Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Mom’s Mac n Cheese Is Always Best

I had weird tastes as a kid. I will explain more when I write a tribute to my Gramps on his Birthday in May.

018 South Coast weekendI love cheese, as a kid I was introduced to “smelly sock cheese”, which I have grown to love even more as I’ve got older.
On Twitter you could call me a #cheeseslut.

Recently I’ve seen so many yummy cheese recipes on Foodies Blog’s like this Cheesy Spinach Gnudi on The Creative Pot Blog. If you watch Pasella on SABC 2 you would have seen Marisa strutting-her-stuff on the show.
Also on the show you would have seen Thuli, who writes the Mzansi Style Cuisine Blog. She made a Umxhaxha / Mealie and Pumpkin Dish. I love mealies too. My mom always said that while she was pregnant with me, she craved them; so that kind of makes sense to me.

Monday nights at our house is “macaroni cheese night”. It’s the perfect way to start the week. I make variations of the dish, so on nights that I’m busy, or my son makes dinner we have the easier version. (My son has told me that he cant wait to kick me out the kitchen – chef to be perhaps?)
I don’t make a regular mac-n-cheese although it has similar qualities to my grans original recipe. It’s one of the recipes that I have been perfecting since a teenager. It has manifested from a plain dish with the usual macaroni, cheese, and tomato to my latest variations.

The full recipe is as follows.


1 packet of Macaroni / pasta shells
Cheddar Cheese (my mom always used Gouda or sweetmilk in hers)
1 pack of streaky Bacon (chopped)(for my Jewish family who don’t eat bacon I’d use a cold meat or salami – I have also left this out and made a vegetarian dish)
1 tin of Onion and Tomato mix (the flavour of the tomatoes is far better in a tin)
1 tin of cream style sweetcorn.
5 /6 large leaves Spinach (chopped)

White sauce

Margerine (about 2 tblsp)
Flour (I put in enough flour to soak up the marg)
1 cup milk
Cheddar Cheese.
dried sweet basil


1. Cook the macaroni in the usual way by boiling the water with a little salt.

2. Grate the cheese.(this is my daughters job)

3. In a separate greased pan fry the bacon and tin of tomato and onion and set it aside

White Sauce:

4. Melt the margarine;

5. add enough flour to the margarine so that the mixture resembles biscuit dough.

6. Add the milk while stirring continuously,

7. Add about ½ to 1 cup of cheese, and continue to stir until the cheese is melted. The mixture should now have a thick saucy consistency.

8. You can now add some of your favourite Italian herbs. I use Sweet basil for this particular dish.


9. I layer my macaroni in a large oven dish.

fried tomato mixture,

strained macaroni


strips of spinach

Pour white sauce


(I manage to fit two of each layer in my dish.)

10. Bake for about 15 minutes. Until the cheese is golden brown.



  1. Mac & cheese just got a whole lot healthier! Love your veggie-packed version.

  2. Thanks Marisa!
    I added the spinach to get my daughter to eat veggies when she was a toddler.
    I think she thought that they were spinach lasagne strips! Lol.

  3. This sounds super, Di! A completely different version to any I've had...I'm going to make it for our supper tonight and will report back to you. It's just the right sort of day for a hearty serving of comfort food :)

    On your son wanting you out of the kitchen...what are you waiting for?!!!

  4. Thankyou Desiree!
    It is posititively delicious.
    My son is only 10 (11 in July) He chooses the spices when we shop, has his own chilli trees, mealies and potatoes growing.
    He has an amazing passion for food.
    His boiled egg mixture is deeevine! (His own recipe)
    I'm sure that when he is older I will most definitely get the boot!