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Bev's Macaroni and Cheese

So I don't know who ev is however I do know that this mac & cheese was pretty darn good! Kurt takes a golf trip every year and is gone for a little over a week. While I hate that his is away, I am allowed to cook whatever I want. This usually means that I eat pasta and drink wine for a week straight (I'm not complaining)! I was in the mood for some serious comfort food while he was gone and that could only mean one thing....macaroni & cheese. I have been looking for a really creamy and delicious macaroni & cheese recipe for some time now. I used to always add the cheese when the milk mixture was too hot so my cheese was always gritty. I've finally learned that I don't need to cook the milk and cheese on med-high heat to make it melt. I am also not a fan of eggs in my mac & cheese, specifically since I don't eat eggs by themselves. I'm always worried I'll end up with mac & cheese and scrambled eggs - yuck! My ideal macaroni & cheese would be along the lines of the Noodles & Co macaroni & cheese but I can't quite figure out how they make that delicious cheese sauce. If you know how to make this macaroni & cheese from Noodles you better post a comment with the recipe!!!

Anyhoo, I found this dish on one of my favorite new sites to search for recipes, This macaroni & cheese is very cheesy and creamy, although not as creamy as I thought it'd be but that may be because I used too many noodles. I thought the flavor was good (even though I forgot to add the mustard) and it is definitely something I'd make again. I did find out that it does not re-heat very well so I'd probably half the recipe next time I make it. If you want some yummy comfort food this will fit the bill.

Bev's Macaroni and Cheese

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustart
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups grated chedder cheese
8 oz dry elbow macaroni noodles, cooked according to package directions

1. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Stir in flour, salt, mustard, and pepper until smooth.
2. Remove from heat and gradually stir/whisk in milk until smooth.
3. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese until melted.

5. Combine cheese mixture with macaroni noodles and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
6. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.



In case you didn't notice, we are huge Cub fans (helloooo, we named our daughter Riglee!)! Every other year the Cubs play the Brewers at Miller Park very early in the season. It is always a good rivalry and always a lot of fun. And every other year, three families get together to tailgate and go to the game. The families are the Reulands, the Schmidts, and the Dickens...or as we now call ourselves, the Reuschmidtkens! We all sign up to bring a dish to share for tailgating and we all bring our own beverages [cough cough - cold beer].

This year I signed up to bring a corn/black bean salsa and some cupcakes. I had this great idea to make Cub themed cupcakes....or Cubcakes!!! My vision was a cupcake that the actual cake was a swirl of blue and red batter and then the top would be covered with buttercream and a fondant Cubs logo. In my mind, my cupcake would look like this:

Well, since I know nothing about fondant and didn't want to spend an arm and a leg figuring out how to make it, I decided I'd just make a buttercream logo. And lets be honest, there is no way I am a good enough artist to make the above cupcake...yet ;). So I decided that I would just make a regular cupcake with a homemade buttercream using this recipe from Wilton. I may be biased but they were pretty darn tasty! Let's just say that these Cubcakes were so good that even Brewer fans at work liked them!!

Source: Wilton

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk

(Medium Consistency)
1. In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla.
2. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
3. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

Makes about 3 cups of buttercream icing.


Chicken Bundles

As you may know, I am part of a chat board for moms of July babies. These moms are just wonderful for so many reasons! We all share stories of our little ones, ask and answer questions about mommyhood, talk about the challenges we are facing in life....and share yummy recipes! This is one of those delicious recipes that had been shared. I saw the recipe pop up for the first time from one of the ladies as it is a staple in her house. After the recipe first posted, I'd see a new rave review pop up every day about this little bundle of yumminess! I have to admit, they do not disappoint. These chicken bundles are very easy to make and oh-so-tasty! If I make them again like this I will probably add mushrooms as well since we love mushrooms in this household. The other reason I like these bundles is because you can use any type of filling: pizza, mexican, italian, vegetarian...the list goes on and on really. Oh, definitely husband approved!

1 sm pkg (about 1-1.5 lbs) chicken breasts, browned and chopped
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 small jar of pimientos (I used green olives and chopped them up)
1/4 - 1/2 cup diced green onions
1 tsp minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
2 cans Pillsbury crescent rolls (8 count)
2 Tbsp melted butter
Italian bread crumbs

1. Soften cream cheese and butter and mix together in large mixing bowl.
2. Add pimientos, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.Add chicken and combine all ingredients.
3. Use 2 crescent roll triangles and seal perforations to make a rectangle. I usually try to make it as close to square shaped as possible.
4. Spoon chicken mixture into center (approx 1/4 cup). Pull corners together and seal. Place on a cookie sheet seam side down.
5. Brush bundles with melted butter and dust with bread crumbs.
6. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes

If you make these I'd love to hear what you think! Did you do anything different?


Chicken Primavera with Pasta

So I have seen a bunch of commercials lately about this Philadelphia Cooking Creme and they have piqued my interest. I was searching and saw that they had a bunch of recipes using this creme. As we all know, the easier and faster a meal is to make, the more I like it. This is one of those meals!! This dish has 4 ingredients and comes together so fast! The only issue I had with it is that the sauce is really thick. Next time I make it I will either add some of the starchy cooking water from the pasta or some chicken stock to the sauce to thin it out a little bit. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this is Kurt approved. He did have a suggestion of using angel hair pasta and adding shrimp too, both of which I think would be muy delicioso!

Chicken Primavera with Pasta

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bitesize pieces
2 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables (I used broccoli, carrots, red peppers, & water chestnuts)
1 tub (10oz) Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb cooking creme (I used regular cooking creme)
2 cups hot cooked fettuccini (I used linguine and probably more than 2 cups)

1. Cook and stir chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until done. Add vegetables, cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
2. Add cooking creme (and chicken stock or starchy pasta water). Cook and stir 3 min.
3. Stir in pasta until completely coated. Serve and enjoy!


Dump Cake

While the name is not all that appealing, this cake is soooo delicious! I'm sure you've had it before, it has 5 ingredients and you basically just dump them all in a pan and bake away! Easy peasy and oh so yummy. Yesterday, while nursing a hangover, Kurt turned to me and asked me to make Dump Cake. Since my husband is not really a dessert guy, and even less of a cake guy, I was stunned and very excited....I had an excuse to make cake! So we took a family trip to the grocery store, picked up the ingredients for the cake and for dinner and hurried home. I was not only excited to make this cake because I love cake, I was also excited because I knew it would make my house smell divine! Well, we ended up going to a friend's house for a cookout (first one of the year...let the grilling begin!) and didn't get home until 9pm so we couldn't make the cake. So first thing this morning I assembed and started baking it. My house smells warm and wonderful and the cake tastes even better!

Dump Cake
Source: Mother-In-Law (not sure where she got it)

1 can crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
1 can cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
2 sticks of butter
(I said it was delicious, not healthy)

1) In a 9x13 pan, layer and spread out the crushed pineapple and the cherry pie filling.
2) Sprinkle the yellow cake mix on top of the fruit then sprinkle the nuts on top of the cake mix.
3) Slice the butter and lay it out on top of the nuts.
4) bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve and enjoy!

~~It tastes best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
~~If you have made this cake and have a different name for it I'd love to know what you call it, Dump Cake is not very appetizing. ;)

Clearly this was a winner!


White Fish Tacos

It's that time of year again, time to start eating healthy so I can fit into my bathing suit (that I haven't worn for 2 years!). While breastfeeding did help me lose the initial weight, things are still a little.......soft :/. To combat this "softness" I started working out last weekend. Sadly, since it's been so long since I last worked out, I was sore from Sunday through Wednesday, completely preventing me from working out. I actually did so may push-ups that my elbows were so sore I couldn't straighten my arms! What?! I didn't even know that your elbows could hurt as bad as mine did!

Anyhoo, if I'm not going to be working out, I should probably start eating healthy. Enter fish tacos! Last week Friday I was craving some fish. We didn't want to get a fish fry (fry? that is not on the health food menu) so I suggested making fish tacos. Plus, I saw a few recipes that looked awesome. I decided to try this one from Annie's Eats, she hasn't let me down yet so I knew they'd be delicious!

Source: Annie's Eats

For the fish:

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 tbsp. minced cilantro
¼ tsp. cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 lb. white fish (halibut, cod, tilapia, etc.)
(I'd personally add a few more spices before cooking the fish to give it more flavor)

For the cilantro cream sauce:
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. cilantro, minced
6 oz. nonfat greek yogurt (sour cream is fine too)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pepper, to taste

For serving:
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Green onions, chopped (I omitted)
Red cabbage, shredded (I used lettuce)
(Or whatever sounds good to you!)
6-inch flour tortillas

1) Combine the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, cilantro, cumin, and garlic in a pie plate or shallow dish. Whisk together until well blended. Place the fish in the mixture, turning to coat. Let marinate 15-30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, prepare the cilantro cream sauce. Combine the lime juice, cilantro, greek yogurt, garlic and pepper in a small bowl. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3)Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place the fish in the pan and cook without disturbing, 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook on the second side 2-3 minutes more. Remove to a plate, season with salt as desired, and let rest for a few minutes. Shred the fish into bite-sized pieces with two forks.

4)Assemble tacos on flour tortillas with shredded fish, cilantro cream sauce and toppings as desired.