Real Deal Macaroni and Cheese

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Growing up, macaroni and cheese was oftentimes made from a box.  Our Mom, who is a fabulous cook herself, had four daughters within eight years (can we have a moment of silence thanking the Lord that she maintained her sanity?).  So let’s face it….there had to be some shortcuts made somewhere.  Now that the processed food fad of the 70s and 80s has faded, homemade macaroni and cheese is all the rage.  I mean, you can get it on your burger in some restaurants.  If you are a connoisseur of amazing cheesiness as we are, and ready to take steps away from the box  (oh, please do), this is the recipe you need to try! ~ Tracy

3 c. uncooked elbow macaroni

6 T. butter

6 T. all-purpose flour

3 c. milk

1 ½ t. salt

1 ½ t. sugar

1 lb. cubed Velveeta

2/3 c. sour cream

1 1/3 c. cottage cheese

2 ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 ½ c. shredded Swiss cheese (you can tear up slices if you can’t find shredded Swiss)

15 Ritz Crackers

¼ stick butter, melted

Cook & drain macaroni according to package directions.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  When butter is melted, stir in flour and mix well (the mixture will form a buttery paste).  Add milk and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.  Add salt, sugar, and cubed Velveeta.  Stir until Velveeta is melted.  Remove from heat and immediately add sour cream and cottage cheese, stirring well until blended.

In a large bowl, combine cooked macaroni noodles, cheddar cheese, and Swiss cheese.  Pour the hot creamy mixture over the macaroni and stir well until cheeses are melted and combined.

Pour the entire mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Crush Ritz crackers and pour into a bowl.  Combine crushed crackers with melted butter and stir to coat well.  Sprinkle the crackers over the macaroni.

Bake at 340 for 45 – 50 minutes.  If crackers begin to become too brown, cover the top with a loose piece of aluminum foil and finish baking.

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