Easiest Mac and Cheese. ever.

Many of friends and family know that I just LOVE my slow cooker!! I cook whatever I can in there, not only is it easy peasy and tasty – it helps keep my electricity usage down as well!

Here is a super simple, very tasty recipe for mac and cheese in your slow cooker!

8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
butter, for greasing the slow cooker
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or a Cheddar blend
4 tablespoons butter, meltedCook the macaroni following package directions. Drain in a colander.
Generously butter the sides and bottom of a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Combine the macaroni with the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and blend well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring a few times.
TIP: Did you know if you mix 2/3 cup non-fat dry milk and 3/4 cup water together, you get 1 cup of evaporated milk substitute?
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Homemade Play Dough

My son loves play dough and asks for it every time we’re walking around Giant Tiger , but I pretty much say no every time (I’m not sure why, it just happens that way).

A few friends have been saying lately how they’ve had to make play-dough for kids classrooms, etc. so I figured I’d try my hand at making it as well.

Here’s the recipe I used…

4 cups (a.p. white) flour

4 cups warm water

2 cups salt

2 tbs cream of tartar

2 tbs vegetable oil

food dye (I used club house – neon)

Combine all ingredients in a pot and continously stir over medium low heat until dough is no longer sticky. it will begin to resemble the look of play dough, and you should be able to slightly smell it.  It shouldn’t be overly sticky, and it’ll become really hard to stir (my shoulders were killing me!). Once it’s cooled down you can grab a clump and use some of that food dye to make it coloured. The dye part was incredibly messy and the next day I was still trying to wash it out of my hands so I suggest you use gloves.

You can store it in your fridge, in an air tight container for about a week or two.

The great part about it is, I didn’t mind making it using my cooking pots and use cookies cutters,etc knowing that there’s no chemicals! and it’s so salty, that I don’t have to worry about kids eating it. and even if they did – no chemicals right? amazing.

Grandmas Pasta Salad

One of our favourite go to recipes is the pasta salad that my mother in law makes. I’m only slightly addicted to collecting recipes and my favourite ones are always the ones from family members.

I can pretty much guarantee that each time we serve it, we get rave reviews and at least one person asks for the recipe. And usually the pasta salad will get served at a potluck shortly after we hand out the recipe!

Check out the recipe, and if you make it – let me know what you think!

Image

2 cups macaroni

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 green onion

1/2 green pepper

1/4 cup cucumber

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

Cook Macaroni. Pour in a large bowl. Cut up tomatoes, green onion, green pepper, and cucumber. Pour into bowl. in another bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Stir this into macaroni mixture. keep in refrigerator.

Makes five, 1 cup servings.

A little About me! …okay, 80 things about me…

I found a new blog, and i’m loving all the recipes and how she’s so honest and real. You can check her out here { randomthoughtsfromamomsperspective.blogspot.ca } …

She did a post on 80 things about herself, and since I’m new to this blog – none of you really know me. So I thought this might help us get to know each other, I’d love to read it if you do one as well, so let me know in the comments!

  1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? however they were left – I would totally prefer closed when I’m home alone though! Sometimes I make my husband get up and close them lol
  2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? no, I much prefer my own. 
  3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?  I don’t even like using the flat sheet, just the fitted sheet for me!
  4. Have you ever stolen a street sign before? no – who’s that strong anyways?!
  5. Do you like to use post-it notes? Yes, except they never help me remember, and fall off all the time
  6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? all the time. 
  7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? neither – they both sound horrible!
  8. Do you have freckles?  only a few.
  9. Do you always smile for pictures? I try not to be in pictures!
  10. What is your biggest pet peeve?  WET SOCKS!!!!
  11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?  no
  12. Have you ever peed in the woods?  Yes.
  13. What about pooped in the woods? no – that’s gross lol
  14. Do you ever dance, even if there is no music playing?  nope.
  15. Do you chew your pens and pencils? nope.
  16. What size is your bedQueen
  17. Is it ok for guys to wear pink?  yes
  18. Do you still watch cartoons? only with my son. 
  19. What’s your least favorite movie?  that movie with brad met. meet someone or here comes someone, I can’t even remember the name of it. 
  20. What do you drink with dinner?  juice or pop
  21. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?  Nothing.
  22. What is your favorite food? a good salad. 
  23. What movies could you watch over and over again and never get sick of them?  the notebook, step-mom, mona lisa smile.
  24. Last person you kissed/kissed you? my son.
  25. Were you ever a girl scout?  no
  26. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?  no lol
  27. When was the last time  you wrote a letter to someone on paper?  thanksgiving to my grandma 🙂 
  28. Can you change the oil on a car? No. 
  29. Ever gotten a speeding ticket? no – i don’t have my license lol
  30. Ran out of gas?  with my husband yes, numerous times. 
  31. Favorite kind of sandwich?  BLT!!
  32. Best thing to eat for breakfast? pancakes with yogurt – just try it. 
  33. What is your usual bedtime?  11 or 12
  34. Are you lazy? all the time. 
  35. When you were a kid what did you dress up as for Halloween?  a dead nun.
  36. How many languages can you speak?  one, english only. 
  37. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?  no.
  38. Which are better Legos or Lincoln Logs?  Legos.
  39. Are you stubborn? sometimes. most of the time. okay maybe.
  40. Ever watch soap operas? use to watch passions, but not anymore.
  41. Afraid of heights?  kind of.
  42. Sing in the car? no
  43. Dance in the shower?  No
  44. Dance in the car? no
  45. Every used a gun?  no – they terrify me.
  46. Last time you got your portrait taken by a photographer?  last month. I’m a photography myself.
  47. Do you think musicals are cheesy?  no – I loved hairspray and grease!
  48. Is Christmas stressful?  no
  49. Ever eat a pierogi?  YES, love them.
  50. Favorite type of fruit pie?  mixed berry peach
  51. Take a vitamin daily?  No, I should, but I don’t. 
  52. Wear slippers?  yes – love them
  53. Wear a bath robe?  no, my husbands sweater please
  54. What do you wear to bed?  flannel pjs and a sweater.
  55. Wal-Mart, Target, or Kmart?  I can’t stand walmart. We don’t have target – yet.
  56. Nike or Adidas?  neither.
  57. Cheetos or Fritos? neither.
  58. Peanuts or Sunflower Seeds?  sunflower seeds.
  59. Ever take dance lessons?  Jazz, Ballet, Modern and lyrical.
  60. Ever won a spelling bee? no
  61. Have you ever cried from happiness? yes
  62. Regularly burn incense?  NO
  63. Ever been in love?  Yep!
  64. What was the last concert you saw? Blue October.
  65. Hot tea or Cold tea? Both
  66. Tea or Coffee?  Tea
  67. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? Yes!
  68. Are you patient?  sometimes
  69. Ever won a contest?  yes – I won a mixer from the pioneer woman!
  70. Ever have plastic surgery?  I wish
  71. Which are better, black or green olives?  green, but I love both
  72. Can you knit or crochet?  trying to learn how to crochet
  73. Do you want to get married? I’m already married 😀 ❤
  74. Do you have kids?  One.
  75. What is your favorite color?  Pink
  76. Do you wear shoes in the house? No
  77. Who would you call first if you won the lottery? My husband. then every bill I have lol 
  78. What’s the first thing you do when you go online? facebook, pinterest
  79. Do you like sushi?  love it.
  80. What are you doing tomorrow? cleaning and working.

Textured block #1

I recently stumbled across a site via a facebook group that has a textured quilt sampler tutorial.

*(you can find that website here: http://mypatchwork.wordpress.com/textured-quilt-sampler-tutorial/ )

I don’t know about you guys – but I have never seen or heard of a textured quilt!

the website has 25 blocks, and the quilt will end up finishing about 52 1/2 x 52 1/2.

I would like to do at least one block a week, hoping for two or three a week if life doesn’t get too crazy!

Here’s my first block:

I plan on doing the whole quilt in white and blue and I’m just itching to get started on the second block!

Have you done a textured quilt before? I’d love to see pictures, so let me know the link!

Book Report

I’ve recently started reading “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling

I’m huge Harry Potter fan and I was really looking forward to thisbook being released! I’m only on about page 60 of the book, but so far it’s pretty good.

Now at risk of having a slight spoiler here – I find it looks like it might be a bit like the movie Valentines Day, where there’s all these different characters and somehow in a weird way all the stories intertwine with each other.

It’s a detailed book and I need to be able to really focus to follow along with it, so trying to read it when I’m exhausted in bed at the end of the day doesn’t always work. Nor does trying to sit on the couch and read it with a 4 year old bouncing all over the place! but I’m determined to finish it, all 500+ pages of it!

Did you finish the casual vacancy already? Or what book are you currently reading that you could suggest?