I know people who would argue that macaroni and cheese is a love language. Which is basically true since food is a love language and I’m pretty sure very few would disagree with that statement. Sometimes a macaroni and cheese craving will sneak up on you and the only prudent thing to do is to appease the monster. In those situations, time is of the essence, which automatically rules out the fancy béchamel, homemade breadcrumb, sit-in-the-fridge-overnight version of mac n cheese. That’s where this mac n cheese comes in to save the day. Whether you are camping or not, this one pot mac n cheese will be ready in 15 minutes (90% of the 15 minutes is boiling the pasta, grating the cheese, and staring longingly at the pot to PLEASE GO A LITTLE FASTER).
I feel hesitant to admit where we camped the night I took photos of the mac n cheese for fear of it being overrun (or maybe my only reader is my sweet grandmother-in-law). But, I guess we had to find out about this place somehow, and I appreciate the kind soul who recommended it to us. So I’ll do you a favor and recommend you camp at Priest Hole in Oregon- it’s absolutely beautiful and I’m sure you would hate it and never want to return. The sunsets are not pretty at all and the river is almost too warm you wouldn’t want to swim. So don’t go. But if you do, take me with you.
Patrick and I have decided that we are “food soul mates” because we love all the same foods and we dislike all the same food (to the point that it’s a bit weird). We dislike cucumber infused water and love anything chocolate peanut butter (who doesn’t?). We don’t like stewed tomatoes and are obsessed with pastas with cream sauce. We pick and choose the same thing on any menu 9/10 times. I could go on and on. So when it comes to mac n cheese we are generally purists. Creamy and cheese is best (is there any other way?), no ketchup needed, maybe even a little bit of spice, or truffle oil!
p.s. a special shout out to one of my favorite wineries, pictured in this post
ONE POT MAC N CHEESE
serves two hungry people or three with lighter portions
camping supplies needed: heat source (fire or stove), pot with lid, spoon to stir pot, eating dishes and utensils, measuring spoons, grater for cheddar cheese (unless pre-grated), oven mitts, colander (optional)*
8 oz pasta, I used shells but you can really use any kind of pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 oz pepper jack or white cheddar, grated
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat is best!
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne or nutmeg, optional
Parmesan for topping, optional
Cook pasta al dente in salty water. Drain boiling water out of pot (*with colander or just using the lid and strain, as I did) and add butter, milk, and cheeses. Stir until smooth; over low heat if needed to melt cheese fully. Salt and pepper to taste. If you happen to have a pinch of cayenne or nutmeg, these are a great addition. Top with parmesan if you have some!