Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pancakes Recipe

On mornings I work I always have the same breakfast, a yogurt and a protein bar.  On my days off, however, I prefer to have a hot breakfast.  Now I have finally found a recipe that I can make on my days off and still have available for a quick take on my workdays!!

Recipe: Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pancakes

Summary: These pancakes are yummy fresh, but also freeze and reheat easily!!


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1Tbsp. oil
  • 4 slices deli-sliced ham
  • 4 Tbsp. shredded four-cheese blend


  1. Beat egg in medium bowl with wire whisk until fluffy.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix the milk and vinegar.
  3. Add milk mixture to egg and blend well.
  4. Beat in flour, sugar, oil, baking powder, baking soda and salt until smooth.
  5. Spray skillet with cooking spray.
  6. Heat skillet over medium heat.
  7. Pour 1/8 cup of batter onto the grill in a circle.
  8. Cover the batter with 1 slice of ham and 1 Tbsp. cheese.
  9. Top with another 1/8 cup of batter.
  10. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook another 2 minutes.
  11. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s) Cooking time: 5 minutes per pancake

Number of servings (yield): 4

ham and cheese stuffed pancakes recipeTo freeze the pancakes, allow to cool completely, then place in a freezer bag with a sheet of wax paper between each pancake.  To reheat, toast in the toaster oven on medium for 4-6 minutes.

ham and cheese stuffed pancakes recipeEnjoy!!

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NeoCell Beauty Bursts and Keratin Hair Volumizer Review

Now that I am getting older (turned 47 last month), I have noticed that my hair is thinning out a bit.  It’s not like I have a bald spot or anything like that, but I can’t seem to get the volume I used to and it lays flatter than it used to.

Here’s a photo of me from 1995:

NeoCell Beauty BurstsAnd here’s a photo from last year:

NeoCell Beauty BurstsIn both photos I have the same amount of product in my hair and used a curling iron extensively, believe it or not.  It’s just that my hair just wouldn’t style like it used to.

I’ve started combating the problem with hair volumizing and thickening shampoos and conditioners, which help some.  I had to wonder, though, since the problem is due to aging, if there wasn’t a more natural option out there.

I was thrilled when NeoCell asked me to try out their Beauty Bursts gourmet collagen soft chews and Keratin Hair Volumizer supplements for review!!

About the Product:

NeoCell Beauty Bursts contain:

  • Collagen Type 1 & 3 For Firm, Smooth Skin & Strong Hair & Nails
  • Hyaluronic Acid For Skin Hydration & Renewal
  • Vitamin C:  Collagen Enhancer

Plus it’s an all natural formula.  Beauty Bursts were rated “Best of Natural Beauty” for 2013 by Better Nutrition Magazine and “Best Beauty Supplement” for 2013 by Delicious Living Magazine.

NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer:

is an all-natural solution for strong, lustrous, and thickhealthy hair that starts from the inside. Dry, brittle,thinning hair is associated with a lack of nutrients thatare essential to strong and resilient hair. Keratin HairVolumizer contains clinically proven ingredients to enhance hair strength and reduce normal hair loss.


  • Cynatine HNS Solubilized Keratin
  • Hydrolyzed Super Collagen
  • Amla Extract
  • Vitamin C

In addition, it was voted “Best New Product” for 2014 by Delicious Living Magazine, and has been a Vanity Fair Beauty Blog Top Choice.

My Review:

NeoCell Beauty BurstsThe Beauty Bursts taste amazing!! I have never had a supplement taste so good.  I wish they were candy so I could eat them more often, LOL.  For now I have to be content with chewing one twice a day.

The Keratin Hair Volumizer is a regular capsule -type supplement.  It doesn’t have a nasty aftertaste, which is nice.



As to results, it can take 30-60 days to see them, and I have only been taking the supplements a little over a week, so I can’t speak to that yet.  I can say, however, that I have only had to condition my hair once in the past week, whereas before I was conditioning every other day!!

I received complimentary full size samples of these products for the purpose of review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Find out more about Neocell on their website.

The wonderful people at NeoCell have agreed to giveaway one full-size Beauty Bursts and one full-size Keratin Hair Volumizer to one lucky reader!!  You can enter at the Spring Has  Sprung Giveaway Hop.

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Tiddly Jinx Release Day

TiddlyJinxReleaseDayTiddly Jinx 2 Tiddly Jinx
Selene Warren’s life is plagued by disaster. To fix the trouble her good intentions caused, she needs to rescue the necromancer who tried to help her, find and return the Pole of Charon, and win over the Elfish people. However, nothing ever goes as planned.
The necromancer reappears in the Abyss, but is determined to be an enemy rather than a friend. The Pole of Charon can’t be tracked, yet small tears between worlds pop up and let in monsters that threaten to expose what Selene brought back. Tensions between elves and the other fae could erupt into violence at any moment, tearing apart the race once and for all.
To mend the rips in the veil, Selene’s coven will have to use black magic, but that comes at a cost. Every time a spell is cast their souls are at stake. Forced to make a deal with an enemy or let the world be destroyed, all of her the lies and double crosses start to add up. The line between good and evil blurs until Selene doesn’t know which side she is fighting for.

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Smashwords


Start the Series for FREE – Easy Bake CovenLiz - Easybakecoven (2)

For Selene Warren being a witch is no big deal. She dabbles in harmless magic with her friends and never thinks much about it. However, when a stranger who seems to know her shows up at her studio and her grandmother is brutally attacked, her simple life becomes complicated.
A world of elves, half-elves, fae—and one peculiar Sekhmet named Femi open up to her. She will discover that fairy tales are real, politics are ugly in any world, and there is a lot more to her life than she ever dreamed possible.
This new reality threatens swallow Selene whole, but with a forgotten past beating down her door, she will have to dive in to save her future.

Amazon / Barnes and Noble



About Author Liz Schulte

Many authors claim to have known their calling from a young age. Liz Schulte, however, didn’t always want to be an author. In fact, she had no clue. Liz wanted to be a veterinarian, then she wanted to be a lawyer, then she wanted to be a criminal profiler. In a valiant effort to keep from becoming Walter Mitty, Liz put pen to paper and began writing her first novel. It was at that moment she realized this is what she was meant to do. As a scribe she could be all of those things and so much more.

When Liz isn’t writing or on social networks she is inflicting movie quotes and trivia on people, reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. Liz is a Midwest girl through and through, though she would be perfectly happy never having to shovel her driveway again. She has a love for all things spooky, supernatural, and snarky. Her favorite authors range from Edgar Allen Poe to Joseph Heller to Jane Austen to Jim Butcher and everything in between.

Follow Liz Schulte:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Lighter Shrimp Tetrazzini Recipe

Last week I was looking through my cupboard, trying to think of something fun to make for dinner that would still be fairly healthy.  Italian food is one of my favorites, so I replaced a few of the ingredients, and came up with this lighter shrimp tetrazzini recipe.  It was a big hit at our house (Bud had seconds!!)  I hope you like it!!

Recipe: Lighter Shrimp Tetrazzini Recipe

Summary: A lighter version of a delicious, but heavy, favorite.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces frozen, cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Miracle Whip Light
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1 package spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Add onion and oil to saucepan set on medium-low heat.
  4. Cook until onions are soft.
  5. Add shrimp and mushrooms.
  6. Cook for five minutes, stirring often.
  7. Remove shrimp mixture to a large mixing bowl, set aside.
  8. Remove saucepan from heat.
  9. Combine flour, Miracle Whip Light, salt, lemon pepper, garlic, milk and sherry in the saucepan.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Cook over medium-low heat and cook until sauce thickens.
  12. Pour sauce into the bowl with the shrimp mixture.
  13. Add spaghetti and toss thoroughly.
  14. Top with Parmesan and serve.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

lighter shrimp tetrazzini recipeEnjoy!!

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Self-Confidence Update #OneWord365

You may recall from an earlier post that instead of making a long list of New Year’s Resolutions this year, I chose one word that symbolized a character trait I wanted to work on.  My word for 2014 is Self-Confidence.

As a reminder, Self-confidence is defined, according to Merriam-Webster as:

a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something

And here was the reason I gave for wanting to have self-confidence:

I tend to second guess everything I say and do.  I often ask for reassurances from friends and family that I am making the right decision.  And while occasionally asking for confirmation of my own opinion is a good thing, too much of it is debilitating.  It can keep me from making decisions in a timely fashion and miss out on opportunities. Now that I am learning to be courageous, I want to be self-confident as well.

 What I Have Learned So Far

  1. Self-confidence is harder/easier depending on the day, my mood, hormones, events, etc.  Some days I feel like I know just what to say and do.  Other days I have to remind myself that I am an intelligent, semi-successful woman and my opinion IS valuable.
  2. I don’t need to point out my own self-confidenceimprovements.  (Oops – I guess I am doing that right now for this blog.  Oh well -chalk it up to self-reflection).  As I get better at speaking up for myself and my opinions, I find myself saying to friends or family – “Did you see how I said that?  I wouldn’t have been able to do that a year ago.”  Of course, they know that.  They don’t need me to tell them.  And if I really want to hear congratulations, it would be better if it came naturally.  I shouldn’t really need congratulations anyway.   I should be happy enough KNOWING the improvements are happening.
  3. Self-confidence is infectious (contagious?).  If I surround myself with self-confident people, than I tend to be more self-confident.  Also, if I speak up for myself, it might inspire someone else to speak up too.

One of the things I’ve discovered is that I’m worth it.  I am a daughter of God, and

  • I AM worth getting enough sleep.
  • I AM worth eating healthy foods.
  • I AM worth getting enough exercise.
  • I AM worth finding time to relax.
  • I AM worth having a peaceful home.
  • I AM worth a good job and reasonable pay.

Did you pick your ONE WORD?  How’s your year so far?




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ADOVIA Dead Sea Mud Mask Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I’m always looking for products that help my skin feel and look better.  I prefer something with natural ingredients, although that’s not completely necessary.  I was so excited when ADOVIA asked me to review their Dead Sea Mud Mask.

About the Product

Adovia dead sea mud mask reviewADOVIA’s unique Purifying Mud Mask is formulated with Dead Sea Black Mud, Beeswax and a deeply moisturizing combination of Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Olive Oil.  This natural mask boosts cell renewal and revitalizes your skin, while tightening your pores.  As the mask dries, it gently pulls out toxins and impurities known to clog pores and cause visible signs of aging. The presence of Dead Sea mud infuses your skin with needed minerals while firming it and improving elasticity. Aloe Vera and Chamomile extracts soothe and calm your skin while Vitamins A and C leave it looking fresh and renewed.

My Review

I was impressed by the size of the product.  A 150ml tube contains enough mask for about 30 treatments!!  That works out to less than $1 per treatment!!  And it smells great – earthy, but not stinky.

The mask went on smoothly:

Adovia dead sea mud mask reviewIt took about 15 minutes to dry, but it didn’t dry too tight (you know how it makes your face feel like it’s going to crack?)  The mask came off easily with a warm washcloth.  Afterwards my skin felt baby soft.  In fact, three days later, it still feels softer.  I plan on using it once a week and hopefully it will remove more impurities so I will have less blackheads (especially around my nose).

I highly recommend this product for anyone who is looking to improve their skin for a reasonable price.

You can purchase Adovia Dead Sea Mud Mask on Amazon.com or through the link below:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Peter Som Beach Inspired Collection Coming to Kohl’s #sponsored

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Kohl’s. I received a gift card as a thank you for participating.

I don’t know about you, but I love going to Kohl’s to check out the latest fashion trends and get some great deals!!

I’m excited to announce that this spring, Kohl’s is partnering with renowned American Fashion designer Peter Som! Inspired by beautiful St. Barths, the exclusive Peter Som for DesigNation collection features bold patterns and bright colors in feminine skirts, dresses and separates. I absolutely love the beachy feel of his looks!

If you want to be one of the first to shop the Peter Som for DesigNation line, be sure to RSVP to Kohl’s Peter Som Watch & Shop Google Hangout on April 4th at 12:00 PM ET. Peter Som will be talking with fashion bloggers and giving us a look at some of the clothes from his collection!  I’ll be there – will I see you at the Hangout?

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Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism Book Blast

Unlocking the Social PotentialUnlocking the Social Potential_Final_ShadowsTo your dismay, your child has received a diagnosis of autism. Along with this alarming news comes the barrage of emotions that suffocates you like an avalanche— denial—confusion—depression—guilt. You want to fix your child; you have a million questions; and you want answers immediately. Autism is a journey in which the child and her family navigate challenges and experience achievements along the way. To guide you in this rewarding journey, Dr. Karina Poirier offers her expertise in this book that parents will find incredibly useful.

In this book, you will find the answers you’ve desperately been seeking. Dr. Poirier has provided in simple, easy to comprehend language, an overview of child development, a descriptive explanation of how autism affects each developmental area, and guidelines for advancing your child’s functioning in all developmental domains. You will appreciate the multitude of hands-on, full-color sample lessons for teaching social and emotional skills, language, problem-solving and decision making, and play skills to children with autism.

Publisher: Social Cognition Publications | Irvine, CA
Color: Full-color illustrations
Pages: 300
ISBN (Print): 9780988798205
ISBN (Digital): 9780988798212
Available: March 2014

Available at: http://www.socialcognitionpublications.com/

Improving social and communication skills in children with autism

Dr. Karina Poirier, author of Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism, says that understanding a child’s unique needs is the key step to dealing with concerns and developing their strengths.

“Bring everything into the light. The worst thing you can do,” she said, “is to ignore the issue. Parents can help their children learn how to communicate better and develop social skills that will help them thrive later in life.

Get help early, identify the specific issues you are facing, ask questions, learn everything you can, and devise a concrete and detailed strategy for engaging your child so key skills are developed and strengthened”.

Here are her answers to some key concerns that parents of a child with autism are faced with.

Q: My child can sit through a learning task on the iPad or television; however, he becomes restless and fidgety when working with a teacher. Why?

A: Your child’s attention system is reactive. Consider how much children learn from viewing television. Teachers struggle to get children’s attention when an activity does not include the sensory kaleidoscope children are used to receiving when sitting in front of the television.

Key Action: Children must be taught at an early age how to develop the mental tools (attend, remember, think) to engage in deliberate and self-directed learning experiences with an adult’s guidance.

Q: My child does not respond appropriately to mood changes in others (e.g., when a peer’s mood changes from happiness to distress). Why?

A: Your child may be lacking the ability to read nonverbal cues. Children with autism often have impaired ability to read, interpret, and process social and emotional messages. Children who are unaware of others’ thoughts and feelings risk not developing the sense of self.

Key Action: Treatment to teach the child the emotional codes that are part of the social experience. The child needs to develop the ability to understand other peoples’ emotions from their facial expression, tone of voice, and body posture. The child should be taught to recognize and interpret how people around him think and feel.

Q: My child has difficulty with describing his/her day at school, recounting an experience, or relaying a message. Why?

A: Delayed recall skills utilize episodic memory. Episodic memory allows us to remember past events and share these events with others. In other words, it is how we engage in reciprocal conversations with others. Episodic memory produces a conscious awareness of events that have occurred at any one time; it enables people to remember what happened to them in the past or to conceive the future.

Key Action: Effective treatment is required for the child to learn about memory strategies and to practice remembering. Through repetition, the child develops not only better recall of past events, but also the skills to communicate the memory of the event to peers or adults during a conversation.

Q: My child is verbal and has good command of language; however, he has trouble initiating conversation with others and taking turns during a conversation. Why?

A: Children with autism have difficulties in social initiation and social-emotional understanding. Engaging in a reciprocal conversation with others requires the development and interaction of memory, information processing, and expressive communication skills—all of which are pervasive deficits of children with autism. It is not that these children do not desire involvement with their peers. On the contrary, they do have the desire to be socially engaged with others; however, the dilemma lies in the fact that these children lack knowledge of social norms.

Key Action: Effective treatment that emphasizes social norms and rules, and teaches children how to process social information by distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information in a social situation. Initiating and maintaining a conversation requires a person to have social knowledge, which is knowledge of event schemas.

Q: How much play time is appropriate to include in my child’s learning routine?

A: For a young child, teaching through play is extremely important. Play gives children something to do with their ample free time; it also serves the important purpose of honing children’s physical, social and emotional development. Play does not occur spontaneously in children with autism the way it does for typical children.

Key Action: Investing significant time teaching through play focuses the child on developing fine and gross motor skills, interpreting the social cues of other children and adults, and responding to those social cues appropriately. Play can be used to develop the ability to interact with, explore, and, ultimately master their surroundings. Play is an essential part of the learning process, and its ability to mimic real-life scenarios makes it an ideal way to stimulate overall development.

About the author:

Karina Poirier, Psy.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Karina Poirier is the Director of the Center for Social Cognition , a board certified behavior analyst at the doc-toral level (BCBA-D), and a certified cognitive educational therapist. Her clinical practice is devoted to providing outstanding individuals and group therapy that improves social and cognitive outcomes for individuals with autism, ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and related disorders.

Learn more at www.drkarinapoirier.com.







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Help Eliminate Toxins in Our Homes #fighttoxins

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Seventh Generation and the Toxin Freedom Fighters.  All opinions are 100% my own.

I have sensitive skin and asthma, which means I need to be extra careful about what kind of products I have in my home.  It’s bad enough dealing with natural allergens like dust, mold and pet hair.  But now I’m finding that some of the products I’ve been using to combat these problems actually come with troubles of their own.

Did You Know?

More than 80,000 chemicals available in the United States have never been fully tested for their toxic effects on our health and environment. (source: NRDC)

This is because The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976, and unlike other major environmental laws, has never been updated. As it currently stands, TSCA is
a broken law. As a result, tens of thousands of potentially harmful chemicals continue to be  used in the marketplace since the 1970’s without proper testing and without disclosure by the companies that produce them.

Some of these chemicals include:

  • Hexane – used in stain removers, spray adhesives and craft paint.
  • Methylene Chloride – used in wood floor cleaners, water repellents and spray shoe polish
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE) – used in rug cleaners and spot removers

eliminate toxinsMany of these chemicals are known to cause cancer and other health issues.  But TSCA
makes it nearly impossible for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take  regulatory action against dangerous chemicals, even those that are known to cause cancer
or other serious health effects. When TSCA became law in 1976, the goal was to ensure the safety of chemicals from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the EPA largely unable to act on known health dangers or require testing on specific chemicals that may be unsafe. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace
safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they
address the hazards a chemical may pose over its lifecycle.

But, there’s hope for a change!! Seventh Generation is working to push a reform on TSCA which would have all of these chemicals studied and evaluated.

What Does Meaningful Reform Look Like?

  1.  Meaningful Chemical reform should protect the most vulnerable among us, including pregnant women, children, workers and communities who are disproportionately exposed to chemicals.
  2.  Meaningful Chemical reform should require public access to information regarding the safety of chemicals.
  3. Meaningful Chemical reform must respect the rights of states to protect their residents when the federal government fails to do so.
  4. Meaningful Chemical reform should require the Environmental Protection Agency to take fast action on the most harmful chemicals and include specific timetables for such regulatory actions.

What Can We Do?

Demand that Congress reevaluate the Toxic Substances Control Act for the
first time since 1976.  Visit www.fighttoxins.com to sign the petition.

If we collect 100,000 signatures:

  • The Toxin Freedom Fighters will deliver them to Congress on April 30, 2014
  • The signatures will strengthen the movement behind chemical reform, and will encourage decision-makers to change the necessary laws
  • Seventh Generation will spread awareness about the 37 year-old TSCA and starts conversations about how it fails to protect the health of the general public

About Seventh Generation:

We believe our products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and peopleeliminate toxins
within your home–and for the community and environment outside of it. As a pioneer in
corporate responsibility, we want our products to make a difference—from their development through to their production, purchase, use, and disposal. We are always evaluating how to reduce their environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain. We believe it is our responsibility to set a course for a more mindful way of doing business, where companies act as partners with other stakeholders to create a brighter future for the whole planet.  Seventh generation has worked for 25 years towards creating healthy home by delivering plant
derived products using bio-based ingredients.

 Were you aware of all the toxins in your house?  Which products surprised you the most?

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Lighter Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

One night last week I was on my own for dinner.  I wanted some comfort food but didn’t want to overdo it.  I tweaked my favorite baked mac and cheese recipe and came up with the lighter, but still delicious result below.  I hope you enjoy it!!

Recipe: Lighter Baked Mac and Cheese

Summary: White beans help thicken the sauce without adding tons of butter.


  • 6 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and pureed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • a few drops of Tapatio or other hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain when ready.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  5. Mix in the onion powder and garlic powder.
  6. Using a whisk, add the flour, stirring constantly for one minute, until slightly browned.
  7. Whisk in the pureed beans, then slowly whisk in the milk, continuing to stir until the sauce begins to boil.
  8. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about three minutes.
  9. Stir in the cheese, mustard and hot sauce and remove from heat.
  10. Pour the cooked macaroni into the prepared baking dish.
  11. Pour in the cheese sauce and toss with a large spoon until well blended.
  12. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the mixture, then spritz with cooking spray.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and topping is browned.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

lighter baked mac and cheese recipe



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