"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born - it's an idea, a state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, high school football, country music, and acoustic guitars. It's being hospitable, being devoted to front porches, magnolias, the good Lord, and each other. We don't become Southern - we're born that way."


Creamy Mac and Cheese

Oddly enough, as much as I love to cook, I have never in my life made homemade macaroni and cheese.
My kids have always loved the good old Kraft in the box so much, it just seemed pointless to go to all that trouble.

But I offered to make mac & cheese for my great-niece, Hayleigh's first birthday party, and I decided I was going to finally make the homemade version.

But I didn't even have a recipe.
I wanted one that was delicious, of course, and not elaborate, and it had to be kid-friendly.
I looked in Hunter's mom's cookbooks, but didn't see anything.
I requested help from my friends via Facebook, but didn't get very far.

So I decided to ask Paula.
Paula Deen, that is.
I knew she would never steer me wrong.  And of course, I was right.  It was easy and turned out great.  And even better - it's a crock pot recipe!

So I decided to share this Creamy Macaroni and Cheese recipe with my friends.

1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1   (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
3   eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cup (about 10-ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8 ounce box isn’t quite 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Add eggs. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
For once, I didn't alter the recipe!
I did use my ever-present Nature's Seasons, and I also added a little shredded cheese over the top before I served it.
It was a big hit.  In fact, a little 6 year old boy went back for seconds and, discovering that it was almost gone, stated that it was "vewwy mean" of people to have already eaten almost all of it!
AND one more side note: today I decided to make another batch, because I had all of the ingredients that I needed.
Except once I was actually already in the process of making it, I realized I didn't have a second can of cheddar soup.  I decided to try it without it, instead of wasting the ingredients I did have.  I threw some Parmesan cheese in there to cheese it up, just a few tablespoons.

Guess what?  Just as good - if not BETTER.  =D
ETA: Shelbie says it's BETTER!


Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I have a friend named Lori who lives in Philly.  When I posted this recipe on Facebook, she had a hissy fit, or whatever they call hissy fits up there in Philly.  She said it's NOT authentic unless it actually comes from Philadelphia, AND real Philly cheesesteaks contain ZERO vegetables.  No onions, mushrooms or peppers.

Hmph.  Who knew?

So I told her I'd call them FILLY cheesesteak stuffed peppers if it made her happy.  She liked that.

I didn't name the darned things anyway!  Like so many of the new recipes I try these days, I got it from Pinterest.

Whatever you call them, they are GOOD.

And very simple.
The original recipe calls for you to use roast beef, like deli meat. 
Which I think would be good, but Hunter wanted to use something more steak-like.  
So we use stir fry steak strips.
Here are the ingredients to make 6 FILLY stuffed peppers: 

3 bell peppers
1 lb. stir fry steak strips
1/2 large white onion, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
12 slices of provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice your peppers in half.  Clean out the seeds and stuff.
I boil mine for a few minutes prior to filling because I like a softer stuffed pepper.
Season your meat to taste - I use garlic powder and Nature's Seasons.
Brown it in a little olive oil.  
Sautee the onions and mushrooms.  I am not a mushroom fan so I do half with, half without.
I'm such a people pleaser.
Then you place your peppers on a cookie sheet.
Put one slice of provolone inside of each pepper.  Then fill with the meat, and top with the veggies.
Finally, place another slice of provolone over each pepper.  Pop them in the oven for about 5 minutes, just long enough to melt the provolone.

This is probably Hunter's favorite Pinterest recipe that I've tried.  He LOVES them.  
I also served them to his parents and brother and they were a big hit.
Let me know if you try them!

P.S. Follow me on Pinterest!
P.S.S. Why not follow me on Instagram too? brown_eyed_girl_11