Adventures in eating

I tried three new recipes last week, two of which were pasta-based dishes. It's kind of strange because I'm not a big pasta person ... like, at all. I loved my Nana's all-day tomato sauce and I will go to town on a can of Spaghetti-O's, but I don't typically gravitate towards noodles. Even when I'm carb-loading for a race, I usually just opt for pizza. (And bread. Gimme all the bread.)

But ya, I made two different pasta recipes that we ate over the span of 4 days and on top of all the holiday treats we've recently devoured, it's a wonder that I can still fit into any of my pants. (It's a Christmas miracle!)

First up, Skinny Spinach Lasagna (which surprisingly is not from Ricotta cheese makes me gag-y, so I'm not sure what my reasoning was for trying this. But hey, my red wine needed an Italian accompaniment, so here we are.

(By the way, once I discovered that no-boil lasagna noodles exist, my life got exponentially easier.)

I followed this recipe to a T and wouldn't recommend changing anything. My only question about the instructions is that the author doesn't specify whether or not you should chop the spinach first and after nearly choking on a spinach stem, I definitely recommend chopping the spinach first.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this recipe an 8. It's easy, prep time was less than 15 minutes, and it's extremely flavorful. It would be a perfect 10, but near-death choking experiences definitely deducted a few points.

And because ricotta cheese still makes me gag-y.

Then I made homemade macaroni and cheese for the very first time in my life because I apparently didn't realize that I'm an American until now. I've always preferred the taste of Kraft Mac N' Cheese, which I know in the cooking world is sacrilegious, but the heart wants what it wants.

I'm a huge proponent of 3-ingredient dinners and this recipe for Mac N' Cheese fit the bill. To suit our own tastes, I used a combination of both sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheeses (and doubled the amount required because I believe in being happy).

Boil some almond milk, toss in the noodles, add cheese. Really, does it get any easier than that?

My formal rating: 10 out of 10. Make this. Now. Add broccoli. Add bacon. Add ham. Add pancetta. Go nuts. The world is your oyster with this mac n' cheese! We topped ours with Panko breadcrumbs and it was superb.

Finally (and become my motto on starch is "Don't stop til' you get enough"), I made Potato, Egg and Cheese waffles this week. Yes, I said "waffles". Intrigued yet? You should be.

Clay's maternal side of the family has an annual Sunday brunch the week before Christmas, and this year I volunteered to bring a hash brown dish (See? I bring the fun and the carbohydrates!). I found a recipe for Potato, Egg and Cheese Waffles and since I love every single world in the title, I gave it a try.

FABulous. These waffles are so dang fabulous. It's the perfect storm of breakfast foods.

The only downside to these waffles is that making just one takes 5 minutes and when you're trying to feed a group of 20+, efficiency is key. So Clayton and I ended up eating the above waffle and opted to use the rest of the mixture to bake mini hash brown cups in a cupcake pan. The mini cups were yummy, but I was still bummed that I couldn't share the waffles with my family.

I just re-read this post and suddenly have a strong urge to go run 10 miles. Ugh.

Indulgence, thy name is Christmas.