Monday 23 July 2012

Macaroni Casserole

A few weeks back, I christened a woman named Carmelle the “Caker Queen” because I’d featured two of her recipes on Caker Cooking. But I was a bit hasty in that declaration because if there’s anyone who deserves that title, it’s my mom.

It was she, after all, who set me on my caker path. To think of everything I’ve learned from this woman – that you can serve salads with marshmallows alongside roast beef. Or solidify pineapple rings in JELL-O. Or turn a cereal box into a gift box. To this day, the sound of someone routing through a kitchen drawer looking for a can opener is music to my ears.

My mom’s getting older and nowadays even casseroles can seem like too much work. So this past weekend, I did what any respectable son-of-a-caker would do: I went for a visit and made her Macaroni Casserole.

Of all the casseroles my mom made throughout the years (and believe me, there were many), this is my favourite. I don’t know why it’s so good. Maybe it’s the tomato soup. Or the elbow macaroni. Or maybe, it’s just mom.

As an added bonus this week, I’ve included another one of my mom’s recipes. Her molasses cookies aren’t technically caker, but they kick butt. And the ones I brought her this weekend got the thumbs up. So consider the caker torch officially passed.

Carmelle, I hope you’re OK with a title change. The bottom line is that there should only be one queen in your life – and that's mom.

Macaroni Casserole

1 package ground beef
2 cups dry elbow macaroni
2 cans tomato soup
Minced onion (optional)

Brown the ground beef and onion until cooked. Salt and pepper to taste. Boil the macaroni to desired firmness and drain. Mix together the beef, macaroni and tomato soup. Put in casserole dish. Top with Paramesan cheese. Bake, covered, at 375° for about a half hour or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Mom’s Molasses Cookies

1 cup sugar
¾ cup shortening (see note)
¼ cup molasses
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix together. Roll in balls and dip in sugar. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°.

Note: My ass can’t do the shortening. So I use unsalted butter.

Source: The Caker Queen
Forever a glamour gal.


  1. I've made this. It is good. I like that the onion is optional. Don't want to go overboard. Alas, I no longer eat much beef. The cookies look fabulous! Your mom is gorgeous.

    1. Anything that might involve adding flavour is usually optional in caker dishes, Fifilaru. I've made this before with ground turkey if you're avoiding beef. I was only allowed to post a pic of my mom if it was one of her "old, glamour shots." I suppose if you live to be a certain age, it's your right to insist that any public photo of you must be at least 50 years old.

  2. I've been making those ginger cookies for years (with butter). And who doesn't love some macaroni casserole. I think every mom has made this. My mom always added cheese!

    1. Hi Laura. Cheese is always a welcome addition to this dish. When my mom wanted to kick it up a notch and go gourmet, she'd toss some mozzarella cheese on top or - and this was really making it hoity toity - some shredded marble cheese. Cakers lose their marbles over marble cheese.

  3. Back when I lived in New England, we called that "American Chop Suey."

    No, I have no idea why.

    I love the fact that the only seasoning in this casserole is optional; really gives it that authentic Mid-Century Flavor(lessness.)

    Mom is certainly a cutie.

    1. Someone else told me about American Chop Suey, Veg-o-matic. I had no idea it exists. But it looks dang tasty. I will let my mom know that commenters have said she's "gorgeous" and "a cutie." It will make her week. (As if having her recipe featured on Caker Cooking wasn't enough of an ego stroke. I mean, c'mon...)