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Diced Tomatoes


Chili Mac and Cheese


The other day, I was thinking back to when Z and I first got together.  I was a young new bride and didn’t know much about cooking.

So, I did what any other sane person would do……..

I went for the man’s heart and I bought Hamburger Helper!  Awe yeah!  You know you do    did  too!   Right????

I remember being in the grocery store and thinking……..”Man!  They have a million different varieties!  They have Cheesy Hamburger Helper, Hamburger Stroganoff, Bacon Cheeseburger, Cheesy Broccoli.”  *It was like I was in that scene from Forrest Gump….. Shrimp creole…..

One for every night of the week!  I had totally SCORED!

Fast forward 11 years later and the man can hardly look at a box of it without his stomach turning.


I have to say though, this homemade Chili Mac and Cheese recipe conquered his fear had him coming back for more.  Your’s will too…. not to mention your kids will love it as well!


From the cheesy macaroni,


To the diced tomatoes with green chiles.  Your family will be hooked with the first bite.

The only thing I can suggest is that you may just want to double the recipe!

*Now, the only thing I need to work on is his fear of Shake-N-Bake!


Recipe:  Chili Mac and Cheese


–  1 lb. Ground Beef

– 1 tsp. Canola Oil

– 2 tsp. Chili Powder

– 1 tsp. Garlic Powder

– 1 tsp. Cumin

– 2 cups Lower Sodium Beef Broth

– 1 cup Water

– 1 (10oz) can Mild Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, Undrained

– 12 oz. Uncooked Elbow Macaroni  (*Go for whole wheat if you can find it!)

– 1/2 cup Fat-Free Milk

– 4 oz. 1/3-less-fat Cream Cheese (about 1/2 cup)

– 4 1/2 oz. Reduced- Fat Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese



– Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add oil, and swirl to coat.  Add beef , chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.  Cook meat until no longer pink and cooked through.  Drain Meat in a colander.

–  Return meat to pot and add broth, water, and tomatoes.  Bring to a Boil.

– Stir in macaroni, cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.

– Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat.

– Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.

– Stir in cheddar.

– Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture and toss well.

– Serve immediately.  Goes great with Roasted Broccoli or Salad!


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Who doesn’t love a good pot of Chili????

I’ll eat it anytime of the year, but there is something about a nice hot bowl of Chili when the air outside is cool and crisp and leaves are starting to fall…….

Ok Esther!  Stop watching one of your “Chick Flicks”. 

But, seriously….

How could you say no to this?!?

Well, I bet you can’t.


Because I love you . . . . . .

Very, very much . . . . . . .

And because I meant to do this last week, but couldn’t because my house got TORE UP AGAIN . . . . . .

I shall now give you the Recipe to this Wonderful thing called, CHILI!

(Please hold your applause until the end)


It goes a little something like this,


Recipe:  Chili



– 2 lbs. Ground Beef

– Nonstick cooking Spray

– 1 Large Onion

– 1 Green Bell Pepper

– 2 cups Chopped Celery

– 2 (28 oz.) Cans Diced Tomatoes

– 1 (28oz.) Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes

– Ground Cumin (to taste)

– Chili Powder (to taste)

– 1 Packet Chili Seasoning (I use reduced Sodium)

– 1 (14.5 oz) Can Black Beans, (drained and rinsed)

– 1 (14.5 oz) Can Light Red Kidney Beans, (drained and rinsed)

– 1 (14.5 oz) Can Pinto Beans, (drained and rinsed)

– Toppings: Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Chopped Green Onions



– Brown beef in skillet, drain and set aside.

– Spray large pot with nonstick  cooking spray and heat over medium heat.

– Add onion, green bell pepper, and celery and saute for 10 minutes or until vegetables start to soften.

– Stir in diced and whole tomatoes.  Break whole tomatoes up just a little bit so they aren’t too big and bulky.

– Add cumin and chili powder, to taste, and allow to cook for 10 more minutes.

– Add the beans, reserved brown meat, and chili seasoning packet.

– Partially cover and let simmer for 2 hours.

– Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions.

NOTE:  If you want, make 1 day ahead.  Chili gets even better the day after! 





Happy Monday! 


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