Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Taste of Home...and a little giveaway.

When I was little, my mom didn't cook much. She always told my sister and I that she just hated to cook, and nothing would change that. I know a lot of people that don't like to cook, and you can't hold it against them! :) I must admit I'm glad I didn't inherit that, as I love cooking and baking and anything that has to do with food really, and one of my greatest joys is making things for my family. They don't always turn out well, but I don't expect anything ALWAYS works......right?

While I love to make new meals and try new things, there are a few meals that I always go back to that are quick and easy, and even more so, remind me of home. Because even though my mom didn't like to cook, she did have a few recipes that she did like to make and that even when I grew up and moved out, would make whenever I came home (because she knew I wanted them). The one recipe that always stood out to me was her mac and cheese. And because I love this mac and cheese so much, I thought I would share with you my tweeked version that makes it all the easier! Not to mention, it is unbelieveably easy!

Macaroni and Cheese, Mom Style

Serves 6-8

1 pound elbow macaroni (or any type of non-stringy noodle)
1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 cup milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8x8 deep cassarole dish. Cook macaroni. While the macaroni is cooking, slice the cheese. And when I say slice, just slice it like you would if you were serving it for cheese and crackers. Once the macaroni is cooked, place 1/2 the macaroni in the bottom of the cassarole dish. Cover that layer with cheese. Cover the cheese layer with the rest of the macaroni. And top it off with another layer of cheese. I normally make sure to cover every bit of macaroni...because I like cheese. So, if you want to do that, you may need a bit more cheese! :) Once everything is layered, pour milk into the pan. I always err on the side of more milk (1/2 cup) because I don't want the macaroni to dry out...and you can always pour out any remaining milk if needed after you remove the dish from the oven. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the cheese and noodles on top are brown and a little crispy. Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

If when you take it out, you still see some milk on the bottom of the dish, let it cool and then drain. It tastes just as good with a little runny milk on the bottom (and when refrigerating leftovers it tends to solidify), so this step isn't necessary, exactly.

This mac and cheese recipe has been a hit with pretty much everyone I have made it for. It is easily adaptable to larger servings (just use a pound of cheese to every pound of macaroni) and you can easily make your own additions if desired. Also, would you believe I didn't realize that mac and cheese isn't typically baked like this until I met my husband? :)

I wish I had some pictures for you all, but I haven't been able to make this dish in quite some time. Next time I make it, I will be sure to take pictures and add them to this post though!

Now, for the other fun part! I am submitting this recipe to the Tastes From Home with Frito-Lay Sweepstakes. You can enter as well, and I encourage you to if you have a good recipe that reminds you of home!

Frito-Lay has been kind enough to send me some chips to giveaway to my readers. They have new chips coming out that are inspired by regional flavors and include all the flavors you see here:

A little more about them:

  • They are made with all-natural ingredients and cooked in healthier oils like corn and sunflower oils

  • There is less sodium in a serving then in a bagel!

To be eligible to win the bag of chips, all you need to do is respond to this post with a recipe that reminds you of home. Maybe I'll even try your recipe and post about it on my blog? :)

This giveaway will end on Wednesday, August 31st, at 11:59pm.

Can't wait to see what you leave me with!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Starting Again

Hi Everyone,

Been a long time since I last posted. I've been through a lot. I wanted to get my feelings out...but it was so hard. I was also struggling with where I wanted to go with the blog. I have some ideas and some things I would like to post about, so I anticipate that things will hopefully start picking up around here again. :) Hopefully too, there will be some changes for the positive, once I get the time, but until then, it will be good to at least be posting again. :)

Hopefully some of you are still around... :)
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