How are you enjoying your 3 day weekend? I'm enjoying hours and hours of Dr. Who, went to Howl at the Moon with friends, and I gave myself a manicure!
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Aren't red and yellow perfectly complimentary colors? You're probably thinking, Molly, what on earth do you need all those lemons for? I'll tell you tomorrow!
 
 
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There's a reason Macaroni and Cheese is a classic. It's because it's awesome. Especially when it's home made! This recipe might seem a little involved when there are so many quicker options for mac and cheese, but trust me, it's not that hard and the extra work is sooo worth it! This is a great dish for a potluck or summer picnic.


Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Annie's Eats

Serves 8-10
Bread crumb topping:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp dried parsley (I used an Italian Seasoning Mix cause it's all I had)
salt and pepper

Pasta and Sauce:
1 lb pasta shapes (I recommend shells!)
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dried mustard (if you don't have any, use 2-3  tsps yellow mustard)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tbsp flour
2 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 1/2 cups milk
1 lb (16 oz) colby jack cheese, grated
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
pepper

First make the bread crumb topping. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a small sauce pan. Stir in the panko and heat until lightly browned. Turn off the heat and stir in the dried seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, start cooking your pasta. Bring your water to a boil and cook the pasta for only 5 minutes, you don't want it to cook completely. Drain the pasta and set aside.

In the same pot, melt the rest of the butter at medium-high. Add garlic, mustard, and cayenne pepper stirring for 30 seconds. Don't want to burn the garlic! Whisk in the flour and stir constantly until it becomes a golden paste. Pour in the chicken broth and milk, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble a bit. Turn off the heat. Stir in the cheeses, and keep stirring until they are completely melted. Taste it! Season with salt and pepper till it's the best cheese sauce you've ever tasted!  Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce. It will seem like waaaay too much sauce, but don't worry it will be just right after cooking in the oven.

Pour the pasta and cheese mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Top with the bread crumbs.   Bake 30-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Be sure to put a cookie sheet under the dish so it will catch any cheesy goodness that bubbles out of the pan. When it's done, let cool and then dig in!
 
 
When I was in Houston for Delaney's birthday, I went through some stuff that my mom had from my grandparent's house. Guys, I hit the vintage mother lode! I could probably start a whole blog just about going through all those boxes. And maybe I'd do that if we lived in Houston. Instead, I'm going to show you guys the cream of the crop in the next few posts. So stay tuned!

Today, I'm going to start with my favorite photos.
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This is my Pappaw. Handsome huh? He died last summer at 93 years old. I could go on and on about it, but I won't. If you're interested, just ask!
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This is my Mammaw with Tim, my uncle. Mom says this photo was taken while they were living on the military base in Japan. Pappaw was a pilot in the Air Force. I love this photo. So many old photos are thoughtfully posed, and those can be nice, but a beautiful candid photo like this one is unique. Her hand is so gently reaching out to her baby, it reminds me of Adam in the Sistine Chapel.
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How...cool...is...this...photo?! Mammaw and Pappaw really loved their time in Japan, and would often share stories of their time there. I love how intently they are watching the man. I wonder if he's explaining what they are eating or teaching them how to use chop sticks. I also love that their eating bento boxes, so cool. I'm a pretty big Japanophile, so this picture gets me really excited! 

If you, like me, have an irrational love for things Japanese, you will love the next post. I can't wait to share it!
 
 
and 8 days. Sorry it took me so long to share these cute photos!
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The birthday girl makes her grand entrance!
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She enjoyed her time outside, but refused to walk on the grass!
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Bubbles are her favorite thing right now.
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before
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after
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Once all the guests left, she was free to run wild, fueled by two cupcakes!
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The next day, we went to the Houston Children's Museum. It is....the.....coolest! (Delaney loves cameras.)
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The museum had a room just for babies and toddlers.
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Delaney enjoyed having everything at her level and being able to roam free.
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!