Thursday, February 17, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese!

ok, so I really stink at Mac and Cheese. I admit it, I really do. I did get a few really great sounding recipes by email that I have saved, thank you all so much for sending and helping! and I will get to them, but first I thought I should really try my hand at the simplest and most easiest for me and see what happens.

Last time we needed a saw to cut through the clump of too much cheese, milk, everything else I dumped in that pot. So I went for the Quick and Easy Velveeta recipe. Doesn't get much easier than that. One step away from the powdered mac and cheese in the blue box that I had way more than I care to admit in college. And my kids requested that blue box all the time when they were little. I like the blue box. Miss Picky will still stop at Burger King occasionally to get a cup of that stuff.  they actually sell it at Burger King!  But I wanted to try to make it myself. And no powder. So I used Cheese Product instead. Go ahead and laugh at me. It came out good! Really good.

One box of elbow macaroni cooked according to the package, Velveeta cheese product cut in cubes, I love how it's called Cheese Product, I guess they can't really call it Cheese! And now I am on my way, it came out perfect. The family loved it. It was creamy, and cheesy and good.  I'm ready to try again, another recipe, one of these days. We're a little cheesed out for now.

We had it with a Spiral Ham. While I really don't mind cheese product at all, I drew the line at the brown sugar glaze that came with the ham. It just didn't appeal to me in that plastic packet. Making a glaze takes no time, so I looked online and found a nice mustard-apricot glaze that sounded really good! It was but I screwed that up and forgot to put the glaze on until almost the end. So no crunchy sweet crust. Still moist and really tasty. I'll definitely make the glaze again. The ham was big though, we'll be eating it for years. I bought it for the bone. There's Split Pea Soup in our future.


and this was this time...
creamy, cheesy and just the way my kids like it. Now if I can just get it right again. And again!

The ham was good, I need to learn how to cut the slices off the spiral, I made a big mess out of it, but presentation isn't everything. It tasted great! And sandwiches the next day were super good! Now to make that split pea soup!

Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Good Morning America recipes
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked  (I used the whole box!)
3/4 lb. (12 oz.) Velveeta cheese product, cut up
1/3 cup milk
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain well. Return pasta to the pot.

Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cook on low heat until the Velveeta is all melted, stirring frequently. Serve.

Maple-Mustard Ham Glaze
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

1 (18-pound) whole bone-in, fully cooked, smoked ham, room temperature (I used a much smaller ham)
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup country-style Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apricot jam (I used more, about a 1/4 cup)
Pinch of coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Rinse ham under cool running water. Pat dry and wrap with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil; place in prepared roasting pan. Transfer to oven for 4 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat vinegar over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 6 minutes. Add maple syrup, mustard, jam, and salt; season with pepper. Cook, whisking, until well combined, about 2 minutes. Set glaze aside.

Remove ham from oven and uncover. When cool enough to handle, cut off rind using a sharp knife. Slice off most of the fat, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick layer. Score fat on top of ham in a pattern of 1- to 2-inch diamonds.

Brush ham evenly with one-third of the glaze and return to oven. After 20 minutes, brush ham again with half the remaining glaze. Cook for 15 minutes and brush with remaining glaze. Continue baking ham until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of ham reaches 145 to 150 degrees, about 15 minutes more.

Transfer to a cutting board. Let ham cool 30 minutes before carving.


I'm joining Suzy over at Kitchen Bouquet for another Flashback Friday!


  1. I like to make a simple recipe for mac and problem is...I like it TOO much and EAT TOO MUCH! heehee! So much comfort in this dish! ♥

  2. Mac and cheese is my ultimate comfort food...I am amazed that anyone could screw up it up...oh wait, I am talking to the lady that turns roasted tomatoes into charcoal briquettes!

  3. I am no good at making macaroni and cheese either. Now ham - well I love to cook a ham and try a different glaze and then....the soup....bliss. I love a good ham bone for a nice, thick pea soup. Enjoy!

  4. Very simple and delicious. I love Macaroni and cheese and your recipe is very easy to folllow. Looks great Carol.

  5. WOW You did good; I'm impressed and what an easy to prepare recipe; and with that ham makes a perfect meal.

  6. The first picture cracked me up because it reminded me of my DIL's mac n' cheese! I will pass this recipe on to her so maybe she can finally make mac n' cheese successfully!


    ~ Tracy

  7. I'm not a fan of MacNCheese so I can give you no help whatsoever! The glaze packet that comes with the ham I really like! My sister makes a mustard sauce for ham that is super good also - need to get that recipe from her. The only time she makes it is at Easter.

  8. I am drooling in front of this ham! It looks divine!

  9. That ham looks so good - my mouth is watering! And mac and cheese is a perennial favorite.

  10. My favorite mac n cheese recipes are a blend of different cheese but sadly, I rarely make it just for the two of use. I do love the stuff. The ham glaze you used sounds delicious and so does the split pea soup you're going to be able to make now!

  11. I've only been able to make mac and cheese one time that was actually good and it may or may not have involved velveeta. It's been several years and I don't know what happened to the recipe. Your recipe would definitely work....and that ham??? I could help you eat that ham. No problem! It wouldn't be around very long either!

  12. We love mac and cheese at my house. I haven't made it in a while because of my diet. I really have self control issues with all pastas and so we are going without for a short while. Great recipe.

  13. Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. This looks so delicious. Love the spiral hams, too!!!

  14. Love mac and cheese and the ham sounds great! I wish Joe liked ham ;-(

  15. Yech to mac and cheese. Never had a good one.

    Thanks for dropping by and your words of comfort. Au ate a little so we're hopeful. If only he'll keep eating, he should be OK.

  16. Great job! Now I am craving mac & cheese and some ham.

  17. Oh what a creamy dish! Mac and cheese is a favorite here. Did I read Split Pea Soup? Yummy!

  18. Your lovely meal has made me very hungry. It is hard to beat simple and delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  19. Both of these look terrific. I am always searching for a great mac and cheese recipe. I'll try this now!

  20. never quite got the mac and cheese right, either its too dry or too mushy....hope you have a nice week end

  21. Hey I like the blue box AND Cheese Product. We even do Cheese Whiz..its a Canadian favorite! I buy Randy the Velveeta Shells and Cheese and he feels high class :-) So I think he'd love your velveeta recipe. Ham looks awesome. I have one in the freezer I suppose will wait til Easter but I was craving it recently. I'm with you. The glaze in the pack is silly. Thanks for playing along this week. This is a very nostalgic dinner for me :-)

  22. Glad you found one that worked for you! I bet the family is happy!


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