Friendly Wednesday: Out of the Box and Into the Kitchen!

Welcome to Friendly Wednesday at Acting Balanced!

This is going to be a regular feature here at AB - so that I can show off one of my talented bloggy friends and their website, by having them guest post here at AB.  If you're interested in being a friendly featured blogger, please leave a remark in the comments section or shoot me an email and I will get back to you!

Without further ado, I'd like to present my friend Heather from Out of the Box, Into The Kitchen.  I've been following Heather's recipes and tips since before she started blogging and she's been helpful in providing resources and links when I started to go gluten free with Liam.  Heather cooks for her hubby, two growing boys and also runs a home daycare business, along with recently starting to share her wonderful creations with all of us! Thank you Heather for agreeing to be our first guest poster!


I have recently decided to stop cooking from a box and start cooking more in the kitchen. This of course can be a long process, but so far it is going well! During the season of Lent, we have no meat in our diets on Friday, so I needed to come up with a meat free meal. My husband LOVES mac and cheese…I tend to like the box version, but because I am working with not working with a box, I’m trying , yet again, another version of baked mac and cheese. The original recipe can be found at Pioneer Woman

This is also a very kid-friendly dinner and you could even sneak in some veggies of your choice, peas or broccoli would be delicious! Plus covered in cheese, who wouldn’t love it!

Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese-from Pioneer Woman

4 cups dried macaroni(shells, elbows, penne)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 heaping tsp dry mustard
2 ½ cups milk
1 whole egg, beaten
1 lb cheese, grated
½ tsp each of salt, seasoned salt, and pepper
Additional seasonings: thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper

Start water for macaroni, once it starts to come to a boil, add in salt, stir, and then add in macaroni. Drain when done.

Meanwhile, melt butter in pan. Whisk in flour, let it cook about 5 min. Do not let it burn. Whisk in milk and mustard until smooth. Cook for 5 mins until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take ¼ cup of milk mixture and slowly whisk in egg, keep whisking so you do not cook the egg. Add back into pan. Whisking until smooth. Add in cheese and stir to melt. Add in salts and pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning if needed,.

Add in macaroni and stir to combine. Serve as is….or place in casserole dish and sprinkle with additional cheese. Place in 350 degree oven and cook for 20-25 mins.

**I highly recommend a good sharp block cheese. I find the cheese you buy already shredded does not melt as smoothly as grating your own!

All of this will easily feed at least 6 people all for around $5-6!!!

Wow!  Thanks Heather!  Gotta love a recipe that is frugal, simple and kid friendly!  I have to say that I love to sneak cauliflower into my mac and cheese because the colour blends into the cheese sauce and it gives it just a little crunch!  Please don't forget to drop by Out of the Box and Into The Kitchen and check out Heather's other recipes!