I'm happy to say that I've tried my very first NEW! crock pot recipe. What took me so long? Life.
At any rate, my first recipe was the Slow and Easy Macaroni and Cheese by my friend, Natalie. Now, I know what her directions said, but I had to alter. I had been to the store after giving the recipe a quick glance, but did not have quite enough cheese. Besides, I admit that I generally tweak a recipe one way or another. Unless baking, I'm not a precise cooker of anything. I learned to cook by seeing my mom, grandmother and grandfather toss and taste. Grandpa was a cook in the Army, so amounts of what I make tend to be far too much and we eat it for days. That's okay. Leftovers are good with me.
My tweaked recipe is as follows:
Amy's version of Natalie's Homemade Macaroni & Cheese, One Pot Dinner Style
1 lb macaroni noodles cooked Al Dente
1/2 cup butter, cut into pats
1 - 10 oz can of cheddar cheese soup (didn't know that the stuff existed before this)
1 - 12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 cup large curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 1/2 pounds ham, cut in thick julianne slices and sauteed in butter with onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
Use a larger crock pot. I had to transfer mine mid-way. While you are prepping the other items, preheat your crock pot on low.
When your noodles are cooked, drain and transfer (while still hot) to crock pot. Stir in pats of butter until melted. Stir milks, soup, eggs and cheeses into a bowl and pour onto noodle mixture, making certain to stir all the way to get everything coated. Stir in sauteed ham with onions and frozen peas. Sprinkle with a generous amount of cracked pepper.
Cook covered on low for 4 hours.
Natalie's plan was to serve it with cod. We don't do cod here and frankly, I'm a fan of doing prep all at one time and making a one pot meal out of it. Her recipe also called for an additional cup of cheese to be put on top right before serving, but we were good without it. We were in a household cheese deficit. We were scrapping by to pull together the cheese we had. Laziness on my part. Just didn't want to run to the store-- again.
Hope you like it! K- and I did! In fact, we decided that it was the best macaroni and cheese that we've ever had. With that being said, we're sticking to our altered recipe. (Hubs is lactose intolerant, so he couldn't enjoy it.) Delicious!
Onward to weekendly things. Saturday was Lowe's in the AM, then back home to start fall cleaning. I put the living room furniture in the "winter arrangement," which really is to move the couch away from the front windows, back to the long side wall and to flop the other stuff accordingly. I worked on things in the kitchen, laundry, continually running K- out of the middle of the just cleaned living room floor . . . The usual.
Sunday began at 7:00 AM with K- wanting to watch TV. That's fine. Thomas was on and he's all good. I got up, read the paper, clipped my coupons, read the ads, laughed at the funnies, then went off to church. We got home at 11:30 AM in time for our date with Grandma L (my MIL) to go to the Pioneers in the Park event that Hubs was working at his park. We had a really great time. K- made a buckeye necklace, a little top, churned butter, "walked" on stilts, made a candle, panned for "gold" and won a log cabin making kit (they kept saying how Daddy will have to help her, but do they realize that I take her to Lowe's for her building clinic every other Saturday?!), ate a hot dog (very pioneer of her, but I had a walking taco* and Hubs' mom had a pulled pork sandwich), played on the playground, checked out the pioneer tents, watched the guy make kettle corn and ate a bag, looked inside of a tee pee and the BEST! OF! ALL!, we took a horse drawn carriage ride for a dollar a piece! That was way cool! We had a wonderful time together, even though it was a hair chilly. I had to go back to the car to retrieve K-'s coat, and I decided to borrow my MIL's extra coat, because I was chilly, too! Hubs misread the weather forecast today, under dressed, froze today and even put our iguana outside. He said that when he brought Spike in tonight, the poor guy was like an icicle. ARGH! Somehow, Hubs thought it was to be 68 F. It was 53 F. In fact, tonight there is a freeze warning since it is to be 32 F.
We did return in time for my Festival Choir practice at 4:30 PM. Thankfully, K- fell asleep in the car when I was a little displaced. (GPS at home in the closet, of course. I really need to just put it back into the RAV.) K- was happy, because she got to play with her friends. Practice was good and though we only worked on one song, we made a lot of progress with it. I also learned a bit more about reading music, which is always helpful when you are trying to sing! :)
The week starts with Hubs stealing the RAV one last day so that he can haul out with our little boat to do some end of the year bass fishing. Since we are to have snow on Friday and Saturday, this is his last opportunity to fish and he had really great luck last week. (No, I don't mind snow. I live in Ohio. It happens. The people who live here, are surprised by the return of snow and have a hatred for it, just need to get over it or move to a warmer climate.)
Poor Hubs, he ended up breaking two things of mine in less than 12 hours. Before he came home yesterday, I had set a couple of crock pot bases on the floor, kind of off to the side, so that I could take them downstairs on my next run. Hubs came in, bumped into my new crock pot and snapped the knob off. He was able to glue it and it is all fine.
This morning, he was fumbling around with something that he shoved off to the side last night, it grabbed hold of one of the handcrafted pots I had on the microwave cart shelf and it fell to the floor, shattering into pieces.
I told him that if I had broken the button off of his new VCR/DVD writable combo thing, my name would have been more than mud. If I broke a CD he liked, my name would have been more like mudslide. It's just stuff. We talked about it and have discussed that accidents happen, but no more shoving stuff where it doesn't belong.
Have I mentioned the beautiful cold sore that I grew on my lip this weekend? No? Well, I'm pleased to say that it is getting much better. I didn't put anything at all on this one and it has done better than the times I medicate them. I normally get a few big ones a year, so I knew that I was due. I hate cold sores.
10 PM is here and I'm officially tuckered. My smiles of the weekend? I'd like to think that they are all above.
Have a great start to your week!
*A walking taco is a snack bag of Fritos opened at the top, filled with chili, cheese and sour cream. I like to stir it all up. You eat it out of the bag. My first encounter with the walking taco was in Elkhart Lake, WI. I supported a fire department with my walking taco purchase and I'm happy to say that it was way better than last year. Last year, I think that they put too much liquid smoke or something like that in their chili. I almost didn't get it, but I'm glad that I did. Deliciousness! I'm also happy to say that the intense heartburn that I've been experiencing since this afternoon has been well worth it.