Don't Try This at Home

I've been visiting with my daughter Angela this week in Little Rock, so today I tried to help out by making dinner while she was at work. I came prepared with some of my own cookbooks, and I had the recipe I wanted to use marked in one of the books. The recipe I chose was called Extra-Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese. I have been cooking long enough to usually just be able to read a recipe and tell if it is a dish my family will like. This mac and cheese recipe had sounded very good to me, and I was quite certain that the grandchildren would love it.

This recipe called for 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese and 8 ounces of Italian blend cheese. It also included eggs, evaporated milk, and regular milk along with salt, black pepper, red pepper, and dry mustard. Sounds yummy doesn't it?

It was also made with small shell pasta, a favorite of mine. Then what could possibly go wrong? The recipe was written to be cooked in a crock pot. I thought that was a good idea. Mix everything up, turn it on LOW, and according to the directions 4 hours later take the lid off and creamy mac and cheese would appear. It didn't happen quite that way.

I mixed everything up, put the lid on, turned the temperature to LOW, then after about 3 1/2 hours pulled the plug.

The mac and cheese was congealed and dry, especially around the edges.

I served it up, and the taste wasn't too bad, but the presentation was sorely lacking. I'm not going to post the recipe because I wouldn't serve this dish again. Instead of being individual shells covered in creamy cheese, it was a scoop of stuck together goop. It appeared to be pitifully overcooked. Fortunately we had fried chicken and a salad to go with the dry mac and cheese, so the meal was not a total disaster.

I did learn something from this cooking experience - pasta was not made to be cooked for 4 hours in a crock pot. The directions on the box said the shells should be cooked for 7 minutes. Some foods just don't do well in a crock pot and pasta is one of them. I love my crock pot, but I won't be using it again for Macaroni and Cheese in the near future.


  1. Oh bummer about the recipe!! Thanks for letting us know how NOT to use our crockpots for pasta.

  2. I have had something similar, made in the crock pot, but didn't find it as wonderful as my mother's mac & cheese. The lady who made the crock pot mac and cheese made a big batch for 20+ of us. I don't have the recipe.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  3. I really hate it when I try something new and it turns out this way. So frustrating. But, it looks like it tasted good even if it wasn't as soft and creamy as we are used to. :P

  4. Thanks for the info I hardly ever use the crock pot. I should but don't. The chicken and salad sound good. Hope you have a nice visit. Andi

  5. I hate when I go to all that work and hope for something delicious and it doesn't turn out. Crud!

  6. I have to laugh as I write this comment because just today, I made a terrible batch of Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese, so I specifically went to your blog to see if you had a good ‘oven baked’ Mac and Cheese recipe…then read your post about your Crock Pot Mac and Cheese tragedy. I cook breakfast every other Saturday and dinner once/month for my local police officers and I'm always testing recipes prior to the next dinner. I have a pretty good baked Mac and Cheese recipe, but was looking for a second cheese that would nicely compliment the cheddar that most of the recipes call for.