Happy Holidays from my heart to yours. This year has been challenging in ways that I certainly never expected. It is my privilege to share my love of Polish Pottery and my joy of cooking with you. I am honored that Twila has let me tell my stories and share with you all. Who knew ten years ago, that collecting pottery would also bring such a wonderful friend into my life. I have found that it is so much harder to make a TRUE BLUE friend as an adult woman than it is when you are younger. I am blessed every day by this friendship. I look forward to writing, cooking and photographing each recipe for you.
Holidays have never been the same since my grandparents passed away, but I honor them by carrying on what they taught me. Like comfort food, they are my comfort memories. This is a little of both, something my grandma always made from scratch and updated by me and the way my family likes it.
My boys love things a little on the spicy side, so this is my take on Mac & Cheese.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar grated
  • 8 oz pepper jack cheese grated
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cyan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups of milk
  • 2 cups cubed ham
  • Panko bread crumbs

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook till al dente. (about 7 minutes) Drain, rinse, and set aside. In another large pot make a rue with the butter and flour. Gradually add the milk, whisking the whole time to avoid flour clumps. Add cyan, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and then turn heat down until the mixture has thickened. Add in cheese and stir while it melts into your sauce. Add reserved macaroni, and ham, stir to combine. Pour all into a large covered baker and heavily sprinkle with panko bread crumbs on top. Bake at 350 for an hour.
This is cheesy, gooey comfort food at its best!