Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Soup

Slow cooker buffalo chicken soup satisfies both my wing craving and my desire to eat a warm soup on a cold winter day. The perfect blend of spice and mellow cheese flavors, this soup will make you wonder why you never thought to add your buffalo wings with soup before!

slow cooker buffalo chicken soup served in a blue bowl with a wooden spoon and topped with a drizzle of sour cream and chives

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Instant Pot Shells & Cheese

Nothing’s quite as comforting as a big bowl of mac and cheese, and something so simple can solve so many of life’s problems- especially for my boys. Make things even easier by ditching the box and whipping up this Instant Pot shells & cheese recipe whenever the mood strikes with only a couple of pantry staples.

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Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

Although it only requires three ingredients (bread, cheese, and butter), grilled cheese is one of the most popular comfort foods in the world. The Ancient Romans were the first civilization to make a cooked bread and cheese sandwich, but many cultures have invented their own take on this ‘classic’ dish. In France, people enjoy Croque Monsieur (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich) while in Switzerland it is customary to melt the cheese and toast the bread separately before combining them. The American grilled cheese sandwich emerged in the 1920s when inexpensive cheese and affordable sliced bread became available. It is now a staple in cafés, diners, and school cafeterias across the country.

Despite this noteworthy past, and it’s longevity, today, it’s a sad world for the grilled cheese sandwich. Somewhere along the way it has been demoted from a classic comfort food to the dismal realm of the kid’s menu; thus, making it ‘socially’ off limits to the older-than-15-crowd. And when you’re an adult who just wants some melted cheddar between two buttery, toasty slices of bread…that’s a sad, sad thing. Being that I have the four sons, I jsut don’t care. Social norms be damned. If I want a grilled cheese, I’m having grilled cheese. Even if the waitress looks at me funny when I place an order for not 4, but 5, kid meals.

Still, being that April is ‘grilled cheese month’ and all, and I saw that waitresses’ questioning arched eyebrow,  I thought it was time for a revival. An upgrade, if you will, to make it worthy of a place in the world of socially acceptable adult fare. I know I’ve mentioned this in several posts before. I will never be to old for grilled cheese! At it’s most basic, it’s totally awesome. At it’s fanciest adaptation? It’s still freakin’ awesome!!

This is a far cry from your typical grilled cheese sandwich. Kick things up a notch with the salsa and chiles. If you happen to have a babysitter, enjoy it out on your patio with a margarita to make it REALLY good!

4 Sons 'R' Us: Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

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Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco season
  • 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1/4 cup diced canned green chilies (optional)
  • 12 slices bread
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb Velveeta

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef in medium sized skillet. Drain fat. Mix in taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add salsa & green chiles.
  • Butter one side of each slice of bread. Cut Velveeta into 6 pieces.
  • In a large skillet place two pieces of bread, buttered side down. Top each piece of bread with one slice of Velveeta. On top of Velveeta spoon 1/6 of hamburger mixture. Place another piece of bread on top of beef with the buttered side up.
  • Cook over medium heat until bread is golden brown. Flip sandwich and repeat on other side. Repeat until all sandwiches have been made.

recipe adapted from Julie’s Eats & Treats

BLT Mac And Cheese

I found this recipe several years ago, perusing magazines in a waiting room. It’s a Betty Crocker recipe, and it’s delicious. My family loves macaroni and cheese. They love it from a box, they love it from scratch, they even love it with cut up hotdogs in it. I figured, given their love of the classic side dish they’d happily eat as a meal any time, any day, that this could either be a beautiful thing or a risky gamble. This recipe had me at BLT. I love them. Mostly, I love them because I love,love, love tomatoes. So naturally, I dove in and made this meal the same night I had come across it’s recipe. Since then it’s become a staple and a regular meal appearing on our monthly rotations. The flavors blend spectacularly! Even the rest of the family, literally everyone else, who all detest tomatoes about as strongly as I love them, ate every bite.

BLT Mac N Cheese

4 Sons 'R' Us: BLT Mac N Cheese

If you’ve tried this BLT MAC N CHEESE, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

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BLT Mac & Cheese

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Casserole, Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 1339kcal

Ingredients

  • 32 oz Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar shredded
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 bag 9 oz, fresh spinach
  • 1 lb bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup plain or Italian style, panko bread crumbs*

Instructions

  • In a dutch oven, or other large pot, add butter, milk, and cubed cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until melted and evenly combined.
  • Cook macaroni in boiling salted water 3 minutes less than indicated on the box in the directions. Drain.
  • Pour the drained macaroni in with the cheese sauce. Mix well.
  • Stir in the shredded cheese, spinach, and tomatoes.
  • Transfer to a 15×10 inch (4 quart) baking dish. Cover with foil.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 minutes.
  • Uncover. Spread bacon and bread crumbs evenly over the top.
  • Bake 5 minutes longer or until the top is lightly browned.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

*To ensure nice browned, crisped breadcrumbs you can toss the breadcrumbs in 1-2 tbsp of melted butter before adding to the casserole.

Nutrition

Calories: 1339kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 3369mg | Potassium: 1289mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 2873IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 1372mg | Iron: 3mg

‘Velveeta’ Style American Cheese

Do you ever balk at the prices of those processed loaves of cheese?

Do you buy them anyway, because sometimes a recipe (or a grilled cheese) demands their melty goodness and no substitute will do?

This happens to me every time I purchase that cheese.

Even worse, every time in the back of my mind is a nagging reminder of all the preservatives and other things in them that I should try to avoid feeding my family.

So, finally I decided that somebody, somewhere, in an effort to be more frugal or in an effort to avoid all the chemicals, must have found a way to replicate this ooey, gooey cheese and would have shared their victorious recipe.

After perusing Pinterest and the web for what seemed like forever, I finally found what appeared to be a winner.

My boys had asked to have BLT Mac N Cheese this week and were afraid with my new REAL cheese that it wouldn’t live up to their high standards. They couldn’t have been more shocked themselves to discover this cheese made it even better.

This velveeta style American cheese recipe knocked the ball out of the park! It was spot on everything I was looking for and then some.

It’s real food you can make at home quickly, with ingredients you can easily find (and pronounce), without sacrificing any of that heavenly meltiness.

National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12th) just passed, but I will definitely be celebrating next year with the help of my own homemade cheese.

velveeta style american cheese shown sliced and on a syran wrapped cutting board

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Velveeta Style American Cheese

This homemade cheese loaf is creamy and tastes even better than the infamous meltable store-bought brand. Whip up a batch and use it in any recipe in place of the commercialized alternative.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 12 oz Colby Jack cheese very finely shredded (think TINY grater holes)
  • 1 tbsp nonfat milk powder
  • generous 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp 2% milk

Instructions

  • Line a small 4×5 loaf pan (I only had a full size pan handy) with plastic wrap, letting the excess hang over the sides.
  • In a small bowl, combine the water and gelatin. Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Combine cheese, milk powder, salt, and tartar in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing a few times to combine.
  • Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • When milk begins to simmer, remove from heat, transfer hot milk to a measuring cup (to make pouring easier) and slowly add milk into the food processor feed tube.
  • As you slowly add the milk, pulse the food processor.
  • Add prepared gelatin.
  • Turn the food processor on, and continue to stir until the mixture becomes perfectly smooth. Scrap the sides if needed and whir again.
  • Working quickly, transfer the mixture into the prepared mold, pressing the mixture down into the pan with a spatula to help eliminate any air bubbles.
  • Smooth surface of cheese, and cover with the overlapping plastic.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight. (If pressed for time, a little over an hour and a half in the freezer will work too!)
  • Slice, cube, or melt as needed and use as you would Velveeta or individually wrapped processed American cheese.