When my life gets really hectic, opening the fridge and discovering someone has left a big ol' pan of mac and cheese in there for me would make me smile. I hope it does the same for my daughter. I used her recipe so it would be what her family likes.
5 cups fresh grated cheddar
16 oz. Elbow macaroni
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
4 cups 2% milk
1 T. onion powder
4 bay leaves
½ t. paprika
Grate 5 cups cheddar.
Boil water and cook 16 oz pasta just until tender.
In pan, melt 4 T butter, wisk in 4 T flour, 4 c milk, 1T onion powder, 4 bay leaves, ½ t paprika, and sprinkle in some black pepper.
Add ½ the cheddar, then mix in drained pasta.
Put half the pasta mix in a buttered 9x12 pan, cover with ½ the remaining cheddar, then cover with the remaining pasta mix, then the remaining cheddar.
Broil to brown top.
If made in advance, bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes.