the one where i cook

This week's Whatever Wednesday's topic is to share a recipe. And because I am quite the chef this post comes very naturally to me. I tried to get the actual chef in our home, Matt, to guest star today but he refused. Which is strange because he normally spoils me. Then I debated giving you all a recipe for how I do dinner involving driving to your nearest  McDonald's but I know, I know. I should actually do the post as intended this time. 

This recipe belongs to my mother. It is famous across the United States. Seriously. I have a brother-in-law in Oregon who loves it. It is a staple at most large gatherings and can even be made in advance and refrigerated until it is time to bake. Win win. Now it's a bit intense. I apologize for the level of intensity. And yes I got permission from my mother to share. I give you: Macaroni and Cheese. Or in our house Whatever Pasta We Have On Hand and Cheese. Today it's Penne. 

We always double the recipe. Always. Why not type it up as such? Because. That's why. I will be doubling it for these purposes because my in-laws are coming over and like I said, this Mac Penne and Cheese is famous. And because we always double it. 

2 tbsp butter
1/4 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c milk
2 c grated cheddar (you can get creative here. Mexican flavored cheddar. Four cheese. Knock your socks off.)
8 oz cooked macaroni penne

Number one. I always like to have a glass of wine when I'm cooking. I rarely cook and when I do I like to have wine. Just another Fun Fact About Laurie. Okay now that that's done. The cooking portion of this post. 

Melt the butter over low heat. Stir in flour and salt and stir until smooth. Matt calls this a 'roux' but Matt is a complete and utter snob when it comes to food and what am I on Iron Chef? No. 

I normally have the pasta going at the same time as this "roux" nonsense.  Stir in the milk until smooth, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat (I leave it on heat but this is my mom's recipe so I'll pass it along as per her instructions) and stir in 1 1/2 c cheese. 

Stir into cooked pasta. 

If you are baking right away sprinkle the extra cheddar (probably a cup) on top. Bake in 375 degree oven uncovered for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Add caption

And that's how it's done. Wala. 

Just so we are clear when I say "wala" I am channeling my inner Clark Griswold:

Chef Laurie. Over and out. 


sunsets times two plus a wee bit of beach

So here we are with part two of our weekend getaway extravaganza! I mentioned yesterday that Matt's aunt and uncle have a pretty nice view right on the bay... It was so nice that it merited playing with my True HDR app on my iPhone.

That done the kids went to bed where they apparently slept better than the night before. Although Matt might debate me on that when it comes to Letty. I was in charge of the easier one so that I could be in tip-top condition for my 8 mile run that was scheduled for Saturday. The run went well which is always welcome. It was definitely a bit surreal to be running down the same roads that years prior I only traversed after a night of drinking with my girlfriend in college. To be up with the sun doing something healthy with my body...etc. Anyways. We headed off to the beach yet again and this little man fell asleep in that short trip to the beach. And he stayed that way. It was the best.

After he woke up we played a bit more until we were thoroughly covered in sand. And by we I mean David and Letteria. My anxiety level was up a bit at what our car seats and Aunt Sue's house would look like afterwards. Then there was more jet skiing! This time she was all smiles and we made it up to 20 mph! We were out there for almost an hour and Letty even sang to Aunt Sue. Down By the Bay to be exact.

Then there was another beautiful sunset and some feeding of ducks. When we woke up Sunday morning Letty laid in bed saying goodbye bay! We had such a nice time on the bay with them! Thank you Aunt Sue and Uncle Glenn! And I'm sorry about the damage to your house.

the first time he touched the ocean

This past weekend we had the pleasure of visiting Matt's aunt and uncle in their lovely beach house in Ocean City, MD. It's been four years since we visited them down there... believe me. We counted. It feels like that was just yesterday, yesterday before there were children involved. So this was the first trip with those two other people that just happen to live with us. I'm a bit neurotic about my kids in other people's homes. What if they break something? What if they talk back to me in front of them? What if they jump on the furniture? What if they won't eat the dinner that was prepared for them? I can assure you that all of the above did in fact happen but I can also assure you that we had the most gracious and understanding hosts. We love them very much and love spending time with some Olsens!

The weekend began with good enough intentions... We left ahead of schedule just to meet traffic and be surrounded by a screaming one year old. For five hours. Think that was a typo? Nope. Five hours he yelled and squawked and complained. That's the stuff patience is made of let me tell you. But we arrived in one piece and were met with the most wonderful margaritas I've ever had. And a walk on the deck. They have an awesome view of the bay and as you'll see later on, of sunsets. 

The next morning (after little sleep but anyone with toddlers knows this is how it works the first night on a vacation) we headed down to the beach. It looks gray but it did end up being a beautiful day. Matt is turning into quite The Tan Man thanks to the beach. David had met the sand before but never the ocean. And typical of that little man he definitely enjoyed. Letteria thought the ocean was just not her thing but that is also typical of her. The sand though, the sand she was just fine with.

//i love seeing these two together. it warms my heart.\\

//the kids with their aunt and uncle.\\

//first glance of that horizon.\\

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on your views of sand, a kid needs to nap. So we left the beach for a late lunch and a quick tub and a nap for D. Then I had a nice little date with my daughter on the deck whilst Matt worked on the aforementioned tan. 

But he doesn't sleep forever. My little cutie. A quick walk and we were then joined by the rest of the family.

Yes vacationing is for day drinking. In this case anyways. But then get this. Aunt Sue took Letteria out on her very first jet ski trip. What not quite three year old hasn't been on a jet ski? They got it up to the very fast speed of 12 mph. Though she looks serious she did actually enjoy it very much. 

And just because I couldn't bombard you with that many photos in one post I'll be finishing up our weekend for you tomorrow.... you're welcome. So Happy Monday!