This recipe comes with a little twang from our friend and hall-mate, Deanna Steffy. What could be more easy-going than a comfort food with a Southern twist?!

– 1 box of elbows (noodles that is)
– 1 package/block sharp cheddar
– 1 package/block of colby jack
– (Any other cheese you like)
– 2 eggs
– 1 stick butter (REAL BUTTER!)
– 1 can evaporated milk
– 1 T. mustard
– 1 t. paprika
– 1 t. cumin
– pepper & salt to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 375. Put a pot of water on to boil, add a dash of olive oil (so the noodles don’t stick together!). Add the elbow mac once the water has come to a rolling boil.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, milk, butter, mustard, and spices. Stir well. Using a grater, shred your cheese. Combine half the cheese into the egg & milk mixture. Stir.
3. Once the noodles are al dente (just about done, but could cook a little bit longer). Turn the stove top off and drain the noodles. Rinse them in cold water (so you stop the cooking process… otherwise the eggs will start to cook when you stir in the cheese mixture). You can now add the cooked noodles to the egg/milk/cheese mixture. Give it a good stir.
4. Spray/ grease a large 9″ x 13″ pan. Poor about half of the mac and cheese into the pan. Layer some of your extra cheese on top of that. Pour out the rest of the mac and cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. (Sometimes, if I want it to look really pretty I will sprinkle some more paprika or bread crumbs on top).
5. Put in the oven and bake for 30 mins, uncovered.




Hello again, lovely ladies of 2nd floor CHA! Here is yet another tried and true fall recipe for you to give a try. Brought to us by my sister, the mother of three rambunctious boys who is presently expecting a fourth, this recipe has been through the fire of their picky eating and has withstood the flames, having been savored by all…

– 1/2 c. salted butter, melted and cooled
– 1 c. all purpose flour
– 1 t. ground cinnamon
– 1/2 t. baking powder
– 1/2 t. salt
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 c. sugar
– 1 large egg
– 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
– 2 large, firm and sweet apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8″ x 11″ baking dish.
2. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, and egg with mixer for approximately 2 minutes. Add the walnuts and apples to this mixture and stir by hand. Add the dry mixture to this and stir until thoroughly combined.
3. Spread the batter in the baking dish and bake until golden brown, approximately 40 minutes. Let cool for about 30 minutes and then cut into 12 bars.
4. Enjoy!

*Remember the recipe substitutions from a few posts ago: you can always find things that can be tweaked in a recipe in order to make it even just a bit healthier!

I must admit, I have not yet figured out why these are called apple “brownies” and not simply apple cake bars, or something like that, but I am confident that they are delicious nonetheless. I intend to make a batch soon, but if you get to it first, let me know how it goes!

Happy baking!!

From the lovely Mary of 216… thank you for sharing a delectable composite of Spanish flavors!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb chicken
1 cup salsa
2 cups corn (frozen)
1 can black beans (rinse & drain)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of water
1 tsp ground cumin
A few corn or flour tortillas, cut into strips
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup fresh cilantro

Combine chicken (raw, cut into small pieces), salsa, corn and black beans in crock-pot. Mix together cream of chicken soup, water and cumin- pour mixture over chicken in crock-pot. Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 2 ½ hours. Stir in tortilla strips, cheese and cilantro and cook for 15 more minutes.


Many of us are living on our own for the first time this year. As a result, many of us are cooking for ourselves for the first time in our lives. Scary! (Well, based on the odors emanating from your rooms, I am confident you are all doing quite well in this new venture.)

With cooking for yourself comes the new responsibility of deciding what to make. Often in busy lifestyles, health is sacrificed to convenience. This, however, does not have to be the case. I have listed here a few recipe substitutions that I have found and that you may also find to be beneficial for making healthier, though no less delicious, recipes…

– Whole wheat flour for white flour. It usually works best to do about half and half. (In general, whole grains in place of processed grains is a good substitution – more fiber, more nutrients.)
– Natural, no-sugar-added applesauce in place of butter or oil. Take the moisture, leave the fat.
– A teaspoon of vanilla extract for sugar. I wouldn’t cut out all of the sugar, but you can cut back while still having great flavor!
– Greek yogurt for sour cream. Very similar texture, less fat, additional protein. And delicious.
– To cut back on sodium? Try new flavors and spices… citrus, garlic… be creative!

These are just a few basic ideas, but hopefully they are helpful in making delicious and healthier recipes. Be creative, try new flavors! There are lots of flavor combinations worth trying, many that don’t have all the fats, sugars, and salt in them.

Experiment, enjoy and have fun! Looking forward to more wonderful smells on the hall!

For one serving…

Place 1/4 cup oats and 1/2 cup of water in the microwave for about a minute and a half. Then add 1/8 cup of milk to make the mixture creamy. Stir in 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree. Add cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices to taste, in addition to brown sugar as desired for sweetness. Almonds, walnuts or other nuts are also a great way to top of this warm, fall breakfast treat!


This is the first post of the new school year! Hopefully you will be able to enjoy the recipes posted here from both this year and last. Thanks to Lauren for all her hard work and for sharing these gems of recipes with our hall this year!

Autumn Muffins… I just made these the other night. They are full of good things! Enjoy!


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup butter, melted*
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup dried berries**
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled apple
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds**


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin pans or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, both flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Make a well in the center, and add the melted butter, milk and eggs, mix until smooth. Stir in the dried berries, apple, and almonds. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Cups should be at least 3/4 full.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

*If you want to make these muffins healthier, the butter can be substituted with applesauce and you could probably eliminate the white sugar altogether – the fruit brings plenty of sweetness.

**Nuts and dried berries here have plenty of possibilities for substitutions. Use what you have and enjoy the result!


My friend Elaine made cinnamon rolls over Easter break and was kind enough to send me the recipe. They look delicious! The recipe is below, in her typically concise language.
Cinnamon rolls:
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 heaping Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbs shortening
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • cinnamon and brown sugar

Cut shortening into dry ingredients.
Add milk to make dough.
Roll into rectangle.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Roll and cut.
Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
400 for 12-20 minutes, depending on size.