Friday, July 29, 2011

Crock Pot Sneaky Mac

Do you have kids (or others in the household) who don't like to eat things that are "good for them"?  Unfortunately I do.  In an effort to get some good stuff into my kids, I have to get a bit sneaky at times.  Usually it backfires and they can detect a difference in the food, but this mac and cheese recipe works every time.  
Enter the chickpea a.k.a the garbanzo bean:


Certainly not every kid's favorite, but definitely full of good stuff! 

Here is what you need to make my incredibly quick and easy mac and cheese recipe:

 ~2 cups shredded NY sharp cheddar cheese
~1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted - I have forgotten the butter before and it turns out just fine, with less fat!
~1 can (12.5 oz I think) evaporated milk- I use fat free
~1 cup of pureed chick peas- You could use a can of chick peas and puree them, but I prefer to buy dried chick peas and then puree the whole bag, separate them and freeze them in one cup portions.  You may also want to start with only 1/2 a cup in your recipe so the kids won't notice and gradually add more each time.  It is good to get any of the loose skins from the peas out before pureeing.
~16 oz box of macaroni, cooked and drained- any shape will do.  I've been using whole wheat pasta, although the kids do grumble about that.  They still eat it though.
~1/2-1tsp. salt depending on your taste preference
~1/2 tsp. black pepper
~1 cup milk- I use skim, any will do.  I usually just poor in the milk to the top of the macaroni without measuring it.

The following pictures do not do the smell or flavor of this dish justice.  Hopefully the joy on the children's faces in the last picture will win you over.

Spray your crock pot with non stick cooking spray before adding your ingredients!!

Add the cheese, butter, evaporated milk, salt, pepper and chick peas to the crock pot while you cook your macaroni.

Don't worry, the chick peas will disappear into the sauce as the mac and cheese cooks.

Add in the macaroni and milk.

Stir everything together and cook for approximately 1.5 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low.  Keep an eye on it to be sure it isn't burning on the edges.  Personally I like the crispy, burnt bits, but my kids hate it.

And here it is!  Yum, yum, yummy!

Don't their "cheesy" smiles say it all??  I used to make this recipe without the chick peas.  The kids like it more when I put the chick peas in.  It adds some really great flavor.  Just recently I let them in on my little sneaky secret.  They are still eating it and have agreed that "healthy" doesn't have to mean icky.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A mugrug mosaic

I decided to join the Scrappy MugRug Flickr group for this round.  The theme is Haiku.  I am quite excited about this.  It should be a lot of fun.  I enjoy poetry and writing, so now I can combine it with sewing.  Who knew that life could be so much fun?!?  These are a few of my favorites that I admire on Flickr.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Angel potholders for PP7

An oven mitt and a pinch potholder for Liz at Living my Sweet Life!  Poor Liz waited and waited for her original potholders to arrive from the PP7 swap, but they never did, so here are a couple that I whipped up for her.  I loved making the oven mitt in particular.  It was a bit theraputic quilting the fabric. :)  Please excuse the poor pictures.  The lighting has been terrible for a few days.

For my oven mitt, I used this tutorial.  It is really great, but I would sew my binding on differently next time.  Instead of trying to catch the inside with the stitch in the ditch from the front, I would sew it to the inside before turning and then hand stitch it to the front.  It was just too tight on my machine to get it right doing it the other way.  I would also suggest serging or zigzagging the inside before turning.  It was really a fun little project to make that didn't take too long.  I'm thinking about using this for some Christmas gifts this year with some hand-written recipes.  They would be great teacher gifts!

The pinch potholder is a Keyka Lou pattern.  She really has some cute stuff.  I bought her reusable bag pattern, too, but I haven't had a chance to get to it yet.  I work best under pressure I guess.  :)

The fabric that I used was Anna Maria Horner's Bubble Burst and Michael Miller's Mimi Gingham.  I think they went really well together.  I lined the oven mitt with some navy dotted fabric that was really nice, but obviously, you can't see the inside.  Next time I will use something a little more plain and not so expensive.
I hope they will work well for Liz!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lucky me!

Wow!  I was the lucky winner of an apron from Kari at Craft Happy during the May Giveaway Day at SMS.  Unfortunately, the apron that Kari made for me the first time was lost in the mail and I received an empty torn open envelope that had been taped shut with a lovely letter inside.  Kari was so generous and made me a new apron that is equally as awesome as the one she made before.  Thank you so much Kari!  I love it!  It matches my kitchen perfectly!

Now if I could just win a Go Baby! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cutest baby in my book!

Baby M had one busy day today and is now sleeping like a champ!  He had a photo shoot in the morning and a cutest baby contest in the afternoon.  I think the judges needed glasses though, because my little sweetie pie didn't win.  What a day for a six month old! 
And of course his crazy mom brought him home and took even more photos of him in the grass.  Doesn't his expression just scream "Enough!"? 

Baby M, out!