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Moving Day Macaroni And Cheese...

Today was moving day for my parents. My husband and I woke up early to help pack boxes and move things into my mum and dad’s new home.

I know that moving can be a very stressful time but somehow we managed to get everything done with a minimum of fuss.

One of the big tasks was clearing out the old kitchen. That meant using up as much food as we could in the fridge. Fortunately there wasn’t much left, just some vegetables that needed to be eaten.

A great way to use up vegetables (and to hide them from kids who otherwise may not eat them) is to make macaroni and cheese. This is a super recipe I got from mum which I have adapted to use up stray veggies.

Unlike macaroni and cheese that uses a traditional white sauce, this recipe has a tomato base which makes it really quick and very simple.

The following recipe is for 4-5 people.

Luna Raye’s Moving Day Macaroni And Cheese.


2 tins of chopped organic tomatoes

2 cups of macaroni (uncooked)

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 red onion, chopped finely

2 medium carrots chopped into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces

6 green beans cut into thirds

2 1/2 – 3 cups grated cheese (I use mature cheddar). Keep 1/2 – 1 cup for the topping.

1 cup bread crumbs or crushed crackers, corn flakes or crisps for a crunchy topping

9 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters


Empty the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes into a large casserole dish.

Add the dried herbs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, chopped onion and mix well.

Cook macaroni according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking prepare the vegetables. You can use pretty much anything. In the past I have also used celery, courgette (zucchini), pumpkin and red or yellow peppers. (I find green peppers can go slightly bitter when cooked).

Just make sure whatever veggies you decide to use are chopped finely as they will not be pre cooked. A little bit of texture is nice but you don’t want them too crunchy.

When all the veggies are chopped set the cherry tomatoes to one side.

Add the remaining vegetables along with the cheese to the tomato mixture in the casserole dish.

Once macaroni is cooked drain it and add to the casserole dish.

Stir everything around again to really mix it all up.

Cover with 1/2 to 1 cup of cheese and 1 cup of breadcrumbs or whatever you want to use for your crunchy topping.

Finally, scatter the quartered cherry tomatoes on top.

Cook at 180 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until bubbling.

Cover the casserole dish with aluminium foil for about 25 -30 minutes of the cooking time so the top doesn’t brown too quickly.


Of course you don’t have to put any extra vegetables in this dish at all. It works just as well with the tinned tomatoes, macaroni and cheese (plus herbs, mustard and Worcestershire sauce). But it IS a great way to use up those stray veggies lurking in your fridge. It also gave us a much needed boost of energy to pack a few more boxes!

Organizing Your Weekly Shop....

Saturday is the day we normally do our weekly shop. It’s a good day to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables as there is farmers market nearby. For the other bits and pieces we need we visit our local supermarket.

During the week I make a note of items that need to be restocked. This helps to make sure I don’t forget anything (believe me I need all the help I can get!). I also always check that I have the ingredients for some simple no fuss suppers. Things like;

Pasta: for macaroni and cheese or another simple pasta dish.

Butter Beans or Pot Barley: for soup.

Rice: for egg fried rice.

Baked Brown Beans: for beans on toast.

Self Raising Flour and chocolate chips: for easy bake cookies.

I also like to research at least 2 new recipes and buy the ingredients for them. That way we have the option of either cooking something new OR  if we are feeling tired we can put together something tasty and homemade very quickly.

One of the recipes I am going to make this week is from All Recipes. It’s for a wonderful looking dessert – Lemon Possets.

I will let you know how they turn out!

Here is the recipe:


750ml (1¼ pints) double cream

200g (7 oz) caster sugar

3 lemons, juiced

3 tablespoons additional double cream to serve


In a saucepan over medium high heat, stir together 750ml cream and sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Pour into serving glasses and refrigerate until set, about 5 hours. Pour a little more cream over the tops just before serving.