Gouda Macaroni and Cheese


My two weeks of Book Fair started yesterday. That means two weeks of no exercising. I see lots of juicing in my future. That and a lot of crock pot meals. Yesterday I think I made enough shredded chicken to last for 3 weeks.

I’ve only been allowed to make one kind of macaroni and cheese for the last 21 years because Johnny has the one he likes. But I love gouda and had some I needed to use up. He only complained a little.

8 oz Elbow Macaroni
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 cups Fat Free Milk
8 oz Gouda, Grated
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1/8 tsp Paprika
2 Tablespoons Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, in a large pan, melt butter. Add flour, whisk together until blended. Add the milk and continue whisking for about 10 minutes, on medium low heat, until the mixture begins to thicken. Whisk in the cheese until melted. Add in salt, pepper and paprika.

Add pasta and stir until combined.

Pour into baking dish or individual dishes.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and olive oil and mix together. Sprinkle over the pasta and bake 20 minutes.

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Servings: 6
Calories 362
Total Fat 15.8g
Total Carbohydrates 36.8g
Dietary Fiber 1.4g
Protein 17.7g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Steve Madden Tote Bseriana Handbag Purse Leopard

Garlic Chicken Pasta


Johnny’s birthday was yesterday. The girls were so excited about the gift they got him. His favorite Christmas movie is Christmas Vacation (watching it right now a matter of fact!) They gave him 2 moose mugs, a cousin Eddie dickie and a Jelly of the Month Club certificate. Now we just need to find him a thin white sweater! I’ll make sure to post pics when we do.

This was yummy! (and it is Megan & Taylor approved!) They didn’t even try to pick out the basil. But they still made me a list of all the things I haven’t made them in a ‘long, long time” that they need. Glad to have another recipe that made their request list.

2 Tbs Olive Oil
16 oz Farfalla Pasta
5 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 Tbs Fresh Basil, chopped
2 Tbs Fresh Oregano, chopped
1 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1 cup Heavy Cream
16 oz Shredded Chicken

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook one minute. Add the chicken stock, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced by about half.

While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook to package directions.

Add cream to the sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in chicken mixture.

Servings: 8
Calories 339
Total Fat 12.3g
Total Carbohydrates 33.1g
Dietary Fiber 0.6g
Protein 23.5g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Isaac Mizrahi Jeans Women’s Leopard Alexis Shirt

Italian Sausage and Pasta

I realized today that we are apparently way behind on the Christmas decorating. There is already an inflatable snowman at the end of the street. The girls are ready for their elves to come back too. They ask about them daily. So now my only issue…how in the heck am I going to get 2 trees and a million boxes down from the attic when I have a hubby that has thrown out his back??? I have a feeling that by the end of the day there will be 2 of us with bad backs.

Megan’s usual meal request…pasta, broccoli and chicken. I decided to switch it up and give her 2 out of 3. She’s learning to branch out a little.

16 oz Mini Farfelle Pasta
18 oz Italian Sausage Links, casings removed
12 oz Frozen Broccoli Florets
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic Salt
8 tsp Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the broccoli florets after the first 2 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage and drop it into the skillet. Cook sausage until browned. Remove from heat and drain.

Add pasta and broccoli to the pot.

Mix 1/4 cup olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss into pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

8 servings
Calories 525
Total Fat 29.98g
Total Carbs 44.83g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Protein 18.07g

Today’s Leopard Print Find: 20″ Plush Wild Red Christmas Stocking with Leopard Print Trim

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Taylor carved her pumpkin yesterday. Before she did it I decided to do a little research about how to make the pumpkins last longer. I had seen something on Pinterest about a bleach solution. I found an interesting science project that someone had done testing out these different solutions. Turns out the best option is to not do anything at all.

This meal was a Taylor request that I kept putting off. She was happy and since it made so many meatballs, she even used some of the leftovers for a meatball sandwich.

1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
¼ cup Whole Milk, room temperature
2 Large Eggs, beaten and room temperature
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
¼ cup Basil, chopped
¼ cup Parsley, chopped
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
¾ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Italian Turkey Sausage Links, casings removed
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling

¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped in a food processor
1 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Fennel Seeds
2 (28-ounce) cans Crushed Tomatoes
¾ cup Basil, chopped

16 oz Spaghetti

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, milk, eggs, Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, tomato paste, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Add the ground beef and sausage meat. Using fingers gently mix all the ingredients until combined.

Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, form the meat mixture into 1-1/2-inch balls (about 24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a heavy non-stick baking sheet. Mist with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, fennel and 1/2 cup basil. Bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup basil.

(At this point, cook spaghetti according to package directions)

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Servings: 8
Calories 613
Total Fat 20.4g
Carbohydrates 61.2g
Dietary Fiber 7.7g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: High Heel Shoe Christmas Ornament

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

We went to the Spirit store today to get the girls their “scary fog machine”. Apparently I’ve never been in one of these before. I had no idea they even made that kind of stuff!!! They had animated stuff from every scary movie ever made. The Exorcist one with the spinning head really freaked me out.

I don’t think I’d sleep knowing that was in my house, yard or attic. This is now the girls favorite store. I guess my days at American Girl and Build a Bear are over.

One of Megan’s only preferred meals….anything with chicken, pasta and nothing funny in it.

13.25 oz Linguine
12 oz Frozen Broccoli Florets
2 Tbs Butter
1 1/2 lb Chicken Breasts, boneless & skinless, diced
10 3/4 oz Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic, minced

Cook linguine according to package directions. Add broccoli during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked thoroughly.

Stir soup, garlic, milk, cheese pepper, noodles and broccoli. Serve warm.

Servings: 6
Calories 542
Fat 19.4g
Carbohydrates 42.7g
Fiber 2.0g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Look what Taylor found….a leopard Witch Hat – OMG!!!

Tarragon Chicken Pasta

Happy National Noodle Day! Or as Megan would say “Like, oh my God! Happy National Noodle Day!”  She has no idea what a Valley Girl is so I don’t know how she is suddenly talking like one. Usually she’s British. I just knew they would hate this meal but I was wrong…at least with Megan anyway.  She loved it. She even asked if she could have more before she went to bed and had it for leftovers last night. She didn’t even question the chopped up spinach. (Prince Charming didn’t either!)

14.5 oz Rotini Multigrain Pasta
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
2 cups Broccoli Flowerets
1 cup Carrots, sliced thin
2 cups Non-fat Milk
2 Tbs Cornstarch
2 tsp Fresh Tarragon, chopped
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 cup Spinach, chopped
1 lb Cooked Chicken, chopped
1 cup Swiss Cheese, shredded

Cook pasta as directed on package – adding mushrooms, broccoli and carrots when there is 4 minutes left. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, mix milk, cornstarch, tarragon, salt and garlic in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in remaining ingredients until cheese is melted and spinach is cooked. Combine with pasta mixture.

Servings: 8
Calories 365
Total Fat 7.1g
Total Carbohydrates 45.6g
Dietary Fiber 5.0g
Nutrition Grade A-

Today’s Leopard Find: Dollhouse Junior Fleece Double Breasted Blazer