Not Your Mama’s Mac ‘n Cheese

What’s for dinner? The budget was small, the family was large (five kids, two adults). You would think mac ‘n cheese would make a regular appearance on the nightly menu, but it didn’t. Meat and potatoes were the staples on the dinner table. Once and a while we would have spaghetti. Not once was mac ‘n cheese served.

I don’t know where or when I discovered mac ‘n cheese, but I fell in love with its creamy goodness. Favorite meal at school (as a teacher) included mac ‘n cheese.

Flipping through the Southern Living, years ago, I saw a recipe for Mac and Texas Cheeses with Roasted Chiles. My mac ‘n cheese radar went into high alert. I scanned the recipe, and thought I can do this, even though I had never worked with poblano peppers before.

Carefully I followed the recipe. First step is to broil the peppers. Get them as blistered as possible.


Once they are charred, quickly put them in a ziplock bag, seal, and the steam will loosen the skin of the pepper, which makes it easy to peel that skin away.


Once the peppers were prepared, I could concentrate on the macaroni and the sauce.


Mix all components together and bake.


This is now the only mac ‘n cheese that I prepare. Of course this only gets a showing once a year because it will wreak havoc with a diet, but oh so worth the splurge!

If you look at the recipe, you may notice it calls for bread crumbs on the top and my picture does not have bread crumbs. I’m not a fan of bread on my mac ‘n cheese. Besides, who needs those extra carbs, right?



28 thoughts on “Not Your Mama’s Mac ‘n Cheese

  1. Yum! I never had mac and cheese growing up either. One of my favorites for Lenten Fridays is mac and cheese with tuna, peas and cream of mushroom soup . . .yay! processed foods! I’m going to try yours SOON!

  2. Tam says:

    Can’t believe you didn’t have mac’ n cheese as a child. It is my favorite dish of all times. I stay away from it (hard to do with grandkids) because I can’t stop eating it like popcorn. Carbs are my enemy. I do have it occasionally but never with peppers! If I eat this dish, I can only eat 1/4 cup as suggested for portion control. Now, I have to try a new recipe! Cholesterol levels can wait until I do!

  3. It is good I have already eaten when I am reading this. I could almost smell this yummy mac-n-cheese. Occasionally we had that boxed stuff as a kid, it was not yum it was so far from yum that it doesn’t seem right that it shares the same name.

  4. I honestly just ate and you already have me thinking about where I’m going to go later to satisfy this craving for mac ‘n cheese. Per usual, your visuals combined with your mouth watering words are enough to convince even a non-pepper-loving person like myself that this NEEDS to be my next meal!

  5. You continue to work your magic on us! The pictures leap off the page. (I need to learn how to do that!) Your food ideas are always simple, yet tantalizing! Have you ever considered an on-line food blog? You’re so good at it. Just for the record, we were a family of 10 (eight children, 2 adults) and we did have mac ‘n cheese just often enough. Ours usually had bits of ham in it, I remember the best part being the cheese layer on top which was crispy and deeeeeeeelicious! I always tried to get part of that which wasn’t easy with 7 siblings competing for the same!

  6. Phillip van someren says:

    Your mama didn’t service mac and cheese for dinner, because Johanna didn’t EVER serve mac and cheese for dinner.

  7. Well, thank you, I think! It’s not even 8am here and I’m already craving some of this delicious looking dish for dinner. I love your photo placement!

  8. Lynn says:

    Oh my gosh Elsie this looks fabulous! I can see how it would not be a weekly meal. As much as I love Mac & Cheese it’s something I hardly eat :-(.

  9. We never had mac n’ cheese when I was growing up. We were more halouskie, pirogi, an bleenies. As an adult, though, mac n’ cheese is a real comfort food for me. This looks delicious..

  10. There are so many ways to adapt mac and cheese–one of the reasons it’s such a popular food–of course, the dairy and carb factors don’t hurt either!

  11. Lisa says:

    My mom never made mac n cheese except from a box. I was an adult before I had it. That’s strange because she made lots of pasta. At our farmer’s market, a local caterer sells frozen meals. one of his is a mac n cheese made with smoked cheddar and pancetta. Oh my goodness! It’s so good. I had to learn how to make it over the winter.

  12. Joyce says:

    The photos certainly make me drool…..I do wish there was a way to push something for smell check. I think your research was time well spent.

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