Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Taco Casserole

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mac & Cheese and Lil' Smokies

I made this for dinner tonight. I thought it was really good and that it tasted very similar to the Cafeteria recipe from school which is what I wanted. Yes, I liked that but I like "Cafeteria food." Today was a more productive day than I have been having lately. I am still in the 1st Trimester of my pregnancy and have very limited energy and get really tired. We are excited about our new little Hildebrant and I am really looking forward to being out of the first trimester! I cleaned a little this morning, went to the grocery store (was thrilled to find some decaf tea packets I can pour into my water bottles since I'm trying not to drink too much caffeine), fed the kids lunchables there so I could conserve my energy and not have to have a lunch mess at home and because it was time to eat, came home and cleaned out the refrigerator and put away groceries while kids watched Little House on the Prairie, did dishes, made this dinner with a fruit salad of peaches, blueberries, and strawberries,  and corn on the cob, supervised the kid's chores, gave bathes, read to the kids, went for a walk ( a cold?! summer walk), put away laundry, had girls putting their laundry away, random other little things like filling soap bottles and organizing little things I've been wanting to, and now energy enough to write this! Wow! Things just feel and look less chaotic. Right now I can't have all productive days and, when I do, I usually can't do much the next day. Last week when we spent 4 hours at the zoo with friends, I couldn't function so well the next day. Also, I didn't have the energy for this today but I was happy when I found a container of gluten free pie crust dough. Soon I plan on making a peach pie with it.

 Oh yeah, the recipe...I used some Sam Mill's gluten free elbow noodles made from corn and I couldn't believe how good they were in this. Gluten free noodles never match up with regular ones. They are usually really sticky or mushy but these were perfect. I got this recipe from a blog called Also, I did not do the topping because I didn't have bread crumbs and I loved the subtle flavor of the rotel in it.
Recipe: Smokin’ Mac and Cheese
All you need:3 cups dried elbow macaroni (any type you like)1 package Hillshire Farms Lil Smokies1 can Rotel Mild Tomatoes with Chilies2 cups half and half2 tablespoons butter1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese2 cups shredded Mild Cheddar cheese
For Topping (topping is optional):4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted1 tablespoon (Fajitia or Taco Seasoning)1 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
All you have to do:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large pot, cook the macaroni according to package directions for al dente… you want it cooked but still chewy because you will be baking the casserole in the oven later.Drain the pasta and return to the pot.Meanwhile, in a medium pot add the half and half, 2 tablespoons butter and shredded cheese. Cook over medium heat until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth, stirring frequently.Add the sausage and tomatoes to the cooked macaroni and stir well.Add the cheese sauce to the pot of macaroni, stir well.Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking pan.
To make topping: (this is optional)Put butter into a 2 cup measuring cup or bowl and melt in the microwave.Add the seasoning and bread crumbs.Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the casserole. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes.Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 20 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly.

Monday, July 14, 2014

SO good!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Fun Week

Derrick and I went out early for our 12th anniversary because he had to leave for a summer class in Louisville. We dropped the kids off at my mom's. We have an ignition problem with the Pilot and it was worse than ever that night. The car would not start. You just have to keep trying to start it until it seems to hit a sweet spot and it only happens at random. About 15 minutes later, the kids came out with their swimsuits and were about to head to dinner and a Splash Pad park. "You're still here?!" Derrick and I took turns trying and his arm was getting tired. At one point he said, "I'm tempted to take this thing straight to a dealership when I get it started." I said it was fine with me. We were going to dinner and a movie but we went car shopping instead. I ended up getting the Smoky Taupe Odyssey I had seen and liked! We didn't make it to dinner (Friday's)until 9:00. It was such a fun night and we couldn't wait to see the kid's excitement when we picked them up. They loved it! Derrick had the dealership fix some things and put new front tires on it so we had to give it back for a few (5) days after having it 1 night. On our actual anniversary (the 29th), we went to Ihop for breakfast with Derrick and said our goodbyes and then on to church. We had lunch at grandmas and hung out for awhile and then went home. I happened to see there was a firework show from a post on Facebook that night. We still had time to make it so I told the kids as soon as their rooms were clean we'd hop in the car and go. On the way, Sam said, "I wish we were driving the new car!" A little bit later I pulled into Braums for ice cream and said, "Sam, you should be happy that we're NOT in the new car now!" The kids know there are new rules for the Odyssey: No eating and drinking unless on a road trip. We parked at our doctor office and watched the fireworks. Cameron really liked them this year ;) We are looking forward to another fireworks show and spending the 4th with our dear friends, the Smoliaks.We are now officially on our summer break and plan to swim with Grandma Bobber and Papa Mitchell a lot and hang out with friends...Oh, and organize the house and do some school planning!