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This is a good, basic recipe for macaroni and cheese. No unusual ingredients or extraordinary efforts involved. You could probably add your own variations, but you don't need to.

I would have given it 5 stars, but for a couple of things. I held back on the pepper, using only 1/4 teaspoon of black and just a dash of red. !/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper seemed excessive. I'm glad I tasted the sauce before adding the called-for amount. The dash was just enough to enhance the flavor of the cheese, but not enough to burn my mouth.

I also divided the cheese a little differently, using only 1/2 cup on the top and putting the rest into the sauce. (I like a cheesy sauce.) I'm partial to a crunchy topping, though, so sprinkled 2-3 tablespoons of panko crumbs on the top underneath the cheese.

If I was to make the stovetop version, I would increase the amount of flour and butter by about 1 tablespoon each. The sauce was a bit runny for my liking, although you could probably simmer your al dente elbows in the white sauce a bit before stirring in the cheese. That would thicken it up a little more.

Again, a good basic recipe. It's going into my cookbook. Thanks for passing it along, Peyton's Mom.

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Laura2of7 August 29, 2012

This is a GREAT recipe! I haven't cooked mac and cheese in over 10 yrs, and needed a little help. I am so glad I choose this recipe.

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easy_cook November 20, 2011

This is our favorite recipe for mac n' cheese. I got it out of the Southern Living magazine in a doctor's office last year and have been making it ever since. We like it better w/o the cheese on top and made with the one-pan method. I'm so glad you posted it!

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Chef Doozer January 28, 2008
Classic Mac & Cheese (Southern Living Feb 2007)