Last week I was totally craving homemade mac & cheese.  I am not really sure what triggered the need for this dish given I haven’t had it in ages.  In any event mac & cheese was going to happen in my belly!  This super cheese homemade mac & cheese is a serious comfort food dish.  According to the husband and a friend who joined us for dinner they said this mac & cheese recipe is a winner!  Just looking at the picture makes me want to eat some.  YUMMY!!

Recipe inspired from A Cup of Jo and The Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients:

1 box pasta
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground/dry mustard
12 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350*

Cook pasta until al dente and drain.  Remember to salt the water before adding the pasta!

In a sauce pan, melt butter and add in the flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly.

Slowly add the milk and continuing whisking.   Add mustard and reduce the heat to low.  Add in cheddar cheese a handful at a time and only add more once the cheese is completely melted.  Add the grated parmesan last.   Pour cheese/milk mixture over the pasta and stir to combine.  Pour pasta into a baking pan.

In a separate bowl combine the bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons of parmesan and then  pour over the pasta as evenly as possible.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and the top is golden.

Serve and most important enjoy!  This dish is a great main meal, side dish and makes wonderful lunches.

Happy Cooking!

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It was just a few short weeks after moving into our new condo that I fell in love with efla storage.  If you remember we expanded the pantry by installing some baskets on the back of the door.  We had been toying with the idea of doing something similar on the back of the laundry closet door, but just haven’t gotten around to it.  The dryer sheets, Shout and detergent just sit on the floor in front of the washer/dryer units or the AC unit, which share a closet.  I’m in no way saying bending over to pick up the items needed is beyond my physical capability, but honestly it’s just annoying to have them down there.

On Sunday we made a trip to the Container Store and LUCKY for us there is a sale on elfa products going on!  It was all the justification we needed to purchase storage for the laundry closet.  One of the sales reps was kind enough to walk around with us and make a number of suggestions.  Unfortunately many of the products just wouldn’t work for us … our laundry area isn’t big enough.  We are fortunate to live in the city and have a w/d in the unit!

In the end we ended up with the same product as we had purchased for our pantry.  The one exception being the sale rep suggested we get a media rack to hold our detergent.  This was an excellent call!  The media rack is just wide enough to actually fit the Costco size detergent I always insist on purchasing. =)

What we purchased:

First we held the mounting bar up and marked where the holes were.  Then we double checked it was level.

Next the husband drilled starter holes for the top and bottom of the bar, attached the screws and then ensured it was level again.  Then we made “starter” holes for the rest of the screws.

With the bar installed all we had to do was slip on the baskets and the project was complete!

Now we have a one-stop-shop for all thing laundry related.  There is even a bit of space on the bottom two racks for storing additional things.  I’m sure it won’t take me long to find something to put there LOL.  Maybe the cleaning supplies we use the most … actually that would probably be perfect.

I’m loving the change and decided to do a load of laundry just to take advantage of the new storage — yes I know I am a dork.

Happy Home Improvements!!

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A couple weekends ago when we went to the Cherry Blossom Festival we made a quick pit stop at the Sculpture Garden.  I quickly spanned a couple photos of the metal tree.  The picture below that is just a small piece of the tree grabbed my attention as I was editing the photos: blue sky, puffy white clouds and a little bit of art/culture thrown in.

Happy Friday and have a fabulous weekend!!

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1 – Sorry to start on a somber note, but I feel like I must touch on this.  I haven’t posted anything online about the tragedy that occurred Monday at the Boston marathon.  My thoughts and prayers have been with those impacted by this all week, but I find at times when people do horrible thing I am at a loss for words.  Even just saying thoughts and prayers doesn’t seem to do justice to how I feel or what I really would want to convey.  I grew up and Massachusetts and feel lucky to have so many wonderful friend/family who reached out to ensure my loved ones were okay.  Like I said I have no words …. I mean really what is wrong with people?

2 – A friend of mine shared this article with me … 22 Things Happy People Do Differently.  Although I can see the value in a lot of the items there’s just no way I can get up at the same time every day.  I like to sleep in on the weekends =)

3 – Sometimes cooking an “old” recipes that I haven’t had in a long time makes me rediscover my love for it all over again.  This week I made spicy meatballs for the hubby.  We both were laughing about how much we enjoyed them and why we hadn’t thought to make them in a while.  Welcome back to the rotation spicy meatballs!

4 – I played Bocce for the first time ever this week!  Our team is a lot of fun and even though I thought I might be terrible at it … it turns out I was able to score the winning point for my team.  Not bad if I do say so myself!! Have you ever played Bocce do you like it?

5 –  Have any of your been watching The Americans on FX?  The hubby and I are loving the first season and let’s be honest it is always a HUGE win when we can agree on a TV show.  We are also hooked on Scandal!  Any good shows you and your man agree upon that you would recommend?

6 – I know it’s a really old and over played song at this point, but I still get excited when “Call me Maybe” comes on the radio or on my ipod.  Can’t really pin point what about this song I like so much … it must be the beat … yeah let’s go with that.  =)

7 –  Planning a bachelorette party?  Check out these two super cute (and affordable) ideas from The McBaileys … party boxes and party tanks.  I love both ideas!

8 – Sophi, our dog, met my friend’s 7+ week old baby yesterday!  Sophi was very curious and wanted to sniff/see the baby, however once we started pay attention to only the baby she was less than thrilled.  The poor dog was JEALOUS, but luckily by the end of the visit I had my friend’s baby in my lap and Sophi laying next to us.

9 – After killing my herb garden after one of the early snows last year, I have begun my quest to conquer the black thumb … again.  I am hopeful I will have better luck this time.  So far we have basil, chives, mint and thyme.

10 – I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a brunette.  I have always been a blonde and I’m not really sure where this idea is coming from.  Random right?

What tidbit do you have to add this week?

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