Embracing my domestic diva…

So, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve cooked.  Baked.  Prepared food.

Plus… wait for it… other people have EATEN this food!  And liked it- seriously!

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…

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

Healthy-esque Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

  • 13.75 oz. (one box) whole wheat macaroni
  • 4 cups (2 packages) sharp grated cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 large can fat free Carnation evaporated milk (not condensed)
  • 1.5 cups regular milk
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  1. Cook macaroni and drain.
  2. Add cheese, pour it into the crock pot (sprayed with cooking spray).
  3. Add butter. Beat eggs and mix with both milks, then add this to the macaroni mixture.
  4. Mix well, cook on low for 3-4 hours.

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!).

The cookies were another big hit.  Oh, and I highly recommend eating 2 cookies a few hours before running.

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?

This entry was posted in 13 Things to Do Before 30, Family, Learning to Cook. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Embracing my domestic diva…

  1. Lindsay says:

    Refresh my memory, what is your issue with dairy? I can’t remember? I was hoping for a dairy-free Mac n cheese myself! I miss Mac and cheese…

    Cookies — as long as there aren’t nuts I will eat it 🙂

    Having legit kitchen supplies is so nice! I don’t know how I made cookies before getting the mixing stand…

  2. That is so strange that the last 3 posts of yours just came on my blog reader (and slightly annoying). Anywho-for treadmills, I normally go to the gym when there is something I really wanted to watch on. I hate just going and only to find out seriously nothing is on.

  3. time for happiness says:

    This all looks so good!! I really want to start cooking more, you’re inspiring me 🙂

  4. Tori says:

    Ah, good ol’ mac’n cheese! I live in the south and I’ve never heard of this “itis”. But I do know of relatives taking long naps after holiday dinners. Lol!

    And what are these dark chocolate M&Ms, and where can I get them?!?!

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