Thursday, June 19, 2014

Old Fashioned Mac N'Cheese

This is a family favorite in my house.  It is by far the most requested recipe when it comes to holidays and potlucks.  And everyone expects me to bring this if I'm invited.  It is so delicious!
This is a simple southern take on Mac N'Cheese (sorry no bread crumbs).


3 Cups dry macaroni
6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
4 Cups of milk
2 Cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
Pepper to taste


1 Medium pot
1 Large sauce pan
Measuring spoons
2 8x8 pans or 1 9x13 pan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill medium pot about 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add in the noodles.

Place butter in large sauce pan and melt over medium heat.  After the butter is melted add flour and mix together with your whisk.  

Now, slowly mix in the milk and add pepper.  
(I do not add salt due to the high sodium content of the cheese.)

Keep on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

In the meantime, the noodles should be done.  You only want to cook them partially (they continue to cook in the oven) so take them off the burner when the ends of the noodles are slightly flared out.  Drain and place evenly in 2 8x8 pans or one 9x13 pan.

By now, the roux should be thickened and ready for the shredded cheese.  I wait until it's almost boiling so the cheese melts quickly and evenly.

Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and mix in well with a spoon.

Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes.

That's it!

My kids love this served with baked beans, peas, and rolls. 

If you make the 2 8x8 pans like I did, this recipe can easily be frozen for later.  Follow the directions above but instead of baking it place it in the freezer.  Thaw overnight and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I also make a fun summer version with tomatoes baked under the shredded cheese.


Friday, May 23, 2014

My New Organized Craft Corner

My little corner filled with all things crafty became a dumping ground over the last couple of months.  It was time for a change!  So I carved out a few hours one Friday afternoon and did some serious organizing.  I find it so energizing to take a stale unorganized space and make it functional again.  Here's what it looked like before (don't judge me, we all know crafting leads to hoarding!).

Eeek!  Yarn overflowing, crochet needles everywhere, felt and fleece piled high, and you can barely see my poor sewing machine.

I first decided the quilting table was no longer working for me.  I mean, I never quilt so it seems ridiculous to have a QUILTING table.  I quickly found it a new home through Craigslist.  We had a spare desk so I decided to use it.  It's a simple desk that will make it more difficult for me fill with clutter (hopefully).

I took everything out and off the desk and shelves, moved my new to me desk in, and then proceeded to do some major de-cluttering.  There was a bunch of junk inside that quilting table.  I made some piles, found unused containers throughout my house, labeled them with a paint pen and viola!  A completely new and organized Craft Corner.

Wow!  So fresh, so clean!  Everything has a place with room for more.

Here's the breakdown of where everything ended up.

Not in view is a table top ironing board and 2 cutting mats discretely placed behind the bins underneath.  And I now have a drawer to keep my notebooks full of crafting ideas.

And since this desk has open space underneath I thought filling it with well organized bins would help me keep the clutter at bay.

So that's it.  My new organized Craft Corner.  I hope I can provide some inspiration to my fellow crafters for your own Craft Corner or room.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two Bean Turkey Chili


This is one of my family's favorite week night dinners during the week and I'm so excited to share it with you today! All three of my children (yes, even the baby) love this chili. And it is so delicious and warming on those cold winter nights.

Two Bean Turkey Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small onion diced (or half of a large onion)
1 can Kidney Beans 15.5 oz
1 can Black Beans 15.5 oz
1 can Tomato Sauce 15 oz
1 can Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz (plain, NOT seasoned)
1 packet Chili Seasoning
1 cup Chicken Stock (or broth)

  1. Brown the ground turkey over medium in a large pot.
  2. Add diced onions, cook until translucent.
  3. Throw in the beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, and chicken stock. Stir well, reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese before serving and you're done!

While the chili is simmering I put together a quick salad and pop some cornbread muffins in the oven.

**This chili can also be prepared in the slow cooker, for those extra busy days.

Instructions as follows:
  1. Brown the ground turkey over medium in a skillet and add to the slow cooker.
  2. Dump all remaining ingredients in, mix well.
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. (Cooking times may vary in your slow cooker. I recommend trying it out on a weekend so you don't come home from work to burnt chili.)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Granny Square Heart Tutorial

Valentine's Day is upon on us so I thought I would make up a quick and cute themed pattern! This adorable Granny Square Heart can be used and gifted in so many ways. As a fabulous trivet, dish cloth, coaster, or wash cloth. You could even use it as an applique on a t-shirt, onesie, or pillow.  

Please let me know if you find any mistakes in the pattern so I can quickly correct them! 

Materials needed:

Crochet Hook (I used a 5mm)
2 coordinating worsted weight yarns (I used Lily Sugar and Cream)
Needle for weaving in ends


Sl st – slip stitch
ch – chain stitch
sc – single crochet
dc – double crochet
sp – space
beg - beginning

The pattern begins with a typical Granny square.

Start with a magic ring.

Rnd 1: ch 3, 2dc, ch 1, (3dc, ch 1) 3 times. Sl st to beg ch 3. (Four 3dc, ch 1 groups)

Rnd 2: Sl st to corner, ch 3, 2dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1, (3dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1) 3 times, sl st to beg ch 3.

Rnd 3: Sl st to corner, ch 3, 2dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1, 3dc, ch 1, (3dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1, 3dc, ch 1) 3 times.
Sl st to beg ch 3. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Now to add the half circles.

Flip the square to the wrong side and join yarn in any right ch 1 space.

Ch 5, sl st in next ch 1 space.

Row 1: Ch 2, sl st to second dc in next 3dc group, turn. 2dc in ch 5 half ring, ch 1, (3dc, ch1) 2 times,
3dc, sl st to second dc in next 3dc group, turn.

Row 2: Sl st in every dc and ch 1 space across.

Row 3: Ch 2, sl st to corner, turn. 2dc in same sp as ch 2, ch 2, (3dc, ch 2 in ch 1 sp) 3 times, 3dc, sl st
to corner. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Repeat half circle on adjacent side.

Row 4: With right side facing, join anywhere with new color. Sc around in every dc and ch 1 sp.
2sc in every ch 2 sp and 3sc in bottom point of heart. Fasten off, weave in ends.

**Optional Picot Border**

Join yarn in any ch 1 space, ch 3, sc in same sp as join. (ch 3, sl st to ch 1 sp, ch 3, sc in same sp as
sl st) around.

I was featured on Skip to my Lou Made by You Mondays and on 6 DIY Crochet Projects!
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