What’s on the Side: Macaroni & Cheese

So this is my best recipe to date. It’s always being tweaked though to taste even better. My macaroni and cheese was a hit at a baby shower at work, so I know is halfway decent, lol.

I used the voice typing to write this recipe while I was making it so there’s no ingredient list. I will edit later to make it easier to follow.

First start with the macaroni. I prefer to use Rienzi I-Bambini mini pasta elbows with carrots and squash to add the vegetable factor into the macaroni and cheese. (It’s a discontinued product at Stop & Shop so its hard to find. You can use a regular box of macaroni.) Next, we prepare the sauce as the noodles are cooking. This is what makes the dish creamy, so it is the most important part of the dish. I melt my 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons of butter then add a 12 ounce can of evaporated milk. Next I add the 2 tablespoons of mustard. I prefer to use spicy brown mustard but you can use yellow mustard or any type of mustard you feel comfortable with. Then add the basic seasonings to taste: black pepper, seasoned salt, paprika, garlic and onion powder. At this point I like to taste the mixture just to make sure I have the seasonings right and once everything is tasting okay I will add the two eggs and the shredded cheese. So I usually use sharp cheddar and mild cheddar about 1 3/4 cup of each go into the mixture. At this point I like to use about 12 slices (8 oz) of American cheese and shred it as small as I can with a knife.

I recently started to add about a half cup of milk to the mixture and just to get it even more creamy, and to have that melt in your mouth feeling. You can also add meat to the mac and cheese such as crumbled bacon or diced ham/chicken.

Combine the mixture with the cooked macaroni. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 min, or until all cheese is melted.

Hope you enjoy!

What’s on the Side: Three Bean Salad

Since this is what I made last week to accompany some brown sugar bourbon pork chops, I decided to come on here, while I remembered, and share the recipe. I made the pork chops with a marinade packet so nothing special there.

Three Bean Salad

Ingredients

12 ounce box tri-color rotini, cooked
1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can wax beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Combine all ingredients, then place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. Serve cold.

I usually make this very last minute, so it’ll be in the fridge for maybe an hour before we eat. The flavors are not completely combined, but it still tastes great.

Changing up the page

Ok, ok, ok… I keep saying this with every post but I’m sorry it took so long to update!

I’ve been so busy, working full time, dealing with the kids, and going back to school. But I will definitely try to update more often. Especially since I’ve decided to focus a little bit on food this time around. When I do have the time (mostly on Wednesdays and Thursdays, my days off work) I like to look up different recipes online and cook them for dinner. Since I usually tweak a recipe because I’m a picky eater, I figured, why not post my tweaked picky eater recipes online? Not that it hasn’t been done before, but even the picky eater websites/blogs have stuff I don’t eat, or recipes that take way too much time. I’ll also try to add references, when available, of the website/blog that I got the original recipe from.

On another note, so much hair stuff has happened in the past 2.5 months since I last posted!

#1: my hair GREW! Um duh… But it feels so good to see growth when your hair used to be stuck at shoulder length. I have my hair in finger coils again, this is the third time I’ve done it. My hair is touching my ear, and it feels great. It was blowing in the wind! LOL… When I stretched my hair prior to putting the coils in, the front was almost touching the bottom of my nose. So I am definitely excited about my new growth, and hope it will continue. I would love to at least get back to shoulder length by the end of the year.

#2: My and my friend went to a Kinks and Drinks event (presented by Tribe Called Curl) in February in Brooklyn. It was very insightful. The drinks and gift bags were the icing on the cake! The guest speakers were Karen of Karen’s Body Beautiful and Stylist Diane C. Bailey. All in all, a great experience and I’m hoping to find another natural hair meetup soon.

#3: I received the entire Pantene Truly Natural line from Naturally Curly to review (back in February), and haven’t done it yet. I use the co-wash mostly. There isn’t much to say other than their products dry my hair out. I usually follow up with my HEHH conditioner and Shea Moisture products. Everything in that line, including the oil, still contains silicones. Nothing “truly natural” about it. I’ll continue to use it because I hate wasting products, but I wouldn’t buy on my own. **Side note: Pantene products have had the same scent for years. Washing my hair with it takes me back to the days when I’d wash my Barbie’s hair with the little sample bottles, lol.

Um, what else? My son turned 5 a couple of weeks ago. I officially will have a kindergartener in September. Not too happy about that. He’s getting too old! I thought turning 3 was bad cause kids are no longer free in certain activities, but 5 is worse! He’s not a baby anymore. He’s about to start school, no more day care (I guess that part is a plus, less $$)… Ugh, next thing you know he’ll be off to college.

Lemme stop with the dramatics. Anyways, my next post will be about the last 4 recipes I cooked up. And I may update this one with pics of my hair. I’m too tired now.

Good night readers!
»»MsQuietStormJ««

It’s growing!

So I took a picture in October that I meant to post up here, but I didn’t. I decided to take a comparison shot and was kinda surprised to see the amount of growth in just 3 months.

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I would estimate it to be maybe an inch of growth… I want to straighten it to really see the length. Gotta head to the store for some heat protectants (as if I need anymore products!) And I will attempt to follow misskendrak’s YouTube vid on straightening a TWA.

Until next time…

❤Msquietstormj❤

Finger coils

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Did my own finger coils yesterday after watching a vid on YouTube. Co-washed with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner, t-shirt dried, spritzed with Creme of Nature Perfect 7 leave-in, applied my olive oil/JBCO mix, and coiled using Obia Natural Haircare Curl Enhancing Custard. Took about 7 hours because I kept stopping, might’ve taken only 2 without breaks. Next time I might do them smaller, especially at the nape. Any tips on how to make them better?

Got my hair did ;)

Wow, three posts in three days?!? Crazy right? Anyways I decided I needed to do something different to my head because it is growing so uneven. So for the second time this year I found someone on Instagram to hook my head up. I called up Khamit Kinks salon on Tuesday to set up an appointment.

I had been on their website and searched thru the styles that were posted. The last expensive one was the mini twists ($100). So it was decided… I mean, my hair appeared long enough to do it and I really didn’t want to pay extra for fake hair. When I called them up and asked for the mini twists, the receptionist was like, “What do you mean by mini twists?” And I was stuck, like “Um… twists”. Lol. So she said “Two stand twists?” And I was like yea. I didn’t think I had to be specific since the website simply states mini twists, but whatever. Then she said they normally need to do a consultation for first time patrons, but she just asked me a few questions about my hair, like how long is it (I said maybe 3 inches, well, my longest points are at least), is my hairline intact, and do I experience breakage. Simple. I left my non-refundable deposit of $50 over the phone and that was that.

I arrive that the salon yesterday 10 min early (and I’m never early for anything!), sign in, and wait for my stylist, Andre, to come in. He doesn’t get there till 20 min later, but I was cool with that. He gets settled, then takes me to the back to wash my hair. Now I’m used to the Dominican salons where there’s like 3 different people working on your hair. So I was a lil surprised when he washed my hair himself. But he shampooed and deep conditioned my hair using Anu Essentials products. Then we went over to his chair and he went to work. Now I’m not much of a talker, especially when I can’t see (my eyesight is horrible without glasses and I took them off while he did my hair) because I will constantly squint at you, lol. But he tried to keep the convo going. The twisting took maybe 1 hour, which was not too bad. I finally was able to put my glasses on and see what was done. I must admit, I would never be able to do them on my own hair, but he did really well. I wish I was able to see how he had done it, but oh well, I don’t have the patience anyway.

I love the style, just wish my hair was thicker and maybe an inch or two longer. I  hope they last for at least two weeks (my birthday!)

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My next decision to make: to loc or not to loc. I feel as if I won’t have the patience for the maintenance they take, or the money. But my mother had suggested it a few years back and now I’m thinking about it. But we’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll decide when I reach my one year chop-aversary. In three weeks (01/02) it’ll be one year since my last relaxer *go me!*

Thanks as always for reading!
MsQuietStormJ

PJ Much?

Well I think it’s official, I am a product junkie. Or maybe I just can’t turn down an awesome deal. Either way, I need help, bad, lol. So Walgreens has Shea Moisture products on sale for $4.99 each! I couldn’t resist!
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And with my coupons that I received from Shea Moisture back in October (They gave me free samples for participating in the kids contest + coupons), I scored even better. I had a second set of coupons that I didn’t have on me but I know I’ll use them at some point in the future.

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Can’t wait to try these out on me and my baby!! Side note: our birthdays are in two weeks! *does cabbage patch* lol