Making for-real super-cheesy macaroni and cheese is one of those things that I would do all the time if I lived the life I imagine in my head. I am a cheese addict and a carb addict so it’s basically one of my favorite things. And yet I never really get around to actually doing it. I don’t think I’ve made REAL mac & cheese since I was living alone.
Given that I have two hungry kiddos who enjoy cheese (this is new for Graham and I’m super pumped about it) I was happy to review a Mac & Cheese Kit from Smith’s Country Cheese here in Massachusetts.
A local dairy that makes their own cheese and has a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. Yes, folks, you are in New England. Love it.
I really want to be better about eating more local food, supporting small businesses and buying less processed food, so getting cheese from a local dairy is a triple-threat. (Maybe it will offset a little bit of my warehouse-club-membership…)
Even better, this is a Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese recipe that has Smith’s Cheddar and Smoked Gouda. You will still have to make your sauce (roux & cheese on the stovetop) but I like a recipe I can make in the middle of the day and have hot and ready when everyone’s home from work and school without having to manage cooking and the crazy-that-is-our-house-at-6pm simultaneously. While you will have to make a sauce, it’s pretty simple as long as you’ve got all your ingredients ready to go before you start.
So what did we think?
Graham, as I’d feared, was unconvinced that putting cheese & pasta together was a good idea, even though he enjoys them separately. Someday he’ll kick himself for depriving himself of homemade mac & cheese.
But the rest of us gobbled it down and Tessa and I ate the leftovers for days. (The recipe makes a LOT. You’ve got a pound of cheese AND a pound of pasta.) I love Smoked Gouda, but I’d never used it in Mac & Cheese before and I liked the flavor it added. The cheese isn’t so fancy your kids will be turned off (like they would with something like gruyere) and the mix is half cheddar. So it’s a nice mix of adult and kid palates coming together.
My only complaints are (1) I’d love to see a company committed to local food and such provide a locally sourced pasta, since the one in our kit was a brand we could get at the grocery store; and (2) I think the price is on the high side. I’d recommend ordering the cheeses on their own and getting the recipe online to save a little cash.
If you don’t want to order online, you can find Smith’s Cheese at a bunch of Massachusetts locations (including Whole Foods and several farmers markets).