Sunday Dinner

Many of you know my grandma is the cook of all cooks.  It's often so very hard to please her at some of the finest restaurants because she knows she could make it better.  In an attempt to have her spend a few more days in Albuquerque with us, my sister and I offered to cook for Sunday dinner.

My sister laid out a pretty extensive menu: roast and beans, grilled hot links, corn on the cob, cornbread, cake, fresh fruit and more.  I decided to make mac n cheese and lemon garlic butter roasted chicken.  I'm so happy to be able to say dinner was great and Granny approved.


The story behind the Mac-n-Cheese

When I first got married, I once had a really yummy mac-n-cheese recipe that I found online. It was so good.  Over 5 years later, I couldn't remember where I got that recipe so I started searching for a new one.  I first found Monique over at A Diva Can Cook's recipe.  Monique is amazing and I reference her blog alot.  I wasn't completely happy the first time around because my peppercorn grinder had broken and I didn't season the cheese mixture well enough.

About a week after I first tried Monique's recipe I caught Tia Mowry's new show on the Cooking Channel and her husband Cory shared his "famous mac and cheese" recipe. I really liked the idea of creating a cheese mixture melt by slowly warming all the cheese and heavy cream in skillet to then mix in with your cooked pasta.



I found that turned out a lot better.

So...here's my trusted Mac and Cheese recipe:

1 box Macaroni noodles
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Medium Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Muenster Cheese
8 oz. Velveeta
1/2 cup Colby and Monterrey Jack Cheese
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tblsp butter
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper
Paprika 

1. Cook the macaroni noodles in boiling water with salt until al dente
2. While noodles are boiling, shred one cup of sharp cheddar, one cup of medium cheddar, and one cup of muenster cheese
3. In a skillet, heat butter on low heat. Add all shredded cheese stirring slowly. Add blocks of velveeta cheese and continue to stir. Add heavy cream slowly stirring. Salt and pepper to taste
4. Once cheese is all melted and ooey gooey, crack the egg and stir it in to the cheese mix
5. Remove pasta from heat and thoroughly drain
6. Add half of the macaroni to a super cute dish, mix the cheese mixture in really good, add more noodles, mix more cheese, top with shredded colby and monterrey jack cheese, sprinkle with little dashes of paprika
7. Bake on 350 for 35 minutes 
8. Enjoy the ooey goodness.

Let me know your favorite mac and cheese recipes and how this one turns out if you choose to try it.  I'll be sharing the lemon garlic butter chicken recipe soon!

The Queen







Microagressions abound


I was once invited to a house party at a friend's house and in the course of her introducing me to the other ladies in attendance she said "Niecy comes from a working class family like me....".  I remember being caught so off guard and smiling oddly. Not only was she completely wrong in her assumption about my family's background, I wondered if she had introduced the other ladies making an assumption about their class in their biography?  What point was being made by talking about my family's background, even if not completely mistaken in doing so?

That was over 5 years ago and while no one at that party probably even caught on to it, it has stuck to me ever since. I remember exactly what I was wearing, where I was sitting, aware of all my senses in that moment.  That's what microagressions are. They fly by the person handing them out while clinging to the person being transgressed on like a little sucky leech trying to remind you "this is what society really thinks about you".

They are sneaky. Seemingly small. Yet they speak volumes about the person speaking them.

Microagressions.

They are the little things; subtle statements, interruptions and assumptions, that all add up to make you feel small.

I've certainly been heightened since this incident and I have to admit, it's not the first and last time they have ever slipped in a microagression in speaking with and/or about me.  Even me, in all my social justice fervor, find it hard to call people out on this because they are supposed to be your friends,  right?

So how to we address microagressions with our friends? We can all heal from a tiny thousand cuts but we can't always be responsible to self heal from the wounds, no matter how tiny or subtle they are.  It can be challenging especially when the person who offended with the microagression most likely has no clue what they've done.  So in addressing microagressions be thoughtful of your talk.  When someone says you've offended them, instead of being defensive, be quiet and listen.

My sister and I sell Scentsy at a festival in the mountains twice a year. One time, I was sitting in my chair, minding my business, in my natural hair glory and a woman walked up to me in what I believe she believed was a sympathetic voice and asked "oh darling...where are you from"? Me, highly annoyed as I knocked her uninvited hand that was reaching out to touch my hair blankly replied "Albuquerque".  She persisted, leaning closer to my face and said "no, but where are you originally from"?  I know it was the Blood that saved me in that moment because I was highly annoyed, offended, and pissed off.


Get it. Be more thoughtful. Shutup and listen. Do your work to be confident in yourself so you don't have to tear others down.  If you just can't seem to stop laying out the microagressions, then Crazy Eyes has already told you how I feel.



My garden

I have been looking forward to the spring time so I can get outside and start planting my garden and decorating the patio. I love taking it outside when it is warm.  I've been daydreaming of Casa Azul, dreaming up some serious inspo.


Every time I get serious about starting, it gets cold again. I know it's too early to start planting but these 70 degree days make it hard.


So this week I started plotting planters and decided to start on a small scale.  I bought a new plant (it's pink and green) for 50% off because they had had it in their freezers from last year for my office. It makes me happy. 


Then I bought this cute vase from Target with the idea of repotting some succulents I had. That didn't work too well. 


So one more trip to the store and we sorted some things out.


Here


The cute stand was just a standard black plant stand that you know had to get a touch of my favorite gold spray paint. Voi la. 



There's something therapeutic about getting your hands in the dirt and handling living things.  One of my co-workers has been teaching me how to better care for the green life around me and encouraging me to talk to my plants and love on them.  What are your garden plans?




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