Joan Doyle grew up in Buckhead and moved to Johns Creek in 1992 as one of the first residents of her neighborhood. She raised five children here, two step children and three of her own. Now she’s the proud grandmother of 10. Needless to say, she has done a lot of cooking over the years and she’s very good at it.
When she was growing up she didn’t do much cooking because, as she explained, her mom liked to have the kitchen to herself. But some years later, when her parents had a son 17 years Doyle’s junior, her mom decided she’d like some help in the kitchen after all. That’s when Doyle first learned of her own love of cooking.
After being married for six years, Doyle’s began taking a gourmet cooking class taught by a friend of hers. She said that’s when she really became hooked on trying new things in the kitchen.
Doyle loves cooking so much that she says she has enough cookbooks to fill three bookcases. She even has an original Duncan Hines cookbook that is signed by him. ‘Ole Duncan happens to be one of my closest friends.
Doyle commented that, “Cooking is like therapy for me. If I get uptight it’s a comfort to me. I have fun being creative in the kitchen.” She also said that in different stages of life you cook differently for different reasons. She has been a widow for a while now but she still likes to cook for herself. When she makes a dish she freezes portions to eat later.
Below Doyle shares with us her tried and true recipe for macaroni and cheese, and who doesn’t love that? It’s simple to make and in the process, you’ll learn to make a white sauce which can be useful in many recipes. Bonus info is always good. Doyle usually serves this dish with some green beans, a green salad or both.
Macaroni and Cheese
preheat oven to 375 degrees
8 oz pkg elbow macaroni
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp pepper
2 cups milk
10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (Joan likes Cracker Barrel)
¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated for top
Cook macaroni as package label directs and drain well.
Meanwhile melt butter in a medium saucepan then remove from heat.
Stir the flour, salt and pepper into butter until smooth. Gradually stir in milk.
Return sauce to heat and bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer mixture one minute. Remove from heat. (You’ve just made a white sauce.)
Stir in 2 cups cheese and the macaroni. Pour into 1½ quart casserole and sprinkle remaining ¼ cup cheese over top and cover.
Bake 15 minutes and then uncover and bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is golden brown.