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posted: 2/19/2013 6:59 AM

Easy Mac n Cheesey

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2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked

2 cups 2 percent milk, divided

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1 tablespoon butter

cup processed cheese product (such as Velvetta), cubed

cup grated cheese of choice (i.e. sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack)

1 teaspoon salt

6 slices bacon crumbled

10 round butter crackers (such as Ritz), slightly crushed

1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped

Add macaroni, 2 cups milk and butter to a large saucepan and simmer on low to medium heat, stirring frequently, 10-15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. If milk starts to evaporate or absorb before pasta is al dente, turn heat to low and add cup more milk.

When milk is mostly absorbed but some residual milk remains, add cheeses and salt. Stir to combine until cheese is completely melted. (Add a splash of milk, a couple tablespoons at a time, if a creamier consistency is desired.) Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer mac and cheese into a nice casserole dish. Top with crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes, crushed crackers and freshly chopped parsley.

Serves six.

Cook's note: For an even quicker meal, try Creamette 3-minute elbow macaroni and reduce simmering time to 8 minutes for al dente.

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