Thursday, May 31, 2012

3 Cheese Mexican Mac & Cheese Recipe! Bazinga!

I. Am. A. Culinary. Genius. I was set to make Southwestern Stuffed Peppers... buuuut i've been so into relaxing... and laziness.... and spending hourrrrs on my swing. Annnnd watching Big Bang Theory <3 Sooo I didn't feel like trying a new recipe, reading, paying attention, and all cooking entails. I figured i'd make... mac & cheese sans buffalo chicken that I made for The Hubs last week. Easy enough... thennnnn the juices started flowing... and I made my FIRST EVER original recipe - Mexican Mac & Cheese.

Mexican Mac & Cheese:
16 oz. pasta (elbows - but I didn't have enough of one so I used a medly of 1/2 empty boxes)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup+ sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. ground beef (or chicken or turkey if you wanted)
2 tomatoes
1 yellow onion
1 packet of taco seasoning - I use the less-sodium one (or homemade)
1 can black olives (I used sliced - the bigger can? It's in the recycling now so i'm not sure what oz.)
Couple tablespoons of grated parmesan
Handful of shredded mozzarella

Again, not the smoothest chef... so if you find a better method to get all the things done then be my guest! Not sure what size pan either - I think mine is like 8-9" square... but it's wicked deep...

  1. Turn oven on to 350*
  2. Boil the pasta to al dente. I always use the smallest suggested number and set the timer after I put the pasta in the boiling water and stir it (hence - cook time is 9-11, use 9!)
  3. Pam-up a skillet. Brown the beef - all the way through. Do the taco seasoning directions.
  4. Dice tomatoes
  5. Dice onions
  6. Throw the pasta, taco beef, tomatoes, onions, parmesan cheese, and olives into a casserole dish. Mix.
  7. Cheese sauce: Stir 1 cup milk and cornstarch in a small pot. Turn onto mediumish/maybe a little lower heat. Put in butter and stir until it melts. Throw in shredded cheese - stir until it's melted. Cheese sauce!
  8. Pour cheese sauce over mexican pasta goodness, stir.
  9. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes!
  11. ENJOY!

OMG it is sooooooooooooooooo good!! I LOVED it! Can't wait for The Hubs to try it!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ahh. Life.

Sitting on my couch, eating Tiramisu, watching The Bachelorette. Mmm do I love me some trash TV! I had a wonderful week. I had my 4th interview for a teaching job in a middle school... it's my top choice! The interview team loved me (I think). I feel really good about it... especially since there's 2 positions open there! Nice. I have 2 more interviews this week - wed & thurs. I hope I hear from the first school before the interviews so I don't have to go and worry about them! My school's prom is Tuesday - so I will be going to that for a while... holy crap that is tomorrow! And it will be raining - I don't think i'm going to go actually... Boy these Bachelor guys are cute! Anyways. Wed, Thurs, interview... and friday is The Hubs' day off! We're going to make calzones!

We painted our living room green! It's beautiful. We chose asparagus. The bay window curtain rod was coming out of the wall so, after much discussion, that I won, he decided to raise it an inch in new holes. Well, he spackled the old holes and since it will be nearly impossible to match the color we said... hey why don't we paint? He had to go to Home Depot so I figured i'd go with him and grab some paint samples. Bing, bang, boom, asparagus living room. Here are some before and afters:


This is more like the real color.


 This is most like the real color.

I LOVE it!! The Hubs likes it too. I made all the pillow covers and curtains on my own. I am so proud of myself! I will post better pictures of those today and possibly a how-to on the pillow cases!! Hmm that would be a good idea.

OMG The Bachelor is great!! She brought in a bunch of kids and stuck the guys in with them. Hehe. So funny.

Anyways. Yes, The Hubs prepped the walls this past week and did the trim as well, then we painted all day sat. It was fun! Looks great. Then Sat night we went out to a bar for a going-away party for a guy The Hubs works with. It was sad to see him and his (preggo) wife go. I love them! He is The Hubs closest friend. I made some more friends and did more bonding with The Wives Club. I had a BLAST. <3 those guys.

OMG so there's only... 16 days left of school! Can't wait! Then it's like... 2 weeks off! CAN'T WAIT. Then summer school starts - not sure of the date. Summer school is awesome because its from like 8-12... which is great because i'm home before I probably would have woken up anyways. 10 o'clock bedtime still sucks and stresses me out but it's okay because I have all of August off! AND THEN DISNEY!!! WAHOOO!! Wow. Life is great. I'm so happy right now.

My new favorite thing is napping outside. Used to be on our lounge chair... Today, it was on the swing... which is my new favorite place in the world (used to be the couch!). I napped for 2 hrs after The Hubs left - I don't know what it is... I bring out a few pillows and a blanket (no matter how hot it is I always need a blanket)... the birds... the warm sun... It's awesome. Lucy plays in the yard and lays under the swing. Sigh - I love it. If it's nice out - I spend a minimum of 2 hrs on our swing. It was a weddings present from our bridal party along with a fire pit <3. 

Favorite. Place. on Earth.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

THE most delicious/different salad recipe you will ever have!

Stayed home from work today because of the sore throat. It hurrrttss :o( It was odd because I got it yesterday during the day - which is weird because in the beginning of a sore throat it usually only hurts in the morning.... Hmm.


I know this sounds REALLY gross - but let me tell you. I am THE most pickiest/most skeptical person in the world when it comes to food. My dearest Mother MADE me try this and it is THE most DELICIOUS thing in the world! Salty! Sweet! Citrus! You can't go wrong! And it's all healthy :o)

2 oranges
1/2 onion (red is best - but I usually use yellow)
Olive oil

  1. Peel your orange. I roll it on a hard surface first... til you feel it become loose inside. Makes it so easy to peel AND it makes it nice and juicy!
  2. Cut ur orange into rings - then in half possibly, depending on how you want your pieces to be.
  3. Cut-up your onion into rings, then in 1/2. I use about 3 ring-slices.
  4. Mix it together on a plate (or bowl I guess).
  5. Drizzle olive oil on it so it is lightly coated.
  6. Sprinkle salt & pepper.
  7. Mix.
  8. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Well, I am officially done my Master's!!! I will be graduating June 3. I am very very excited and it feels liberating to be able to do nothing all day and also realizing I will have a more relaxing life without homework and a portfolio hanging over my head! I also have a lot of great elements from my teaching portfolio to be able to put into my interview portfolio - which is great!! OH SO GLAD TO BE DONE!!!

Maybe now I can make all those neat things on I keep finding on Pinterest.

After I got out of class The Hubs picked me up and we went to our friend's house for another friend's Cinco de Mayo birthday party. It was a blast. I LOVE my college friends. They're actually The Hubs' college friends but after spending their whole senior year with them they welcomed me to the crew. Everyone meets a couple times a year and it's always a sh*tshow blast. We're all in our 20's and loving life. The Hubs and I are the only ones who are married but the heart of our crew, The Hub's roommate and my bridesmaid, are engaged and will be married in June 2013. We can't wait. I bet theyre wedding will be even more awesom than ours. Anyways, I didn't drink but The Hubs got pretty sauced and we ended up coming home around 8 p.m. Considering we left the house at 7 a.m. and got to their house at 12:30, it was a looonnnggg day. The Hub's bff from home came up and we all went out for pizza and drinks. They dropped me off and we went back out for the night. I spend the rest of the night with Lucy... considering she was home alone allllllll day I didn't want to leave her alone anymore. Poor girl, we came home and left like an hour later. It's okay, she's basking in my attention now. I do feel kinda guilty because our college bffs got a BRAND NEW PUPPY. Her name is Abby and she's TO DIE FOR. I want to wear her as a necklace and never take her off. Picture coming soon.


Crockpot French Onion Soup
Serves 8-10 8 oz portions
Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats
4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced (about 6 cups worth)
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 ounces of beer (any flavor)
64 ounces of beef stock (low sodium if you can find it)
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the beef stock you use)
No Knead Bread formed into loaves the shape of french bread (I left the rosemary out)
Mozzarella Cheese, sliced (shredded is fine too)
*The combination of mozzarella cheese, bread and thyme in the soup taste like pizza! It’s delicious!

Set your crock pot on high and add sliced onions, minced garlic, butter, salt and balsamic vinegar and mix. Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a bit caramelized. Add the beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper, then turn heat to low and cook for 6-8 hours. You can also do 3-4 hours on high.

*Soup can be made a day ahead of time, chilled and just reheated prior to serving. It can also be frozen (use ziplock or air tight containers) and thawed/reheated for a later use.
Before serving, cut the bread into 1 inch thick slices and put a piece of cheese on top of each piece of bread. You have 2 options for browning the cheese:

1. Fill each bowl almost to the top, then cover with a thick slice of bread and a slice of cheese. Set the entire bowl under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. This option is good if your broiler height is tall enough.

2. Place the bread/cheese on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler, then plop each little cheesy toast into your filled soup cup. This is the option I went with because my broiler is shallow (the kind on the bottom of the oven where most people store random cookie sheets). if you go with this option, you’re gonna want to make extra cheese toasts. They’re perfect to dip into your soup after you ever so politely scarf the toast on top of

Mine kind of looks like worms but I promise it's absolutely DELICIOUS. I think I made it like 3 times in 2 weeks. Oh.. it's SO good. I already have my meals planned for the week but I might just have to make this anyways. Oh and I don't put the toast on top because I do NOT like soggy bread. I just toast it in an oven with the mozzarella on top and dip it inot the soup :o) Here is the finished product: