Mac & Cheese, The Best!

Even for our pickiest eaters, they all seem to love mac and cheese!

Our toddler’s go-to meal is anything with noodles, preferably with some cheese on top. Her absolute favorite though, is mac & cheese! I have made a few different versions of mac and this one seems to be her favorite so far. Hope y’all will enjoy this as much as she does (and us too, of course!)

Quality Matters

I used to buy my produce from big chain grocery stores, I thought that cheaper was just the way to go. I remember cutting up a Roma tomato one day and said to my husband, “this tastes so bland, like I’m eating a mushy piece of water. There HAS to be a better tasting tomato out there, somewhere!” Since my husband isn’t a fan of tomatoes, I knew I had to figure this one out on my own. We always stuck to our budget, and never ventured out to see what our different options could be.

After we moved to our small town, I looked up local farmers markets and found one just 10 minutes from our home. I wasn’t sure how the pricing would be, but I wanted to check it out. I picked up a couple items (tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers) and the pricing was actually cheaper than I was paying at the grocery store. To top it all off, the people that worked there were also very friendly. From that first bite into one of the tomatoes, my tastebuds were on sensory overload. The best tomatoes I have ever eaten were from our local farmers market.

Ever since then, I have gotten my favorite veggies and fruits from our local farmers market in town. If you can, buy from your local farmers market and support your local farmers too! Until I start venturing into creating our own garden, the farmers market is where I will be picking my fresh fruits and veggies.

When My Mouth Woke Up!

I can’t really remember exactly when I started searching for flavorful food. I’m talking REALLY tasty food. I felt like the rat on the movie Ratatouille, everything tasted so bland. I wanted to try something new. I wanted to be a Foodie. I like to cook and I knew that if I followed a recipe, I could make a decent dish. But I wanted to take it further than that, I wanted to add spices and flavor to the dishes I was already making and then also venture out to make a new dishes. But how could I start?

And then it happened! I was watching Food Network one morning while our newborn daughter was napping, and I came across The Pioneer Woman. With her fire red hair and bubbly personality, I liked her instantly. While we were living in the suburbs at the time, her life on the ranch also made me yearn for country living! Ree Drummond makes cooking and baking in her kitchen look like a breeze, and all of her dishes look so delicious.

I started looking up some of her recipes online and found a couple that became regular staples for us over time. Recently, I ordered her cookbook “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier” and I am so excited to start cooking like Ree!

Being Green

We are definitely “carb-ivores” in this family, as you can tell by our Mac & Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Legs! And we also like to have a healthy helping of meat in our diet. Because of that we needed to start adding more fruits and veggies into our diet. Our toddler is a really picky eater, and I don’t blame her, I also like chicken nuggets and pb&j sandwiches on the regular! But we wanted to make sure that she was getting at least some fruits and vegetables in her diet so we started making green smoothies.

I know, they look weird and green, but honestly they are pretty tasty. It’s the way I make them! And the ingredients I add. I have a recipe below so you can make your own green smoothie at home, without having to pay that fresh smoothie price at your local smoothie shop. And it will also make you not feel so guilty when you decide to carbo-load later because you know you at least had some fruits and veggies during the day!