Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Creamy Mac & (Beer) Cheese


Kraft Macaroni & Cheese flavored with beer, vegetables, spices, and plenty of extra cheese. 
A delicious blend between mac & cheese and beer cheese soup!


Back in the days before kids.....(which I can hardly remember).....Jorden and I LOVED going out to eat! Big surprise, I know.....who doesn't love eating out!? We had our favorite spots, of course, one of which was Champps, and mostly for their amazing beer cheese soup!! We would typically go there on Saturdays, when we knew they would be serving it, and order a cup while we waited for our meals. There was something about it - so rich and creamy and delicious - that was absolutely to die for! It actually makes me hungry just thinking about it.





Now that we have three kids, and eating out is kind of a big deal, it's been a very long time since we've eaten at Champps. If anything, we'll order their salads to go and eat them at home after the kids go to bed. But, as much as I love their soup, somehow it never feels worth it to risk a traveling soup container!


So.....like any good beer cheese soup loving girl would do.....I've decided it's time I learn how to make my own beer cheese deliciousness! So we can enjoy it any Saturday, or every Saturday, or any day of the week our little hearts desire.....without having to get a babysitter OR brave a restaurant with three kiddos! (I'm honestly not sure which is worse!)


I started with this basic recipe I found online for Otto's Beer Cheese Soup, and then I tweaked it a bit by adding more vegetables and seasonings. Then.....I decided to really shake things up by adding some boxed mac & cheese! So instead of beer cheese soup, you have an incredibly smooth, Creamy Mac & (Beer) Cheese! Like a beer cheese soupy mac & cheese, if that makes any sense. And if not, don't worry. Once you try it....it will ALL make sense!


Creamy Mac & (Beer) Cheese
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 chopped medium sized yellow onion
1 c. chopped carrot
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) beer of choice (I used Miller Lite)
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, shredded 
6 ounces processed Swiss cheese, shredded
2 boxes Kraft mac & cheese (I used Thick 'n Creamy)
2 cups half-and-half (I used fat free)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until softened. Add flour. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth, beer, and mac & cheese noodles. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add shredded cheese and mac & cheese powdered cheese packets. Continue stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add half-and-half, salt, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until sauce has thickened and noodles are tender.



Enjoy!


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12 comments :

  1. Love the idea of adding veggies into the mac & cheese - makes it a nice complete meal. Looks delicious!

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  2. This recipe looks crazy good and like the perfect comfort food to enjoy while living in the "Polar Vortex" I'm finding us in here in New Hampshire. Oh and I'm with you - dining with kids is not always pleasant - and hiring a babysitter is sometimes just too pricy! Why not have a nice, yummy dinner at home? Most of the time the food is better too! :)

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  3. Dannnggg that mac n' cheese looks absolutely dangerous! I would love to make this...assuming the beer lasts long enough for me to make it :P

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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  4. Must be all what you wrote. Someday...

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  5. You are genius lady! Loving this concept! Pimped out beer cheese soup :)

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  6. What a hearty and comforting dish and perfect for this colder weather we are getting where I am. Love that you recreated this dish to enjoy at home, hehe it definitely isn't always fun dining out when you have kiddos. We do the same and either get take-out or I have tried to learn how to make the dishes we enjoy at our favorite restaurants too. Great post and thanks for sharing Cathy :)

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  7. What a hearty and comforting dish and perfect for this colder weather we are getting where I am. Love that you recreated this dish to enjoy at home, hehe it definitely isn't always fun dining out when you have kiddos. We do the same and either get take-out or I have tried to learn how to make the dishes we enjoy at our favorite restaurants too. Great post and thanks for sharing Cathy :)

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  8. How quickly can you get this to me, because it sounds DEEEElicius!!??

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  9. Oh my Cathy, I know a certain husband who would go NUTS for this!

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  10. WOW!! That's the only thing I can think of to say while I'm drooling all over my laptop.

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  11. Beer and Cheese - what else could you need? YUM!

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