Just for the record, I really wanted to title this post, "Mac Daddy's Cheese--Pimped." But instead I summoned all my 30-plus years of maturity, all my experiences as a mother, all my knowledge as an adult that words like 'pimp' really aren't funny, even if the letters in them make them sound funny, and I confirmed once and for all that I am not a 12-year-old boy.
Whew. Thank goodness that is firmly established. Still, I will dedicate this post to all the 12-year-old boys out there, or perhaps all the 8-year-old ones, who, like my own son, absolutely love boxed macaroni and cheese even though it is a) disgusting and b) as nutritionally beneficial as a toilet paper roll.
It is, however, very cheap. Right now, boxes are going for $.29 at Aldi. It's one of those rare foods that is much much cheaper to buy boxed than to make from scratch, presumably because the boxed contains no more than perhaps one miligram of actual cheese. But, as I say, it is beloved. And so I buy it. But I do try to make it a little more nutritious and a little more real-cheesy (please keep this information between you and me).
Boxed Mac and Cheese--Nutrified
Prep and cook time: 15 minutes
(.29-box of mac and cheese, .05 pureed squash bought in season, .06 some real cheese)
I have to give credit for the idea of using purees in my food to Jessica Seinfeld (Deceptively Delicious) and Missy Chase Lapine (The Sneaky Chef).
1 box mac and cheese
1 Tbsp butter (margarine if you must)
1/4 C milk
1/4 C sweet potato or butternut squash puree
2 Tbsp grated cheddar
Prepare pasta according to instructions. Drain. Add butter, mik, vegetable puree, cheese, and that nasty cheese packet that comes with the boxed mac and cheese. Mix it all together and serve.