Crock Pot Mac n Cheese

I love mac and cheese.  I already tried the One Pan version my mom shared and it turned out well, so I was excited when she shared this recipe from Tip Hero.  I will take any excuse to eat more mac and cheese.

So first I gathered the ingredients.

1 lb elbow macaroni
2 cups milk – the recipe called for whole but I used 2%
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
½ tsp salt or more to taste
2 Tbsp butter
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

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Throw everything into the crock pot.  The original recipe says to cook on the lowest setting.  I only have a cook and a slow cook option, so I used the slow cook.  It says to cook for 1.5-2 hours, stirring after 30 minutes and checking the pasta after an hour and 15 minutes.  You want the pasta to be al dente.  There was very little effort needed for this recipe.

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After it was done cooking I tasted it.  It was horrible.  It tasted like nothing and was just a congealed mess.  I added more milk and salt, and then threw in some pepper.  It still sucked.  I told Josh “I just don’t even know what to do to make this better.”  His response, “Throw it in the garbage.”  He was probably right.

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I ended going to the store and getting some Ro*Tel tomatoes.  I usually get the original one but I noticed they had a hot version with habanero peppers, so I got one of those too.  When I got home, I added one can of hot and one can of original and tasted it again.  It still tasted like shit.  After this I gave up.  I ended up eating it all throughout the week anyway but I did not enjoy it at all.  Definitely not making this again.  I’ll stick to the cast iron version. If any of you have a good crock pot mac and cheese recipe, let me know.

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Check out my Instagram @yourmomsposts for more pictures!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites w/ Sea Salt

If there was one recipe my mom would make, it would be this one.  She loves coconut and loves dark chocolate.  This recipe from Tastemade doesn’t involve any cooking and isn’t too complicated.

Here’s what you need:
1 14 ounce bag flaked sweetened coconut
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup whole almonds, toasted
12 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

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Something worth mentioning, I used regular salt.  I wasn’t about to go out of my way to buy flaky salt.  Whatever the hell that is.

I also failed to see that the almonds had to be toasted before using.  I got everything ready to put together and then saw the toasted part and just went uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh!!!!  Then I looked it up, and toasting them was going to take 5 minutes, so I cut the shit and just did it. You most definitely do not need 1 cup though.  You only need as many almonds as you have coconut balls.   (Here we go with the balls again.)  Or you could just roast a cup and eat all the other ones while you’re waiting for these to chill.

Mix together the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla.

The recipe says to line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat, both which Steph doesn’t own. Plastic wrap it is! This worked pretty well.

Scoop out a chunk of the coconut mixture and roll it into a ball.  Place on the plastic wrap. The recipe says to get a bowl of warm water to dip your hands into.  Do this.  I can’t stress that enough.  As soon as the coconut starts sticking to your hands, rinse your hands in the water, and it’ll stop sticking.  It was magical.

Once you rolled all the mixture and placed them on the baking sheet, chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Or until you make a few more recipes and remember you still didn’t finish this one.

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Take the tray out of the fridge and top each ball with an almond.  Push the almonds in and roll the ball so the almond is completely covered.   Put these back into the fridge so you can go melt your chocolate and eat all your extra toasted almonds.

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Now take your chopped up chocolate and get ready to melt it.  You can use a double boiler or just a bowl over a pot with water in it, which is what I did.  I recommend chopping up all your chocolate while the balls are chilling.  It took longer than I thought it would.  The chocolate also took a while to start melting but, once it started, it went fast.  Keep stirring the chocolate in the bowl as it melts.

Dip each ball into the dark chocolate.  Remove with a fork and shake off excess chocolate.  Place the balls onto another parchment lined pan or dish.  We forgot to put plastic wrap on the baking dish we used and, sweet Jesus, that was pain the ass to get off the glass dish later.  Sprinkle each ball with salt while chocolate is still soft. Once they’re all dipped, place the tray into the fridge to harden.

You might have extra melted chocolate.  I highly recommend covering some oreos with it.  We had the mint ones.  Tasted just like thin mints.  UGH so good!

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Now, enjoy! These were really good. I might make them a little smaller next time but that didn’t stop me from eating a ton of them.

 

Check out my Instagram @yourmomsposts for more pictures and videos!

One-Pan Mac & Cheese

Josh hates mac & cheese. More specifically, he hates cheese.  I know what you’re thinking, “Who hates cheese?” Josh. Josh hates cheese.  On the bright side, no one ever eats my cheese at home.  So when I went to my cousin Steph’s one weekend, I figured this was the perfect time to try this recipe. She loves cheese just as much as I do.  She’s the best.

This recipe is from Buzzfeed. Before I even got started with cooking, Steph and I had to go to the grocery store.  She is finally living in her own place and her fridge reflected that.

Once we got back from our shopping extravaganza, it was time to cook.

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I gathered everything I needed.  Story time: I realized after we got back that I grabbed white cheddar cheese so our version would not look like the original post because they used yellow cheddar. Also, I brought that skillet with me to Massachusetts, in the car with my mother, because Steph told me she didn’t have one.  Needless to say, when I got there, she had just received the skillet she ordered online.

So first, add 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of uncooked elbow pasta, salt and pepper to the pan over medium-high heat.  You need to stir this a lot when it’s cooking so it doesn’t stick.

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Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue to cook until the milk becomes a thicker sauce.

Add 1 cup of milk and keep cooking until the pasta is al dente and the milk is reduced. Then add the cheeses and stir.  I really just wanted to eat it right away.

Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs on top and then spray them with cooking spray.  Broil until the crumbs are golden brown.

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Yet again, I walked away from the broiling and almost burnt the crap out of the breadcrumbs.  It looked like they were destroyed at first but they ended up being ok.  Learn from my lesson and don’t clean up after yourself while your beautiful mac & cheese is broiling.  It can wait.

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This recipe was good.  I seem to be lucking out so far.  I would of course make some changes.  I am a huge fan of adding Ro*Tel tomatoes to my mac & cheese so I would probably do that next time.  I guess I’m just used to eating spicier things so I need a little kick in my food.

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Check out my Instagram @yourmomsposts to see the picture Steph took of me taking a picture of the ingredients.  Oh the things we do for our blogs.

 

Ingredients from Buzzfeed:
3 cups whole milk, divided
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
½ Tbsp. salt
½ Tbsp. pepper
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
Cooking spray

 

Sparkling Strawberry Kiwi Sangria

Let me start this off by saying that I was not entirely sure if I was allergic to kiwi or not when I went to make this.  Years ago I suddenly became allergic to a ton of fruit and vegetables, some just when raw, others just completely.  I was also allergic to hazelnuts, walnuts and pistachios. Within the past year or 2 I discovered I could eat a lot of these foods again by trying small amounts of them and seeing if my throat still closed.  One thing I hadn’t tried yet was kiwis.  I figured we’d just make it and see how it goes. C’est la vie!

This sangria recipe is from Buzzfeed. They’ve really been pumping out those recipes lately.

The ingredients you’ll need are:
1 lb strawberries
1 lb kiwis
1 cup light rum
1 bottle white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled (such as cava)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 oranges
A pitcher or other large container (I used a half gallon pitcher. It wasn’t big enough.)

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I bought a 4 pack of wine because it was cheaper than a 750ml bottle. Fun fact: 4 bottles equals 750ml.

I started hulling out the strawberries with a straw like every life hack on the internet says to do.  Jesus H that was a pain in the ass.  I gave up after about 5 and just cut the tops off.

After the strawberries are all cut, take half of them and put it in a pot with the sugar and water to cook.  Cook this mixture enough so the strawberries will fall apart.

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Let it cool for a few minutes and then strain into a bowl.  It says to use a mesh sieve and push the strawberries through.  This didn’t really turn out like I expected it to.  The strawberries looked like shit and it was impossible to push through.  I would have preferred pureeing this and then straining out any seeds. Anyway, take the strained mixture and cool in the fridge for a bit.  This is turning into quite the lengthy recipe.

While the mixture was cooling I juiced the oranges and had my cousin cut up the kiwis.  This is where I took a bit of one to see if I was allergic.  There was a slight reaction after a while but nothing life threatening so in the pitcher they went with the remaining half of the strawberries, rum, and white wine.

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At this point, the pitcher was full without the OJ being added.  We dumped some of this out into a pint glass for Steph’s friend Libby because she’s allergic to citrus.  This worked out for the best because there’s no way it would have all fit.  We added the OJ to the pitcher and then put it in the fridge for the “flavors to come together.”

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This is direct from Buzzfeed:
“When you’re ready to serve, add around three-quarters of the chilled sparkling wine to the pitcher. Pour into glasses and spoon in fruit, topping off each glass with a bit of the remaining champagne so it’s nice and bubbly when you hand the glass to a friend.”

No. We had ZERO amount of space in this pitcher.  Instead, I poured some sparkling wine into our glasses first and then poured in the sangria and fruit.

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Now, how did it taste?  Like a mimosa.  I think our oranges were bigger than the ones they used for this recipe.  If you look at their directions, it states that you can substitute fresh juice for a few splashes of bottled orange juice or lemonade.  We had about 2 cups of juice from our oranges so it just overpowered the whole mixture.  Libby’s version tasted a lot better because you could actually taste the strawberry and kiwi.  Now I know for next time.

 

Check out my Instagram @yourmomsposts for more pictures and some behind the scenes spoilers.

How To Maximize Kitchen Drawer Space

Nifty (by Buzzfeed) shared this post about how to maximize your drawer space by using foam board, wrapping paper, tape and a knife.  This project cost me $3 because I bought it all at the Dollar Tree.  Since my drawers are already organized, I volunteered Stephanie’s messy kitchen drawer.

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Here is the before picture of her drawer. This was exactly how it looked.

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Now, since this drawer is not just for her larger utensils, she has a tray for her forks, spoons and knives.  This needed to stay in the drawer because it was the best place for it so I made it work.

First we cleared out the drawer and measured it to line the bottom with wrapping paper.

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Next I put the utensil organizer back in and we mapped out how many slots she wanted and how big they needed to be. We only cut one divided out of foam board and wrapped it to make sure it fit before we kept cutting.

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Once we put it in place, we cut out 2 more of the exact same size for the diagonal sections and one smaller one to section off the space behind the organizer.

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The post says to tape each side in place and then voila!  I put one piece of tape on each side, one on the left and one on the right, of the pieces like the video shows.

Later on I noticed that everything seemed to be moving around.  I don’t know if it was because of the tray being in the drawer but I decided to add extra tape. I put an extra piece of tape on each side so there was was tape on the front and back on both the left and right sides.  I left Steph’s apartment the next day and asked her to keep an eye out over the next few days so I could see how well this project actually held up.

One week later, and she says it is holding up well.  SUCCESS!!

I’ll probably try to do this at my mom’s house when she finally lets me organize her kitchen.  She probably won’t even remember she shared this video.

Check out my Instagram @yourmomsposts for more pictures and videos.

Cinnamon Roll Fireball Shots

This recipe was posted on Facebook by Country Living Magazine.  Now Fireball has turned into quite the huge thing around here.  I myself went through a huge Fireball phase about 2 years ago but I don’t drink much any more.  Despite not drinking it lately, I was looking forward to trying a new way to drink it.

So Steph and I got some cream soda and Fireball and even bought the whipped cream. She was under the impression she had cinnamon so we never bought any.  When we returned home we discovered it was actually cinnamon sugar.  Good enough.

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The recipe is 1 part Fireball to 3 parts cream soda.  I stirred it together and then poured into a shot glass and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar.

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Time to try it out.

NO

Sweet baby Jesus! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!

You would think the cream soda would mask some of the fireball taste. NO. It was just a lot of Fireball.  The whipped cream didn’t even leave my glass so that was a huge waste of time.

Now here comes the best part.  Since I used a shot glass to measure, there were 4 shots worth of this stuff.  I did not want to waste it and figured maybe it’ll taste better the second time around.

Insert long break of us just dancing around the kitchen to Pitbull’s song Fireball on repeat here.

So we take the next shot aaaaaaaand….

and no

NEVER AGAIN!

If you try this out and think it’s not as horrible as we did, let me know!

Also, check out my Instagram @yourmomsposts for more fun pictures and videos.

 

Napkin basket

Look out world because I made a video!

This post my mom shared was posted by Ayoub Naaili but the video is from the INNOVA manualidades YouTube channel.  The person who put this on Facebook literally took the other person’s video, cut out their commentary, inserted music, and sped up the video. So what did I do?  I filmed myself making this and put music to it.  I am an innovative genius.

I used a pack of napkins I got for $1 that are 6 x 6 inches.

The final product was cute but pretty tiny to actually be useful.  This might be nice to put on a table you have set up with food and snacks but making a lot of these would be obnoxious.

I only made one of these baskets and I think I’m going to leave it out as a decoration in the apartment and see if my mom notices it when she comes over for Mother’s Day.  I will report back.

Hope you enjoyed my first video and I’m hoping to make another one soon.  Until then, check out my shenanigans over at my Instagram @yourmomsposts.