She Makes The Best

Can I just say how nice it was to hang out with the family last night? I mean sure, it helps that there was good food and yummy beer, but really…I just love my family.


P.S. – That Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat may now be a new favorite. WOW.

You can always count on goodies to be at mom and dad’s house!

So I headed over to my parents’ house a bit earlier than dinner last night so I could have some catch up time to chat with mom. We talked about all sorts of stuff, including a few funny stories about some of the students she’s working with this year. Oh, they made me laugh.

After a little while, hubby, dad, and the brother arrived and it was time to feast…just LOOK at that homemade mac and cheese.


Good lord, she makes the best. I can still remember eating this when I was just a little tyke, usually having it paired up with hot dogs sliced lengthwise on a piece of white bread with ketchup. Ohhh, those were the days. Smile

Jay kept telling me that I need to “get the recipe” from mom, but the funny thing is…she doesn’t have one. (side note: I told him that I have a few mac and cheese recipes, but apparently those aren’t good enough anymore).

She usually just cooks up some elbows, and layers them with diced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and whatever cheese she has on hand. She’s not picky.


To go along with our mac and cheese, we have some chicken from the grill, beans, and corn.


I totally went back for some seconds of the mac and cheese…don’t kid yourself. Winking smile

It was an early dinner, since my dad and brother had to head out for bowling, so Jay and I had plenty of time to get home to watch The Voice and New Girl. Seriously…new girl cracks. me. UP. I mean, Schmidt? Oh man, don’t even get me started. Hilarious.


This morning I had planned to get my workout in first thing, but my rear end has been draaaaagging ever since I got up. So I decided to take care of a few things around the house first, have some breakfast, and then I’ll attempt the workout.

Speaking of breakfast…it was good.


Coffee + a pumpkin spice English muffin topped with PB, banana slices, and chia seeds.


Simple and delicious.

Now, let’s hope I have some energy to get me through my stability ball circuit. Weights, here I come!

Question for the Morning:

Are there any recipes that a family member/friend makes that you LOVE, but can never quite seem to replicate it yourself?

What are some memories you have of food when you were younger? (recipes you loved, traditions you had, etc.)


  1. says

    Oh boy Courtney…there was this one dish that my mom used to make all the time when we were growing up in Nigerian which you would love called groundnut curry. It was basically a curry made purely from peanuts and then she would serve it with rice and assortment of toppings like shredded coconut, papaya, onions, more peanuts. If I’m not mistaken, it’s a popular Ghanian dish!
    Khushboo Thadani recently posted..#TheLittleThings

  2. says

    That mac and cheese looks a-mazing and I really love that Shock Top Pumpkin too!!

    My mom makes the best lasagna and I cannot replicate!!!

    Growing up we had staples that were in constant roation – Hot dogs and beans, veal cutlets, tacos, pasta e fagioli, Pork chops…

    My Nana used to make the best American Chop Suey and Pineapple delight (only on Thanksgiving!). I haven’t had either in years!!! My other Grandmother used to make this dish with cut up hot dogs, scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes that I LOVED and always begged my mom to recreate. And a favotire special dinner at my parents house was the nights my mom would say “Breakfast for dinner!” and make a big batch of pancakes. Or summer nights when she would say it was too hot to cook and throw together a huge salad with tuna…Ah, memories!

    • Courtney says

      I love all of your recipes growing up! Breakfast for dinner used to be a HUGE deal for us growing up, too. My dad was a killer waffle maker 😉

  3. Traci says

    Is that shock top as heavy as the other pumpkin beers out there? As much as I love pumpkin ale, I have trouble stomaching the whole thing, and shocktop is usually lighter than an ale. Just curious!

    I used to love eating my mom’s mac and cheese with a cut up hot dog mixed in. Haha!

  4. says

    I was justtalkingut this My parents were visiting and I had my dad make me chicken marsala pasta! I have tried to recraete it a million times but it never works because he doesnt measure anything (hes a chef) so it is so hard to remake!
    My family is italian and we typically had traditional italian christmases (well, not the WHOLE shabang, but part of it) and we would have goose and “fest of the seven fishes.” I hated it back then I wanted dang turkey and stuffing or ham or the “normal” stuff but looking back it was kind of fun!
    Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud recently posted..It’s Wednesday, You Know What That Means…

  5. says

    Shock top pumpkin wheat sounds amazing! My mom makes this taco dip that I can never seem to replicate. It’s not healthy, but that’s what makes it so good for football parties: velveeta, ground beef, refried beans, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning in the slow cooker. Amazing comfort food!

  6. Tessa Holshouser says

    1.) Love that beer
    2.) Mac and Cheese looks amazing!
    3.) Most favorite line from the New Girl- “I can only afford the valet parking and ‘add onions’ on this menue!”

  7. says

    The New Girl Episode last night was hilarious! I love that Schmidt pretended to be a Romney. He has me cracking up every episode. And I really hope Jess and Nick accept their feelings and just date already!

    And yes, everything my Dad makes seems to taste better when he makes it, even if I follow the recipe to a t. His homemade lasagna is one of my favorites.
    Elaine recently posted..Buttermilk Oat Loaf

  8. Gail Welter says

    My grandmother used to make a french dish – sausage pie – every New Year’s Day. I still make it, not just on New Year’s though. It’s just browned loose pork sausage, mixed with a couple of boiled, mashed potatoes and some sauteed onion and a little sage. Put that in between two pie crusts and voila….a delicious, tastey treat, good for a meal or party.

  9. Laurel says

    I love the plates that your mom has. We had those same ones at my house growing up. The food looks amazing, mac and cheese is one of my top 5 favorite foods!!!

  10. says

    That mac and cheese looks delicious! I LOVE my mom’s potato salad, but I can never seem to get it quite right. And of course she doesn’t have a recipe and just throws it together based on taste. But whenever we have a cookout at their house in the summer I make sure that she has it on the menu!
    Stef recently posted..Little touches of fall around the home.

  11. says

    Moms/grandmas always make the best food. I have a lot of memories of my mom making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies when I was little. I remember getting so excited when I knew that she would be making them, and then waiting impatiently by the oven so I could have one that was still warm… always with a glass of cold milk :) And my grandma made the best buttermilk pancakes that I’ve never, ever been able to replicate. She lives in Europe so I’m only able to see her once a year or so, but breakfast is something I always look forward to when I’m over there.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted... fig and date oatmeal bars .

  12. says

    My husbands Aunt makes the best twice baked potatoes but for some reason I cannot even come close to duplicating them. I think it is because of the insane amounts of butter and cheese that she uses. While I don’t mind eating it when someone else cooks with really fattening ingredients, I just cannot bring myself to make it like that!!! I am always trying to “lighten it up”, even just a little!!
    Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday #16

  13. Shannon says

    Your dinner looks awesome! I wish that mac n cheese + grilled chicken was my dinner last night. I’m going to put a request for that kind of dinner for the week.

    1. Mom’s almond rice pilaf- I could eat the entire bowful if it was placed in front of my seat.
    2. We eat a lot of chicken but one of my favorite recipes is Comforting Chicken.

  14. says

    That mac n cheese looks SO good! I just asked my mom for her homemade recipe last week, because I want to try to healthify (is that even a word?) it a little bit! Growing up I used to (and still do) LOVE my mom’s spaghetti. I used to always ask for it on my birthday, and when I had my last “at home dinner” before moving out of my parent’s house for good last year after graduation, it’s what I asked for again.

    ALSO-I made your loaded peanut butter oatmeal cookies last night to take to my boyfriend’s boss’s house for dinner, and everyone loved them! They were such a hit-and I was so nervous that I was going to mess them up. So a big thank you for helping me impress! :)
    Claire @ Keeping Up With Claire recently posted..Perfect Timing

  15. says

    It’s so funny how the best “recipes” aren’t actually “recipes” to the person who makes them! 😛 Korean women (the older ones) never write down recipes or pass them down like in American culture b/c everything is eyeballed and estimated, haha. And the one thing I NEVER seem to get quite right is when I attempt Korean tofu bean stew and my mom makes the best one in my opinion, of course. 😉 So I might just have to tell her to show me again. Hope you have a great day Courtney!
    Ellie@Fit for the Soul recently posted..We Aren’t in Kansas Anymore, Y’all

  16. says

    My mom makes awesome Korean dishes! It’s pretty hard to replicate because there’s no set recipe and no measurements. It’s just comes through making them so many times and eye-balling everything.
    michelle kim recently posted..God is Good?

  17. says

    WOW, that mac & cheese looks outrageously good!

    I don’t think there’s anything I’ve tried to replicate from my family; but my dad would always bake a delicious cinnamon ring (think gooey cinnamon rolls in bundt cake form) for every special occasion and it was so good!
    Raychel recently posted..In defense of Pumpkin…

  18. says

    My mom was known by my friends for making the best PB&J sandwiches and franks & beans- both of which anyone with the ingredients could make themselves but somehow hers were always what my friends wanted 😛 Maybe it was the Great Harvest bread and the chunky PB? The maple baked beans? Not sure, but now I want some!

    IMO, my momma makes the best meat sauce and beef stew- both of which I’ve tried to make myself but it never turns out the same…
    Life’s a Bowl recently posted..First Month as a Mrs.

  19. Katie @ A Frizzy Life says

    That beer sounds delicious. I am making it a goal to try all pumpkin beers this season so I can find my favorite.

    I remember my mom always making english muffins for my sister and I, and would make a face on the muffin and a body out of the sides she was serving us. So silly, but I loved it at the time!

  20. says

    Our family recipe is Christmas lasagna! No one makes it like my mom and sissy and it is delish but we only eat it at Christmas…it’s that special!’

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