Queso Blanco Mac & Cheese

For every food day, potluck, and holiday, you need to have a signature dish to bring. This might be more of a cold weather meal, but you can’t go wrong with mac and cheese (unless you’re lactose intolerant). I came up with this recipe late one night when I had to bring lunch for my whole class and ended up just combining a few things I had in my pantry. I like to think this is just a basic mac & cheese recipe because you can build off of it. You can switch up the cheeses or maybe try adding in other seasonings.

Ingredients

  • 32 oz block Queso Blanco Cheese (Velveeta)
  • 2 lbs Macaroni Noodles (two boxes)
  • 1 cup Colby-Jack Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

Directions

  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles according to the package. Drain the water and set to the side.
  2. In a crockpot, add in the queso blanco, colby-jack, milk, pepper, and salt. Allow this to cook on a low heat for two hours.
  3. After two hours, stir in the noodles and let this cook for two more hours.
  4. If it’s too thick, add in an extra ¼ cup of milk. If it’s too thin, add in ¼ cup of colby-jack cheese.

Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

Nothing is better than fresh salsa, but our fresh tomatoes aren’t quite ready to be eaten. Luckily, strawberries are perfectly ripe this time of the year.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Strawberries
  • 1 Lime
  • 3 tablespoons Cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions

  1. Prepare the strawberries by cleaning them with water and cutting off their tops, then dice them finely. Also, chop up the fresh cilantro.
  2. Zest the whole lime into a bowl. Cut it in half and add one-half of its juice into the bowl.
  3. In the bowl, combine strawberries, cilantro, sugar, vinegar, and cinnamon. Stir, and serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Mixed Fruit Slushie

This simple drink is the most refreshing way to kick off the spring season. For my slushie, I used a pre-made frozen fruit package that included mangos, strawberries, and bananas. Before starting the recipe, I allowed the fruit to thaw for a few hours.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cup Fruit of choice, chopped
  • ½ cup of Fruit Juice or a Lemon Lime Soda
  • ½ of a Lime
  • 2 cups Ice
  • 2 tablespoons Honey

Directions 

  1. Began by adding your fruit, juice, and the juice of half a lime into a food processor. On a medium setting, blend this into a thin paste. 
  2. Toss in the ice, and blend this again. Depending on preference, add more ice for a thicker texture.
  3. This step is optional, but add in honey for extra sweetness.

Italian Pork Chops and Pasta Salad

Now that the winter chill has disappeared, it’s the start of grilling season! My favorite thing about this meal is that almost everything can be made the day before so that you can enjoy your evening and have a nice meal almost completely ready for you when you get home. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 9 oz package of Cheese Filled Tortellini
  • One 16 oz bottle Italian-style salad dressing (I recommend a Robusto style)
  • 3 tablespoons Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Basil
  • 2 tablespoons Oregano
  • 4- 4 oz Pork Chops
  • ⅓ cup of grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

Directions 

  1. Fill a medium to large size pot with water about halfway full. On the stove top, bring the water to a boil. Prepare the tortellini according to the package. To tell if it’s done, it will have grown in size and is able to float on its own. Afterward, drain it and allow the pasta to cool. 
  2. In a large bowl combine the whole bottle of dressing, salad supreme seasoning, olive oil, basil, and oregano. Give this a good mix so that the dressing and oil don’t separate. Either in a gallon-sized ziplock bag or another bowl, pour in half of this mixture. Toss in the pork chops and cover them. Allow them to marinate for at least four hours or do this overnight for best results.
  3. Once the pasta is cooled, combine it with the remaining of the dressing mixture. Carefully fold in the cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Cover this in the refrigerator, and allow it to ferment.
  4. When ready to cook the pork, fire up the grill at a medium heat. Keep in mind if the chops are bone, they take longer to cook. Personally, mine took about 8 to 12 minutes. 

August Favorites

August is over! That means it’s time to put on a flannel and go get my PSL fix. JK, it’s still 90 degrees here.

Tassel-Front Swing Blouse

I’m so obsessed with this shirt that the day after I first wore it, I went out and bought it in two other colors. It’s perfect right now because we are slowly transitioning into fall. You can still show some skin while continuing to be comfy.

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1046693&vid=1&pid=225517042

JANSJÖ LED Work Lamp

Originally this was purchased for a friend going off to college, but I fell in love and bought one for myself. It produces enough light to fill my whole room without the overhead lights on. The bendable head is great for late night studying, especially when you’re too lazy to get up and turn off the lightswitch.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20169658/

E.L.F Makeup Mist & Set

E.L.F Makeup Mist & Set spray is a lifesaver for me because I need my makeup to last the whole school day. In the past twenty days of use, I haven’t had to do any major touch-ups. Let’s hope this stops me from looking like a sweaty goon on the marching band field.

http://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/makeup-mist-and-set

Chobani Flip Yogurt

Toppings make everything taste better. Normally I’m not a huge Greek yogurt fan, but Chobani’s recipe is not as bitter as other brands. It’s not chunky, but it isn’t super thin either. There have only been three flavors I haven’t liked, and those were the cherry, pear, and key lime flavors.

http://www.chobani.com/products/flip#peanut-caramel-satisfactiontrade

Scholly

Everyone who attended, currently attends, or is going to attend college in the future knows that school isn’t cheap. Finding scholarships are key to not having tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. Scholly is a free app that takes all your information (ACT scores, major, grade point average, etc.) and comes out with all these scholarships you are eligible for. It makes it easy to apply and keep track of them.

 

 

Spaghetti Salad

Spaghetti Salad

Ingredients

  • A package of Spaghetti
  • One (16 ounce) bottle Robusto Italian Dressing
  • Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • One Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • One Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • One Yellow Pepper, Chopped
  • A can of sliced Black Olives, Drained
  • One package of cherry tomatoes, Cut in half

Directions

  1. Cook a whole package of spaghetti in boiling water, according to the direction.
  2. Rinse in cool water, drain. Place into a large bowl.
  3. Add Robusto dressing, pepper, olives, and tomatoes into large bowl.
  4. Shake on Salad Supreme seasoning on the top.
  5. Toss salad, and top with additional Salad Supreme seasoning.