Gwen Ihnat, The A.V. Club assistant editor

Like Johnny and Kevin describe, mac and cheese has become a staple in our house since the kids arrived. To liven up our dinner table, I turned to two TV chefs. Rachael Ray won me over with her butternut squash mac and cheese, which adds a subtle richness to the dish, while sneaking in some vegetables. (Though we use fresh squash rather than frozen, which makes the prep take a little longer than Ray’s signature 30 minutes.) For more elaborate occasions like Thanksgiving, I go all-out on Emeril’s four-cheese mac and cheese, which includes a béchamel sauce, cheeses like fontina and asiago, and of course, homemade breadcrumbs. Because it’s baked, it’s not quite as creamy as the stove-top version, but the elaborate process—which includes chunks of garlic, lots of herbs, and all those cheeses—still makes it a winner. Truth be told, even with all that effort, the kids probably still prefer the blue box over everything. I can’t even look at it anymore.