I remember an uncanny discussion my husband and I had about our refrigerator during our first year of marriage. We were wondering why manufacturers made the freezer compartments so much smaller than the fridge compartments. After all, didn't every one purchase all of their meals, frozen?
Our conversation quickly turned in to us buying an extra freezer because our freezer was literally popping out frozen bags of chicken wings, while our refrigerator stood practically empty.
In our household, cooking consisted of what Voila bag we were going to open and serve.
I'm happy to say, that I threw my excuses out the window, picked up a spoon, and started cooking.
I'm glad I did. Our meals taste less salty and better.
Despite my culinary exploration, I still found making sauces intimidating. But after I made this meal, sauces were feared no more!
(I usually freeze these and whip them out whenever I'm in a need of a quick side dish for the little kids.)
On to the recipe, then.
Mac & Cheese Bites
makes 31 mini bites
1 cup of elbow pasta (macaroni)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 Cups of milk
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (good ole black powder kind)
Italian bread crumbs for topping
First, boil your pasta per box instructions. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, add your butter. Once the butter is melted, add your flour to it and whisk together for about 2 minutes.
Slowly, pour your milk into the flour mixture, while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the milk begins to thicken (like a thinner gravy).
Once the your milk has thickened, add your cheese, salt, and pepper to the sauce; whisk together until cheese has completely melted.
Now add your cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix together well.
Grease 2 mini muffin pans using cooking spray and spoon in the macaroni. Next, lightly sprinkle your bread crumbs on the top of the macaroni.
Bake at 375-400 degrees until golden brown. (My oven gets hotter than the standard oven, so I bake mine at 375 degrees)
Once they are finished cooking, let them cool completely. Place inside of a freezer bag and freeze. You can reheat them in the oven at 275 degrees or microwave them until they are completely heated through.