Everything goes back to that taste imprint. If you serve your kids boxed macaroni and cheese, that is the taste they will prefer. So, instead, why not try this easy recipe from the New York Times. Izzy likes it and so does his friend T. who just came over and gobbled up a heap of it. Granted, it isn't the best macaroni and cheese but it is world's better than what you get in a box. I plan on experimenting to come up with a better version but for now, try this. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare (plus an hour in the oven).
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)
2 cups milk (not skim)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked.
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.
2. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.
3. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.