1pinchground nutmeg(optional, but does add subtle flavor)
In a large saucepot over medium-high heat, bring some water to a hard-rolling boil. Add the noodles and allow to cook until al dente. Drain and keep them in the pot. If using something other than the pasta, see notes below.
Turn the heat to medium-low. Add the milk and cream to the noodles. Heat until hot, stirring frequently to keep the noodles from burning or sticking to the bottom.
Add the cheeses (gouda, cheddar, and cream cheese) and the butter then stir frequently (don't forget to scrape along the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking) until all the cheeses and butter have thoroughly melted.
Mix in the remaining ingredients.
OPTIONAL: If you like baked mac and cheese, toss the completed mac and cheese into a casserole dish and bake at 400° F for 10 or more minutes (whenever it's crispy to your liking).
If using a substitute for the pasta such as spaghetti squash, zoodles, Palmini noodles, shirataki noodles, or cauliflower chunks, prepare that ingredient as it should be prepared. Then, in the large pot, whisk together all of the remaining ingredients to make the sauce and mix it into your noodle substitute.