Photo 33: Week Twenty-Three

I thought it would be fun to mix up the challenge again this week. I took photos on a theme, with the theme being a recipe. I narrowed my progress shots down to the five best, that are also the best to show the steps for the recipe.

I’ve made Mac and Cheese Muffins four times now, and I never do quite the same thing… They’re all delicious though, trust me. The two recipes I pull most from are AllRecipes and A Family Feast, so check those pages if you want recipe specifics to try on your own. (And you should! SO GOOD.) What I explain here would probably be pretty difficult to duplicate… I’m no food or lifestyle blogger, I’m just sharing the general idea of the recipe, and a few tips I like.

NOTE: Because these photos show the steps of a recipe, I’m not going to rank them like I usually do with my top five. It’d be pretty confusing to see the steps in the correct order, with different numbers in the corners. For the record, the muffins baking is my favorite, and the cheese-stirring is my least favorite. I know it’s yummy, but melty cheddar cheese looks like plastic, sorry.

Boil your noodles. I boil a lot, but I can’t tell you how much dry vs. how much cooked because it’s all trial and error with me. I guesstimated about 12 oz. of dry macaroni and made 24 muffins.
While your pasta boils, crumble up crackers and mix the crumbs with parmesan cheese. Sprinkle some in the bottom to make of greased muffin tins to make a “crust”.

This wasn’t in the first recipe I used, or I skipped it, but it is something I make sure to do every time now. The crackers and cheese make a delicious salty crust for your muffins. This step also ensures that I will be quoting one of my favorite Seinfeld scenes for weeks:

Elaine: Did he crumble any crackers in it?

(Jerry sighs.)

Elaine: Did he crumble any crackers in it?

Jerry: As a matter of fact, he did.

After the pasta is cooked and drained, mix in a cup of milk (I use half almond milk and half cream), an egg, a tablespoon of butter, and a lot of cheese. I usually use about four cups of shredded cheese – half cheddar, half colby jack. Stir it in really well. I keep the stovetop on low to help mix in the cheese, because as this picture illustrates, it doesn’t always mix smoothly.
Scoop the mac and cheese into the muffin tins. I like to sprinkle extra parmesan cheese on top. I added a little red pepper on top of this pan, because I mixed hot sauce in with the cheese in that last step. I like to make half of the batch hot and tasty for me, and half plain for my kid. I have to figure out a way to tell them apart so I don’t burn his tongue off.
The finished product. The red pepper on top lets you know these are my hot sauce muffins, and gosh were they delicious. I ate four straight out the oven and called it dinner.


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