Back to School Cooking; Mac -n Cheese

Back to School Cooking; Mac -n Cheese

9 days!

In 9 glorious days the kids go back to school.  It’s time for some back to school cooking!

Today, I did my back to school Costco run.  The first of a few.
Let the freezer cooking begin . . . .

With school and work and soccer and marching band and … and…. and…. it’s way easier to have awesome homemade dinners ready to go in our freezer.  Today I made mac -n- cheese.  This recipe is also perfect for sports banquets, graduation parties, and tailgating.

Macaroni -n Cheese for The Team

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mac n cheese Mac n Cheese This large recipe makes enough mac n cheese for several freezer trays. Awesome for busy families. Course: Main Course, Side Dish Cuisine: American Keyword: cheese, pasta Servings: 24 – 3 1 lb boxes macaroni noodles – 56 ounces shredded cheddar cheese 1 1/2 Costco bags – 14 cups milk – 1 large onion diced – 1 cup flour – 8 tbs butter – 1 tbs salt – 2 tsp black pepper – 2 tsp ground mustard – 1 tsp white pepper – 1 tsp paprika 1) Boil water in large pan and cook noodles for 7 minutes 2) In very large saucepan on medium heat melt the butter. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add seasoning and flour. Stir until it is stiff. 3) Add milk. 4) Stir until it almost boils 5) Add cheese slowly and stir until it is melted 6) Put noodles in giant pan or multiple cooking dishes 7) Top with cheese mixture 8) Stir until noodles are coated 9) Bake uncovered at 375 for 45 minutes  


What Kale? Protein Smoothie

Summer time = Breakfast?  No worries, the kids are not even awake until lunch time.
Back to school time = Breakfast?  Our daughter has the weird “B” lunch in the middle of her fourth hour class and our son has the late lunch, 4 1/2 hours after the bus picks him up in the morning. Whatever it is it must contain some protein or they just won’t make it to lunch.

This smoothie tastes so good and with it’s beautiful purple hue they won’t even know the kale is in there.  It’s the perfect way to get them off to school

What Kale? Protein Smoothie
Printable Version


  • 1 banana
  • 1 c fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1 c vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c skim milk
  • 1 thin slice lime
  • 2 c fresh baby kale
  • 1 c ice


  • place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth
  • add more milk if necessary

He Happy, She Happy, We Happy

The dilemma – we are grilling steaks.  We picked up beautiful bone-in ribeyes, the king of all steaks.  He wants lionized hash browns as a side.  She wants healthy sides. Ahhhhh!  How do we make everyone happy?

I took a stab at making a healthier version of this diner favorite.  It was fantastic.

Baked Lionized Hash Brown

Printable Version


  • 4 potatoes
  • 1/2 purple onion sliced thing
  • 1 c grated Mexican blend cheese
  • Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
  • Salt
  • Crisco


  • heat oven to 450
  • grate the potatoes
  • in a bowl, mix potatoes, cheese, onion, and seasoning
  • grease cast iron skillet with Crisco
  • form hash brown in skillet
  • mist top with vegetable oil
  • bake for 1 hour – until crunchy on top

“One cannot think love sleep well if one has not dined well”

Viginia Woolf

This recipe calls for Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, one of my ultimate favorites. You can make your own spice mix; however, having a Tony’s on hand is an easy, remarkable add in for: potato salad, macaroni salad, grilled shrimp fish and chicken, and deviled eggs.

Mango Kiwi Smoothie

I made a beautiful fruit platter for breakfast this weekend.  Instead of trying to bag up the leftovers and hope that they still look attractive enough for the kids to eat them I threw them into the blender. 

“Life’s too short to hang out with people who aren’t resourceful.” ~Jeff Bezos
This recipe is great for breakfast, an afternoon pick me up, or post workout nourishment.


Printable Version

  • 1 mango sliced
  • 1 banana
  • 2 kiwi
  • 8 strawberries
  • giant handful baby spinach
  • 1 squeeze agave
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c ice
  • Put all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.

    • Enjoy

    Day 4 Losing 6 Pounds in 2 Weeks

    One of the best time savers I have found is cooking once to eat many times.  Sometimes this means
    making a gigantic pot of spaghetti sauce and portioning it out in tupperware to stow away in the freezer for many pasta nights to come.  Sometimes this means making simple dishes that can be spruced up or combined to make new exciting future meals in a snap.

    This week I made polenta and roasted asparagus as
    side dishes and later combined them into an entree that I could brown bag to work.  What are your favorite leftover foods?

    Printable Version


    • polenta – 1 box
    • 1/3 c. grated romano cheese
    • water – according to polenta directions
    • asparagus
    • compari tomatoes
    • olive oil
    • salt
    • pepper
    • habanero powder (substitute cayenne pepper if you cannot find)
    • lemon wedge
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    • heat oven to 400
    • trim and clean asparagus
    • put in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste and squeeze the fresh lemon over it
    • roast for 20 minutes
    • While the asparagus is roasting, prepare the polenta according to the package (usually boil water, add polenta, remove from heat for 5 minutes)
    • stir in grated cheese and a dash of habanero powder
    • cut tomatoes into wedges
    • saute in olive oil just until warm (you can shortcut and just microwave for 30-60 seconds)
    • cut the asparagus into 1-2″ pieces.
    • dish out polenta into serving bowls, top with tomatoes and asparagus, and drizzle with olive oil. Top with fresh black pepper and serve

    Sustenance – fuel

    Breakfast -irish oatmeal with granola
    Snack -6 dried apricots
    Snack – Fage Greek yogurt
    Lunch –Cheesy Polenta with Tomatoes and Roasted Asparagus
    Snack – Green Apple
    Snack – dried fruit              
    Dinner -Garden Salad                 

    Sweat – exercise

    30 minutes treadmill

    Sip – hydration

    16 ounces water
    16 ounces coffee (bad)

    Slumber – sleep

    8 hours, well rested

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