Feb 26, 2015

In the Kitchen w/Chicbusymom: Mini Macaroni & Cheese Cups

I have been traveling recently for about 2+ weeks straight for work. Like a true road warrior my bags and I went back and forth to Los Angeles twice and then to Florida. At the end of my last trip I checked my calendar and remembered with a audible choice expletive that it was my youngest son's Family Visit the next day at school. 

What's a Family Visit you ask? It's when the entire family comes in and gets interviewed by twenty 5 and 6 year olds. The goal is to learn about everyone's family differences and similarities. You then break off into 4-5 stations where each family member demonstrates different aspects of the family dynamic--LAWD! We opted for a reading corner, an art station, a red carpet/event production station as well as the mandatory snack station. Of course that meant me making his favorite meal, macaroni and cheese.

I had learned from my daughter's previous Family Visit to keep the snack simple and not fussy- it was kids after all. That memory of fresh lemonade all over the floor will be cemented in my memory forever (plus I was beyond tired). With that in mind, I decided it would be easier to make individual cups of mac & cheese vs. an entire tray. This way the kids could pick it up and handle the portions easily and the clean up would be basically nothing. #smartmomswin

It was so easy I made it that morning before school and guess what?! It was a super hit this time (see  the finished cups above). Below I've included my recipe plus a few other variations that I found on Pinterest including two great ones that include vegetables.

MY RECIPE

1 Egg

1 Can of Carnation's Evaporated Milk

1 Box of uncooked macaroni noodles

1 Tablespoon of butter

3 Bags of your preferred  shredded cheese (buy the pre-shredded cheese. It will save you lots of time). I use Sharp Cheddar, Mild Cheddar and Monterrey Jack

Secret ingredient: Half of a medium sized onion cut in four (you will need a food processor of some sort for this. I use my Magic Bullet). Don't worry the flavor is not overpowering and kids will love it.

Salt & pepper to taste

1 Muffin pan and cupcake cups

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 8 minutes, it should still be a little bit firm. Remove from the heat, drain and return to the pan; stir in the butter.
  3. Fill each muffin cup with macaroni noodles 
  4. Bechamel Cheese Sauce- Take onion and chop in your food processor until it becomes a puree. Remove blended onion from processor and pour into a separate pot. Next pour in entire can of milk and add the egg. Heat and blend egg until all combined. Add 1/2 to 3/4ths of your cheese (all kinds) and little salt and pepper. Heat and stir until cheese has melted and all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Leave this mixture on extremely low heat so as not to burn but to keep the ingredients mixed.
  5. Pour your Bechamel sauce into each muffin cup until well coated but do not overfill. Overfilling will lead to your pan burning in the oven.
  6. With your remaining cheeses top the cups then put in the oven. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. This will allow the cheese to set and they will hold their muffin shape.
And from  our friends on Pintrest...




Roasted Veggies and Mac & Cheese Cups. Click here for the recipe

Roasted Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese Cups

Mini Mac and Cheese Cresent Cups. Click here for the recipe

Mini Mac and Cheese Crescent Cups

Spinach and Mac & Cheese Muffins. Click here for the recipe

DSC_3986

Enjoy!





Chicbusymom joins the #EDENWonderMoms campaign

If you follow me for real you know how much I love the EDEN BodyWorks brand for my own hair. Recently, the brand announced its expansion into the children’s category with an all-new collection of hair care and styling products for the little people in your life. Available now at edenbodyworks.com and exclusively at Sally Beauty Supply (select stores), EDEN Kids is designed specifically with children ages 4-12 in mind, with easy-to-use packaging and a scrumptious strawberry and coconut scent that makes wash day enjoyable, quick and easy for all. I used the Leave-In on my son the other night and he yelled out, 'Oooo yum, strawberry!'. I think you would say he likes it and I like the way it made his hair feel too.

EDEN Kids Product Lineup Includes:

Like its predecessors, the EDEN kids collection is sourced purely from nature, with quality moisturizing ingredients nd other restorative properties – and devoid of harsh, damaging chemicals (basically none of the bad stuff is getting into your kids hair):

·         Coco Shea Berry Detangling Shampoo (8 oz.)
·         Coco Shea Berry Detangling Leave In Spray Conditioner (8 oz.)
·         Coco Shea Berry Moisture Milk (8 oz.) *April 2015
·         Coco Shea Berry Curly Creme (8 oz.)
·         Coco Shea Berry Smoothing Gel (8 oz.) *April 2015


But wait-there's more!

To support the EDEN Kids launch, the brand will partner with several self-published children’s authors to offer a complimentary book with every $20 or more purchase of the new collection. Participating authors include: Julia Davis (I Love Me), Ashley Foxx (Keisha Kane and Her Very Sweet Tooth), Yolanda Renee (Curlies Color Too), Mechal Roe (Happy Hair) and Dr. Robert L. Kirton (The Beast and The Least).

Through the #EDENWonderMoms campaign, several of the top mommy bloggers (Me included!!) in the business will be taking over the brand’s Instagram account to provide EDEN followers with valuable grooming, wellness and work/life balance tips.

EDEN BodyWorks has commissioned popular illustrator and designer, Veronica Marche, to create hand-drawn depictions of EDEN Kids’ v

ibrant styles and personalities. Additionally, the brand will be hosting “I Love Me. I Love My Hair.” workshops in several markets throughout the year, kicking off in New York City with the all-girls non-profit organization, Petals-n-Belles.

I love everything about this project and I'm happy to be able to participate.


#spon



Dec 16, 2014

AquaBall: Tastes Great & Healthy

Got a box of AquaBall in the mail to try (oh how we love you Olaf) - which are little bottles of water flavored with fruits, berries and a touch of Stevia. There were four flavors in all with Disney characters on them: Berry featuring Frozen, Orange featuring Planes Fire & Rescue, Fruit Punch featuring Disney Princesses and Grape featuring Marvel's Avengers. Didn't know this but Disney is the first company to establish nutritional guidelines which brands must meet in order to be affiliated with the Disney name.

As a parent, you can look for the Disney Mickey Check which lets you make better nutritional choices. AquaBall is the only water beverage that has earned the Mickey Check.

How about this--After I read the paperwork (you know I had to read it to make sure it was safe) I put Aquaball in my kids' lunch. I figured give it a try. I had four bottles so I decided to give two to 2 children on one day and 2 the next. That folks was an instant BAD IDEA! The following day my daughter didn't get one and man the river of tears opened up. Lordy!!! I will never do that again. At least I know they like it --a lot.

At a low price of $1 per bottle that's a deal for 12oz compared to most equivalents that give you 8oz. And did you know that 8oz won't hydrate a 10 yr. old but 12oz will? Yeah, me neither. Plus you get Vitamins C, B3, B5, B6, and B12 in every bottle.

AquaBall is sold at Target, Wal-Mart and online at Amazon.com. Look for it in store on your next grocery trip. I know I will.  **Chicbusymom was not paid for this article**



















Dec 15, 2014

Gilt Presents: Paddington the movie

My kids L-O-V-E going to the movies.  We love it even more when we get to see a film before it hits theaters. Insert my recent invite from the lovely folks at Gilt to see the upcoming Paddington movie at the uber chic Crosby Street Hotel. (love that place, if you ever go, try their Burrata and Short Rib pasta, so good) They of course had no idea who Paddington was but I was excited to connect with one of my favorite from 'my' childhood.

I have seen a lot of children's films, more than I care to count but this movie was really, really good. All the wee ones gave their seal of approval. We laughed throughout the entire film. Mark your calendars for January 16th and go see Paddington.

You can even own a piece of cinematic history with Gilt’s exclusive sale of authentic props from the film.  Right now you can discover one-of-a-kind props seen on-screen, as Paddington travels on an London adventure ending up with the Brown Family.  

Gilt members will also have the opportunity to buy signed books and posters by members of the cast, as well as official licensed memorabilia, toys, artwork and more for the whole family.  

All proceeds from the sale of the props will benefit The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness's "Be Homeful" campaign, which strives to put an end to homelessness before it begins. I must inform that the prices are steep but just know its for a good cause.

Additionally, the sale will also feature a collection of children's clothing and accessories from Gilt inspired by the film, from cozy sweaters to rain-gear, wellies and more. Here is the link to the sale and happy holidays to your and yours: www.gilt.com/Paddington

A few images from the Gilt sale are below: 


Judy Brown's Headphones
Moments before meeting the lovable and adorable Paddington Bear, the Brown family walks through Paddington Station, including the rebellious Brown children: twelve year old Judy who is of course wearing her headphones and her ten year-old yo-yo playing brother Jonathan.
Price: $450


Paddington's Black Umbrella Eager to return what he believes is a lost wallet, Paddington sets off on a wild chase to find the “owner.”  In an ever-escalating style only Paddington can pull off, Paddington's skateboarding pursuit swiftly turns into parasailing with the help of an umbrella.
Price: $500


Paddington's Skateboard
Eager to return what he believes is a lost wallet, Paddington sets off on a wild chase to find the “owner.”  In an ever-escalating style only Paddington can pull off, Paddington's skateboarding pursuit swiftly turns into parasailing with the help of an umbrella.
Price: $1,200


***Chicbusymom was not paid for this article*** 





Nov 23, 2014

In the Kitchen with Chicbusymom: Open Faced Short Rib Toast

I love a good semi-homemade meal-it saves me time and makes my life that much more simple. That being said, the other night my husband took me to American Cut restaurant in Tribeca. I did what I do best and quickly ordered the Braised Short Ribs. What came to the table was the most elephant-sized short rib I've ever seen. I clearly had to take some home.

This morning however, I wanted avocado toast (my latest obsession) and then the light bulb went off. Why not put my braised short rib on my avocado toast. Then I thought I needed to add something healthy and alas my spinach and egg scramble. Here's the photo of how it turned out (and yes, it was delicious). As far as the recipe goes, I think you will only need the breakdown for the Avocado Mash which I have included below. The rest you can get from the photo.

On the bottom was a piece of Multigrain dry toast, the warmed short rib (can be swapped for any meat you have in the house) was pulled apart and layered, the spinach and egg scramble (one egg with chopped spinach scrambled in) was added next, lastly I topped it off with my avocado mash. Yep, I tried not to lick my plate.

Avocado Mash:
1 half of lemon
1 dash of olive oil (optional)
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt & pepper to taste

Mash all ingredients together until well blended. Here are some other snaps of yummy avocado toast I found on Pinterest.

Topped with Goat Cheese

With a simple Scrambled Egg

With Heirloom Tomato and Balsamic Drizzle

Wrapped in bacon with a spreadable white cream cheese

With a Caprese mix and an Over Easy Egg




Nov 7, 2014

Eden Body Works on Target.com!!

For all you hair afficionados you should be dancing on the rooftops with this news. You can now get all good for your hair lines from EDEN BodyWorks on the company's website. I'm super excited that I can get my Coconut Shea Oil (its the truth).

Not to mention Jasmin Lawrence, CEO and Founder of EDEN is an inspiring young female entrepreneur that all young women should learn about. I just love her story and intend to share with my daughter and my boys this video- take a look:




Customers will have access to EDEN BodyWorks’ entire family of products including the Peppermint Tea Tree, JojOba Monoi and Coconut Shea collections on Target.com


This is not a sponsored post.

Nov 4, 2014

These old eyes have a new boo.

Yep my eyes are old well not really. They are more strained I would say. Its not rocket science, I literally stare at a big screen for 8-9hrs a day and a small screen for a 4-6 hrs or more for the rest of the day. As I've gotten older I've noticed that my eyes begin to water if I work past 8pm. To top it off, last year my eye doctor told me he thinks I might have 
early onset Glaucoma (doesn't that sound glamorous? NOT).


Anywhoo, while I'm getting older and I need glasses I'm not about to sacrifice being chic in the process. That's why when I got an email from my good folks at Warby Parker about their new Winter Collection, I was super excited. I've been a fan of the company for some time because of their Buy A Pair, Give A Pair initiative (see my previous groupie posts 1 & 2 ). When I saw the new collection I was amped that I could choose from eyeglasses as well as sunglasses styles. 

The lookbook states that the six new rich tones and eight new shapes from this year’s Winter Collection will help you put your best foot—or face, rather—forward. Warby Parker has mixed stainless steel with acetate, freshened up
existing silhouettes with color treatments, and renovated classic shapes. 

Here are a few I'm crushing on which I plan on wearing with my menswear style sweaters and collared shirts (I'll probably look like said girl in the photo just older :-/):


Keene in Beach Glass
Vaughan in Eastern Bluebird Fade

@Who What Wear - Turtleneck Under A Plaid Shirt:                 A thin turtleneck provides the ideal canvas for serious statement accessories. With this look from Leandra Medine of Man Repeller as your guide, layer your thinnest turtleneck under an oversized plaid button down, pop the collar, throw on a chunkier top sweater, and finish with every piece of statement jewelry you own.
Courtesy of Pinterest
And on the weekends I'll be soccer-momming it in these beauties:


Got to WarbyParker.com now to find your own pair. Don't try to take mine. The collection is available November 4th online and in stores and showrooms; Prices start at $95

This is not a sponsored post