Thursday, March 17, 2011

Project Simplify: Week #2 and Homemade Macaroni and Cheese...


Well, I did it again... I procrastinated. I had all week and finally on the last day, decided to start sorting through my hot mess.

This weeks Hot Spot was Paper Clutter... and I had a few different places in my home that had accumulated paper clutter. I'm notorious for filing papers here and there. A bad habit, I know.

I spent about six hours going through four areas. It went pretty smoothly, until I hit my storage area underneath the stairs. Can you say NIGHTMARE? I decided to count this as a paper clutter area because I have school materials, crafts, and stationary stored on the shelves.

I won't leave you in suspense any longer. Here are my before and after photos...

Our computer area.

The kitchen counter top where I keep some of my cookbooks and recipes.

My buffet, where I like to keep magazines. I know, it doesn't look like much of a difference,
but I got rid of a lot of magazines, Okay!?!

Last, but not least... the dreaded storage under the stairs. Que the scary slasher music...
It looks a little more organized, right?  Well, it should... I got rid of four large
trash bags in this area alone!

Well, that's all folks...

P.S... Excuse the bad lighting on my photos, I had no natural light coming in when I took them.

Before I go and pass out from exhaustion, I want to share some comfort food with you. My mother-in-laws recipe for Macaroni and Cheese. It makes things all better...

... really, it does.

Oh So Good Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 pound Elbow Pasta, Cooked And Drained
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3 cups 2% Milk, Divided
  • 1 bag Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese (16 Oz), Divided
  • 1 cup Shredded Parmesan, Divided
  • 3 Tablespoons Dried Chopped Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley Flakes
  • 2-½ teaspoons Salt, Or To Taste
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Begin by boiling 4 quarts of water and cooking the elbow pasta until al dente (8-10 minutes).

While doing so, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour until combined. Next, whisk in 1 cup of milk and combine well with the four mixture. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Now whisk in 2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese into the saucepan until well combined with the milk mixture. Keep alternating 1 cup of milk to 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, whisking all the while, until a sauce begins to form. Reduce the heat to low and continue to whisk until the cheese sauce thickens. You’ll know when it is ready when the sauce coats a spoon and drips off only a little bit. When the cheese sauce is finished remove from the heat and set aside.

After the pasta has been drained, return it to the pot and pour in the cheese sauce, dried chopped onion, parsley flakes, and 1/2 cup of the shredded parmesan. Stir, coating the pasta well; then put the mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve with rolls or a salad.



I'm linking this up to Simple Mom's Project Simplify: Paper Clutter Results.

Just call me Ms. Procrastinator...


  1. I love that you keep your magazines in drawers. I wish I could do that! Looks awesome (and thanks for sharing the mac and cheese recipe...mmm!)

  2. I'd say that area under the stairs definitely shows a dramatic change and was worth the effort! Must feel great to know you have cleared up four hot spots in a day!

  3. Great job on your clutter!

    I wish I had a drawer for my magazines.

  4. I love your blog - I am now following you! Thank you for your yummy recipes and great tips. Come over and visit Concetta's Cafe and have a great weekend!

  5. Way to go! And thanks for the recipe, too. Yum!

  6. Love your magazine drawer! That's a great use of space, almost like they were made to hold magazines.

  7. Oh man I really need help in this department! With moving, it really showed me just how much junk I had and needed to get rid of! I really need to be better about organizing things better also. I have been looking for a good homemade Mac n cheese recipe forever now and I think this just might do the trick. Thanks for sharing.


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