Not Your Mother’s Mac and Cheese!

Winter (besides cuddling) = comfort food. This week I have had a hankering for mac and cheese. My C’s love it and it was C3’s first time 🙂 (she loved it) while I love pasta, I sometimes feel guilty making it as a meal. Not because of the carb business but because it is generally lacking veggies! Sooooo I snuck some butternut squash in there and it was ah-mazing! (no one even knew!)

Sorry, there really isn’t a set recipe but here’s what I do:

Boil a package of macaroni noodles

Shred an entire block of cheese (500g bar), yup, the WHOLE thing

Peel, chop and cube a butternut squash and boil until cooked (then mash or puree)

Dump the macaroni in a covered baker, throw in cheese and mix it through, throw in butternut squash and mix it through. Add a couple of cups of milk, a few good dashes of worchestershire sauce (this is key) salt and pepper and then top with some extra cheese and Italian bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 until bubbly and heated through. Mmmmm I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch!

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Cuddles

I love Winter. I love all seasons really, but one of the main reasons I love Winter is for the cuddling and snuggling under warm blankets. Nothing beats that! When C2 was a babe someone gave him a cuddle fleece snowman blanket and he literally dragged it around until Claire was born. He decided he would give it to her as a gift (melts your heart doesn’t it?) so I thought I would make him a new snowman blanket for his gesture. The thing with having two kids however  is that you can’t make something for one without the other. So two snowman blankies it is 🙂

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Testing them out was another excuse to cuddle (and watch an old Disney Classic)!

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“Energy Bites” a.k.a. healthy snack

These “Energy Bites” as Pinterest calls them, have suddenly become the rage. Funny thing is that I have been making them for years. An old Weight Watchers no-bake cookie recipe (flat…no trendy ball required) They are yummy, easy, travel well, kiddies love them and you can really throw anything you want in them as long as there is something sticky to keep them together 🙂

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1 c rolled oats

1 c shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c ground flaxseed

1/2 c mini chocolate chips, chopped apricots or prunes, raisins, mini m&m’s (whatever you want)

1/2 c peanut butter (I prefer natural but it really doesn’t work with these, you need the regular stuff)

1/3 c honey

Mix together. Chill for 30 minutes, roll into balls. Mmmmmm!

Pumpkin Loaf

I love pumpkin. I love loaves. The rest is history. I try new pumpkin loaf recipes all the time. I’ve had a few flops (see January 22nd post – it doesn’t even LOOK tasty) My TWO top favorite recipes (I can’t believe I am giving these up! ha)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf

Filling:

1 pkg cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp flour

1 egg

1 tbsp finely grated orange peel

Bread:

1 2/3 flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon/ground cloves/salt

1/4 tsp ginger/nutmeg

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 c vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 1/2 c sugar

Bake at 350. It makes two loaves. I use parchment paper to line the tins.

Combine filling ingredients. Combine all bread ingredients EXCEPT pumpkin. Stir it in at the end. Then pour 1/2 the bread batter into both tins.  Spoon filling mixture on top of each and then pour the remaining bread batter over filling mixture. Bake for an hour or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Ridiculously delicious.

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Copy Cat Starbucks Low Fat Pumpkin Loaf

1 1/2 c  Flour

1/2 tsp  Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 1/2 c Sugar

1/2 c Fat Free VanillaYogurt

3 Egg Whites

1 c Canned Pumpkin

Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients. Fold together and spoon into 1 greased or parchment lined loaf pan.

It is low-fat (and you CAN tell) it has a chewy texture, but is very yummy and you may feel a little less guilty about going back for seconds with this one.

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I didn’t 🙂

Feta Egg Bake

Direct quote…. “Soooo ya, I thought you were gonna post recipes on this blog-y thing”! ha ha I love my friends. Sorry about the delay M!

Feta Egg Bake

I get asked for this one a lot. I just kinda made it up, I generally use the following:

12 eggs

1/2 cup milk

half container of feta, chopped

tomato, diced

frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

s&p

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I whisk the eggs, add milk, throw in spinach, feta and tomatoes, add s&p and bake in a glass casserole dish until cooked through.

(in the winter I tend to use canned tomatoes with seasoning for an extra kick)

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Kids like it, protein rich, and it travels really well. I cut it into squares and wrapped them individually. We ate them for our breakfast last time we flew 🙂 It is a go-to recipe around here!

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Enjoy!