Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

It's Lent again, and that means coming up with meatless meals for Friday nights if you are Catholic!  Last year, I shared a couple of our favorite meatless meals (that I cook all year not just during Lent).  But I forgot to include my all-time favorite meatless meal and that is Baked Macaroni and Cheese!  I like simple mac and cheese, and this recipe is classic.  I made a few changes to my original recipe until I found the combination of ingredients that I like best!

Your Shopping List for the Baked Macaroni and Cheese:

  • 1 pound Cavatappi Pasta
  • 1 stick Butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 5 cups Whole Milk
  • 5 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I used Sharp Cheddar)
  • 2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • salt and pepper

Now Let's Make the Baked Macaroni and Cheese:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 casserole dish
  2. In a small bowl, melt 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) of butter.  Stir panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese into the butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each) - set aside
  3. In a large pot of salted water, cook the Cavatappi Pasta until 3-4 minutes shy of al dente - drain and set aside
  4. In a separate large pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) of butter over medium heat
  5. Whisk the flour into the butter, then whisk in the salt and pepper (I do about 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
  6. Once the flour/butter mixture is bubbly, add the 5 cups of whole milk, whisking often until mixture has thickened (you will notice that it starts to coat your whisk) and tiny bubbles appear on the surface
  7. Add the grated cheddar cheese and whisk until completely smooth (I usually add cheese in two batches
  8. Add the pasta into the cheese mixture - it will seem like there is a lot of cheese sauce and there should be!  The pasta will finish cooking in the oven and absorb a lot of the sauce!
  9. Pour into prepared casserole dish
  10. Top with breadcrumb mixture
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until the edges of the casserole are nice and brown

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Lacie Jane is Three and a Half

In the Hilosky House, we always celebrate half birthdays!  We don't go crazy - but just do a little something special for each girl!  It's something that John and I decided to start when Lacie turned 6 months old.  I was so excited to have made it to that milestone, and I really wanted to celebrate.  We had immediate family over and ate cupcakes and took lots of pictures!  Now it is a tradition for John and I to celebrate each of our girl's half birthdays!

Last Thursday, February 19th, was Lacie's half birthday!  The fact that my oldest baby is 3 1/2 is just plain crazy!  I put together a collage of Lacie on each of her half birthdays!  Look at how much she changed from 1 1/2 (top right) to 2 1/2 (bottom left)!  

John had to work late on Thursday, so we celebrated as a family of five on Friday night!  We got pizza (Eggplant Pizza because that is everyone's favorite plus it's Lent).  Then we had yellow cake with my chocolate buttercream icing!  Seriously, this is one of my favorite cake combos and the chocolate icing is amazing and so simple to make!

I normally make a fancy half cake, but things were a little hectic this year so I just made a sheet cake!  Lacie didn't mind!

If you want to look back at Lacie's half birthday celebration from last year, you can check it out here

Thursday, February 19, 2015

#hiloskyeveryday2015 Weeks 5 and 6 and 7

Day 29 - Lacie's favorite cookies (really Mommy's favorite).

Day 30 - all day long this child cracks me up!

Day 31 - Early morning dance party! 

Day 32 - SISTERS! 

Day 33 - Blakely is already such a great big sister!

Day 34 - Paisley is officially a Hilosky - she mastered this face! 

Day 35 - got the all clear from my doctors to be back at the gym!

Day 36 - Blakely got to be Mommy's Special Helper at the food store!

Day 37 - I can't get enough of this face!

Day 38 - a much needed date day with the hubby! 

Day 39 - let's play "Where's Paisley?"

Day 40 - Paisley finally realizing she can play with these hanging toys! 

Day 41 - Lacie wears her tiara all day everyday! 

Day 42 - Eeeeek can you believe Paisley is two months old?!?!  

Day 43 - this face!

Day 44 - after a traumatic morning complete with two shots at the doctor's office, I was finally able to get a smile and a nap!

Day 45 - Happy Valentine's Day from the Hilosky Girls!

Day 46 - I can't get enough of her smile! 

Day 47 -  the batteries died so Blakely stepped in.

Day 48 - she's happiest when it's time to eat! 

Day 49 - Miss Paisley Jean seems pretty happy that she just spit up everywhere!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Paisley Jean is Two Months!

Last Wednesday, sweet little Paisley turned two months old! I'm having a hard time believing how quickly we reach these milestones! It seriously gets faster with each baby!

At two months, Paisley already has quite the personality. She loves her bath and smiles the whole time! She really enjoys taking all of her naps on top of me (which is why my blogging has been very very slow these days). Paisley is also starting to really fall in love with her big sisters, always smiling at them when they talk and sing to her!  One of Paisley's favorite things to do is look at herself in the mirror and smile! 

On Friday we had Paisley's two month doctor appointment. She got a clean bill of health and two nasty shots :(  I swear she cried wayyyyy harder than my other two did. Like to the point where she was still whimpering in her sleep 2 hours post shots. Ugh! 

Other than the shots, the appointment went great. Paisley is continuing her trend of being the smallest of the Hilsoky Girls! 

Lacie, Blakely, Paisley 

Paisley's Two Month Stats:
*9 pounds 15.5 ounces (10th percentile) 
*22 inches (25th percentile) 
*14 inch head circumference (I mean Lacie's head was bigger than that at birth people!)

Lacie's Two Month Stats:
*12 pounds, 10 ounces
*23 inches

Blakely's Two Month Stats:
*13 pounds 
*23 inches


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