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A lot of stories claim that mac and cheese was created by Thomas Jefferson, Marco Polo or the cooks of China. My favorite theory? An Italian housewife invented it to introduce non-Italian Americans to macaroni. —Stephanie Sorbie, Glendale, Arizona
People compare my version of mac'n'cheese to their grandma's macaroni and cheese...not knowing it starts out with a purchase box mix. Ham and broccoli add flavor and color. It brings raves at our church socials.—Janet Twigg, Campbellford, Ontario
We took advantage of the leftover Cheddar Cheese Sauce to prepare this comforting casserole from reader Phyllis Schmalz. The Kansas City, Kansas cook coats macaroni, ham and chopped onion with the creamy mixture before popping the much-loved combination into the oven to bake.
"I do most of the cooking for our family of eight," writes teenager Tiffanie Froese of Athena, Oregon. "Here is a hearty main dish that's a family favorite. It's a breeze to fix with boxed macaroni and cheese mix, and it tastes delicious."
I came up with the recipe for this creamy and satisfying macaroni and cheese, which has a special twist. My husband requests it often - it's hearty enough to serve as a main dish.
-Michelle Rotunno, Independence, Missouri
I remember my mother sending me to the store for "15¢ worth of store cheese". The butcher would cut off a slice from a gigantic round of cheese covered with a wax-coated cloth. Mother would then blend that cheese into this tasty dish. Today, the memory of Mother's cooking is like food for my soul. — Phyllis Burkland, Portland, Oregon
Besides being a really easy recipe to make, it tastes very good, too! This is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill macaroni and cheese. The herbs and spices, along with the sour cream, give the dish a wonderful flavor.
Serving it with toasted pita bread and salad makes this one of our family's favorite meals, and it's been in the family for a very long time!
THIS IS one of those dishes that our family calls "a Mama recipe". My mother rarely consulted a cookbook, so when asked for a recipe, she could only estimate.
I've worked out the ingredients to make it for two, but it can easily by doubled. It's simply a good, wholesome dish most folks seem to enjoy.
East Point, Georgia
When I was a girl, Mama used Texas Longhorn cheese in this recipe. After it melted all over the macaroni, I loved to dig in and see how many strings of cheese would follow my spoonful. —Imogene Hutton, Brownwood, Texas