Creamy Cheese and Mac

And I didn’t even have to steal the recipe from anyone on Pinterest! 😉 This is perfect if you’re the one in the relationship who has been skipping out on the gym and partaking in the “no carb left behind” diet. My other half has been disciplined and diligent and I’ve been all like, “Yes I want to eat raw cookie dough for dinner!”

So if you’ve sworn to change your ways starting tomorrow, here’s to one more day of cheesy deliciousness. Since it’s far too hot to be hovering over a stove, it’s a good thing this will only take you about 8 minutes to prep. It’s a small price to pay for the creamiest, tastiest, healthiest variation of an old fashioned “homey” favorite.
What you need:
1/2 c pasta of choice (I’d use something big and hole-y)
1 T whole wheat flour (regular works fine, too)
3 T olive oil
1/2 c 2% milk
1/2 c water
handfull of cheese of choice (personally, I think the bagged shredded cheeses work just great – I used the “Mexican” shredded blend here. It has monterray jack, sharp cheddar, and something else I can’t remember)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t smoked paprika

1. Make pasta as usual.

2. While that’s cooking, make your cheese sauce: Put medium size pot over medium-low heat. Add your olive oil and remove from heat. Stir in flour and whisk until combined and golden. It should have a relatively thin consistency, so if it clumps up on you, add a little more oil. Put back on burner and immediately turn the heat down to low.

3. Add the milk and whisk constantly until it thickens. This happens FAST, so pay attention! (Mine got really thick and was too sticky to manage, so I added the water to thin it out. You may not need it.) The consistency here should also be thin and creamy, not thick. It’s too thick if it starts to look like mashed potatoes. (Random, but that’s what mine started to look like, haha.) Stir in cheese until melted and season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.

4. Remove pasta from heat and strain. Put pasta in pot with cheese sauce and stir until combined. Add shredded spinach until wilted and tell everyone you’re eating a healthy well-balanced meal. 🙂
Bring it to the pool or stay inside away from this sweltering, sticky, exhausting heat! And we have about 90% humidity…
We. Are. Melting. Today our UV index is 11, which means your skin will burn in less than 5 minutes. I’ll be taking a bath in sunscreen later, thank you very much, FL!
P.S. The giveaway winner is… *DRUM ROLL!!!*… LITA!
E-mail me at erin.motz@gmail.com and I’ll let you know who you need to contact to claim that slow cooker 🙂

What’s the best thing to do on a painfully hot day? Even our pools are warm enough to be bath water, so not very refreshing. Ice cream melts in seconds, I felt like I needed to shower just from walking to the mailbox, and I’m pretty sure my shoulders burned just from standing in the Target parking lot unloading the cart!

Tales of Adult Babyhood

I’m teething! No, but seriously…

Which means nature reminded that I have wisdom teeth as they’ve been pushing themselves into my other teeth and making my ears ache and my jaw throb. It’s not even really that painful as much as it is just really uncomfortable. It feels very similar to when you’d have to go get your braces tightened. If you’ve never had braces, here’s how it goes: the orthodontist uses these plier-looking things to twist the brackets tighter which tightens the braces and slowly eventually pulls your teeth together. So your teeth and jaw just feel exhausted, heavy and sore. That’s what I feel like in this case only there are no teeth there! Very strange!

And what do you do with a child who’s teething? Give them treats! 🙂
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? Did you just let them grow in or get them pulled? Was it the worst thing ever?! I’m so scared! I go to the dentist for an x-ray Thursday, so cross your fingers that they’re coming in perfectly straight, there’s plenty of room in there and they can just stay put! Because there are some people who have a low tolerance for pain and there are others like myself, for example, and I have a zero tolerance for pain.  And that’s on a good day… every other day the tolerance drops to like a -3. True story.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the slow cooker giveaway before it expires!

Playing Catch-Up + a Giveaway!

Oh heyyy!! I’ve been on somewhat of an internet diet lately. Very little laptop time and clearly very little blog time. So I’m sorry I neglected you these past few weeks.

Here’s some stuff:

What is it about a tripod that just seems… inappropriate? I came home from work the other day and found this little set-up in the living room. Adrien’s been wanting me to get one for months now so I have somewhere to put the camera when I do yoga videos, plus it makes a HUGE difference for night-time shots when it’s dark. So yes, very sweet gesture, but it does look odd in the middle of the living room affixed to a video cam. Just sayin’!

In other news, my city flooded! Not the best pic since it came from my iPhone, but you get the idea. The canoe is floating down a major road in downtown Tampa. Can you imagine how much worse this could have been if it were a real hurricane? Seriously, we were SO relieved when this storm finally moved out.

Finally, I have something amazing recipes I want to share with you and since I haven’t made any of them (still haven’t pulled the trigger on my slow cooker purchase!), you’ll have to do it and tell me which is your fave 🙂

1. Crockpot Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers by No. 2 Pencil (funny name, as I’m not sure how you fit a Mexican in  bell pepper, but whatevs! 😉 Bad joke – sorry!)

2. Crockpot Chicken w/black Beans and Cream Cheese from Food.com. It looks like it would just fall apart, right?!
 3. Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili by Redsie.  I want to eat a bathtub full of this.
 4. And lastly, anything apple pie-ish like this Apple Pie Breakfast recipe from Cooking with Jax!  I mean, who needs an excuse to eat apple pie oats for breakfast?

 You kind of stopped by at the very best time because, since we’re such a fabulous group of people here, SlimKicker wants to giveaway a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker to one of you guys! I’m kinda jealous, I can’t lie… Actually, it’s this one right here:

 So now that you have a sweet little list of recipes to use in your brand new toy, you can enter to win and immediately cross every part of your body for good luck! 😉

For a little background, SlimKicker is a site that encourages its members to create healthy living challenges to help with reaching your fitness goals. On their site you can track your calories, challenges, successes and even get recipes. So, for example, maybe your challenge is to give up soda for a week, or get at least 30 minutes of cardio in every day, take the dogs running  3x a week, etc.

Whatever your challenge idea is, post it in the comments for entry to the giveaway. SlimKicker will pick a winner and bam! New Slow Cooker!

So get on it – last time you can enter will be Saturday July 7th at midnight and I’ll let you guys know who won it.

CHOFFY WINNER! + today’s eats

How did I forget to announce this?!

Winner is…

Coco from Opera Girl Cooks!

*****

Today’s snackage: kale + Emergen-C
I like kale anyway, but to add a little bit more interest to it I’ll cook one bunch of with a little white pepper, garlic gold, and Bragg’s liquid aminos (about 4 TBSP for each bunch of kale). I love these liquid aminos because it gives you all the flavor of soy sauce without the ridiculous amounts of sodium. It’s very good for you and only about $5 for a big bottle.
 I cook everything in about 1 inch of water, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes or until it’s wilted down a little.

Also, a fun fact about Emergen-C: it’s full of all the essential electrolytes you need to stay hydrated. So instead of sipping a protein shake during a workout, I drink this and then have some when I get home to replenish what I lost.

Give it a try and let me know how you likey. :-]

WINNER!

And the winner is…

BRITTANY PLUMMER!

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Happy dancing, yay! EVen if you didn’t win, you can still get 10% off at activewearusa.com with the coupon code emotz12.

Back to regular posting later. :-]

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

I just have so much luv for you guys I wanted to give you a little post-holiday present, and my friendies at activewearusa are hooking us up with a giveaway. Holla!

I found them the other day in one of my searches for new running shtuff, and realized it’s kind of awesome because it’s like one-stop shop. They carry 70 different brands and you can search by activity/tops/bottoms/etc. So they sent me…

these pants:
Ion Actif Running Capri

this top (not me, not brave enough for this angle!):
Doce Vida Fitness Copacabana Crop Top

and this bottle for extra credit (pic).

Comment here and you’ll be entered in the giveaway to pick something from their website (up to $100 value) as a little token of their appreciation. Plus, even if you don’t win this time around, they’re still giving everyone 10% off their order (use the promocode “emotz12″). Yay!

The giveaway starts now and will end tomorrow at midnight (so you’ll have all day tomorrow until 12AM Tuesday) and that promo code is good for at least a year.

And go. :-]