  6. With your remaining cheeses top the cups then put in the oven. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. This will allow the cheese to set and they will hold their muffin shape.
And from  our friends on Pintrest...




Roasted Veggies and Mac & Cheese Cups. Click here for the recipe

Roasted Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese Cups

Mini Mac and Cheese Cresent Cups. Click here for the recipe

Mini Mac and Cheese Crescent Cups

Spinach and Mac & Cheese Muffins. Click here for the recipe

DSC_3986

Enjoy!





1 comment :

Kim S. said...

These look great. I love bechamel :)