Friday, October 21, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese as a Holiday Gift

Who doesn't love cheese? Who doesn't love pasta? And who wouldn't want to get amazing macaroni and cheese that they could make at any time as a gift? I know I would.

If you haven't checked out my recipe for my Macaroni and Cheese, click here! I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I make a mean mac. One of the things I mention in the bottom of the post is the ability this mac has to be frozen and reheated. But it can also be made into individual portions. Here is what I am trying to say...

Instead of giving someone a gift they may not like this year or giving people you work with cookies, how about giving them macaroni and cheese in individual ramekins that they have the ability to cook anytime them want. This is perfect for those of you who aren't really into baking!

Photo from here.

I was talking to a coworker of mine today, named Gina, and she told me she was going to make my macaroni and cheese as a holiday gift. Quite simply, she reminded me about how everyone makes cookies to pass out so everyone always gets sweet Holiday treats. And by the time you have a minute to eat all of them, you are eating stale, out-of-their-peak cookies. And well, Gina had an excellent point. Plus this idea is just unique, so you will stand out from everyone else. So I got to thinking about how this could be done and how you could individualize each macaroni and cheese to each one of your friends.

How to Make Macaroni Holiday Treats

Since this macaroni and cheese needs to be baked, you need to purchase oven safe bowls or ramekins. I would recommend a ramekin, so you have a great surface area for a delicious crust. You want to get something with a shallower side, and not so much a deep ramekin, like the kind you would use to make a souffle.

Next, prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the directions here. Make sure to stop at the step before adding the onions and cheese. Simply, make the noodles and the cheese sauce.

After you have made the noodles and cheese sauce, mix them together in a large bowl. You want all the noodles to be filled with cheese. Next, fill your ramekins almost to the top. I say, depending on the size of your ramekins, you can get about 20-25 gifts from my one recipe. That is a lot of gifts! Once the ramekins are filled, set them aside.

Remember how I was talking about making these individual to your friends? Here is how you do it. The best way to make sure each person gets what they want, is to give them what they want. Simply, give them the toppings THEY want. In my normal macaroni and cheese, I add onions on top. If you were making this for me... you would probably add onions on top of mine. Moral of the story: buy or make the toppings your friends will love! This could be jalapenos for the spicy friend of yours, or bacon for the pig lover. Remember though, to always add a little cheese on top for that crust you want! How about adding Feta cheese and some green olives instead of Parmesan for your friend that likes a Mediterranean flare? This is all about customizing the macaroni and cheese to whom you are giving it to. This makes your gift unique, delicious, and special to them.

The last thing you have to do is give them directions. This has to be baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. If they plan on freezing it, make sure to tell them to cover it properly to prevent freezer burn and add 2 tbs milk before baking. Make cute little labels or note cards or something that tell them what to do!

My Example (to be put on cute notecards of course):

Dear Mom,

Happy Holidays! Here is a little cheesy homemade treat from me to you!

·         Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
·         Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown
·       If you would like to freeze this treat, make sure to add 2 tbs of milk         before baking.

I hope you have an amazing holiday and a great New Year! Happy Eating!

Love Always, Arielle

If you make this for friends and family, post a comment and tell me how they like it.
Happy Holidays Everyone! 

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