Mac N Cheese LOAF???

Macaroni and Cheese Loaf

 OH=MY=CHEEEESE….
If you know me… you know that, besides coffee, cheese is my NUMBER ONE WEAKNESS… If they created meat, cheese and coffee plates at parties, i would be in HEAVEN…
Grilled cheese squares and cheese balls… cheese dip and cheese roll ups…. SORRY- had a momentary cheese lapse….
When I saw this recipe, I KNEW I HAD TO TRY IT! I mean- Mac N Cheese and Ham- all in a slice like a cake… I even imagined a yummy cheese gravy to go on top… OK- am I going overboard??? OH WELL-
This is one of those recipes that, once you master the basics- you can EXPAND. Seriously! Shells and cheese- instead of ham- add some lobster for lobster mac- add some hamburger for burger-mac- add BROCCOLI for broccoli and cheese mac… the SKY is the limit! Use wheat macaroni, if you are into that kind of thing… use plain elbow noodles and add various cheeses… Did I mention I love feta? Some feta, a few olives… mozzarella… the only limit is your imagination.
But, if you are limited in your cheese vision, then just go ahead with the recipe below and ENJOY!
Macaroni and Cheese Loaf
  • Prep time 10 MIN
  • Total time 60 MIN
  • Servings    8 (unless you are serving me!)

Here is a fun twist to your boring powdered cheese speedy mac. Instead of a meatloaf, how about a Mac and Cheese Loaf???

Ingredients

2 boxes (6 oz each)  Macaroni and Cheese (CHEAP IS FINE!)
5 tablespoons butter
1 package (8 oz) diced ham
(any sandwich ham will do-chopped- this is a cheapo recipe remember)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
(Yes, you can use the stuff in the jar)
1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar, divided
(Better put 2 cups out if you are like me- you know you will eat the rest)
 Nonstick baking spray (with flour)

Steps

  • 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
  • 2 Boil macaroni and cheese until tender. Drain excess water. Add butter and cheese  packets. Stir in ham, eggs, 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley and 1 1/2 cups cheddar.
  • 3 Spoon macaroni mixture into pan.
  • 4 Bake for 30 minutes, then top with remaining cheese and parsley. Continue baking for another 20 minutes.
  • 5 Remove from oven and cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Easy Recipe That Made My Daughter Shine!

cake

Look How Yummy!

Pineapple-Angel-Food-Cake-Ingredients-1024x778

Just 2 ingredients!

My daughter, Addison, is 12. She has been through some rough times the past few years. She has been living with us for a little over a year, now, and this week I turned in the paperwork to start the Adoption proceedings! YAY! She truly needs to gain some confidence, so I have been giving her big girl things to do. She loves to help me in the kitchen, so when I found this recipe, I knew that I had to step up my game. I called her into the kitchen and told her to wash her hands, gave her the basic info- and went to the living room. I could see the doubt in her eyes at first, but also the excitement. It was the first time I had given her free reign in the kitchen (of course I was watching carefully). The recipe was so simple, I knew she would be successful, so it was a win-win because in the end I knew we would have a great dessert! When she was finally able to take the cooled cake, plate it up and top it with whipped topping… she was on cloud 9. I heaped on the compliments and I know that simple lesson meant more to her than anything! The recipe is below:

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) package angel food cake mix

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spray a 9×13 inch pan with vegetable oil spray.(we used a bundt pan)

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pineapple (with juice). Mix until well blended. (I let her use my mixer, which she had never done!)

Pour batter into prepared 9×13 inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool.

Serve with whipped topping

Watch you little girl gain confidence that no one could imagine a simple recipe could give!

Just 2 ingredients to make a yummy cake!

Published on Bored Panda 072217

WRITING FOR OTHERS???

Ok- so this morning, a good friend of mine who loves to write like I do- said to me… Are you REALLY doing freelancing? How in the WORLD can you sit down and write for other people… Huh? I was confused… I mean isn’t that what we do every time we put pen to paper- or fingers to keyboard I should say… Aren’t we always writing, hoping SOMEONE will see the beauty in our words… or be inspired by a story we share… or laugh at a silly anecdote… Anyone with a college degree- heck even a high school diploma- has experience writing for others… I mean, not many people go around doing science projects and writing about them for fun… sticking headings on a backboard… science fairs- I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES!!! And what about all of those research papers? Learning APA and creating papers formatted just so… Yeah- that was painful. But that is not REALLY what i was talking about… When I write for other people- YEAH- it may be a research paper-you know, for their research… not a class or anything, really… or it might be an ad- it might be an opinion or a list… articles and blog posts about things that your employer wants you to write about… you could be stuck writing about a product that you TOTALLY despise… but the enjoyment comes in building that piece- creating- making your reader BELIEVE you think that is the best product since sliced bread. Selling that horrible product even… making OTHER people think it is the best product… but isn’t that disingenuous she asked? I gave her points for the big word-lol. “OH MY GOSH” I exclaimed… “YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Why would ANYONE want to write about something they don’t truly enjoy, or about an experience they had never had… or something they wish they could… That is like pretending to be someone you are not- like anyone would EVER do that… I mean I can imagine people putting on costumes and walking around, pretending to be someone else- all for the entertainment of others. I mean, going to the extreme of losing weight, or shaving their heads, just so other people “buy in” to their deception. How disingenuous is that… I mean, imagine a whole group of those lunatics parading around, dressed like someone else, using words that some other lunatic wrote for them, pretending to be somewhere they really aren’t. Crazy, right. And, what if those lunatics did it all while some other knuckle-heads are actually recording their little dress up frenzy… How ludicrous would that be… Then, to top it all off- they forced unknowing people to pay money to sit in a room and actually WATCH this lunacy on a big screen… I mean- the nerve of these people… thinking that other people want their lies splashed up in front of us, expecting us silly sheep to sit there- watching their lies and eating popcorn…” I think the popcorn part really brought home my point… of course to hide her earlier confusion she rolled her eyes and said something very unbecoming and we changed the subject. But I really had not made my point. Yes- I made her see the parallels between writing and acting… how we, as writers, are just actors. We act like we enjoy things we don’t, like we have been places we haven’t. Heck, there are times when we pretend to be men instead of women, black instead of white, rich instead of poor…  beautiful- ok, that is not a stretch for some of us- but you get my point, right? Writing gives you the power to be whoever you want to be. The power to handle conflict and tragedy in ways that you have never been able to handle it in your real life. It is a form of fantasy. For a time, you get to step into a world of your own making. You decide if there is stress or strife- you decide if the enemy lives or dies, and if the heroine gets her man. You decide to challenge ideals that have been in existence way too long. You get to play pretend all day long. Only when the kids are saying- MOM it is 8 and we haven’t had dinner, Mom when are you going to be done writing… MOM- not kidding, the house is on FIRE! The firemen said you should unplug your laptop and come out!… You get the idea. Only then do you have to come back to the real world, look at some real firemen (by the way, those guys wear waaay to many clothes- how are we supposed to figure out what month they are if they are hiding under all that bulky stuff) and get back to your boring, or crazy, life just the way it is. What is better than that?

Bipolar much??

If you know me, you know that my life goes from the dullest, most boring thing in the world- I mean the Vanilla-ist Vanilla there is- straight to double fudge brownie covered with whipped cream and nuts… in the BLINK of an eye… I have come to realize that my life is the epitome of Bipolar… NO, no, not me! My life… the crazy things that just seem magnetically drawn to me- only to leave me the next day eating that sundae on my couch in my pajamas… Up and Down like a roller coaster… Yep- that is my life. I mean, i am a good person, right? I teach, I do charity work… I am a good mom… but then BAM- I am stuck in the middle of some psycho drama that has appeared out of nowhere… I know what you are thinking… it must be the people that I surround myself with… but, no- I have thought about that- but that really isn’t it either… I mean, i can be driving down the road- minding my own business- listening to my Christian music station with the windows down- when some craziness lands square on top of my head. Has nothing to do with anyone- just in the wrong place at the wrong time… has nothing to do with people in my life at all. Really…  I was driving down the road Friday, for example, and pulled into CVS to drop off my scripts- and tried to turn out of the pharmacy into oncoming traffic and BAM- my steering goes out… suddenly, I am in the middle of oncoming traffic, trying to beg my huge Tahoe to either work or just let me get to the side of the road. People are screaming- giving me the finger- like I WANTED to be sitting there blocking them from their trip to Chick-fil-a. I mean, I know how important that sweet chicken with just the right amount of pickles is to someone’s life. And the sweet tea, DON’T get me started. So I am the last one that wants to be blocking these folks from their yummy meal… But here I am- doing just that. I have to use what I can only describe as full on Mommy strength to turn that wheel. I mean I was seriously standing up and using all of my weight to turn that sucker… Finally, much to the glee of the chicken hungry folks I was blocking, I turned the wheel and just drove away as fast as I could- doing the speed limit of course… I drove a few miles and then had to turn again… I get ready- plant my feet in the floor and grab that wheel with all my might- gritting and groaning before I EVEN started turning… and, guess what… The darn thing wasn’t stuck anymore so I am now standing with no seat belt- putting all of my considerable weight into the wheel- which moves freely… catapulting me across the front seat and into the window with my head. Thank the Lord there was not an elderly dog walker chugging down the street at that very time or I would have flattened them all… For a big girl- I am thankfully quick… so I popped myself quickly back into the seat with that- “no, I didnt trip- i was just doing a cute little dance move”- look… and headed on back down the road. Waving at the sheriff’s officers standing outside of the sub-station… no guilt there- none at all. HM… Then, this weekend, I decided to take my freelance career up a notch so I signed in to all of these awesome freelancer sites to apply for jobs that I could do and make money at while not leaving the house… I mean, it is summer and summer school is out for a week- plus it is only M-Th anyway-  and my class didn’t make this summer so I have no college course I am teaching now- so, why not? Anyway… I get on these sites and start applying. And I get HITS! How awesome! I start being considered for multiple jobs right out of the shoot! I am on cloud nine- I love being productive and obviously they can tell that I am an AWESOME writer, right?? Right?? OK- I don’t know about that- but at least I was being considered for several positions. The first person that reached out to me was wanting to hire me for data-entry. No problem- not a writing gig- but at least it would give me something constructive to do for a few hours, right? She talked to me through the jobsite a few times, and then said it was time for an interview. I provided my SKYPE info and my ZOOM info so we could chat face to face… but, instead, she wanted me to use HANGOUTS- which is frowned upon in this kind of transaction… but, I decided I would be FINE… right? So, I log on and make contact with the…gentleman… who wants to do the Interview. He starts out by telling me he doesn’t know if he wants to do it today because he is in a bad mood… Hmmm… what do you say to the person interviewing you for a job when he says that… sorry you are having a bad day? I am available tomorrow if you want to wait until then… Well, of course, there is only one position available- so we have to go forth and by my comment he could tell I would be a wonderful employee…  OK… so, on with the interview… even though i could tell English was his second language, I thought- maybe that is why he is hiring someone with a good command over the language- to compensate for his issues… NO- my forehead is NOT stamped with the word SUCKER… but I did want to give him the benefit … maybe I was just jaded, right? So- we go ahead- and I can tell he is cutting and pasting his words… OK- I tell myself- maybe he is using a translation website and cutting the translated text from there… could happen, right? When he repeats the same line 5 1/2 times- yeah the last time it was only HALF the sentence- he explained this by saying his connection was having issues… sounds legit.. He then sends me a website- their “company” website. and tells me I need to go over it for 5 full minutes before we continue the interview… So- I did. Since I am a speed reader- I was done in advance- but sat there going back over everything in case he was timing me… the website was very nice- very professional- so it gave the interview a little more… creedence… (NOT the Revival kind)… He then told me I would answer 3 questions based on the website… thank goodness I actually read it… We get to question 3- and here it is… He says- do you have a checking account… HM… I said- Yes- ok- we need your banking information… OK- do you have a secure site for that… and why are we not using Paypal or the site’s payment instructions… he said the company required checking info… HM… I didn’t answer- so he then begins accusing me… and I am TOTALLY serious here… accusing me of hurting his feelings and making him feel bad…. WOW… Suddenly I am interviewing with a 3 year old.. hurting his wittle feewings… I thanked him for the interview and told him I was no longer interested- to which he was NOT professional in his response… so I blocked him AND reported them to the job site who promptly blocked them from the site… BUT, come ON… does this happen to other people? Do these bipolar life episodes just jump out of nowhere to make your perfectly normal day… crazy? Have you ever put a 25lb bag of sugar into the grocery cart- went down 3 aisles and stopped to compare prices only to find a huge MOUND of sugar blocking your cart- realizing that 25lb bag is almost empty with most of it UNDER your buggy- and the rest trailing you like gun powder in a Bugs Bunny Cartoon… through THREE AISLES… then, you find your child on all 4s eating the mound of sugar with his face… NO no no- I swear- didn’t make that up… Really! So- what in the HECK can we do with a life that is seriously Mentally Ill… a life that changes at the speed of my high pitched voice screaming my child’s name almost unintelligibly when I see him eating sugar off the floor??? How do we keep putting one foot in front of the other when that craziness goes WAY past the grocery store and plops you in the middle of a full blown ..crap storm… the kind of things that lasts more than one day- the kind of tumultuous event that hurts your heart and soul… you do the same thing you did in the grocery store- NO, I don’t mean hiding the evidence and sneaking out of the store before someone sees… I mean put one foot in front of the other. Yeah- its that simple. You can’t give your life Lithium…. so what other choice do you have? Ok- yeah, you could stay in bed all day wallowing in your problems- switching between Doritos and Ice Cream as you cry into your pillow… but you can only do that so long until you run out of snacks and have to get up… and, guess what I have, I mean you will, realize… when you are dragging your sloppy makeup smeared, knotted hair self to the bathroom- YOU AIN’T HOVERING… you are doing it already… that whole putting one foot in front of the other… and when you drag your pathetic muk-luk wearing Moomoo covered self to Dollar General for TP and a refill of snacks… yeah, you are doing it again… and that is all it takes… one foot in front of the other… just make sure that those feet walk you into the shower after your big pity party or your life is REALLY going to take a strange turn…