Rice Krispy Crusted Macaroni and Cheese

"What are you going to be for Hallowe’en?"

It’s the question my granddaughter Nina asked recently as we were walking down the street.

So I said “I’m going as a grandma. And Grandpa is going as a grandpa.”

She thought that answer was so funny she stopped to laugh out loud for a long time. And said “but you are already grandma!”

So I told her that I was going to buy a gray-haired wig and a cane and go trick-or-treating looking like an old, bent-over woman. And I showed her how I would do it and what I would sound like when I said “trick or treat” with my best old-person voice.

But of course I am not going trick or treating because I am in Egypt. Yes, that’s right. Egypt. Cairo. Tahrir Square, the Pyramids, Sphinx and the whole bit. That’s why I haven’t been blogging as much as usual.

But I also just learned that our group, which has 9 women, will be having an early Halloween and we will be wearing gulabyas (Egyptian dresses) so I guess I will be in costume after all.

When my neighbors at home come to my door on the real Halloween and they realize I am not home I hope they don’t vandalize the place too much. One year our doors got sprayed with that stuff that comes flying out of a can like neon colored string and we had to have everything painted because the string didn’t come off.

It’s been years since I went trick-or-treating with my children. They are grown and go trick-or-treating with their own kids now. But I remember that Halloween night was always the turning point for the weather. It was always cold and frequently rainy on that night (why couldn’t nature wait one more day???)

So there was always something warm and delicious when we got home. Like soup or Mac and Cheese and certainly hot chocolate with marshmallows.

If you go trick-or-treating and need some warm nourishment afterwards, before the candy gobbling, try Macaroni and Cheese. I would give a nourishing and warm Egyptian recipe but —- more on that some other day. Here’s a good recipe for Macaroni and Cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • few grindings of nutmeg
  • 4 ounces American cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated or chopped
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies cereal (or similar), optional
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the macaroni until it is al dente. Drain and set aside. In a saucepan, melt the two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the flour and stir it into the melted butter using a whisk. Cook for about a minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to form a smooth sauce. Add the salt, nutmeg, American cheese and cheddar cheese and stir until the sauce is smooth and thick. Stir in the macaroni and coat all the pieces. Spoon the macaroni into a baking dish. If you like a top crust, mix the cereal and melted butter and sprinkle on top of the macaroni. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cereal is browned and crispy.

Makes 4 servings