I switched over from making Annie's Macaroni and Cheese from the box to making homemade baked macaroni and cheese a couple of years ago--because it just tastes better, wastes less packaging and is possibly less expensive (I haven't actually done the math). It took making it a few rounds before the kids would actually eat it (the bread crumbs on the bottom were particularly offensive), but now M eats it every time, though E and Z sometimes moan that they want "macaroni like so-and-so makes it" (a.k.a. Kraft). I usually use either the Apples for Jam recipe or the Better Homes and Gardens one, depending on my mood, and I started using brown rice macaroni because my kids would get crabby about the whole wheat macaroni (though they're fine with whole wheat spaghetti--go figure) and I figured brown rice must be more nutritious than white flour. I prefer the brown rice elbows to the spirals, which cook unevenly and end up mushy/falling apart on the outside and tough on the inside.
There are still times, however, when I want to make mac & cheese for lunch and don't want to spend an hour making bechamel sauce and baking the damn casserole, so I devised this method, which is almost as fast as the boxed kind, but is deliciously cheesy good. I never measure anything when I make it, so the measurements are vague, and in some cases made up...but I think it would be difficult to mess this up...give it a try:
Cook a couple of handfuls of macaroni in the usual way (I always get this part wrong and end up with either too much or too little)
Drain in a colander and return the pan to the burner, over low heat.
Melt a blop of butter.
Stir in a heaping spoonful of flour until it soaks up all the butter.
Add a few splashes of milk.
Stir till thick and bubbly.
Stir in a couple handfuls of grated cheese until melted.
Remove from heat.
Return macaroni to pot; stir to coat; eat and enjoy.