9/15/2013: Allison Moore

Last night, my alter ego, Master Chef Ali, came out. My friends and I decided to make a “gourmet” Sunday dinner. To my surprise, it was pretty easy! It only took a few minutes longer than my usual meal: frozen pizza. Therefore, I thought I would start to share some cheap and easy college recipes with you that I personally enjoy.

Kraft Mac and Cheese is great, but I assure you that homemade Mac and Cheese is better. This is a simple recipe you are sure to love!

  • 1 ½ cup Elbow Macaroni

  • 1 ½ tbsp. Butter

  • 1 ½ tbsp. Flour

  • 1 ½ cup Milk

  • 10 oz Extra Sharp Block Cheddar Cheese

  • ½ cup Ritz Crackers (crushed)

  • 1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, bring a regular-sized saucepan with 3-4 inches of water to boil. Boil the macaroni in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then drain – do not rinse – and place into a casserole dish of any size. Set aside.

  • 2. In an additional small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat.

  • 3. Once melted, add the flour and milk into the pan and stir constantly on medium heat until thickened. This should take about 8 minutes.

  • 4. Lower the heat and cut the cheese into small-sized cubes. The smaller cubes increase the overall surface area of the cheese, and allow it melt substantially faster. Add the cheese cubes into the already heated mix, and cook while stirring until fully melted.

  • 5. Once melted, pour the cheese mixture into the casserole dish with the macaroni and stir. Try to ensure that all of the noodles have been adequately covered in cheese.

  • 6. For a delicious yet optional garnish, sprinkle Ritz cracker crumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese.

  • 7. Finally, place the casserole dish into oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

  • 8. Use a pot holder to carefully remove the casserole dish from the oven, and let sit, allowing it to cool, for 3-5 minutes. Plate and enjoy!

Another meal that is simple and delicious is Paninis! And no fancy panini maker is required. All it requires is sandwich ingredients; which can be whatever you enjoy: turkey, ham, salami, cheese, lettuce etc. The only difference is you put a little bit of butter on the outside pieces of bread and set it in a frying pan. The trick to making it an actual “pressed panini” is that you set another frying pan on top of the sandwich while it cooks! Leave it for about 5 minutes on medium heat on both sides or until the sandwich is browned, and you have yourself a hot panini sandwich!