National Mac n’Cheese Day

I just found out that here in the U.S. we celebrate National Mac N’ Cheese Day! Who doesn’t LOVE mac n’ cheese? Nothing beats the creamy goodness of these delicious bite-sized portions. Celebrate the day with this homemade recipe. You won’t regret it!

mac3

This is one of my favorite recipes for pleasing a crowd because everyone loves them! There is something about homemade mac n’ cheese that is hard to resist. These keep and reheat really well, but they don’t last long when served so you might want to whip up a few batches!

Mac N’ Cheese Bites

Makes about 4 dozen bites (when using a mini cupcake pan)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. cooked whole wheat elbow macaroni (whole wheat makes a markedly superiour texture for these)

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 cups shredded SHARP cheddar (plus about 1 cup for sprinkling on top)

2 oz. cream cheese

few dashes worcestershire and hot sauce

paprika, salt, and pepper

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400F

Whisk the butter and flour in a large pot over med-high heat until smooth. Reduce heat and slowly add milk; bring to a simmer to thicken. Add 2 cups of good aged cheddar and everything else but the egg. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta and egg to the creamy sauce in your pot. Stir until evenly coated.

Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray. (This is enough for 2-24 cup pans if you have them).

Spoon the mixture into the pan and top with additional shredded cheese. Bake about 15 minutes or until desired browning (I like mine with crispy edges).

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes until they maintain shape when removed.

mac2

Happy Mac N’ Cheese Day! Enjoy!

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National Mac n’Cheese Day

I just found out that here in the U.S. we celebrate National Mac N’ Cheese Day! Who doesn’t LOVE mac n’ cheese? Nothing beats the creamy goodness of these delicious bite-sized portions. Celebrate the day with this homemade recipe. You won’t regret it!

mac3

This is one of my favorite recipes for pleasing a crowd because everyone loves them! There is something about homemade mac n’ cheese that is hard to resist. These keep and reheat really well, but they don’t last long when served so you might want to whip up a few batches!

Mac N’ Cheese Bites

Makes about 4 dozen bites (when using a mini cupcake pan)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. cooked whole wheat elbow macaroni (whole wheat makes a markedly superiour texture for these)

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 cups shredded SHARP cheddar (plus about 1 cup for sprinkling on top)

2 oz. cream cheese

few dashes worcestershire and hot sauce

paprika, salt, and pepper

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400F

Whisk the butter and flour in a large pot over med-high heat until smooth. Reduce heat and slowly add milk; bring to a simmer to thicken. Add 2 cups of good aged cheddar and everything else but the egg. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta and egg to the creamy sauce in your pot. Stir until evenly coated.

Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray. (This is enough for 2-24 cup pans if you have them).

Spoon the mixture into the pan and top with additional shredded cheese. Bake about 15 minutes or until desired browning (I like mine with crispy edges).

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes until they maintain shape when removed.

mac2

Happy Mac N’ Cheese Day! Enjoy!

Delicious Summer Drinks

Looking for a healthy alternative to all those sugary drinks this summer? These refreshing summer beverages are packed with flavor without all the empty calories and unnecessary additives.

1. Limoonada

If you’re planning on hosting any event this summer, try the following recipe and I promise you will wow your guests. It doesn’t look that fancy, but it sure tastes amazing!

Limoonada recipe

Limoonada is a version of lemonade from the Middle East. The notable differences are that it is refreshingly less sweet and includes the seductive addition of orange blossom water. (Shhh…this is your secret ingredient!)

Middle East lemonade

I’ve posted the full recipe here.

2. Cucumber-Mint Infused Water

Naturally flavored water is one of my favorite beverages. The combinations are endless and the results are both healthy and packed with flavor.

Cucumber and mint make a crisp water that is thirst-quenching and cooling. It is especially great to pair with spicy grilled dishes.

Add fresh mint and cucumber slices to water and refrigerate for at least an hour.

cucumber mint water

3. Iced Tea with Fruit

Instead of adding a bunch of sugar to your chilled teas, try adding sliced organic fruit and let it sit for at least four hours. You can sweeten with just a little bit of honey if you prefer, but quality tea and organic fruit make ALL the difference.

best iced tea

I’m in love with all the Harney & Sons teas. I made this iced tea with their Blood Orange tea and sweetened it with strawberries and oranges. Get yours here!

delicious iced tea

4. Pineapple-Jalapeno Fizz

Want something a little bubbly and maybe even spicy? Are you doing Taco Tuesday (or in my case, Taco EVERYDAY)?

pineapple fizz

Infuse water with fresh pineapple and jalapeno. I like to add just a touch of rich dark honey to mine and refrigerate it overnight. When you are ready to serve, mix it with sparkling water. It is a perfect non-alcoholic beverage for the summer.

I hope you enjoy! Please share your feedback with me. I love to hear from you!

Sarah

summer drink recipes and ideas

3 Easy & Refreshing Summer Salads

easy unique summer salad

I love summertime foods; all the fresh produce, vibrant colors, and juicy flavors. When it’s hot outside, I like to keep our midday meals light and easy. Here are some of my favorite unique summer salads. They are easy to prepare and very refreshing. Enjoy!

1. Twisted Greek

Take the cucumbers, black olives, and feta of a greek salad and add red peppers and krab. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, and oregano. I could literally eat this every day.

Krab and feta greek salad

2. Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad with Roasted Peas

Skip the croutons and add roasted peas for some crunch in this salad. The tartness of the strawberries complements the goat cheese and keeps it tasting like summer!

strawberry goat cheese salad

3. Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint Salad

Now you may think watermelon is a strange addition to this salad, but I promise you this is an amazingly refreshing flavor combination. This salad is perfect as a standalone meal or with grilled meats.

watermelon cucumber mint salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 c crumbled feta
  • salt & pepper

Cut the cucumber and watermelon into chunks (should be approx. 50/50 mixture). Gently toss with remaining ingredients. Served best at room temperature.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Sarah

Easy Key Lime Cheesecake

I wanted to find an easy recipe that would welcome new residents to our South Florida neighborhood. This recipe will charm the pants off your guests. Shhh, don’t tell them it’s so easy!

Not only is this the quickest and simplest recipe I’ve come across, but the Tiramisu-style layering makes it look extra stylish without the work!

keylimecakes

 

Easy No-Bake Lime Cheesecake

1 c. graham crumbs
3 T sugar
½ t salt
5 T butter, melted and cooled
2 pkgs (8oz, each) cream cheese or Neufchatel, room temp
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 t freshly grated lime zest
1/3 c. fresh lime juice
½ t vanilla
½ c heavy cream

Combine the graham, sugar, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Use this for the “crust” layer.

Whip the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until fluffy. Add the zest, juice, and vanilla.

Beat the cream in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture.

Layer graham crumb and cream cheese mixtures in layers into serving dishes. I liked the messy look personally and didn’t fuss over it.

Cover and chill overnight.

Top with whipped cream, lime slices, or a little freshly grated zest and nutmeg when ready to serve.

It’s literally THAT easy! Enjoy!