Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guilt-free Broccoli Mac & Cheese

I know, you are probably skeptical because I called it  "guilt-free" and that typically means that it does not taste good but hear me out.  You have seen recipes for macaroni and cheese that are to-die-for.  Ones that have butter or beer, maybe some greasy bacon and lots of cheese.  Well this is not one of those recipes.  Instead, this is a recipe that will NOT make your wallet or gut feel guilty.
  • 1/4 box of elbow macaroni pasta (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste - really good!) 
  • box of frozen Green Giant Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
  • Hormel Real Bacon Pieces (50% Less Fat)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Parmesan Cheese
Dump the macaroni into a pot of boiling water.

At that time microwave the broccoli according to directions.  It's awesome because it will take the same amount of time.  It's even more awesome because for those of you on Weight Watchers, check out the points plus in the upper right-hand corner.  Plus they go on sale as 10 for $10 every couple weeks so it is super cheap to make.

Now, it is easy.  Strain the pasta, dump in the broccoli and cheese sauce and mix.  Sprinkle in some bacon pieces, garlic powder and top with some Parmesan cheese.

In my mind this is the ULTIMATE recipe because:
  1. it is quick (less than 10 minutes!)
  2. it is easy (boil water and microwave)
  3. it is light (low in WW points plus) 
  4. and it is very cheap (less than $2)
Hope you appreciate this recipe as much as I do!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cleaning Black Utensils

When I am cooking it is like a happy scene in a romantic movie.  I gracefully move around the kitchen with music in the background and a glass of wine in my hand.  Grinning ear-to-ear I am measuring, chopping, mixing, and doing it all with my nice utensils, cutlery, and cookware.   Then I reach for my spatula and the music stops.  Ugh... these utensils ruin my vibe with their ugly grey stains.

I used to hand wash them but as time went on they found themselves in my dishwasher.  That's how they ended up looking like this. Eventually enough was enough and I had to find a way to clean these things.

First I tried a mix of baking soda and water to clean them.  It did absolutely nothing and was a huge let down.  Then while I was cleaning my dishwasher with a cycle with vinegar I thought... why not try this on the utensils?  Well, it worked!  All I did was soak them in white vinegar for about 30 minutes and then rinsed clean.

I now present to you black plastic utensils free of water stains...

(Don't worry... the white vinegar didn't make the utensil change shape, I just forgot which two I took the before photos of.)

White vinegar has become my newest best friend and I've used it to clean several surfaces now.  It will definitely be on my bulk shopping list the next time I go to Costco.
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