I don’t love making the kid’s lunch every day. If left to their own devices, they would eat PBJ every single day. As easy as that is for me to make, I want them to have a varied lunch. They are really picky, and especially so about their school lunch. Now that it is getting colder here in the Northeast, I like to send them with a thermos of warm comfort. And just maybe because I go eat lunch with my little guy sometimes and am way impressed with the lunches that the other moms send. Seriously, these moms are rocking the school lunch. Homemade soups, roasted salmon, fancy wraps, and little Cuties made to look like pumpkins. Clay has really been into mac and cheese these days, and this stovetop recipe is really easy, and can be made before you send the littles off to school.
Mightynest sent me these cute thermals called Lunchbots to try out. I feel really silly, I did not know that you are supposed to preheat the thermos before you put hot food into it. It makes so much sense. I tested this container out, and not only does it not leak and BPA-free, but it was still warm 4 hours later. Now I look forward to sending them with soups, spaghetti and meatballs, and all kinds of warm lunches. Check down at the bottom of the post to win a great prize from Mightynest.
1 pound pasta (elbows, penne, rigatoni, whatever you like)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons flour
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Freshly grated nutmeg
I feel sort of silly, but I never knew that you were supposed to heat the thermos before you put food into it. But it makes total sense. Pour hot water into the thermos for 15 minutes to get it hot.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Warm 1 cup of milk over medium heat.
Whisk together the remaining milk and flour until there are no lumps.
When the milk begins to steam, whisk in the flour mixture. Whisk until it begins to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes. It will be the consistency of heavy cream. Gradually whisk in the cheese.
Add salt, pepper, dry mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg.
When the cheese has completely melted, add the pasta.
Coat the pasta completely in cheese sauce.
Add to thermos or serve immediately. I also like to bake this mac and cheese. I put it into a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and more cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.