Photograph of Mia

The importance of the ‘family meal’ and a Simple Macaroni Cheese recipe

Since Mia came into our life – and probably a bit before it – we’ve made a conscious effort to sit down as a family each meal time.

Photograph of Mia

I remember going on holiday years ago and seeing the Greek families sitting on their balcony for what seemed like hours, laughing and joking and generally just enjoying time together. I remember how I thought “why don’t we do this more often?

Gosia EatingIt seems like these days, none of us have the time to cook some nice comfort food and sit down at the table.  More often than not, it’s a quick ready meal – even for the kids – and quite often that’s enjoyed in front of the TV.

I know it sounds like a cliché, but kids today really do believe that food comes from a tin / packet.  I have family members for which the idea of eating something that has grown in the garden or – worse still – been picked or foraged just seems weird.  I have friends whose children look forward to their takeaway pizza / chicken nuggets and chips / packets of crisps far more than can surely be healthy.

Mia eating

Not that I’m naive; I know kids are just kids – for example Mia loves sweets far more than I would like – but at least we can try and let her know where food comes from.  She enjoys going out picking wild berries, and enjoys nothing better than getting stuck into making a cake on a Sunday morning.

Macaroni Cheese

I encourage all of you – no matter how busy you are – to make a simple comforting dish for the whole family to sit down together with the TV turned off to enjoy.  I hope this Macaroni Cheese dish, whether you choose to cook it or not, will provide you with some inspiration.  Cooking a family meal doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen.

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Recipe: Macaroni Cheese Recipe

Summary: Macaroni Cheese (Mac and Cheese in the US) is a great comfort dish that is perfect for bringing the family together!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Plain (all purpose) Flour
  • 250g Dried Macaroni
  • Whole MIlk
  • 1tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 250g Medium Cheddar Cheese for the sauce + 50g more for grating
  • 50g Parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Start out by putting the butter and flour in a saucepan, turning on the heat and whisking as it melts until combined.
  2. It’ll thicken quickly at this stage, so slowly pour in milk while whisking. You should end up adding around 250ml, but this will depend on the consistency of the sauce.
  3. Stir in the mustard, salt and pepper, and grate in the cheese.
  4. Stir well until the cheese has melted. Here’s the golden rule; boil for longer to thicken the sauce, add more milk to loosen. The cheese should be added according to taste, but not necessarily to thicken.
  5. When the sauce is the required consistency and “cheesiness”, turn off the heat.
  6. Cook 250g Macaroni according to the packet instructions, then drain.
  7. Place the cooked paste in a heat proof dish, pour over the sauce and grate over the parmesan and cheddar.
  8. Next place under a grill until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
  9. Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

 

 

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