Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love cheese?  Well I for one am not a huge cheese fan… I know, I know.  I am un-american.   I just don’t like it very much.  I will eat it, in certain forms, but just not very often!  My husband and all my friends however L O V E cheese.  So therefore I make cheesy treats and cheesy food quite often which brings me to my next recipe… Baked Mac and Cheese.

I have tried making this recipe with lots of different variations.  I have made it with and without bacon, with and without roasted jalapenos, with and without shredded chicken and I have made it with probably 20 different variations of cheese.  All of them were a success, so it just kind of depends on what you are in the mood for.  Here is the general recipe.

1 1/2-ish box of penne pasta noodles

5-ish cups of cheese (mixture of Colby, Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella and Romano) but you can change the cheese to your liking

3-4-ish  cups of milk

3/4-1-ish cup of butter

salt and pepper to taste

2/3 cups-ish of bread crumbs

Pick a pasta.  For the sake of this recipe I used penne noodles, but you can use elbow, macaroni, bow tie, etc…

Boil the pasta until it is al dente.  Take it out and then set it aside.  In a pot you will mix milk, cheese, butter, salt and pepper and melt cheese completely.

Once the mixture is complete pour it on top of the noodles in a baking dish.  Then top with extra cheese and breadcrumbs.  This would also be the step that you would add in bacon, cooked chicken or veggie (ie. broccoli).  Then place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Easy. Simple. Delicious!





Best Almond Flour Cookies Ever!

So a while back I was trying to be super healthy and tried my hand at the paleo diet.  I did my research and dove right in.  The diet is basically eating all natural and unprocessed foods (obviously there is a little bit more to it than that, but that is the basic concept).  I have a huge sweet tooth, so when I go into a diet that cuts out a lot of my snack food I have a problem with that.

I immediately started looking for a sweet snack that I could eat, but that was still paleo friendly…  I didn’t want to eat almonds or different veggie chips.  I wanted something that was actually a snack.

I knew instantly that these cookies were for me.  I got the recipe and was off to the store to look for my very specific ingredients.  Now, before attempting this recipe, some of you will be surprised to know that I never cooked with almond flour before (shocking I know)!


2 Cups almond flour or almond meal

1/4 cup raw/organic honey

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Heat your oven to 315 degrees.  Mix all the above ingredients into a bowl except for the chocolate chips.  Make sure to heat the coconut oil and honey a little bit so it is melted and easier to mix into the batter.  

A little hint: when you pour the melted coconut oil and honey into the batter you will want it to cool before you mix the chocolate chips into it otherwise they will melt!  If you have already mixed the chocolate chips into the batter it is not a big deal (once again, I have done this before and I learned).  You will just have chocolate cookies without the chips and your cookies will be a darker brown color! THEY STILL TASTE GREAT…  My suggestion is to stick the batter in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes before you add the chocolate chips in!

I have altered my recipe just a little bit from the original, so what you are seeing is my variation.  The original recipe said to put your oven at 350 degrees but since I have a gas stove and mine seems to be a little hotter than normal I had to turn my down to 315 so that the cookies did not burn (because the first couple of times, I completely burned the bottoms)!  

These cookies are a hit with everyone.  My 4 year old loves them, my husband (who is anti chocolate) loves them and all my friends love them.  You will be lucky if you have any left after 1 day!

Happy baking everyone!



Creative Juices Flowing…

Let’s talk about juicing for a second and by juicing I mean the one with vegetables and fruit and not the steroids that some of you body builders like to use!

I am 5’3 and 130 pounds (I can’t believe I just put that online for the world to read) but it is the truth.  I, like most people, have things about my body that I do not like so I feel like I am always dieting and working out.  Sometimes the diets have worked and sometimes they have not.  The paleo diet, that I have talked about in other posts, worked for a little while, but I was so sick of eating the same things (because I am kind of a picky eater).  Juicing however was pretty much the most amazing thing that I have ever tried.

I was watching a documentary with my husband one night called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.  I can honestly say from the moment that I finished this show I was completely on board with this juicing diet and cleanse.  Like Joe (who made the documentary) I have some medical issues that I wanted to get under control.  I have over sensitized nerves in my jaw that cause shooting pain throughout my mouth, ears and neck.  It is something that comes and goes and can be triggered by simply opening my mouth to brush my teeth.  Anything in your mouth is extremely painful (think getting a root canal times 10 and that is what it feels like).  My doctors told me that I would be taking pills most days to help with the problem.

I am 30 years old.  I did not want to be taking pills every day of my life to control this problem.  At this point I was ready to try anything and so my juicing cleanse began.

The day after watching the documentary I went out and bought the same juicer that Joe had used and then I combed the internet for every juice recipe I could find.  I basically concluded that you could put anything you wanted into your juices, as long as the fruit was in moderation.  So I picked a few that would suit me and then started making my juices.

I was completely dedicated to changing my eating habits so I decided to do a 14 day juice cleanse to kick off my diet (which for me meant I would only eat or drink fruits and vegetables)!

The cleanse was no where near as bad as I initially thought it was going to be.  I was able to stick to the whole 14 days of juicing and in those 14 days I lost around 12 pounds!  I started integrating healthy foods back into my diet after the 14 days and I kept up eating well, until the holidays in 2015 (9 months total).  I was drinking at least 2 juices every day and then eating a full meal at dinner and only snacking on healthy snacks.  Over the 9 month period I lost 27 pounds.  Although I have let my diet slip (I have gained back about 8pounds of what I lost) I am determined to get back in the swing of things.

I have a mud run that I am participating in this weekend so I am going to juice all day tomorrow and drink a ton of water so I am properly hydrated for Saturday!

This is my go to juice.  I absolutely love it! It consists of the following:

3 Handfuls of Spinach

3 Handfuls of Kale

3 Granny Smith Apples

1 Large Orange (peeled)

6 Celery Stalks

1 Thumb of Ginger

1 Whole Lemon

You will put them in the juicer and VOILA~!  It is that simple!  I put my leafy greens in the juicer first so that my other food will  get all the remnants of the leaves out and I maximize the juice that comes from the kale and spinach (but that is just my preference).  The leafy greens don’t produce as much juice as you would think, but what it does squeeze out is purely amazing!

I like to let my juice sit in my container for a few minutes before I pour it into my glass bottle and put it in the fridge.  The juice will separate and leave all the pulpy mess at the top and leave all the wonderful juice at the bottom.  Make sure you drink your juice within 1-2 days.  I prefer to drink them as quickly as possible so that you are getting the most nutrients out of your juice.

I will try to post the rest of my recipes on here so that you can all enjoy what I have come up with!  Happy juicing!