Wednesday, July 23, 2014

White Cheese Macaroni and Cheese



In our house mac and cheese is one of our favorite meals. Just the other night Tyler and I were joking that we don't serve this as a side dish, we love it so much that it stands alone as an entree. 

And since we love it so much and I refuse to make the box stuff (I know, I know, it tastes really good but I can't in good knowledge make it!), I have to have a couple of different recipes on hand. 

This was a new one we recently tried out and it did not disappoint!


White Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Strongly Adapted from Martha Stewart Cooking School

1 box shell pasta (or whatever shape you prefer)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1 cup Italian Blend cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated, plus additional 1/2 cup set aside for topping
1 1/2 cups White Cheddar Cheese, grated, plus additional 1/2 cup set aside for topping
Salt, to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, boil noodles about 2 minutes less than instructed on the box (so when you bake them they won't come out mushy) and drain. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add the onion, cooking until the onion becomes transparent. Whisk in the flour and stir for about 45 seconds.

Add the milk and stir to combine the flour, bring to a simmer and occasionally scrape the sides and bottom, for about 4 minutes. The milk mixture should have thickened.

Add the Italian Blend, 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, 1 1/2 cups of White Cheddar, and Swiss Cheese, stirring until everything has melted and is smooth. Add in the salt and other seasonings.

Mix the pasta in with the sauce until evenly combined and pour into a lightly greased casserole dish.

Mix together the breadcrumbs and remaining cheeses, sprinkle on top of the macaroni and cheese.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

If your breadcrumbs haven't browned then turn on your broiler and continue to cook for about 1 more minute, watching closely to make sure they don't burn!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nuby All Natural Teething Gel with Gum-eez Teether


**Disclaimer: I'm a Nuby Mommy Blogger which means I am sent products from Nuby in exchange for a review on my blog. However, all opinions are my very own**  


Co teethed early and very quickly. Because his teeth came so fast (I'm not joking, he broke in his first tooth at exactly 5 months and 6 teeth came in that month, he was completely done teething with every tooth including molars before he was a year and a half) we didn't need all of the fancy teething stuff. He had a bug-a-loop and that kept him happy.

Patch is now almost 10 months and he only has 2 teeth and those 2 were monsters coming in. We had fever, screaming, mood swings....teething problems we hadn't encountered before. He has a bug-a-loop that he loves to chew on but I wanted to be a little more prepared for the next round of teething. 



This Gum-eez Teether is really cool because he can handle it like a paci and the shape of it targets more of his gums at once. As soon as I opened it he figured it out very quickly and loved it.It reaches into spots that traditional teethers can always reach. I'm okay with having multiple teethers because you never know what's going to help your baby out in that moment--we use the bug-a-loop for all day situations, it works really well for him to just chew even if it's not necessarily teeth. The Gum-eez is perfect for those moments when he needs to bite really hard and focused. 

We haven't had another aggressive bout of teething just yet but I'm sure it's coming and we'll be ready!

As for the All Natural Teething Gel--I was hoping Patch would be breaking in teeth so we could give it a try, but we didn't get the chance. I'd hate to recommend that without trying it so I thought I'd test it out! Yep, you read that right. I have an awful sore on my gum right now and it hurts really bad! It hurts to talk, eat, you get the idea. So, I used the gel and it really is great. It numbs the gum for about 30 minutes and I get some pain relief. The taste isn't great, I'll be honest about that, but I'm not a child so maybe those fun kid-themed flavors have passed me over. But the taste doesn't last longer than a minute and then it's pain free my friend. 



And if you want to pick one up you can find them at Kmart. 



Nuby has a lot of other really cool products and you can find out more about them on Nuby's Facebook PageInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Treasure Find Tuesday

Image courtesy of Pong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was hoping to try out a pin this week to feature but since I had some unexpected things come up in our life this week, I just have another list for you. But I promise, this list is still filled with fun finds and I hope you find your treasure!

BEAUTY

6 DIY Skin Care Recipes is so appealing to me--I always need to pay a little more attention to my skin and being able to make the product at home would be fun (there's a lip balm recipe calling my name!). 
The Thinking Closet's 6 DIY Skin Care Recipes

PARENTING

Patch seems to be transitioning from 3 naps to two naps and let me tell you, it's not simple. There are some frustrating mornings when he seems to need the nap but doesn't want to take it. I'm sure whatever the issue is, it'll resolve itself, but meanwhile, I found some tips to help us get through the rough spot!

STYLE

I am a scarf addict. I don't think you can have too many and they make ordinary outfits a little more fun. I think I'm drawn to them because I can still wear comfy t-shirts and throw on a scarf and look like I tried. This scarf has me craving fall and I've added it to my fall/winter wardrobe must-haves list. 

HOME

Tyler and I are talking about making a new headboard for our bed and I think we've decided on what we want to do, but I can't help but to still look at different ideas. Hometalk has some pretty neat DIY headboard ideas. 

RECIPES

You can't have too many pasta recipes!

HEALTH

I'm trying to get back into a workout routine and I found this inspirational text to be really encouraging. 

FOR THE KIDS
This Sand Slime looks like a messy kind of fun--perfect for a 3 year old little guy! 

Homemade Tomato Salsa

Do you love salsa as much as I do?

I'm a slight addict and I need help. If there are chips and salsa in the house I will eat more than a normal person should and it's awful. I honestly don't buy chips and salsa very often for that reason. But I made salsa recently and well, now I have a bigger problem. Homemade salsa beats store bought salsa and I'm in love.

Go check out this recipe I shared on Dainty Jewell's, try it, fall in love like I did, and let's eat chips and salsa together.

Homemade Tomato Salsa


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Perfect Summer Nights

Summer nights are some of my favorite times of the year. Yes, it's usually crazy hot, but fill up a pool, and put the kids in swim clothes--the heat will be little more tolerable.

That's it for this post, just a little nudge from me to take your kids outside, turn on the water, and enjoy these summer nights. 





Chicken and Cabbage Salad Tacos


It's hot. I know that's stating the obvious, but goodness, it is hot outside. 

And while I can't completely avoid the oven, when I find a recipe that let's me, I get a little excited. 

I came across a Mexican Street Salad in the Jamie Oliver Cookbook--Jamie's America and it looked really appetizing. I changed it up a bit, simplifying the recipe even more, and then added some chicken to make it into a meal. Corn tortillas really are the best tortillas for tacos and within a few minutes I had dinner on the table and a cool kitchen. I was a happy lady. 

If you're looking for a way to cool down your house, then turn off your stove and give this recipe a try!

Chicken and Cabbage Salad Tacos

Source: Salad Adapted from Jamie's America

Corn Tortillas
1/2 Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
1 Bag Coleslaw/Cabbage Mix
6 Radishes, sliced
2 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
Zest of 2 Lemons
Juice of 2 Lemons
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salsa, Sour Cream, Taco Sauce, or any other taco garnishes you prefer. 

Excluding the tortillas and taco garnishes, mix all of the other ingredients together. Taste and add salt as needed. If you prefer more heat to your tacos, add chili powder 1 tsp at a time until you find your heat. 
Warm up corn tortillas, fill with chicken and cabbage salad, top with your garnishes and enjoy!

I'm linking up at A Dish of Daily Life

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nuby Fun Drinking Cups

**Disclaimer: I'm a Nuby Mommy Blogger which means I am sent products from Nuby in exchange for a review on my blog. However, all opinions are my very own**  


Let's be honest. I don't look forward to kids drinking without lids on the cups. Well, maybe it's just me. Maybe you're fine with the learning process and all of that, but I just prefer handing my child a cup with a lid. I know, spills still happen even with lids but really, it's not as likely and the spill isn't nearly the same amount. 

But Co keeps asking us to take off his lid so he can drink like us and I know that it's my job to make sure my child can be a decent citizen one day and to drink without a guard. 


I could just take the lids off of his straw cups, but they have a lip on them and that seems like it's going to make a mess (I'm not anti-mess, I'm just pro-less-mess) and our regular cups are huge are too heavy. 

I love these Nuby Fun Drinking Cups because they're small and are the perfect size for Co to manage. His hands fit perfectly around it and it's easy for him to drink without spilling, this makes me a happy momma. 

I'm not any less neurotic though--he still only gets an open cup at dinner time and it's really only filled half-way. I suppose I'll ease up more as he gets older, but we still have to reinforce the hands-don't-go-in-the-drink rule, the it's-best-if-you-don't-let-your-cup-teeter-on-the-edge-when-there's-no-lid principle, and the set-the-cup-down-softer-to-avoid-the-splashing-out-of-your-cup knowledge. But he is learning!


It is fun to watch him get excited about using a cup without a lid. When we're setting the table and we ask what he wants to drink he'll say, "Milk, and nooo lid, okay? No lid on my green cup." 

So, if you're child is like mine and looking for his/her next independent step in life, give the lidless cup a try. And you might as well start with the Nuby Fun Drinking Cups because they're awesome. 


And if you want to pick one up you can find them at www.buybabydirect.com, Amazon, and www.diapers.com

Nuby has a lot of other really cool products and you can find out more about them on Nuby's Facebook PageInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.