Mac and Cheese Recipe Using Leftovers

No More Leftovers Mac and Cheese at Always Expect Moore

I was at a party, and there was a bunch of cubed cheese left over afterwards. The hostess couldn’t eat it, so she asked if I could take it home. I knew that I could turn that cheese into a yummy dinner… and it really was delicious!

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Here is the Mac and Cheese Recipe I used.

For every 1 cup of cheese, you’ll need:
4oz elbow macaroni noodles
2 tbsp flour
1 c whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter + 4tbsp for breadcrumbs (use REAL butter – worth it!)
1/2 c Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Boil water and add macaroni noodles. Cook according to package directions and drain.

While the noodles are cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees and chop up the cheese so it is as thin as if you had shredded it.

chop cheese to shred

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and whisk.

Once the flour/butter/spice mixture is mixed, slowly pour in the milk. Keep stirring as you pour to keep everything lump-free. Bring the pot up to a boil, stirring the whole time, and cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat and keep cooking for about 10 minutes.

Start adding the cheese, incorporating a little at a time. Let the mixture cook for another 5 minutes. Keep stirring, making sure to stir up the bottom to prevent burning.

Add the cheese sauce to the macaroni noodles and mix well so that the noodles are fully covered. Pour into a greased baking dish.

Melt the remaining butter and toss the breadcrumbs in it. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until top is golden and yummy. This is the best Mac and Cheese Recipe ever… and to think that it was made using leftovers! YUM!

adapted from Fannie Farmers Mac & Cheese Recipe

Ice Cream Pizzas

My 4-year old loves Team Umizoomi. If you don’t have small kids, you don’t know that Team Umizoomi is a team of 3 tiny cartoon characters (4 if you count Umi Car), who run around Umi City helping their friends by using their “Mighty Math Powers”.

Team Umizoomi has helped to teach my son math issues like units of measure, identifying patterns, and shapes. They also reinforce proper social behavior like sharing and helping friends. One of my son’s favorite episodes is about Ice Cream Pizzas. The ice cream truck has broken down, and can’t get down the street to bring ice cream treats to the neighborhood children. The ice cream treat of choice is the ice cream pizza. My son asked me if we could make ice cream pizzas together, so of course I said yes!

We had to start by getting our ingredients. Large sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream (which I allowed to soften) and gummy candies. In the show they use a striped candy. Since we couldn’t find the right color striped candy, I went with these gummy candies that are the right color, but weren’t the right size. I cut them down to size for our pizzas.

I spread the softened ice cream on to cookies. I had softened the ice cream so that it was about the consistency of margarine.

I cut up the gummy candies and then let my son put them on. Team Umizoomi used 5 candies on their ice cream pizza, and so did we.

All that was left was to chow down! Nom!

Dinosaur Smash Cake

For Little Moore’s first birthday, three and a half years ago, I made a small car cake for him to smash into. He doesn’t remember, but he has seen pictures. Quite a few times he has requested that I make him a car cake again. I’m sure I will… but before then I had Baby B’s first birthday cake to make. For Baby B, we were throwing a Dinosaur Birthday Party. I had all kinds of fun ideas planned (I’ll share more with you soon – I promise!), but the cake really had me stumped. Dinosaur cake. How was I going to make this happen?

Sure, I could make a traditional cake and slap some dinosaur toys on it. But I really went all-out for his brother’s birthday… and being a second child myself (and my mother was a second child too), I’m very conscious of second-child syndrome. Yes, some things are going to be different for Baby B than for his big brother… but I’d like to have some things the same, too. So I got baking.

I used one boxed cake mix to make 2 round cakes in 6″ cake pans. I’ve had these cake pans forever, and love them. I used them for Little Moore’s first birthday as well. I got them my last semester in college when I lived in a tiny apartment with no oven. When we were first dating, I used them to bake a birthday cake for my husband in a toaster oven!

I covered a small cutting board to use as the base. I then cut a slice off the bottom of the first round to make the bottom of his legs, and cut off each side to make the front and back of the body. I cut a notch in the middle to make the legs.

From the second cake I cut an arch to make the head, and a pointy bit for the tail, and then put them by the body piece like so:

Yup! Already starting to look like a dinosaur! I then cut the top so the cake was level. Now he looks like this:

I used canned frosting, and gave him a thin layer of frosting. This is called a “crumb coat”. I didn’t worry about crumbs everywhere, because this is getting covered up later. I just wanted to seal everything in. At this stage, he looks pretty ugly.

I tinted frosting green until I got it the right color, and then put it in a piping bag. I grabbed the largest tip I had, which happened to be a star tip. I then piped the green all over every inch of the cake.

With a knife, I smoothed out the frosting.

I added a couple touches later with a contrasting color, for fun… but that’s optional. This is really a simple cake to make – I promise! And, he had his shining moment in the sun… before he was reduced to this…

I hope that in four years, Baby B will look back at photos of this cake and ask for a repeat as well!