Sunday, August 28, 2011

Recipe: Classic Mac 'n' Cheese






I had a really lazy Sunday yesterday, and with the mild, back-to-school weather I started thinking I might actually be ready for fall. I love love love fall but am still clinging to the little shreds of summer that remain. We don't have air conditioning, so for the last few months I haven't made anything that required the oven to be on for more than a few minutes. Now that it's cooled down I was ready for some comfort food and made my mom's mac 'n' cheese. I got a few requests for the recipe after I posted a picture, so here it is. I normally don't post recipes since I'm no Michael Symon, but it's too good not to share. (And yes, thanks to a particular pizza at Danny Boy's, I have discovered that potato chips and mac 'n' cheese is close to heaven).

I N G R E D I E N T S :

2 cups elbow macaroni
2 cups milk
2 cups land o' lakes sharp american cheese, cubed (you can get it at the deli, I usually ask for them to cut a 2" thick chunk)
6 cups water
salt
pepper
paprika

D I R E C T I O N S :

1 | Preheat oven to 350.

2 | Boil 6 cups water, salted very generously.

3 | Pour macaroni in water and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Then cover, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

4 | Drain macaroni and rinse in hot water.

5 | In an oven safe dish, layer macaroni, cheese, and milk in alternating layers. Top with a little salt, pepper, and paprika.

6 | Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour. The mac should be bubbling and browning at the top, and not too milky underneath the top layer. It will thicken up upon cooling, so I usually allow mine to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

And that's it! It's my ideal lazy workweek dinner, as long as you can wait an hour to eat.

You can see other things I make (food and otherwise) by following me on Instagram, which I am completely addicted to.

Monday, August 15, 2011

DIY: Tissue Paper Flowers



My mom is starting back to school (first grade!) in a couple weeks, and is having a garden theme in her classroom. I learned how to make these tissue paper flowers at work and offered to make her some for her bulletin boards and activity tables. I thought I'd share how to make them since they're easy and you can use them to decorate for basically anything.


Start with tissue paper, whatever colors you'd like. I got a multi-pack so I could make a lot of different color combos.


Cut the paper into squares and sort by color.


Choose three colors for a standard size flower (my squares were about 8x8"). You can do four or two if you're doing a larger or smaller flowers (I also made some that were 5x5 but still used 3 layers...it's really up to however you want them to look).


Stack the sheets and start accordion folding. My folds were about 3/4", you can fold smaller if you'd like more/tighter petals or larger folds for a bigger, less defined shape.


Keep going until you reach the end of the sheet.


Fold the paper in half.


Cut a rounded edge along the open side.


Wrap a piece of yarn around the fold and tie in a knot. You could also use garbage bag ties or wire if you plan on attaching a stem and making a bouquet.


Fan the flower out


Fluff the three tissue layers apart from each other until they start to make a flower shape. Decide which layer you'd like as the bottom color, and hold the flower there, where the yarn is. Pinch the center and form the layers away from where your fingers are. You almost want to make a "nub" at the center base of the flower so you have something to attach the flowers with.


Keep arranging and fluffing the layers until you fill in the gaps. Repeat as you'd like!