Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Not your average Mac & Cheese

OK…let’s be honest! This is one of those recipes that if you think about the calories involved you simply CANNOT enjoy it! So, today let’s play pretend and not think about the “c” word (calories)! You’ll thank me later! Or maybe you won’t?!

Years ago I tried a recipe for Mac & Cheese that had cottage cheese in it! *Some of you may want to exit this blog now. DON’T!! Trust me the cottage cheese makes it Heavenly!* For the life of me I have NO IDEA where I “filed” that recipe away!! I do remember loving it though! So a few months back I was on the search again! I finally ran across one that sort of kind of fit my memory of it but, it wasn’t exactly right! With a little tweaking here and a little tweaking there…By George I think I’ve Got it!!! I made it a month or so ago when all of our kiddos were here and it was a HIT! I made it again last night but I didn’t take a picture for you because (a) I used bow tie pasta instead of elbow macaroni and (b) I didn’t have any crackers so it was simply “naked” mac & cheese! It would be sort of like me going out in public without makeup and someone wanting to take a picture of me!  NOT HAPPENING!!!
Go give it a try!  Its great left-over too!!  Hey, I think I’ll go warm me up some!

Not your average Mac & Cheese

1 (8 oz.) package elbow macaroni
1 (8 oz.) package sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (12 oz.) container small curd cottage cheese
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 sleeve Ritz crackers (crushed)
1/4 c. butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook until done; drain.
2.  Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam. Stir together macaroni, shredded cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and dry mustard. Pour into pan. In a small bowl, mix together crushed crackers and melted butter, stir. Sprinkle crackers over macaroni mixture.
3.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Going head to head with those we love…

Sometimes life STUFF gets in the way! We don’t mean for it to. Slowly it quietly creeps in. We can choose to hang on to those feelings and let them grow bigger and bigger or we can choose to forgive.

The other day my husband and I went to the farm to check cattle. As he was counting heads I was watching and taking it all in. The cows were running and chasing and trying to get in front of each other. Every momma wanted to be first. Each one wanted to be the one to get the most! When the time came for the feed arm to come down and pour out their delicious supper, I couldn't quit watching two Momma cows fighting!

All they were worried about was who was going to get to the “dinner table” first! They fought so much that they missed supper. They had their heads down so long that by the time they looked up all the cattle cubes (their supper) were GONE! They missed it all because they were too caught up in a battle against each other.
*They also missed the gorgeous sunset right behind them (not that they probably would have cared about that one anyway!).

Isn't that just like us! How many times have we been in a tiff with a family member or a good friend and missed the big event or the biggest blessing right in front of us! Why do we allow “stuff” to get in our way?  Because we’re human! We need to look up more to find the “sunsets” that God has placed right around us.

Choosing to forgive can be the best feeling. The other person we’re at odds with may or may not make the same choice as us but that’s OK...all we can do is keep praying for them to change their heart. Each and every day we have a choice. It’s the life “stuff” we have to be in constant prayer about!  TODAY  I choose forgiveness!

Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mexican (crockpot) Chowder

Since it's supposed to snow and since this is one of our favorite soups, I thought I'd share it with you too!  I just purchased all of the ingredients for this so I can make it (even though it's NOT a church day)!!  Just because I told you it was a good church day soup doesn't mean it HAS to be "ONLY on Sunday" soup!

As I typed out the recipe I couldn't help but think about my dear sweet friend Esther...surely she needs a new recipe!  I'm 100% certain her recipe book is overflowing but, it makes my heart happy to know someone out there in blog land truly does try out my recipes!
Happy Snow Day to EVERYONE!

Mexican (crock pot) Chowder

4 chicken breasts cut up bite size (raw)
1 can chicken broth or (2 bouillon cubes+ 2 c. water)
4 c. water
2 T. minced garlic
1 c. chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 raw potatoes, diced
2 carrots peeled and sliced
1 can Rotel’ (we like original but you could use mild instead)
1 sm. can chopped green chilies
2 cans french style green beans, drained
2 T. butter
1 tsp. ea. of the following…(salt, pepper, seasoned salt)
¼ c. cilantro (dried is all I usually have on hand)

Put all above ingredients in your crockpot and set on high for 4 hours {or refrigerate overnight}!

Right before serving (about 20-30 min. before) add:
2 packages Lipton’s noodle soup mix
½ c. cream
½ c. milk
2 inch hunk of velveeta cheese

NOTE:  This is a PERFECT after church recipe!  Just put all the ingredients in the crockpot the night before and pop it in the fridge!  Next morning about 8 turn it on high (4 hrs.) and it will be almost ready for you when you come home from church!  All you have to do is add the noodles, cream, milk, & cheese and let it all marry together while you’re changing out of your church clothes!!  ENJOY!

Extra goodness:  Crush up a handful of Frito’s and sprinkle on top of your delicious bowl of Mexican Chowder!!!  YUM!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Martha or Mary or simply confused??

Without a doubt I’m a Martha but oh how I long to be more like Mary!  The problem is…I LOVE too many things!  I always want to try EVERYTHING at least once and I always feel like things have to be perfect before inviting guests over or even opening the door to the UPS man just for a simple delivery! So I can only imagine if Jesus showed up at my door! I. WOULD. PANIC.!!
My brain never slows down it just wants to keep learning and doing and learning and doing!  Do you have any idea how hard it is to sit here and type and not keep getting up??!!  I tend to love everything I learn or do!  Sit still…what does that mean?  I often wonder if I make it to 80 if I’ll still be wondering what I’m supposed to be when I grow up?!  I come from a long line of “learners & doers”!!

My Great Grandma constantly had something in her hands working on it! I could sit and watch her for hours and just learn from her she was over the top amazing and she had a PINK kitchen to boot!!  She had to convert her garage into a fabric/craft room and had to build on a new garage because she ran out of room!  I loved to open her cabinets and just stare at all her fabric.  I have so many dear sweet memories of her.  Oh how I miss her!  My mom always says if the glue gun would have been invented before Great Grandma passed away she would still be alive today making everything she hadn't made before!

My Grandma well, let’s just say she’s over 80 (but acts 29) and on her last cruise her only regret was that she didn't go zip lining!  Grandma next time you go I expect pictures of this venture!
She’s as good as the younger generation on the iPhone/iPad or computer and her texting skills are top notch!  She’s the snazziest dressed grandma you’ll ever meet!  I'm certain it's where I get my love of animal print from!  She always tells me "you’re never too old to keep learning and trying new adventures"!  Her Lemon Meringue pie is the best this side of Heaven!

And my Mom, if you’ve ever been to her house you’ll understand what I’m about to say!  She often forgets for a split second she has company because she’s on to the next project or fixing the next meal all at the same time involving you in whatever she’s doing!  It may even be harder for her to sit still than it is for myself! She has the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone!  She loves to give “gifts” that she’s made for no reason at all.  She has the most decorated packages mailed through the post office any person could have.  Even though we live in the same town, sometimes I want her to mail things to me just to get one of her glorified boxes! One would think she has a deadline to meet because of how she hurries but she’s always so ahead of schedule it makes me wonder if I’m really adopted! I’ve asked her before “Mom, who are you making that for?” and her response has been, “Oh, I don’t know I'm just making it so I’ll have something ready for the next baby shower!” Come on people…who does that??  Me on the other hand…I wait til the VERY last minute then I’m scrambling to finish something but I always pull through!  It’s one benefit of having the “first born child perfectionism syndrome” because I care about every last detail and make sure it perfect before giving it as a gift!

I LOVE having a line of “doers” in my family!  I’m afraid I passed it on to at least one of my children too!  My son Brock is also a doer!  I think his wife blames me but in all honesty…it goes way farther back than me!!  And I'm almost positive that one or more of my grandchildren will inherit this trait!

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I’ve always been confused at the story of Martha & Mary!  If Martha didn’t do it then WHO was going to get the job done? And if Mary didn’t sit at the feet of Jesus then WHO was going to?  I think we have to be a little of both of these women but finding the right combination can get confusing!

Right here right now in the beginning of 2015 I’m vowing to myself and others that I’m going to try my very best to be a little more Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus a little longer.  And I’m 100% certain when my kids read this they’ll panic!  Don’t worry children I’ll still cook for you and make for you and do for you and your youngins too!!

How about you?  Are you a Martha or a Mary or are you just as confused as me...?