Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quick comforts: Easy stovetop mac-n-cheese

When the winter weather gets beyond cold – like -22 with the wind chill! That’s just nuts! – comfort foods like macaroni and cheese are beyond perfect. Creamy cheese and pasta – can it get better? Not for me!

credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
This stovetop mac-n-cheese, adapted from this recipe by Erica Lea on Buttered Side Up, is quick, simple and warm enough for these cold Buffalo nights that seem to be never ending…a lot like our snow this season – I feel like I’m in a perpetual snow globe: the minute the snow stops, someone shakes things up and it starts snowing again!

Stovetop mac-n-cheese


  • 8 ounces pasta of choice (I used a multi-shaped pasta)
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine (note: if you’ll be warming leftovers up in the microwave, you may want to cut this back a tablespoon or two – there was a lot left over after warm-up!)
  • 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons cream

Cook pasta according to package instructions and to your preferred softness. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add butter to the pasta while hot and cover the pot to allow butter to melt a bit. Uncover, add cheese and cream, and stir. Put the lid back on and let it sit, stirring every couple of minutes (note: it will take about 6 to 8 minutes for the cheese to become “saucy”). Serve immediately, storing leftovers in the fridge. To reheat on the stovetop, add a little more cream to the pot. To reheat in the microwave, put the leftovers in a microwave safe plate or bowl and heat at 70% for 75 to 90 seconds.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Planning the garden 2014: Sci-Fi/Fantasy garden

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy garden - 2013
I’ve got a small garden at the corner of my garage that has evolved over many years in both size and theme. For the last few years, and likely for many to come, it has been my Sci-Fi/Fantasy garden, thanks in most part to my love of Star Wars.

The first plant I found in 2012 was the Dark Angel Star Wars dahlia, a bushy plant with red and yellow flowers and burgundy foliage – it totally reminds me of Mustafar. The same year, I added the Darth Vader coleus from Rosy Dawn – dark and dramatic, like our favorite heavy-walking, heavy-breathing bad guy.

When both did well, I expanded on the Sci-Fi/Fantasy theme for 2013: enter the Lord Voldemort coleus, another bad dude wreaking havoc on the film world, also from Rosy Dawn. I love Rosy Dawn for unique coleus, which have become some of my favorite plants as a gardener.

For 2014, the collection grows again: Harry Potter’s owl Hedwig now has a coleus, and Game of Thrones enters the picture with coleus Moon and Stars, as Khaleesi always called Khal Drago. I also found a succulent called Hobbit from Michigan Bulb – gotta find a cool container for that one, because it’s not hardy in the B-lo zone.

I also found another element for the garden – check out that piece in another entry!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Buffalo Girl at a glance

Name – Paula

Location – Williamsville, NY – suburb of Buffalo – life-long resident!

What I do – freelance writer and photographer, subsidizing my income working full-time in something completely different and unrelated to my college degree.

What I love – the Sabres, the Bandits, the Yankees, auto racing of all kinds, photography, chocolate, cheese, Star Wars, QVC, Lord of the Rings, CRUNCH, homemade bread, nail polish, lemon, gardening, cinnamon, food blogs, traveling and exploring.

Having fun – traveling, time in the kitchen, working out, listening to a wide variety of music, working in the gardens, exploring Buffalo and watching sports.

What you’ll find here – a little bit of everything – food, music, sports, gardening, exploring, lifestyle – all about the life of a Buffalo Girl.

Find me elsewhere – I also keep a travel and Buffalo exploration blog (overworkedracefan.blogspot.com), a food blog (buffalobaking.blogspot.com), and have been published on Examiner.com, Yahoo Voices and Skirts & Scuffs, among other places.