Easy Macaroni & Cheese

Easy Macaroni & Cheese that really is the easiest homemade mac n cheese recipe!

Easy Macaroni & Cheese

What can I say about life lately….? Mostly that it has been crazy! I really hate that I look forward to summer all the seemingly endless winter long. Annd… then when summer comes life gets so crazy busy that it just blows by and I hardly have time to acknowledge that it was even here…wahh…

This is when recipes that are easy to make but, the tastiest that you have ever had come in handy. And in my opinion this macaroni & cheese is all of that. Fire up the grill and use this as a side dish or just make a meal out of it. I have definitely been guilty of that one:)

 

Step 1:

Layer cooked and buttered noodles in bottom of dish.

Easy Macaroni & Cheese

 

Step 2:

Layer grated cheese over the noodles.

Easy Macaroni & Cheese

 

Step 3:

The best part! Dollop sour cream over the cheese and noodle layers.

Easy Macaroni & Cheese

 

Step 4:

Pour milk and egg mixture over all the layers. Pile the rest of the buttered noodles on top. And last but not least add a really good layer of the white mexican quesadilla cheese on top. I find this cheese in the “mexican” section at a local grocery store. I’m sure another cheese could be substituted. This one is my favorite because it is just so melty!

I put the baking dish in a pan just in case it cooks over in the oven.

Easy Macaroni & Cheese

 

Step 5:

Bake and sprinkle with smoked paprika.

Best served immediately!

Easy Macaroni & Cheese

 

The stringy cheesy goodness!

Easy Macaroni & Cheese

Easy Macaroni & Cheese
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. box elbow noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese,adjust amount to taste
  • 3 cups mexican white quesadilla shredded cheese, adjust amount to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large pot heat 3 quarts salted water to boil.
  2. Add pasta and cook according to directions, just until al dente.
  3. Drain pasta and stir in butter until melted.
  4. Stir eggs and milk together.
  5. Add salt & pepper to milk mixture.
  6. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish.
  7. Layer half of the buttered noodles on the bottom.
  8. Add 2 cups of the cheddar cheese, and part of the white cheese.
  9. Dollop sour cream over the cheese.
  10. Layer the rest of the noodles.
  11. Pour the milk mixture over all.
  12. Pile the rest of the white cheese over the top. You may need more than 3 cups if you want lots of
  13. cheese on the top. More is always better:)
  14. If your dish is really full put it inside another baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until it is lightly browned and bubbly.
  15. Sprinkle smoked paprika across the top.
  16. Serve immediately.
  17. Recipe can be cut in half. Cook time may be less for a smaller dish. I make it mostly for 2 and it is just as good!
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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie


Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie that is topped with ganache and toffee. The best combo of sweet and salty!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie I chipsandpepper.comPeanut Butter Cheesecake Pie I chipsandpepper.com

Sweet and salty… peanut butter and chocolate no-bake cheesecake pie! This is cheesecake without having to heat the oven up when it is already hot as blazes outside.

And I’m pretty sure that this pie is the cure for pms;)

Happy Monday! We got this with extra strong coffee and pie:)

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie
 
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Author:
Serves: 2 pies
Ingredients
  • 2 9-inch graham cracker pie shells
  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter( I used creamy)
  • 8 oz. whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar,optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For The Topping:
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Toffee Bits(optional)
Instructions
  1. In large chilled mixer bowl whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  2. Remove from bowl and mix cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
  3. Mix in peanut butter.
  4. Add whipped cream and fold into peanut butter mixture until completely combined. I used the mixer for this because it is a large amount and hard to do by hand.
  5. Pour into pie shell.
  6. For the Topping:
  7. Bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream and salt to a simmer(not a full boil).
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Pour in chocolate chips. Let sit for a couple minutes.
  10. Stir until smooth and shiny. Allow to cool.
  11. Pour over pie and then sprinkle toffee bits around edges of pie if using.
  12. Chill and keep in refrigerator.
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Basil Creamed Corn Pasta Salad

Sweet basil creamed corn pasta with cherry tomatoes and chopped jalapeno peppers- your new favorite barbecue pasta recipe!

Basil Creamed Corn Pasta SaladBasil Creamed Corn Pasta Salad

This is one of those farmers market salads that can be made in just a few minutes and doesn’t require a very long list of ingredients. The fresh corn is really what makes the pasta stand out. That crispy crunch can not be found in a can or the freezer:) My new favorite summertime flavor combo is corn, basil, and a little cream in the blender.. so freaking yumm!!! That is exactly how I made the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Finish up with cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers,and bacon would be good if thats what makes you happy:)

Xoxo lets have a awesome Friday!

Basil Creamed Corn Pasta Salad
 
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Ingredients
  • 16 oz. package campanelle pasta, or other
  • 6 ears fresh yellow corn
  • ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil: salt to taste.
  2. Add pasta: return to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Boil 10 to 12 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
  4. Remove from heat; drain, and rinse with cold water.
  5. Bring another large stockpot of water to a rolling boil.
  6. Add cleaned corn on the cob.
  7. Cook 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from water and allow to cool slightly.
  9. Cut all corn from cobs, scraping the cobs down.
  10. Put half of the corn in a blender.
  11. Add in the basil, cream, salt and pepper.
  12. Process until creamy; taste and adjust seasonings or basil to taste.
  13. In a large bowl pour creamed corn over the pasta.
  14. Add the rest of the corn, and then the peppers and tomatoes.
  15. Mix until everything is combined really well.
  16. Best served immediately.
  17. Refrigerate up to 3 days.
  18. Makes a very large amount!
 
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Shrimp and Veggie Salad with Brown Rice Noodles

Shrimp & veggies with gluten free noodles and a spicy sweet dressing.
Shrimp and Veggie Salad with Brown Rice NoodlesShrimp and Veggie Salad with Brown Rice Noodles

I’m always looking for a new pasta recipe that is really good and that is easy to make. This one with all of it’s crunchy veggies and noodles and shrimp is one of my favorites. I know it will be on rotation in my kitchen all summer long with or without the shrimp:) I’m thinking chicken would be great if I didn’t have shrimp available but, I also could eat it all day long with just the noodles, veggies, and sauce!

Shrimp and Veggie Salad with Brown Rice Noodles
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 cup peeled, julienned cucumber- I spiralized mine
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ lb brown-rice noodles
  • ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds(optional)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add prepared veggies.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until just al dente.
  4. Add shrimp to pasta water and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Immediately drain and run cold water over pasta and shrimp to cool and stop cooking.
  6. Shake any excess water from pasta and shrimp.
  7. Add to large bowl with noodles and dressing, toss everything together.
  8. Garnish with poppy seeds (optional)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 374 Fat: 11g Saturated fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 59g Protein: 15g
Fabulous Kitchen Tip:  Pour gluten free noodles into a bowl of cold water if not serving immediately. They tend to stick together pretty quickly after cooking and draining. The cold water will stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking.
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Lemon Strawberry Muffins

A Lemon Strawberry Muffin recipe that are full of fresh strawberries with a hint of lemon. Perfect for Sunday Brunch!

Lemon Strawberry MuffinsLemon Strawberry MuffinsLemon Strawberry MuffinsLemon Strawberry Muffins

Sundays are always a good day to make muffins, pancakes, waffles or whatever you love but, never eat during the week. Well at least that is one of my fav things to do as long as I can wear my pj’s the whole time:)

It’s strawberry season and this is one of my favorite recipes. Muffins + strawberries + lemon zest…mmmm yum!

 

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Lemon Strawberry Muffins
 
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Author:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened or room temp.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1½ cups fresh strawberries, diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin pan with paper liners or butter and then sprinkle with flour and tap out any extra.
  3. Cream sugar and butter in large mixer bowl.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well.
  5. Add sour cream, vanilla bean paste, lemon juice and zest.
  6. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time, mix just until incorporated.
  7. Stir in diced strawberries.
  8. Pour batter into muffin pan filling ¾ full.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown and wooden pick comes out clean.
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Brussels Sprouts Salad

A Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe that is a Meatless Monday favorite!

Brussels Sprout SaladBrussels Sprout SaladBrussels Sprout SaladBrussels Sprouts SaladBrussels Sprout Salad

So, I had a few vacation days last week. I relaxed part of the time and worked so hard the rest of it:)) Can’t say enough about that relaxing tho…definitely something that I would like to try again soon;)

Salads of all sorts are what we are having around here lately, along with veggies, grilled chicken, salmon..you get the point. I’m trying so hard to be healthy at least part of the time. And maybe I will find that bikini bod(that I want) along the way?? Please tell me it’s possible without starving, because I hate to starve and I love to cook!!

I love plain brussels sprouts in moderation. This salad changes all of that..warm or cold, just give me more and then some more.

These brussels get a sweet upgrade with chickpeas and a tangy  dressing. They are even better the second day after everything hangs out together and the different flavors marry and become one:) The toppings are optional but, they really add a little crunch and tang which is not a bad thing in my book!

Fabulous Kitchen Tip: Soak onions in ice cold  water with a little sugar before serving raw. It removes some of the strong flavor. That is what my mom always did, so….it must be done;)

Brussels Sprouts Salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cups brussels sprouts, stems removed & halved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 oz. feta
Instructions
  1. In large cast iron pan melt butter into olive oil at medium-high heat.
  2. Add brussels sprouts to oil and sauce until cooked through and lightly brown and caramelized.
  3. While the brussels are cooking, mix salt, vinegar, green onions, whole grain mustard, thyme, honey, and olive oil in small bowl.
  4. Remove brussels sprouts from pan.
  5. Pour mustard mixture into hot cast iron pan.
  6. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until liquid is slightly reduced.
  7. Add garbanzo beans and lemon zest, stirring until beans are heated through.
  8. Pour mixture over brussels sprouts.
  9. Garnish with red onion, black pepper, and feta.
  10. Serve immediately. Can be kept in refrigerator up to 3 days.
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Lemon Cream Pie

A Lemon Cream Pie recipe that is a cool and creamy slice of springtime.

Lemon Cream Pie

So, the sprinkles on this pie are super neon yellow… I may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the amount that I added to the top:) What can I say- bright yellow sprinkles put a smile on my face! If you want a dessert that represents daffodils or the sun then this is the one for you!

Lemon Cream Pie

Lemon Cream Pie
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 small package cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened or room temp.
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • Garnish: Lemon Meringue Sprinkles and whipping cream(opt.)
Instructions
  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in medium bowl.
  2. Stir until combined.
  3. Press crumb mixture into bottom of deep dish pie plate.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly brown.
  5. Cool crust completely.
  6. Combine cream cheese and cream of coconut in bowl of stand mixer.
  7. Mix until smooth.
  8. Add pudding mix, lemon juice, and zest.
  9. Blend until completely combined.
  10. Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  11. Fold whipped cream and coconut into cream cheese mixture.
  12. Pour into cooled pie crust.
  13. Garnish the pie with whipped cream and sprinkles, optional.
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Irish Potato Burrito

Irish Potato Burrito

Irish Potato Burritos are about as Irish as we  are going to get around here:) I am fine with that because potatoes are pretty much my favorite food of all time.  I could literally eat them every day of the week(notice the name of my site,hah!)

Let’s talk about these burritos. I decided to use spinach tortilla shells because you know..St.Patty’s Day and also,because I like them so much. And then we layered crispy, spicy potatoes and roasted tomatoes.  While they were getting all cozy together we added bacon, spinach,  and avocado slices. Um, yummy!  For a breakfast or brunch version of this just add a egg or two:)

Irish Potato BurritoIrish Potato BurritoIrish Potato Buritto

Irish Potato Burrito
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cooked potatoes, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 8-10 bacon slices, cooked and drained
  • 2-3 avocado
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes
  • 8-10 burrito shells( I used spinach)
Instructions
  1. Peel, cube and boil potatoes in salted water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain and allow to cool completely. This works really well with leftover potatoes from the day before.
  3. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons olive oil in large fry pan.
  4. Add cubed potatoes, diced onion,salt if needed, cumin, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  5. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are brown and crispy and onion is translucent.
  6. Pour potatoes into large bowl.
  7. Slice tomatoes in half and put into same pan that potatoes were in, add more olive oil as needed.
  8. Cook on medium heat just until heated through and slightly charred.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Assemble burritos by layering potatoes, tomatoes, bacon, avocado slices, and spinach.
  11. Roll and secure with picks if needed.

Last year at this time I made these cute, lucky little cookies🙂

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Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

Vanilla Bean Pound CakeVanilla Bean Pound CakeVanilla Bean Pound Cake

This recipe post is suppose to be all about the vanilla bean pound cake but, those strawberries and whipped cream had to join the party and almost outshine the poor cake! I made the cake and realized that I had strawberries and whipping cream just sitting around…so, I made my favorite dessert;) Ugh, I could make this every week.

The Vanilla Bean Pound cake shines on its own rather well with its vanilla beans and cardamom making it seem all fancy;)

This recipe gets to live right here on my blog because it has become my favorite for those times that I need a plain cake and also, when I need one that is not so plain. It works for both occasions, winning all around! The crumb is just right and the flavors intensify after a day or more.

Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
 
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A pound cake recipe that is so simple to make and still gives that traditional texture and flavor. Vanilla beans and cardamom make this cake seem extra special. It is perfect for breakfast with a big cup of coffee or with strawberries and cream.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup whole milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour 1 loaf pan and 1 small loaf pan or 1 bundt pan.
  3. Cream sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until light and creamy.
  4. Lower mixer speed and add one egg at a time.
  5. Add fresh lemon juice and vanilla bean paste.
  6. Gradually mix in flour and milk, alternating.
  7. Mix just until incorporated being careful not to over mix at this point.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  9. Gently tap pans against counter to remove air bubbles.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for about one hour or until wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  11. If using small loaf pan the time will be much less than 1 hour so, watch and use the toothpick method to check.

Other recipes you may enjoy:
Strawberry Gooey Cake

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Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad chipsandpepper.comChicken Pesto Pasta Salad chipsandpepper.comChicken Pesto Pasta Salad chipsandpepper.com

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad is a perfect springtime meal. And fun for St. Patricks Day! It’s just so green but, I love,love it!!

I decided to make this super easy with rotisserie chicken and store bought pesto. Which is perfect for you people that are challenged in the kitchen;) I don’t know why but, I am always so concerned for the people that say they can’t cook??? I’m ridiculous obviously…

It is still way too cold for my basil plants outside so, I have a really limited supply.. otherwise I would definitely make the pesto at home:)

Handy printable recipe down below.

Another cheesy tortellini recipe that you may enjoy:

Cheesy Tortellini Pasta Salad

 

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 8 oz. cheese tortellini pasta
  • 2 cups pesto (or to taste)
  • 1 cup frozen english peas
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Shred/chop chicken.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  3. In large bowl mix together hot pasta and frozen peas.
  4. Add the shredded chicken and pesto.
  5. Season with black pepper.
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