Menu Monday: Apple Mac & Cheese

Everyone, I am so ready for fall. I am ready for apple and pumpkin everything and tasty cider based things.  So I made this delicious recipe modified from a few different recipes I found on pinterest…and it is so delish.

2013-08-04 19.22.51Get ready!


  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 3 1/2 cups non-fat milk
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 12 ounces white cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook Pasta as instructed on package. (when it finishes cooking, drain and pour into a 9 by 11 baking dish)
  3. While the pasta is cooking, cook milk and applesauce in a saucepan on low heat until boiling.2013-08-04 18.24.20
  4. While that is cooking, in a large saucepan melt butter. As soon as it melts, whisk in the flour. Slowly add the milk and applesauce mixture.2013-08-04 18.44.29
  5. Remove the pot from the stove, and add in all spices and slowly stir in all the cheese except 1/2 cup. Once it has entirely melted, pour it over the macaroni.2013-08-04 18.44.21 2013-08-04 18.46.34
  6. Top with the last of the cheese, and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Devour the tasty.

Dreaming of Disney

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a little bit of a Disney fan. Or something. But alas, I am also a college student who works for a non-profit, so I’m not exactly able to visit the Land as often as I would like. So, I spend a lot of time “Disney dreaming”, living in between trips to the happiest place on earth. I know that some of my most popular posts have been my posts on Disney on a Budget so many of you out there are probably living a life tragically free of Disneyland like me.

I thought I’d share a few of my cures for the heartsick Disney fan, to hold you over in between trips.

10 Tips For The Heartsick Disney Fan

  1. 945145_10152757185775694_527995897_nCheck out the Mousetalgia Podcast. It’s “the wildest podcast in the wilderness” and a weekly dose of Disney magic from four wonderful podcast hosts.
  2. Try making some fun Disneyland Recipes. I’ve tried a few, the Catamaran Salad and Disneyland’s Mint Julep.  On your next visit to the park, you can go to City Hall on Main Street  U.S.A. and Get recipes to all your favorite meals, OR you can check out this awesome website full of Disneyland Recipes
  3. Throw Disney movie nights and make tasty treats. I like to theme mine to different lands in the park. For example, for Adventure Land Night, I’ll watch Indiana Jones and Swiss Family Robinson and make some yummy shish kebabs.
  4. Get lost in Disney pinterest madness. Come up with a few crafts or activities, or just weepily look at all the happiness.
  5. Disneybound as often as possible.
  6. Read books on Disney history.
  7. Decorate Disney for the Holidays
  8. Dress your children up in amazing outfits.
  9. Start planning your next trip!

Three Perfect Years

Today V and I are celebrating three perfect years together. As we look forward to our future of life and love, I am so happy and grateful that I have been able to share my last three years with my best friend. He has stood by me through so many changes, and we have gotten to have so many beautiful experiences together. Life is the adventure, and I am glad he is my companion!

Menu Monday: Catamaran Salad

So, it’s no secret that I love all things Disney, including my favorite podcast Mousetalgia. So this past fall, when Mousetalgia hosted an event called “An Evening at the Tahitian Terrace”, where they recreated one of the best restaurants in Yesterland, I was pretty bummed I couldn’t go.

I was so excited when they shared one of the recipes of the Tahitian Terrace on their message board, that I couldn’t wait to try it. I cut their recipe in half, and made a few adjustments.


2013-08-02 17.13.10

Ingredients (for two salads)

  • 1.5 cups cooked chicken (or chicken substitute)
  • 1 whole pineapple, hollowed out
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/6 cup shredded coconut
  • Shredded Romaine Lettuce


  • 1/8 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/8 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed



  1. Slice pineapples in half, lengthwise, leaving stems in place, and hollow out.

2013-08-02 17.20.14

2. Mix together chopped chicken and celery, almonds, coconut, and 1/2 cup pineapple.

2013-08-02 17.32.143. In a separate dish mix together dressing ingredients, then add to chicken mixture.

2013-08-02 17.35.39

4. Place a bed of romaine in each of the pineapple halves, and then top with the salad mixture. Eat Up!

2013-08-02 17.38.44

This salad was a delicious treat, but a lot of work. I’d highly recommend it for a fancy date night.

An update

The last few months have been crazy for our family.  I am back on the blogging wagon for sure, but so much has happened. I know this blog is usually a silly blog with travel and food tips, but sometimes real life happens too, and I hope it’s okay to share.


Back in June, my Grandpa Mike’s health started to deteriorate pretty rapidly. We struggled with this news, and spent as much time with him as we could.  My Grandpa Mike was pretty much the best grandpa anyone could ask for. He went on field trips, soccer games, school plays and recitals. He was always there for us. Fishing and hunting, napping and cuddling, there are no memories I don’t have with my Grandfather.

2015-01-23 13.30.03Despite our sadness, we had much to celebrate.

Vaughn graduated from Oregon State University with his Bachelors in Sociology. I am so proud of his hard work and this great accomplishment, and I am so glad we got to celebrate this day with our family and friends.2015-01-23 13.30.00



About Three weeks ago, things started looking pretty bleak for Grandpa. On Thursday, July 25th we went to see him for what would be the last time. I am so heartbroken but also so glad I got to kiss his face and say goodbye. We left his bedside to celebrate one of the biggest blessings in life, the marriage of my cousin Jason, to his beautiful wife Sarah. While it was hard to leave Grandpa, we knew he wanted us to be by Jason’s side as his wife joined our family.

They had a beautiful ceremony in South Lake Tahoe, and we were so lucky to spend a weekend on the lake with our family.


We were able to facetime the ceremony so Grandma and Grandpa could watch back in Oregon. After the ceremony, while we were toasting the bride and groom, my beloved Grandpa went home to God.

His funeral was easily the most difficult day I have had in my entire life. It is still hard for me to realize that I will never see his smile again in this life.  My Grandpa has been one of the most influential people in my life. However, It was such a blessing to spend that day surrounded by love and family and life, and to see Grandpa honored in all of our memories, and with Military honors. Even so, I have spent the last few weeks feeling very quiet, and very small. At 24 years old, I think I am really feeling the fullness of life.

My family (with the grandparents!) at the end of my Yellowstone Summer.

My family (with the grandparents!) at the end of my Yellowstone Summer.

Starting next week, the blog will be back on regular schedule. I have some amazing recipes on the way and a few trip tips too. I hope all my readers can forgive me for my absence, and can understand if I’m just not myself for a little while.

All my love,