Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mac N Cheese Hit

Ever since I read about the Mac N Cheese of the Month Club, I've been eager to try new Mac N Cheese recipes. It's definitely a learning process, as documented here, here and here. My end goal is to combine the best part of all the recipes to make the my own signature Mac N Cheese. And I'm proud to say I've found my first key ingredient thanks to this recipe from Weight Watchers.

12 oz uncooked macaroni, elbow-type
1/2 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
12 oz fat-free evaporated milk
8 oz low-fat cheddar or colby cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp dried bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cook pasta according to package directions without added fat or salt; drain and transfer to a large bowl. While pasta is still hot, stir in sour cream; set aside.

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear just around the edges (known as scalding). Reduce heat to low, add cheese and simmer until cheese melts, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, about 2 minutes; remove from heat and stir in mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Add cheese mixture to pasta; mix well. Transfer to a 3-quart casserole dish.

Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over pasta.

Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes.

Matt gave this recipe an 8.5 out of 10 - not bad! I definitely recommend trying it. Can you guess which ingredient I plan on using in my signature Mac N Cheese?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sugar Mamas on the Rise

I heard this story on NPR yesterday morning and had to share: Modern Marriages: The Rise of the Sugar Mama

My interest was peaked just by the title since I get to be the sugar mama for Matt right now (though not for long, graduation is quickly approaching!). The story was all about a study that compares marriages in 2007 with those in 1970. Pretty interesting. And in case you're interested but don't want to read the full article, I pulled out a few points that caught my attention. (The High Fives if you will.) But really, it's a quick read so the whole thing is worth your time.

One: Until 1964, a woman could legally be fired when she got married.

Two: For the first time ever among those age 44 and younger —- more women than men have college degrees.

Three: "They [women] say overwhelmingly — 87 percent — that it's more important to have a man who can communicate well, who can be intimate and who will share the housework than to have someone who makes more money than you do."

Four: Woman still make 77 cents to a man's dollar, and their earnings can lag over time since women are more likely to cut back to care for children. But this, too, is shifting.

Five: Today, among U.S.-born 30- to 44-year-olds, the more educated you are, the more likely you are to be married.

I think the last bullet is the most interesting. Who knew that more education means you are more likely to be married.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday everyone! This is an especially fun Sunday because I have Monday off. So I thought I'd share something random that makes me smile.

You may have seen this video before. Super cute. I love Charlie's laugh towards the end.

Well, I recently discovered this remix of the same video. Pretty cool, right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Holiday JOY

Christmas 2009 was pretty exciting. It was Matt and my first Christmas as a married couple and we got to go back to the PNW and see our families that we love and miss dearly. The whole trip just FLEW by. I have much more I could tell you, but I'll focus on one of the highlights: the excitement of Christmas through the eyes of my nephews! Megan wrote about the Christmas Crazies here. If you read her blog, you know that there was quite the build-up to the holiday for the Sarvela family, Corbin especially. Here's the excitement in action when Corbin and Trent opened the gifts from Matt and I.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Let’s get this clear. I’m not pregnant. Nor do I plan to be pregnant in the near future.

I know that I’ll have people that relate to this, and I think it’s pretty entertaining, so I thought I’d share. Why is it that as soon as you marry, people start asking about kids? I mean, really, some people have kids right away but not everyone! Matt and I fall into the group of newlyweds who would like to focus on us for awhile and get some traveling and crazy adventures in before we bring lil’ Hoags into the world. So why do I bring this up you wonder? Well, it seems that no matter what I tell people about our plans, pregnancy is still at the front of people’s minds! Here’s the most recent story:

I caught a nasty cold on our trip back to Knoxville after the holidays and called in sick into work for the first two days. Upon my return on Wednesday, my boss tells me: “I’m glad you’re feeling better. People were saying you were pregnant but I told them you had no voice when we spoke so it must not be true.” And then today (Friday) I had a doctor’s appointment for my standard yearly check-up. Of course when I walked into the office afterwards I get told by my friend Jennifer, “Now people really think you’re pregnant!” Just a few minute’s later my boss’s boss tells me that people are wondering if I’m pregnant. I tried to clear it up and announced loudly that I discussed contraceptives and plans to NOT get pregnant with my OBGYN during my appointment today. Something tells me that this will not dispel the rumors. I’m officially going on a diet and workout plan to get skinnier so no one can start any rumors about me looking pregnant (not that I think I look pregnant, I don’t). Maybe getting a skinnier waist instead of a growing waist will shut down people’s suspicions!

So I ask you, how should I respond to people’s comments about our pregnancy plans? Or how did you handle this if you had a similar situation? For the record, I’ve been saying we want to wait 4 or 5 years. But I have friends who are telling people that they won’t discuss pregnancy until she turns 30…I kind of like this response but that only buys me 2.4 years until people go back to thinking I’m pregnant when I’m sick and/or go to the doctor. I’m starting to wonder if it even matters what I tell people…perhaps they will just believe whatever they want to believe. Or maybe I should just go ahead and get pregnant! (I kid.)