So, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve cooked. Baked. Prepared food.
Last month, my family had a barbeque/mini reunion at my uncle’s house. No special occasion, but my uncle provided the barbeque and everyone else brought side dishes, desserts, and big appetites. I decided to make a crock pot macaroni and cheese because…
- I now own tons of kitchen gadgets and cool stuff such as a crock pot, hand blender, pyrex, dishes, knives, etc. If it’s there, I may as well use it, right?
- I’m tired of being the loser who always brings 2-liter sodas, sweet tea, lemonade, plastic cups, paper plates, or bags of ice to family gatherings.
- I love macaroni and cheese, but I’m picky about foods sometimes due to dietary (err, dairy) issues.
The thing is- I pretty much defied the #1 cardinal rule of my family’s gatherings with my healthified macaroni and cheese. In my family, regular sized paper plates are for DESSERT. For lunch, we use compartmentalized trays- the heavy-duty thick kind so that none of the grease or goodness winds up on your lap.
Oh, and wear extra loose pants, both for the obvious fact that you’ll eat a ton and for comfort in case you fall into a food-induced coma (formally referred to as “The Itis” here in the dirty South). Just ask my Uncle Larry- who once drove 4 hours round trip from Charleston to spend 1 hour at the table eating and telling corny jokes, then take a 5 hour nap on my grandma’s couch. Love ya Uncle Larry!
How do you make a macaroni and cheese healthier? Simple- whole wheat pasta, fat free milk, egg whites, and less butter. But keep the sharp cheddar cheese- everyone knows it’s the cheese that makes it, anyway.
Here’s the recipe I used:
Folks- this macaroni is delish. It’s even better leftover, and it’s a nice dish to take to work for lunch- no-smelly-foods-allowed cubicle lunch dweller here! Clay and I both loved the leftovers we had, and I’ll definitely be making this again.
I felt confident after the macaroni turned out so well, and yesterday, I baked peanut butter and dark chocolate M&M cookies. Peanut butter and dark chocolate are the best foods EVER, especially in cookie form, so I knew I had to make Marci’s recipe, which I followed almost exactly, minus using Dark Chocolate M&Ms because I had them on hand (yay for CVS sales!).
Not only are they yummy, but apparently they help you accomplish the long run you’ve put off for the past 5 days, haha. I ended up running 5 miles on the treadmill at a 9 min/mile pace, then taking a water/bathroom break and running another mile at an 8 min/mile pace. Yippee for 6 miles in 53 minutes :).
Oh, and I watched the Teen Mom finale too- but that’s our little secret, I can watch anything I want while running, right?
1.) For those of you who run on the treadmill, what do you do to stay sane for longer distances? Listen to music? People watch? Watch TV?
2.) What kinds of homemade cookies do you like?