June 10, 2014

Creamy Ham and Mac

What do you do when your friends have an eighth baby?  Why, congratulate them with a meal of course.  But what in the world do you cook for a family of ten?  I chose one of our family's favorite recipes: creamy ham and mac.  
macaroni and cheese with diced ham

Have you ever heard how Amish (and farmers in general) eat carb-heavy meals?  They really expend lots of energy and need the big meals.  Farmers also don't have the option to snack between meals when they are out in the fields or barn working.  I wanted to provide a meal that would fill them up and be simple for me to make. In full disclosure, I'm quite certain this would not serve ten adults.  However, I knew the youngest three children (one being brand new) would likely not eat a full serving.  (And, yes, this meal was given to my Amish neighbors.)

Creamy Ham and Mac

by ThisSimpleHome.com
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves 8)
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (whole wheat preferred)
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups shredded or sliced cheddar cheese, divided (Remember, I don't shred cheese.)
  • 1-2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Instructions
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
2. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter over low heat in a large sauce pan; whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk and pepper.
3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
4. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
5. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese. Once melted, stir in ham, Parmesan cheese, and macaroni.
6. Transfer to a greased 2-qt baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.
7. Let stand for 5 minutes for serving.
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If you have never tried whole wheat pasta, I definitely recommend it, though quite honestly, I suspect I used standard elbows in the photo above.  This ham and mac recipe and my homemade Hamburger Helper recipe are perfect to test it on your family.

Tip: If you prepare a whole ham for a meal, place some of the leftovers in the freezer for meals like this

I must admit, I don't always have the time to make a meal for friends who need them.  However, I've been blessed with meals after the birth of our children and one-or more- of their hospital stays. I know how much they're needed.  This creamy ham and mac also freezes well.

What meal do you make for others?

~ Annette W. {This Simple Mom}
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7 comments:

  1. That looks delicious! My daughter likes Kraft Dinner but I would much prefer a healthier alternative. I'm definitely trying this soon.

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  2. I do make Kraft at times, but my children know macaroni and cheese can take a variety of forms. :)

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  3. I like to make spaghetti for friends needing meals because you can bring them a large jar or two of sauce, and spaghetti for the night and uncooked spaghetti for the next night.

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  4. This is the kind of food I grew up on and I will always love it!! Looks delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  5. Wish I could eat this today. I'm gonna have to have this on the weekend!

    Thanks for sharing!!

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  6. Cheesy creamy goodness!!! yum! I found you over at the Treasure Box Tuesdays link party.  I host Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday and would love it if you linked up this recipe.  I’m sure our party goers would love it as much as I do. Here is the link http://bit.ly/1lNY6hK.  Have a wonderful day!!

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