Friday, September 12, 2014

Copycat Panera Mac n' Cheese






Stress Management

Picture yourself near a stream.
Birds are singing in the crisp, cool mountain air.
Nothing can bother you here.
No one knows this secret place.
You are in total seclusion from that place called the world.
The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
The water is clear.
You can easily make out the face of the person whose head you're holding under the water.
There now, feeling better?
If nothing,  this made you smile.  While not feasible, it made me laugh. 

Ah, Comfort food.  Just those words make me feel relaxed.  My favorite comfort food of all time is Mac n Cheese.  But not just any will do, it has to be Panera's.  I've been making this recipe since I found it on the internet.  The flavor is unique.  All that  creamy goodness melting on your tongue with every bite you take.  It's so quick and easy to make & it sure does help when you've had a tooth extracted..... yeah, that wasn't fun but there is no reason you should suffer and not eat good,  right?   What an excuse huh?  It sure did hit the spot.  I can have all the soft food I want so i'm going back into the kitchen and see what else I can make...... ice cream.... marshmallows.......  Well, the dentist did say soft food......


Thanks for letting me share my favorite Mac n' Cheese Recipe Linda.

Ingredients:
 16 oz pipette pasta or other small pasta shapes
 4 tbsp unsalted butter
 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
 4 oz white American cheese, chopped or torn into pieces
 8 oz extra sharp white Vermont cheddar, shredded
 2 tsp – 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (adjust according to your tastes)
 1 tsp Kosher salt

 1 tsp hot sauce (Used Frank’s)

Instructions:
  Cook pasta as directed on package,   Drain in colander and set aside

Place Butter in large 3 to 4 quart sauce pan and melt over low heat.  Add the flour to make a roux and keep stirring  to keep from scorching about a minute and a half.  Start adding the milk slowly making sure there are no lumps.  Keep whisking until the mixture until it thickens and starts to bubble.  This might take a bit. I stirred mine for about 10 minutes.

Remove from Heat and stir in cheeses a small handful at a time stirring until it melts, then keep adding the cheese until all of it is incorporated.  Add the mustard, salt & the hot sauce.  Stir well.  Return the pot to the flame and add the pasta and coat the pasta well and make sure that the pasta is heated through.  Serve immediately.  Store leftover in covered container and refrigerate.

Panera Stove Top Mac and Cheese







49 comments:

  1. Cyndy.......I LOVED your post !! You did have me relaxing. Panera is one of my favorite places to eat, and my grandkids LOVE their Mac and Cheese. You can be sure I am going to make this for them. I am not supposed to have cheese and all the other yummy ingredients in this recipe, but, you can be sure I will take some out for MOI !!! Thanks so much for sharing this....Mac and Cheese certainly is a comfort food for me.

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    1. Myra, I use this method when I'm at work and it really helps. You can't help but smile when you come face to face with the person you were imagining! hehehee. This recipe is hands down one of the best. I add extra hot sauce!

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  2. Thanks for linking up at Our Favorite Things Pinterest Party! All three of your links look wonderful. I wanted to tell you though that our rules say you need to ink to your pinterest PIN or it will be deleted. We have to link to up to 400 pins, so it does make it easier for us. Just wanted you to know, so you can add your pin again. If you need help doing this just contact me at info@ginascraftcorner.com and I can help you do this. :) Have a great day! Sorry for the inconvenience!

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    1. Sorry about that- I hope you deleted my links. I'll try to go back and add the pins later. Thanks for letting me know...........

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  3. My family loves mac & cheese, so any spin on that old standby recipe is welcomed. I love the addition of mustard to the mix, but the hot sauce is an especially nice addition, I will be giving your version a whirl.

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    1. it has to be the Dijon mustard, it gives it a nice Zing

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  4. Thank you so much for adding your recipe link at our Grand Opening of #PureBlogLove . Your recipe look delicious! I hope to see you next week at 8 pm EST!
    Have a great day
    XoXo
    Heidy

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  5. This looks incredible. I can't wait to try it out. Yum.

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    1. Kelley, it's really good and it comes together fast. hope you enjoy it

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  6. Ohhhhhhhhh yeah I've had those.............relaxation visuals before................... :)

    That mac and cheese looks delicious, Cyndy. I've never been to Panera Bread (yep-there's one right near the grocery store but I drive right by) but Bob and I do love mac and cheese. I'll have to give this one a try the next time we have a hankerin' for some good old down-home comfort food.

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    1. OMG Carol, I was playing catch up since I didn't want to read much because of the vertigo. Imagine my surprise when I saw this. I'd forgotten about it hahaha. this one is really good and fast. I think the boys would like it too.

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  7. Looks so delicious. Wish I had some now.

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    1. Kim, I love it so much, I'm craving it now. BUT, it's about 104­° here in Southern California right now.

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  8. I love Panera's. My friend Juanita and I used to go there. I do miss it. Never had the mac and cheese. But I must admit I have pictured that streem with a certain face. I stay away from that also . Just way to tempting. ; }

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    1. Dottie, if I lived closer, you wouldn't have to cook or bake. I wish we all lived closer! Oh yeah, I do this on almost a daily basis at work and it helps calm my nerves. I wonder how some of my co-workers got their nursing licenses..............

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  9. Hi Cyndy, Thanks for the great recipe. Will be making this when it cools down. Went to the Panera Bread in Holland, MI
    a couple of yrs. ago. Talk about dentists. I broke a tooth on their hard bread. lol I used super glue and glued it back on since I was on vacation. When I got back to CA, my dentist was not happy. lol lol Hey!!! It worked. My youngest sister said their mac and cheese was really good. Thank you Linda for letting Cyndy post this one.

    Carol from the San Diego area

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    1. Carol, I'm glad your coming here. Linda's blog is a wonderful place to read about everything, there is always something for everyone. OMG, I can't believe you super glued your tooth! Hope you try the mac n cheese, it's really good. But, it really never gets cold here in Cali does it? hehehe

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    2. Cyndy, It's going to be 105 on Mon. and I leave for MI on Tues. morning. Will get back Oct. 2. It is going to be in the 60's and 70's. Yeah!!! We are 20 miles inland from San Diego and it is hotter than you know what. Looking forward to wine tours, Amish, Dutch, German, and apples. lol lol

      Carol from the San Diego area

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  10. This sounds SO yummy!!! Homemade Mac and Cheese is one of my family's favorites during the Fall season. It is just such a comfort food :-) Pinning this to make for my family.

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  11. I always love to try a new recipe on an old favorite! Pinned and put this on my menu for this week!

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    1. Let us know how you liked it AnnMarie.

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    2. I made this recipe this week and it was REALLY good!! A definite keeper. Really easy too...all on the stove top!

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    3. I'm so glad to hear that AnnMarie. We love it too.
      Can't t wait until it cools down again. Thanks for reviewing the recipe!

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  12. I can hardly wait to try this myself! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Corrine, it's really good. just make the cheese mix and taste as you go. it's a very simple recipe but it tastes so darned good!

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  13. Thanks Linda for posting this, your a doll. I have a few things to send your way and I'm waiting until mid Oct to send them out. I can't wait for you to try that new baking pan. It's GORGEOUS and I love mine.

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  14. Mouth watering! Gotta try this within the week!

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  15. It's really good Jhanis , hope you like it as much as we did

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  16. Mac n' Cheese is one of my go to comfort foods and this looks ah-mazing. Thank you so much for sharing at Share It One More Time. Cathy

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  17. Thank You Cathy, it's my 'go to' comfort food as well.

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  18. Getting a hint of cooler weather here in the Northeast and your Mac N' Cheese recipe sounds and looks like a great idea.
    Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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    1. Kathy, it's perfect cold weather food!

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  19. I LOVE Panera's Mac n' Cheese! We are in Hawaii now and don't have a Panera here, so I'm pumped to have this recipe! Pinning! Thank you so much for linking up with us at Saturday Night Fever!

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  20. I love Mac n' Cheese! I think I will be trying your recipe this weekend! Thank you for sharing with us at the Merry Monday Link Party!

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    1. Hope you enjoyed it Amanda. I love this recipe because you have room to play with it and make it to your liking.

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  21. Ooooh, so delish! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at the Make it Pretty Monday party. Here is the link to this week's party. http://www.thededicatedhouse.com/2014/09/make-it-pretty-monday-week-115.html Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  22. I just pinned this recipe for later. Thanks for sharing a great comfort food.

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    1. Julie, hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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  23. I'm basically obsessed with Panera mac and cheese. It's THE BEST. Now I can make it at home - not sure if this is good or bad yet ;)

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    1. Elizabeth, trust me, it's very good :)

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  24. Thanks for coming and linking up at #The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on KitchenDreaming.com ! I hope to see you there!

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  25. This looks so amazing! I seriously want to make this now! Followed you over from The Weekend Social. Homemade mac and cheese is an absolute favorite of mine. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

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  26. Erica, Mac n cheese is a favorite with us too. Let us know if you make it, thanks

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  27. Yum, yum! Comfort food for sure. I've got to try this! Been wanting a good homemade mac & cheese recipe. thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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