Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy

by lindsay cotter on September 23, 2011

Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy

This recipe is quite easy. Reminds me of my childhood. I used to have a babysitter that would make mac and cheese with canned franks. Oh goodness, glad I have branched out since then.

All you need is …….

  • a package of Gluten Free Macaroni (serves around 4-6)
  • Frozen peas and carrots
  • Gluten Free Turkey Franks (or other meat substitute)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • butter of choice
  • special sauce ** (see recipe below)

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Directions:

Cook pasta according to package, drain, throw back in pot. Add a little butter to keep moist. While pasta is cooking, add 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and 1 cup sliced turkey franks to a skillet. Add balsamic vinegar or braggs aminos, cover and let them steam together. Takes about 5 minutes. Then throw them into pot with pasta. Mix together.

Now for the special sauce. Make this sauce then add it to your finished pasta.

Special Sauce Adapted from Here

Makes about 1½ cups

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Brewers yeast (can also use Nutritional yeast)
  • 3 T. GF Flour (arrowroot works nice)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 T. vegetable broth powder
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk (I used hemp milk but soy or almond would work)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 T. Water
  • 3 T. Tahini or Cashew butter
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Paprika (I actually used more but I like it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic
  • Sea Salt and black pepper, to taste
Preparation:

Combine nutritional yeast, flour and vegetable broth powder in a small saucepan, mixing together until combined. Add your liquids and nut butters, then turn heat to medium-low, keep stirring until the powder is smooth and evenly mixed. Add in your spices and let it thickened and until it gets warm, about 2-3 minutes. If there is a strong flour taste, add a little more water or oil and cook a little more. Then turn off heat and add salt to taste.

Serve with Marmite and toast. That’s if you’re a marmite lover like us!

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Want another Great Mac and Cheese recipe?

Check out the recipe Heather just posted!


Food for thought:

One of my favorite devotionals is taking me through a 10 day “OPTIMISM” challenge and I have to say, it’s been a great focus! Don’t get me wrong, we can’t change our circumstances neither can we just ignore them, but we can choose how we react to them. I think I will engrave it on my forehead. Anyway, I know a lot of people have recently been going through some hardships and I am always amazed at the way this community supports each other during these times. I think that support helps us stay optmistic and/or hopeful.

Today’s Challenge:

Trust God’s Ways, Even When You Don’t Like Them

“I once complained that I had no shoes,

until I met a man who had no feet.”

If we step back and get an eagle’s eye view, we can be reminded that although disappointment, failure and difficulties are part of our lives, they do not signify the entirety of our existence. We can either choose to drown, or choose to fight. Fight for optimism. Fight for an attitude of gratitude. Fight for faith, despite our feelings. Fight for a life filled with joy, instead of negativity.

Ponder that my friends. <3

 

Cheers to the weekend!

LC

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi Nicole September 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm

The Husband would kill me dead if I put peas in his mac and cheese but it looks delicious. I might just make it for myself…one way to keep him away from my food it to add peas! ;)

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:44 am

what?? No peas? What about carrots or corn? sneak in those vegetables. hehe.

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Matt @ The Athlete's Plate September 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Mac and cheese with hot dogs is so good :)

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:16 am

chicken hot dogs!!!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm

The mac and cheese sounds amazing! Definitely need to use some nooch in mine next time!

As for the devotionals. I love the ones you post in particular. I feel so lucky to be where I am today, but hardships have definitely helped me put things into perspective. I know that I could have so much worse, but really everything is relative to you and the situation. While you can always find someone else that has it worse, that does not mean that what you are going through is any less painful. I also realized the other day that due to my hardships in life, I have compassion for others in not so great situations. I feel like that is actually a gift.

I’m thinking about you my friend and you know I’m always here for you! Love ya Linds!

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:17 am

yes you do, you have great compassion. so thankful for you and your wisdom! ANd go try NOOCH! i actually like brewers yeast better though.

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Ellie@fitforthesoul September 24, 2011 at 12:46 am

Ohhhh mahh goodnes….“I once complained that I had no shoes,

until I met a man who had no feet.” is so powerful and heart melting!! Thanks Lindsay for always being an inspiration!!! And at the same time, we can be every bit of optimistic we want, but in the end of the day, we would burn out without His help huh? At least, I would feel like that. Muuuahhhh <3 Love your nuggets of gold here!

And canned franks….hmmm haha never knew what to think of 'em. I mean, I'm not a picky eater except for when it comes to deep friend and SOME canned foods!! canned franks give me heebie jeebies, but then again….perhaps, I once complained i had no gourmet food, until I met a man who had canned franks. :) It's the truth after all right? have a blessed night!

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:17 am

i don’t think I can eat canned franks anymore, lets just say i’ve switched to canned tuna or salmon. haha.

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Liz September 24, 2011 at 1:52 am

Ha – I used to LOVE the blue box with sliced hot dogs when I was little – this is a MUCH healthier version! I’ve still never tried nutritional yeast – it’s got a cheesy flavor, right?

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:18 am

wait, you’ve never tried it? Girl….go get some. But like I told Sarena. I like Brewers yeast better. More nutty!

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Tara September 24, 2011 at 2:10 am

I think we could all use a 10 day optimism challenge. In fact I was just talking about it with a friend today – we realized that somehow it became cool to be negative, and it’s really cramping our style. Luckily we’re both not into self-bashing and or bashing others for our own entertainment, so we’re aiming to spread this message!
Thanks for sharing the recipe too! I’d love to try that special sauce. What a cool alternative to cheese!

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:41 am

yes, no more debbie downers please. And if I ever get to be a debbie downer please smack me in the head. That means I need it!

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Jennifer Cotter September 24, 2011 at 2:23 am

Love Today’s Challenge…thank you for sharing that!

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Klh September 24, 2011 at 2:24 am

I love the devotional. Definitely makes you (me) think. I need an optimism challenge in my life! I don’t think I commented on yesterday’s post but I will be trying that 30 minute workout…I always love the ones you post.
Hugs my dear!
PS – I posted : )

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:40 am

you posted and are doing this workout? Now that makes me a happy camper!

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tea-bagginit September 24, 2011 at 3:10 am

“I don’t get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here” – ‘the luckiest’ by ben folds
that’s one of j & my favorite songs and i thought this lyric was appropriate here. i often remind myself that my struggles only make me who i am.
the sculpter has to break the rock up bit by bit before the statue can emerge!

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:39 am

I love Ben Fold! GOod song indeed. I really need to go back and listen to those lyrics.

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Katie September 24, 2011 at 3:31 am

I always like the spaghetti o’s with hot dogs better than the regular, but when it came to mac and cheese – no dogs, please. But I am all about the hot dogs. Grilled. YUM.

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 3:39 am

have you tried the applegate hot dogs? lets just say they are good plain and dipped in…………MUSTARD!

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hillary September 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

10-day optimism challenge…love it. such a great reminder about CHOOSING HOW WE REACT to circumstances and how we ALWAYS have control over that….we can always choose optimism/ positivity! great great reminder. thanks linds! and mac and peas-yes please! i will just skip the dogs :)

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 11:47 am

a great reminder indeed. Perfect timing too! Oh and I think tempeh would be a nice substitue for the turkey hot dogs or even hard boiled eggs. I keep forgetting your allergies, so remind me.
<3

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Holly @ The Runny Egg September 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Believe me, I need to hear “trust God’s plans” as often as possible! I am fighting for an attitude of gratitude. I like that!

I love mac and cheese although I cannot eat it with hot dog chunks — that is how my parents used to prepare it all the time and I like just the noodles + sauce best.

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

isn’t funny how our childhood foods can either make us feel comforted or make us gag? haha. I hope you try it sans hot dogs. ANd yes, I always need to hear “trust God’s plans!” Hope this second job goes well this weekend. Or is it next weekend??

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Julie September 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

“If we step back and get an eagle’s eye view, we can be reminded that although disappointment, failure and difficulties are part of our lives, they do not signify the entirety of our existence. We can either choose to drown, or choose to fight. Fight for optimism. Fight for an attitude of gratitude. Fight for faith, despite our feelings. Fight for a life filled with joy, instead of negativity.”

Loved this! What a thought to ponder!

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

defintely a pondering thought, I loved it. A good reminder of how to approach life, right?

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Allie September 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I dont eat mac and cheese. I try not to eat alot of pasta. Makes me feel blah.
I loved the little devotional thought. Depth for sure :)
O and I can barely breathe my abs are so sore. I hope noone makes me laugh today. O and my thighs are sore. O boy.

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I bet you’d like GF pasta Allie! and yes, sore is good! hehe.

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J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I made a bowl of mac n cheez yesterday with nutritional yeast + butter, but yours looks WAY better. Holy yum!!! :D Turkey hot dogs rock, too. I would have used GF pasta but I was too lazy to wait 20 mins for it. heh

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm

man, isn’t that just the best combo? NUtritional yeast and butter. Love it jenn!

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J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm

It is! I’ve been in a peppery mood lately, so I sprinkled black pepper liberally over the top and it was amazing. I want it again :D

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset September 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thank you for that bit of thought… I appreciate pondering on a Saturday morning :)
Obviously this recipe looks amazinggg… gosh when is the last time I had macaroni and cheese?!

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I think its about time you made some mac and cheese. Good old comfort food with a healthy twist!

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Baking N Books September 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Cute title name.

Yes, I read recently that thinking with positivity doesn’t negate any bad things happening in our lives – rather, it gives us strength to continue moving forward for change.

“To be broken is no reason to see all things as broken”.

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LCCotter September 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I absolutely love that quote. Powerful words! “to be broken is no reason to see all things as broken” I will hold onto those words.
<3

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Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner September 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Love “today’s challenge”.. it’s so important to remember that and try and live by it every day.

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:52 am

yes, i think I need to start off my day reading that, ya know?

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ilovefetacheese September 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

YAYY thank you for post!!

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:53 am

hehe, yea! oh and I’d totally use chicken sausage as well!

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Sarah @ Feeeding Brain and Body September 24, 2011 at 8:41 pm

What an amazing devotional, I definetly needed to hear that today thanks! And of course that mac and cheese looks fabulous :)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:53 am

i think its a good everyday reminder. At least for me it is! <3

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Bre September 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Everytime I’m at the grocery store and see nutritional yeast I keep meaning to buy it and try it….not sure I’ve seen brewer’s yeast- I’ll have to check out wholefoods for that next time I’m there!!
I love the devotional…so true. and totally needed to read it right now. it reminded me of a favourite quote (shocker eh?), “you are exactly where you are meant to be.” I need to go print the end of your blog out and stick it on the fridge! :) happy packing friend!

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:54 am

girl I think you’d like nutritional yeast on eggs and mixed in pasta, etc. Go for it woman! Hey, how’s the “relationship?”

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Marcia September 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Love that Mac n cheese! Love that optimism challenge even more! All about perspective.

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:57 am

yes, perspective is EVERYTHING! A daily reminder in the midst of reality, right? How are you healing these days?

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Eleanor@eatinglikeahorse September 24, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I love that quote; I should definitely remember that next time I’m moaning about something, it’s so right :-)
And, I don’t know if I should admit to this, I’ve never had macaroni and cheese… how can that be?! I’ll have to try it using this sauce, it looks brilliant :-)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:58 am

me too! if you hear me moan, please give me a virtual slap, k? And Elle!!!! You need to try MAC AND CHEESE!!

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Lisa September 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm

That looks amazing! I have some mac n cheese with franks memories too…. Yours is ever so much more sophisticated :)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:55 am

Its definitely a step up from boxed mac and cheese and canned franks from my childhood. haha. But still so comforting.
:)

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Liz @ iheartvegetables September 25, 2011 at 12:18 am

Oh man, that mac and cheese looks awesome! I LOVE Mac n cheese! Child hood favorite for sure ;)

That devotional is fantastic too! Great reminders :)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:56 am

i know! Such a childhood comfort food. I still can’t believe I ate canned franks when I was a kid. haha!

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Holly September 25, 2011 at 2:06 am

I’ve never heard of Marmite. What is that?
& Mac n’ cheese is one of my very favorite meals EVER…but I’m so odd..I only like it from the blue box :)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 3:28 am

i’m a GF Amy’s blue box at times. Gotta love those!

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Sarah September 25, 2011 at 2:10 am

The 10 day optimism challege sounds like a great thing!
Mmmm mac and cheese, thanks for the recipe :)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 3:27 am

youre welcome! hope you try it sarah!

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Heather @ Dietitian on the Run September 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Whew, yours is full of different flavors and textures! A friend of mine always puts peas in her mac – I’m more of a steamed broccoli adder :)

Thanks for the link – hope you’re having a good weekend!!

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm

i like your broccoli idea! Greens make it prettty, right?
xxoo

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Jess September 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

“Fight for an attitude of gratitude.” I think I need to have that tattooed on my forehead…or at least made into a t-shirt. Amazing words. You always know just what to post to get me thinking! I heart you!

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm

oh yes, a shirt! haha, that would rock. But yes, i will post this on my fridge. Good idea, right?

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Sable@SquatLikeALady September 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

So colorful!! I love it!!!

I need to post that quote on my fridge or forehead or somewhere ;-)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm

i need to tatoo it on my forehead! haha. Hope the farmers market went well. any puppies??

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Pure2raw twins September 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm

girl great idea and something I need to work on too is being more optimistic. Lori always get mad at me because I see negative first. Working on being more positive. So thank you for this.

xoxo
Michelle

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I think we all need that reminder from time to time. Our lives get so crazy that our heads spin and we can’t see that positive sometimes, ya know? Hope you gals are resting up!

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Lindsay September 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm

This looks so good. I need more gluten free recipes in my life to switch things up. I am going to have to make this mac n cheese this week!

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Oh do i Lindz! and report back, k?

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Shannon September 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm

mmm, love the sounds of that special sauce :)

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm

i think I could just eat the sauce. Or at least use it as a dip!

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janaejacobs September 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I am going to FIGHT…thanks for posting that! Okay, so Billy wants me to make him a mac n cheese hamburger SO SO bad….I think I will do it as long as I can use your recipe!

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

You should! Does he like hot dogs? What am I a thinking….OF COURSE he does! Put those in there too!

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Kalli September 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Oh my goodness this looks like heaven on a plate! I have never tried cooking with brewers yeast does it taste like nutritional yeast? Also Lindsay thanks for the comments on my post yesterday. How long did it take you to detox from the pill? Also, how is Jason adjusting to no training right now? Hopefully he is enjoying his time off.

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I love brewers yeast. It is higher in protein and iron than nutritional yeast. I like it cause its nuttier. I am still off the pill. Its been almost a year. They say it can take up to a year to get the hormones back in line. Mine are still working themselves out but its much better.
James is doing ok. His knee is still bothering him so he’s just swimming and doing strength training. I know he misses racing so bad but he’s so wise to heal everything first. I’d be so impatient!

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

When my husband and I were just dating he would always make the Kraft mac and cheese and throw in peas! I guess he burnt himself out on the idea of mixing noodles with veggies b/c now he won’t touch any version of the stuff. Even if it is homemade!!

I love the thoughts at the end of this post. We all face certain trials and tribulations in this life and although it is HARD we have a choice to make. We can allow our trials to suffocate us or we can choose to rise up and fight, despite our pain. This reminder comes at a great time for me and I am going to make a conscious effort to choose JOY.

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm

oh how cute! maybe he’d eat it with broccoli or corn instead? haha, worth a shot!

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LCCotter September 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm

you know, i put balsamic glaze in a lot of dishes. This addition gives it a little tang, i like that! hehe.

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Paige @ Running Around Normal September 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Mmmm this looks amazing, Lindsay! I’d never think to put balsamic in mac and cheese.

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Kath (My Funny Little Life) September 26, 2011 at 11:04 am

Ha, I think I almost never ate maccaroni & cheese at a child. My mom sometimes made maccaroni with a sweet compote-style sauce from dried fruit mix (apples, plums, pears, apricots). Sounds scary? Well, that’s northern German tastes! ;) (People in northern Germany even put sugar on their kale.)

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LCCotter September 26, 2011 at 11:08 am

oh kath, you know I want that recipe for the sauce. Sounds good to me! is it?

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Carolina @ Peas in a Blog September 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Balsamic & mac & cheese? You’re a woman after my own heart. This looks awesome!

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LCCotter September 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm

oh you know it! its tangy and i like it!

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Malita September 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm

with marmite and toast – please brush and gargle after the meal!!!

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