I spent my second day of my "vacation" at work. I think it's funny. I mean, it's not the idea of vacation but I got in the zone and got some stuff done. And I promised I would come in for a meeting. I just stayed the whole day. I did sleep in and I wore a ponytail and gym shorts to my office, so that made it feel less official.
Anyway, I had planned to make a pan of macaroni and cheese for my friends, Sara & Josh. They are going to Europe on Thursday so I wanted to give them a meal to freeze so that they have dinner on the night they get back. So that they can come home and just unpack and relax. I read this in a travel guide and thought it was a great idea. Plus, this mac & cheese is so good that I love to share it with others. I never really make it for myself because I worry about how bad it is for me, and I could probably eat the ENTIRE pan myself. So I only make it for others or for events.
Now, I need to let you know that this is called "Grandma Green's Mac & Cheese". At least in my world. Traditionally I don't care for mac and cheese out of the box (absolutely grosses me out) and I am picky about the homemade varieties I've had. But when my Grandma makes it, I can't get enough. So a few years ago, I asked her for the recipe. She happily gave it to me. I worried that it wouldn't come out as delicious as when she makes it, and that's true but I think it comes close enough.
So today I'll give you my tutorial about it. (it's kind of like doing a cooking show while I'm taking pictures of the process...)
1 package macaroni (8 to 9 ounces)
3 cups Thin White sauce (see below for instructions)
1/4 to 1/2 pound grated cheese (about 1 package)
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup butter crumbs (optional--I don't do this part)
2. While macaroni is cooking, shred a block of cheddar cheese (you can use shredded but I like to shred it myself)
This is my very favorite brand of sharp cheddar cheese. Yum!
3. Start the white sauce. Melt the butter over low heat. Add flour, salt and pepper. (I pre-measure the ingredients to make this easier)
4. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat.
5. Gradually stir in milk and return to heat. Cook stir constantly until thick and smooth. It take a few minutes, don't worry.
6. Combine hot white sauce, grated cheese, onion, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, reserving a little of the grated cheese for topping.
7. Add mixture to the macaroni and place in a greased casserole dish. Top with cheese and buttered crumbs (optional).
8. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned.
Right out of the oven.
So that's how the magic behind my Grandma's recipe. It's so good. I wanted to eat some but I refrained. I even made a second pan of it for my friend Angie and her family. I hope that they all enjoy this deliciousness. It doesn't have the Grandma magic that I love, but it'll have to do.
And thanks to my Grandma for sharing this recipe with me! xoxo
And if you happen to try it out, let me know how you like it. I bet Grandma would like to know too. ;)
I'm exhausted. Whew. Today was the first day of "vacation" and it was pretty full. I woke up to go grocery shopping at 6:30 am. And then the day kept getting busy from there. A trip to a junk store with my friend, working on wedding frames for Jill, spray painting, a walk and dinner out.
So I'll get right down to Mani Monday. I store all of my polish in a jewelry holder (both sides are filled)
And I have a stand that has all of the nail supplies I need. But there are a few things that I need EVERY time I do my nails. Enter this bucket.
It holds all of the essential supplies I need while doing my nails. And since this happens every few days, I like to keep it all together so I can be the most efficient. So this bucket includes:
OPI Base Coat
Washcloth that I use to when I smudge the sides. I've had this one a long time and you can tell. I wash it often, don't worry.
Out the Door Top Coat (Love this stuff)
Seche Vita Top Coat
Nail corrector pen
Having all the the major supplies definitely helps me. I don't have to go digging around to find the essential products from the drawers.
And since I've been spray painting and crafting it up on my day off, I don't have a good polish on today. This is the last mani I did last week. It's called Mezmerised and it's really blue. I do like it. It's kind of like Dating a Royal by OPI. It's pretty sassy.
I will definitely wear this again soon. Essie is quickly becoming my second favorite brand. I'm committed to OPI but Essie is GREAT.
It's rare that I have a day that I don't get out of my pjs, but today was one of those days. I was a little down in the dumps so I stayed close to home and only left the house for a quick errand. I did have some projects I was working on and some cleaning to do. So that's what I did. Thrilling. I wanted to take a nap but didn't get to that. Or to finishing my book. Or grocery shopping.
I took a few fun pictures of "treasures" as I puttered around.
These skeleton keys are going to be used in a frame. I thought this was a cool picture though. They are laying on my back step. Maybe I'll take a good picture of this and frame it. Hmm.
I got this scale yesterday. I put it outside and put a plant on it. I think it looks very rustic and cute.
And I got a few new mason jars. I put some scrabble tiles in this one. I was going to write something on the tag but haven't gotten there yet. Maybe I'll do it sans tag. We'll see.
I'm happy that I have a mostly clean house now, even though I don't know where today went...
Back in February I had found a recipe for watermelon cookies (really they are sugar cookies) in a magazine (People Country September 2010) Of course, I saved it and filed it away for this summer. Thanks to my handy binder of ideas.
Aren't they cute in the picture? Love. love. love.
So I busted out the recipe for the party this week.
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Red food coloring
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate mini morsels
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp water
Green food coloring
1. Beat butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg, milk and vanilla, mixing until blended.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture. Add a small amount of red food coloring to dough to color as desired. Beat on low speed until blended.
3. Shape dough into a ball; cover and chill at least 3 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
I added a lot of red food coloring because I wanted them to be true watermelon color.
5. Divide dough in half; store one portion in refrigerator. Roll out remaining portion to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough with a 3 inch round cookie cutter; cut each circle in half and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
6. Press several chocolate mini morsels into each cookie. Repeat with remaining dough.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes (do not brown)
(I didn't have mini morsels so I had to cut the big chocolate chips-so not as cute)
8. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and enough water to form a glaze; add a small amount of green food coloring.
9. Dip round edge of each cookie in green glaze and place on a wire rack until frosting is firm.
Okay, they aren't nearly as adorable as the picture in the magazine, but it was my first time making them so I'll forgive myself this time. I will definitely do these again. And next time, I think they will come out way better. But looks aside, they tasted pretty good. Can't go wrong with sugar cookies!
Last night my friend Angie and I hosted a Thirty-One party at my house. You know how I love a theme party so this was a good excuse to have a summer themed party. I told you how I made (with the help of others) a lemonade stand, so I wanted to show you the final product. This was how the theme started. I wanted to see if I could make this.
It held the drinks (lemonade, of course). This is while we were setting up.
I found this little chalkboard at a yard sale for 5 cents. Go figure.
We drank our lemonade out of mason jars with ribbon.
Sabrina and Sara shopping and looking adorable!
Liz and her daughter checking out the products from Thirty-One.
The food was delicious. Angie made a great salad and strawberry shortcake. And I made the fruit salsa and the feta dip. Yum.
Some of our younger guests. Gotta start them going to these kind of parties young.
Sara, Sabrina and Angie enjoying some snacks.
We made our 31 consultant a little thank you. I am in love with this. It's strawberry hand soap and strawberry candies in a berry basket.
And we put this out for the guests. I took this to my office today. I think I'm going to keep this on my desk for the summer.
The basket with favors. I love the little chalkboard marker.
The favors were strawberry, lemon and fruit slices candy. The tag says: "there's nothing sweeter than summertime"
After everyone had finished shopping, eating and relaxing, Jill got out some wedding projects (she's storing some stuff at my house) and started putting together the seating chart frame. Jill's taping things to the back with the assistance of Gillian and Sabrina.
And just for the record, I broke the glass in part of the frame so I'll be going to Lowe's to get some new glass cut tomorrow. Ha. Whoops.
It was a fun night. We even had a few husbands stop by. I'd say it was a successful event, thanks to my co-host, Angie. I hope all my ladies had a good time. And thanks for giving me an excuse for the infamous lemonade stand.
This is the first time I've sat down all day. It's been a busy day. I will talk more about that it tomorrow but I wanted to share this recipe that I made tonight for the Thirty-One party. A few people asked me for the recipe for Fruit Salsa and instead of e-mailing it out, I'll share it here. And because it was that good.
Now, I want to be sure to tell you that I got this from a blog somewhere out there this last week. I honestly have no idea where I found it. I'm guilty of looking at about a million blogs and clicking out of them so quickly. I did copy the recipe before I clicked out of this particular blog. So if this is your recipe, thank you. Let's consider it paying it forward. Sharing is caring, right?
Okay, back to business. This Fruit Salsa is pretty amazing. I read the recipe and was kind of lukewarm about it. But after my first taste tonight, I thought it was delicious. Really truly, guilt free, delicious.
1 carton strawberries (pulsed to chunky in a blender)
3 kiwis peeled and diced
1 pint blueberries (quartered)
2 apples peeled and diced.
Mix all together and chill until serving. It's a good idea to let it sit for several hours before serving just so it marinates.
Now you'll need something to dip into this fruity delightful-ness.
How about some Cinnamon & Sugar Tortilla Chips?
Spray a 10 pack of flour tortillas with spray butter and then sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mix. Bake at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes. Store in an airtight container or baggie if you aren't serving right away so that they stay crisp.
Here's a look at what was leftover after the guests left. I will be eating this at work tomorrow.
Please try this out. I promise you'll love it. I will be making this for any event I possibly can this summer.
I saw this color at the nail salon a few weeks ago and needed to have it. I actually forgot about it but then saw it the last time I got a pedicure so I was going to come home and order it. But then my friend, Jill ordered it for me. How nice. It came in on Friday and I got a pedicure with it that day. I matched my nails today. It's really a great summer color. The picture doesn't really show the coral tone to it. It's like a great mixture of orange, pink and red. I am pretty much a big fan. It may even be the kind of color I take off, and then reapply. Yes, in the same week. That's how much I like it.
Today is Father's Day and I wish I was hanging out with my Dad today. He's a fun guy and I'm always happy to see him. Luckily, he came over last night to help me with a little project that I'm working on for a party I'm having this week.
Now let me explain that this project is not that serious. It's actually a little silly that I'm doing it. But I've always been a girl that gets an idea and CAN'T LET IT GO until it's done. And I will include (some may call it annoy) my friends and family in my little projects. Anyway, I decided I wanted to make a lemonade stand prop. Long story short, I needed some help with the construction of it. Not having power tools is kind of a problem when you want to build something. My Dad offered to come over to help me. He's a good Dad because he didn't really know what I was doing but he knows me well enough to know that I was going to bother someone until they helped me. HA.
So he brought over his drill and in five minutes he had done the job. BUT, I still didn't know how to attach another piece. So we went to Home Depot and got some wood to help. And since he really does know me better than anyone, he brought a saw with him because he wasn't sure what this project was going to entail.
And with his help, I now have a lemonade stand prop. I had painted the crate and the boards before he got there. It looks like a lemonade stand right?
And the reason I write about this today is because on Father's Day, I'd like to publicly thank him for helping me with all the crazy little projects I've done in my life. The thing I appreciate is that he doesn't even question why I'd be making a lemonade stand. He just helps me trouble shoot how to do it and helps make it happen. He's always done that for me. I wanted to do a ridiculous science project in 7th grade, and he didn't even question it, he just helped me make a really cool display. It won honorable mention, I might add. It shows how great he is. He just wants to help me succeed in doing anything I want to do. Even if it is just a random lemonade stand.
Happy Father's Day, Dad! I think you're the best and I wish I could get you this...
But for now, I took a picture for you. Ha!
I had so much fun hanging out with you last night. Happy Father's Day, Dad. xoxo
I have been a slacker this week. As a blogger that is. I'm not sure that anything all that exciting happened all week. I've been getting some stuff done around the house and relaxing at night. I also hurt my Achilles tendon (at least I think that's what I did) so I've been trying to make that feel better so I can start running again. Oh, and playing with my iPhone. I'm pretty much in love with that phone. I don't miss my blackberry at all.
I took Friday off from work and spent the day running around. I had a dress fitting for my bridesmaid dress and then a pedicure with some friends. Then I headed over to Jill's house to dog sit for her dog Cedar and her parents dog, Isaac. They were all headed to a wedding out of town. So the boys and I had a nice weekend together.
Isaac and Cedar relaxing while I made favors for a party.
We got to bed early because I woke up early to go yard sales with Angie and Sabrina. There were a few good sales. My favorite thing of the day was this birdcage. This particular sale had lots of antique birdcages. I was hesitant at first (because of my lack of coffee) but I'm so glad I ended up getting this. I think it's great and I can't wait to clean it up and find a place for it.
And I found this cute chair for $5. I don't even need to do anything to it. It's probably going to go in an entry way or something.
And Sabrina gave me this for my "travel" room. She got it at a sale a few weeks ago while I was out of town. And Angie gave me the little table that it's sitting on. They are good to me.
After yard sailing, I came home to the pups and we went for a nice long walk. My Achilles started bothering me a little bit again. Ugh. But it was a beautiful day yesterday.
You can't really see them but Isaac and Cedar are running side by side.
Cedar's saying...hurry up!
After dinner, my Dad came over to my house and we worked on a little project. I'll tell you about that tomorrow.
It's been a great weekend so far. It's nice to spend some quality time doing low key things and playing with cute puppies!
A former Air Force brat that now calls central NY “home”. I enjoy crafty things, a good cup of coffee, DMB lyrics, witty banter, searching for the perfect bag, discovering the latest and greatest nail polish shades, and have an intense enthusiasm for Syracuse basketball. I love my career but (not so) secretly dream of being a professional organizer, a college basketball talk show host, or a nail polish namer at a major nail polish manufacturer. I don’t believe in wearing flats, but it is my firm belief that accessories can change your life.