Tag Archives: Hot Chocolate

I’m Dreaming of a White (Out) Wednesday…and Homemade Macaroni and Cheese!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about………more Snow Days!! While the first day of Daylight Savings Time (as in fall back, not spring forward) is my all time, most favorite day of the year, nothing compares to the gift of a whole extra day!! Don’t you remember being a kid and listening to the radio or watching WGN (no email, no texting, no tweeting, no internet), waiting to hear if your school was closed? Sure, it’s fun to know that you can sleep in when you’re heading to bed at night, but it’s such a special treat to get to climb back into bed in the morning and bury your head under the covers; dreaming about all the fantastic ways you could possibly spend your Snow Day.

Growing up in the city of Chicago is a far cry from suburban living. Our entire snowstorm existence was preoccupied with digging our car out of our parking place on the street, and then ensuring that after all of our sweat and exertion, no one else parked in “our spot.” It’s true; people would bring chairs and brooms out to the street to mark their spot. Heaven help the interloper that tried to park their car in a space of ill gotten gain. Suburban living is so much more civilized. We have a snow-blower, shovels and our very own driveway. In fact, snow removal is a neighborly and friendly affair.

Nicholas, Amanda, Wrigley and I are really looking forward to our Wednesday Snow Day. After they have big snow fun with all of our neighbor kids (the little’s play with the big’s), we’ll have hot chocolate, watch movies and I’m going to make our favorite homemade Macaroni Cheese. I’ll bet you already have all the ingredients necessary to whip up a batch for your family.

Dream-y Cream-y Macaroni and Cheese-y

This is so amazing and you can mix it all up a day in advance and just pop it in the oven an hour before you’re ready to eat. Kids love it (and the grown-ups do too).

Grease a 13” x 9” pan

Pre-heat oven to 350°

 

16 oz tubular pasta (elbow macaroni is a classic, but anything will do; penne, gemelli, farfalle, etc)

24 ounces of shredded cheese (let the cheddar fly solo or make it a combo of your favorite cheeses)

1 cup of milk

½ cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 stick of butter, cut into pieces

2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 tsp salt

In a large pan, cook the pasta according to the directions and desired doneness

Drain and return to the pan

Add the cheese to the pasta while it’s hot

 

Spread the pasta mixture evenly into the greased baking dish

In a bowl, combine;

Milk

Sour cream

Eggs

Butter

Hot sauce

Salt

Whisk ingredients together until they are well blended

 

Pour over the pan full of macaroni

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly and golden

It’s beautiful served with a side of fresh fruit, chicken or garlic bread

More found time, more appreciating moments spent together, more outdoor fun, more mac n cheese…..

Dream-Y Cream-Y Macaroni And Cheese-Y

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If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time….


As the More is More Mom®, I am all about…..more time! Sunday was my favorite day of the entire year. It wasn’t my birthday or wedding anniversary. It wasn’t Nicholas, Amanda or Wrigley’s birthday. Clearly, Halloween has passed, and it wasn’t Christmas. It was…..Daylight Savings Time!!

 

I love Daylight Savings Time because it is a day full of possibility; what do you do with found time? It’s kind of like finding money in the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn since last season. Not a lot of money, maybe $20. What do you do with it? Do you simply put it in your wallet or do you treat yourself to something a little bit special? If I found $20, I might stop at Starbucks and treat my family to coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. I might go to Einstein Bagels and buy a dozen bagels with all sorts of tasty toppings. Maybe I would pop into the wine department and buy a bottle of Santa Margherita Pino Grigio. Not that I wouldn’t do those things on any other day, it would just feel like a splurge with found money.

Time is the greatest luxury of all! There is nothing better than resting your head on your pillow Saturday night, to find that when you open your eyes Sunday morning, you are well rested and have an entire extra hour to your day. There are so many ways to spend that hour. The question is what to do?

Most mornings, I spring out of bed at the sound of my alarm. Lounging around, reading a book or flipping channels would be a welcome treat. Glancing at the Sunday newspaper before its time to put out the recycling would be a novelty, too (even if I only check out the promotional inserts, Parade, the Home & Garden section, the sports page during baseball season and Arts & Entertainment).

Chuck and I could bundle up and go on a long bike ride. Wrigley and I could run an extra lap around the park. Instead of hopping in and out of the shower, I could luxuriate in a hot bubble bath and start my book club book, The Art of Racing in the Rain (girls, I  promise I am going to finish the book this month!).

Sunday afternoon my Nicky had a hockey game in the city at Johnny’s Ice House (they won). So, instead of lounging around all morning, I spent that extra hour getting myself organized for the week. That way, while we were in the city, Nick and I were able to enjoy a guilt free dinner with my mom and my cousins, Terri and David, at the Palace Grill after Nicky’s game. Delightful and delicious!

More hours in the day, more possibilities, more time spent together…..

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Wrigley Loves His Pup-accino From Starbucks….


Wrigley……he’s my wingman.

 

One of his very favorite things to do is to go bye-bye in the car. Back in the good old days, when he was just a pup, he went everywhere with us. Wrigley would accompany us to the ice rink for all of Nicky’s hockey games and practices (before a mean poodle nibbled at a kid and management was forced to ban all dogs from the rink. Darn poodle! Ruining it for the rest of us.). When he was just two months old he would fall asleep in my arms like a baby, and the parents and kids would just pass him around. When the boys would take the ice he would bark, and Nick would beam with pride. Everyone thought we were crazy dog people (NO…just crazy Wrigley people.).

Nicky played baseball forever, so Wrigley became accustomed to attending 60 games a season. One of his coaches was great fun, and when none of the dads were available, he would allow me to sit in the dugout with Wrigley and score the game. It was awesome! Wrigley would roll around in the clay, getting completely filthy and dusty. He loved it (Okay, I loved it even more. I am smitten with this animal.)! I would always insist on bringing Wrigley with us no matter the weather. I maintained that we got him to be a part of our family, not to sit home alone in a crate.  Being the huge baseball fan that he was, Wrigley would attend all of the games, even those in the blistering summer heat. The poor thing would crawl under my legs, trying to find a sliver of shade, and hide from the little kids that always wanted to pet him. Ah…..what fun!  

But these days, life is pretty boring for Wrigley here in the cul-de-sac. Nick hasn’t played baseball for three years, and his kind is no longer permitted at the rink. So what is a dog to do? The best he could possibly hope for is a ride in the car……..

Well, yesterday my Wingman took a ride with me to drop Chuck off at the train, and Amanda at school. On our way home, we ran through the Starbucks drive thru to get my morning time beverage of choice; a hot chocolate (evenings are reserved for wine, and I think it’s a miracle I can wait that long). I really wish I were like a grown and enjoyed a cup of coffee, but I don’t. So, like a five year old I order hot chocolate, even in the summer. The Barista always looks at me like I’m a simpleton, not comprehending for a moment that an adult would be drinking a hot chocolate, especially in the summer heat…..

 

We pulled up to the window, Wrigley with his gi-normous head resting on the door, enjoying the warmth of the sun. All of the sudden he perked up, thinking that we were at the bank (a very nice place that dispenses treats to good little doggies. Actually, our bank permits dogs inside the building, so we frequently take a run to downtown Winsome to execute our banking transactions. You can only imagine the startled and surprised looks we get from both patrons and bank employees!). Wrigley was very hopeful that he might get a treat at the Starbucks window. I inquired as to whether or not Starbucks passed out dog treats, and the very nice gal replied that they no longer did, by order of the Health Department (don’t those people know that the mouths of dogs are cleaner than the mouths of humans? Or is that just a myth?). However, she asked if my dog might enjoy a cup of whipped cream? This guy has eaten bark off a tree, lattice off of our deck, a piece out of my shoe, Barbie’s hand, the arm rest off the door of my car…..yeah, I think he’d like a cup of whipped cream. As she handed it to me she declared, “Here’s your Pup-Acino.”

He was so excited that he started to drool (I completely understand. I feel that way when I hit the jack pot at TJ Maxx and More, or any place else I find a steal for that matter.).Wrestling a 92 lb Labrador all the way home while you are driving an enormous SUV is no simple feet. I gave him the coveted cup of whipped cream in our driveway and let him have at it. Ah bliss………..

 

In a matter of seconds it was all over. Wrigley thoroughly enjoyed his Pup-Acino from Starbucks, and is anxiously anticipating, More…….

 

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Wrigley Loved his “Pup-accino” from Starbucks…


Wrigley……he’s my wingman.

One of his very favorite things to do is to go bye-bye in the car. Back in the good old days, when he was just a pup, he went everywhere with us. Wrigley would accompany us to the ice rink for all of Nicky’s hockey games and practices (before a mean poodle nibbled at a kid and management was forced to ban all dogs from the rink. Darn poodle! Ruining it for the rest of us.). When he was just two months old he would fall asleep in my arms like a baby, and the parents and kids would just pass him around. When the boys would take the ice he would bark, and Nick would beam with pride. Everyone thought we were crazy dog people (NO…just crazy Wrigley people.).

Nicky played baseball forever, so Wrigley became accustomed to attending 60 games a season. One of his coaches was great fun, and when none of the dads were available, he would allow me to sit in the dugout with Wrigley and score the game. It was awesome! Wrigley would roll around in the clay, getting completely filthy and dusty. He loved it (Okay, I loved it even more. I am smitten with this animal.)! I would always insist on bringing Wrigley with us no matter the weather. I maintained that we got him to be a part of our family, not to sit home alone in a crate. Being the huge baseball fan that he was, Wrigley would attend all of the games, even those in the blistering summer heat. The poor thing would crawl under my legs, trying to find a sliver of shade, and hide from the little kids that always wanted to pet him. Ah…..what fun!

But these days, life is pretty boring for Wrigley here in the cul-de-sac. Nick hasn’t played baseball for three years, and his kind is no longer permitted at the rink. So what is a dog to do? The best he could possibly hope for is a ride in the car……..

Well, yesterday my Wingman took a ride with me to drop Chuck off at the train, and Amanda at school. On our way home, we ran through the Starbucks drive thru to get my morning time beverage of choice; a hot chocolate (evenings are reserved for wine, and I think it’s a miracle I can wait that long). I really wish I were more like a grown up and enjoyed a cup of coffee, but I don’t. So, like a five year old I order hot chocolate, even in the summer. The Barista always looks at me like I’m a simpleton, not comprehending for a moment that an adult would be drinking a hot chocolate, especially in the summer heat…..

We pulled up to the window, Wrigley with his gi-normous head resting on the door, enjoying the warmth of the sun. All of the sudden he perked up, thinking that we were at the bank (a very nice place that dispenses treats to good little doggies. Actually, our bank permits dogs inside the building, so we frequently take a run to downtown Winsome to execute our banking transactions. You can only imagine the startled and surprised looks we get from both patrons and bank employees!). Wrigley was very hopeful that he might get a treat at the Starbucks window. I inquired as to whether or not Starbucks passed out dog treats, and the very nice gal replied that they no longer did, by order of the Health Department (don’t those people know that the mouths of dogs are cleaner than the mouths of humans? Or is that just a myth?). However, she asked if my dog might enjoy a cup of whipped cream? This guy has eaten bark off a tree, lattice off of our deck, a piece out of my shoe, Barbie’s hand, the arm rest off the door of my car…..yeah, I think he’d like a cup of whipped cream. As she handed it to me she declared, “Here’s your Pup-accino.”

He was so excited that he started to drool (I completely understand. I feel that way when I hit the jack pot at TJ Maxx and More, or any place else I find a steal for that matter.).Wrestling a 92 lb Labrador all the way home while you are driving an enormous SUV is no simple feet. I gave him the coveted cup of whipped cream in our driveway and let him have at it. Ah bliss………..

In a matter of seconds it was all over. Wrigley thoroughly enjoyed his Pup-accino from Starbucks, and is anxiously anticipating, More…….

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