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Easy Baked Mac & Cheese

Boxed mac and cheese is so finicky.  It requires a multitiude of steps: (1) opening the box, (2) boiling the noodles, (3) tearing open a foil-lined pouch of powdered stuff, (4) adding butter and milk and stirring it all together until the fake cheese reaches the consistency of school glue.  The Mac-and-Cheese-People have us somehow duped into thinking that this is the “easy” way of making this classic, beloved side dish.  When, in actuality, real mac and cheese is so much easier.  You toss a bunch of simple ingredients together.  You stir.  You bake.  You wait for forty minutes then pull a bubbling dish of browned, cheesy goodness from the oven, ready to be eaten.  Now that, my friends, is mac and cheese.  And here is the simplest, most divine way to make it quick.  Just in time for Labor Day potlucks.

Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 (16 oz.) pkg. macaroni
1 c. milk
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 c. swiss, grated
1 c. monterey jack cheese, grated
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 tsp. onion salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl, stir together the macaroni,  milk, and chicken broth.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix together using a large wooden spoon.  Pour into a very large, deep casserole dish.  Bake uncovered in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until pasta is fully cooked.  Turn oven broiler on for the last two minutes of cooking time to brown up the top part of the mac and cheese.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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