Macaroni & Cheese. YUM!


When my husband and I go to our favorite fancy steakhouse, we often have trouble deciding on a side for our steak. Do we want a velvety smooth tangy baked potato? The cheesy goodness of potatoes al gratin? Or good ol’ mac n’ cheese?

I always choose the first choice. My husband, the third.

So, for a compromise on nights when we grill steaks at home, I alternate sides. This week, he got his macaroni and cheese. To be honest, I think I ate more than him. Shhhhh…. Don’t tell!

I use The Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

I have tried so many macaroni and cheese recipes over the years. At least twenty. Always searching for the “right” one. This is it. I think it is the egg and the dried mustard.




It is perfection. There is no need to mess with the spices. I follow it exactly.





Here are pictures of the beautiful goodness coming together. We doubled the recipe, because we had a crowd. The hands are my husband’s. He helped. It was fun. This is a recipe that is easy to cook with two people. The eggs need to be tempered and that macaroni is heavy. An extra set of arms is great!

Have you made this recipe? Do you have an old stand by? What is your favorite macaroni and cheese?

Pasta Alla Vodka

“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” – Willy Wonka said it best!

Pasta, check. Cream, check. Alcohol, check. Sounds great to me!

I used the following recipe from Pioneer Woman to make this dish.

My dear friend had given me a giant bottle of vodka for Fourth of July last year (thank you Jessica!). She knows the quickest way to my heart. I wanted to use some of it in an unconventional way, and came across this pasta recipe. It was fantastic. I just did the following things differently than the original recipe:

I sautéed my onions for 6 minutes instead of 2. I added the garlic during the final minute. I have to have my onions thoroughly cooked. I’m weird that way.

I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt instead of 1/4 teaspoon.

I added diced rotisserie chicken.

I used frozen diced onions and minced garlic from a jar. Why do things yourself when someone else can do it for you?

This took me less than 25 minutes to make, start to finish.




Oh my! Look at the vodka simmering. Isn’t she pretty?



Lovely fattening cream. I adore you. Why must you create ripples on my thighs like you do in this sauce? I won’t take it personally.


I only had this parmesan on hand. It worked just fine!



This was so easy and delicious. Everyone, but myself, had giant second helpings. Unfortunately, self restraint must be made when a recipe swims in cream and butter. Everything in moderation! Enjoy!

Total cost for dinner: $10.89

Pasta $1
Rotisserie chicken $5
Parmesan $1
Cream $1.42
Vodka $0 (thanks again! I owe you! : ) )
French bread $1
Butter .57
Tomato puree .90

Thank you Pioneer Woman for another wonderful recipe to add to my rotation!

Please let me know if you try this!

Let’s Make Whoopie…

Pies, that is.

My husband was having a pot luck at his work the other night and he asked me if I would mind making something for it. Of course not! I love to cook and I was all ready rummaging through the recipes in my head, when he quickly brought me back down to Earth.

He informed me we would be in charge of the dessert. Oh no! I am not good at desserts (Do you remember my wee little cake debacle? I am trying to forget). I thought I was going to just bring in cupcakes from a box mix, when an idea hit me.

“Would you like me to makes those whoopie pies?” I asked.

His eyes lit up. “YES!”

“Those” whoopie pies we are speaking of our made by the Pioneer Woman. They are oatmeal cookies with this insanely weird, but delicious, frosting wedged between two of them. I made them for our Fourth of July party last year.

They made my husband love me.

I am generally not an oatmeal cookie girl (chocolate chip all the way, baby!), but these are fantastic.

I followed her recipe exactly

I do not know why her cookies are puffy and mine are flat. Hey, that sounds like a conversation I had as a teenager with my mother! ; ). I think I may have mixed up the baking soda and baking powder directions.

It was a long day. I remembered I had to make these just as I had tucked the kids in bed and was settling down for a relaxing night of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I started baking the whoopie pies around 9:05. I completely finished making these cookies at 10:07.







I was delirious with exhaustion and thought it would be a fantastic idea to document the time of the final birthing moment of these cookies. Did you enjoy that? Humor me. I am a dork.



These cookies are so much better the next day. The frosting softens them up.

The cookie recipe ended up making 16 whoopie pies. There are two sticks of butter in this recipe. That means each cookie has one tablespoon of butter. Why am I telling you this? Um, because I wanted to impress you with my math skills…I really am telling myself this, because I am trying to figure out how many calories each of these little bursts of heaven will cost me…

A lot!


But, ohhhhh my goodness! So worth it.

Thank you Pioneer Woman for another delicious recipe! Tell me if you make this! What is your very favorite cookie? I think mine might be a changin’.

*edited to add: I forgot there was the option for the marshmallow filling. I made the frosting! Not the marshmallow option (which I imagine would taste just as good.). I am so sorry!


Chicken Fried Steak

I looked at this and knew, just knew, it could not be good for me. However, I had never had chicken fried steak (the name confused me and turned me off). I decided to be brave and try it.

Unfortunately, I only ate 1/3 of a serving, because I would like to be able to still wear my clothes. My husband ate an enormous amount and said it was his most favorite thing I have ever made him. So, I responded, “Happy Birthday, honey.” His birthday was almost three months ago. I never got around to cooking him a meal, because we took a trip to Seattle to celebrate.

I will only be making this for him once a year. It is so fattening. It is so much work. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. The meal was over and I was faced with a mountain of dishes. I think it was good. I am not a huge gravy fan…My husband is shaking his head in shame.

If you love gravy, you will love this.

I followed The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Fried Steak recipe exactly.

I used my own mashed potato recipe.

Here are the pictures of the process I went through:







Have you ever had chicken fried steak? What do you think? Have you made it? Did you think the dirty dishes were worth it?