I planned on saving this post for October, but it turned out so much better than I thought, I just can't wait.
So this recipe was a bit of an experiment, and just kept changing the more I looked for recipes.
It started out as just "crock pot mac and cheese" but then I realized that I had forgotten to buy any eggs this week, so the recipe I was going to use was out. As I searched for other crock pot recipes, I kept finding things I didn't like about them, or ingredients I didn't have.
Finally, I stumbled across a pumpkin mac and cheese recipe made on the stove. But I was still hanging on to this crock pot idea. So I decided to wing it and it just sort of morphed as I went.
2 cups of milk
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ginger
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
2lbs pasta of your choice
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree
3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
I added all of the ingredients through the red pepper flakes to the crock pot and turned it on high.
Once the butter melted, add pumpkin and whisk thoroughly.
Then I turned it down to low and just whisked every so often throughout the afternoon. This is definitely not a throw everything in in the morning and leave it dish, the pumpkin and milk will start to burn, even on low. I put it in around lunch and it was perfect for eating dinner at 5:30
Since every time I make mac and cheese noodles in the crock pot I am less than impressed with the texture of the noodles, I just decided to do the sauce in the crock pot, and cooked my noodles on the stove since that doesn't take long.
When I put on my water to boil, I added 3 cups of cheese to the crock pot and mixed well as it melted
Once the noodles were done, drain and stir into the cheese sauce in the crock pot.
Rave reviews from the kids:
Noah: This is SO good! Can you make it again?
Nathan: Can we add some hot sauce to this?
Me: No, it tastes good just the way it is.
Nathan: Not to me.
Nathan: Just kidding, I love it! It's the best thing you've ever made!
Elise: It's the best thing in the entire world.
Me: Maddie, do you like it?
This makes A LOT of macaroni and cheese. So if you don't have a bunch of kids who eat like horses, you may want to halve the recipe.