Just look at Emily’s big smile. My oldest grandchild has a good reason to be so happy. She just made Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pizza for supper.
Nine-year-old Emily truly enjoys being in the kitchen. Since she was a preschooler, she’s been in the kitchen with adults experiencing a nice sense of accomplishment as she creates delicious food and learns essential kitchen skills.
I was Emily’s assistant in her kitchen one day last week as she prepared the main dish for supper for her family. Just like so many people these days, Emily is a busy person. She’d been working hard at school all day. After school she had her piano lesson. By the time she got into the kitchen to make supper, she was getting hungry. It was a good thing that we already had the recipe and Emily’s mom had done the grocery shopping, saving Emily a lot of time. Her mom was already busy preparing a colorful Greek salad and a Ceasar salad to be served with the pizza.
As the elbow macaroni was boiling on the stove, Emily got the rest of the ingredients measured and ready to go.
Then she prepared the pizza pan by brushing it with olive oil.
Once the macaroni was cooked and drained, the noodles were dumped into a mixing bowl. Emily and her younger sister, Madison, had cracked two eggs which Emily whipped with a whisk and added to the macaroni.
Then, Emily added some grated cheese and stirred the mixture until most of the cheese had melted.
Emily carefully spread the mac ‘n’ cheese mixture on the prepared pizza pan.
After 10 minutes in the oven, it was time to pour pizza sauce on the baked macaroni.
Emily spread the sauce evenly over the baked macaroni to cover it completely.
Once she topped the sauce with mozzarella cheese, it was ready to go back into the oven. With patience, we all waited for the pizza to finish its final bake.
Six-year-old Madison, from the time she first heard mention of the mac ‘n’ cheese pizza, made it emphatically clear that she would not like it. But, she was the first to run into the kitchen to check out the pizza as it was pulled from the oven.
And guess what? As we all sat around the table eating pizza, salads and fresh fruit, Madison announced that Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pizza is not only the best ever, it is her new favorite food.
Three-year-old Tanner wasn’t impressed with the pizza. He’d rather eat bread. Maybe next time he’ll like the pizza.
I have such fond memories of wonderful times in the kitchen with my mom and my grandma. They taught me about cooking by giving me small challenges that allowed me to succeed and develop confidence in the kitchen. And, they inspired me to want to cook more. I see Emily going down that same path. She has several family members who love spending time with her in the kitchen.
The Doeden family highly recommends this Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pizza. According to Emily, it’s awesome, easy to make but fun. She suggests using pizza sauce rather than pasta sauce.
And I recommend spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking with a child you love. It’s the best ever.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pizza
â€¢ 8 ounces (1Â¾ cups) elbow macaroni
â€¢ 4 ounces (1 cup) finely shredded Marble Jack cheese
â€¢ 2 large eggs, beaten
â€¢ 1 cup of your favorite pizza or pasta sauce
â€¢ 8 ounces (2 cups) finely shredded Mozzarella cheese
Brush a 12-inch pizza pan with a small amount of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the pan. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook 8 ounces elbow macaroni according to directions on package. Drain well.
In a large bowl, stir together cooked macaroni,eggs and Marble Jack cheese until cheese melts.
Spread macaroni mixture evenly on prepared pizza pan. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven. Spread pizza sauce evenly over the macaroni crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the sauce to cover it. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes longer until cheese begins to turn golden.
Remove from oven. Allow the pizza to cool slightly before cutting. Slice the pizza and serve. Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza.
- Cooked ground beef or Italian sausage can be added to the topping.