Saturday, October 31, 2015

Homemade Gluten Free Baked Macaroni and Cheese

One of the homemade dishes I make that I'm most proud of is my baked macaroni and cheese. I've been making it for years, and it's actually my mom's recipe. It's one of our family favorites, and I love making it because the recipe makes a large pan, and the leftovers are killer. When I discovered my sensitivity to gluten, this was one of the things I knew I was really going to miss. It's such comfort food! So when I found out my favorite brand of gluten free pasta made macaroni I was SO pumped! I immediately had to make mac n cheese, and even though it was a teensy bit different than my traditional gluten filled recipe, it was still a knock out. 

One of the great things about this dish is that it's easy to make ahead, and then just pop in the oven whenever you need it! That's what I did this time. Unfortunately, I was so excited about making it that I didn't really plan ahead and took no pictures of the process.....oops! All I have is a before the oven and after. But you don't need pictures to follow a recipe, right? :)


1 box of gluten free elbow macaroni, boiled (I used Barilla-you can buy it here)

1 large yellow onion, diced

About half a stick of butter

About 1 tablespoon gluten free flour blend (I use Cup 4 Cup-purchase here)

Maybe 1 cup of milk (OK, I don't measure, I'm sorry. You just kind of have to use your judgement. You can't really mess it up....probably,,,)

2 bags of shredded cheese (You can use any kind you want. This time I used a mac n cheese blend, but usually I just use sharp cheddar. Use your fav!)

Garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

First saute your onion in the butter, and once those have softened, add your flour and mix to make a roux. Once that's done, add the milk, cheese, and seasonings and simmer on low heat until all the cheese is melted. Stir in your cooked macaroni noodles, and pour the whole thing into a large casserole dish. Then top with some extra shredded cheese. Super easy, yes? Here's the before...

Still looks yummy, but bake at 400 for about half an hour, and just wait for the after.....

I know, you're drooling, right? This really is the best mac and cheese on the planet. Would a little gluten probably make it better, well, maybe. Gluten makes everything better. You can of course make it with glutinous noodles and flour, and I'll be jealous. The GF noodles don't hold up quite as well, but maybe next time I won't cook them as long. Either way, cheesy goodness is always a win!

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can alter it in so many ways. We've added cubed ham or bacon (bacon makes everything better), one time we added diced green chills and used a Mexican blend of cheese, you could add in mushrooms, any veggies you want, hamburger meat, the options are endless. But I do have to say, I feel VERY strongly that the onions MUST be included. Otherwise I just feel like it doesn't have the same pizazz. Just my humble opinion.

Everyone has go-to comfort food recipes that just make you feel good, and this one seriously never fails. What's your comfort food?

xo, Summer

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall Boots

Boot season is upon us! I am so happy! My toes will be so much warmer, and I don't have to keep up with my pedicure as diligently (but don't tell anyone). There are so many different styles out there, and boots are a great way to add some interest to your outfit. You can play with fun colors or textures. I linked you to some of my favorites, and as always, they are super affordable. Like, under $100, and actually most are way less! I will definitely be picking up a few of these. My particular must haves are the Merona riding boots that totally look like a Frye knock off, and they happen to be from Target, so you know these are on my list! I also happen to love a great ankle boot. I could live in them, and I've found y'all some adorable options! I love my ankle boots with skinny jeans or dresses, and my riding boots with leggings (or dresses).

Just click on the pic to purchase any of these. What are your go-to boots for fall, and how do you wear yours?

xo, Summer

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Monday, October 26, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 3, Thank You

So now that 24 hours has passed since last night's episode of The Walking Dead, I think I'm ready to talk about it. I'm still pretty torn up, and it's obviously still on my mind, so I decided to write about it. I don't normally blog about TV shows, with the exception of the Bachelor franchise, which has kind of been boring me in recent seasons. The Walking Dead, however, affects me sometimes for days after I watch an episode, and I find myself still talking about it, so why not blog about it? I'm not sure if I'll continue to do it, or if this is a one time post, we'll just have to see how the season goes, but I just HAVE to talk about last night! In fact, it was hard to put all my feelings in writing, so here's a little video too. 

If you haven't watched the episode yet, you probably shouldn't read this post. 

Spoilers ahead!!!!!

Ok, now that I've covered that base, we can move on. First off, I have NEVER been so emotionally invested in a television show. EVER. This damn show has made me cry way more than a zombie show should make me cry. And I am SOOO not that person that yells at the screen when I'm watching something. But that's what this show has done to me. I'm completely obsessed, and slightly embarrassed about it. Back to last night.

I'm not going to recap the entire show. I just want to give y'all my thoughts on some specifics. Such as.... HOW IN THE HECK COULD THEY KILL OFF GLENN!????!!! That was the worst character death so far in my opinion. The worst. I was so nervous that he was going to get killed off with all the action that was happening, but for some reason when he actually fell off that dumpster I was NOT prepared for it. Took me totally by surprise, And I totally had a jump off the couch and yell at the TV moment. It was rough y'all. Nicholas I was totally OK with losing, but did he have to be the reason Glenn died too? Ugh. I just can't guys. Really. It's too much. Herschel was a really hard loss, and so was Beth, but this one. Too much. 

And then to put us through that scene without any fanfare, just to move on to Rick being in a TERRIBLE situation, it's like they're trying to give me a heart attack or something. Rick HAS to be OK, whether he ends up with both hands or just one (comic book reference). 

So now that I've gotten that off my chest, here's my hypothesis:


Here is my supporting evidence:

1. References to season one. Glenn called Rick a dumb ass over the walkie, just like he did in the first season. LOVED that reference by the way. We fell in love with Glenn as a character from the very first time we met him on the series, and it was that exchange that did it. 

2. When Glenn and Nicholas fell off of the dumpster, Nicholas fell on TOP of Glenn. So it is entirely possible that when we saw the walkers tearing someone apart, it was not Glenn, but Nicholas. (TOTALLY possible, and this is what I'm choosing to believe)

3. If you continue to look back at season 1, you remember when they camouflaged themselves from the walkers by covering themselves in blood and guts. It was super gross, but it worked. So if in fact Nicholas' body is shielding Glenn from getting eaten, he would be completely covered in grossness, therefore, not noticeable to the walkers. This is totally possible too, right?

4. Steven Yeun did not make an appearance on Talking Dead. I can't remember another major character dying and not being a guest on that show. Hmm.....very interesting.

5. Glenn was also not mentioned on the In Memoriam segment on Talking Dead. Very interesting indeed....

6. Showrunner Scott Gimple made a statement saying that we would indeed be seeing Glenn in some way in the future. You can check out the details of that here. Could be in a flashback I suppose, or maybe Glenn as a walker, or maybe HE'S ALIVE Y'ALL!

Can we all just pretend like we know he's coming back, because otherwise it's just too sad. And poor Maggie! 

Anyway, I realize this post is kind of all over the place. I did not plan it out at all. I just started writing and this is what came out. I apologize. I know I'm rambling and probably not making any sense. Please tell me your thoughts on this season of The Walking Dead so far! I hope I'm not the only totally crazy obsessed one out there!

xo, Summer

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One Last Summer Jumpsuit Hurrah

It's the last days of warm weather (hopefully), so while every other blogger is posting cute sweaters and scarves, I had to give my favorite jumpsuit one last hurrah before I retired it for the winter. We don't follow seasonal fashion rules here in Vegas!

Jumpsuit - Target (similar here, other options below)  /  Sandals - Target (similar)  /  Clutch - Cole Haan /  Tassel Earrings - Bauble Bar (similar here) /  Necklace and Beaded Bracelets - Summer Smith Designs

I'm a sucker for a good jumpsuit. They can be dressed up or down, and SO, SO comfy! I styled this particular piece casually for day this time, though I've worn it both ways. This one was on serious repeat this summer!

I found this at my favorite place, Target, but since it's long sold out, I'm linking you to a bunch of other super cute and affordable options though, so shop your hearts out!

xo, Summer

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall Fashion Essentials

Still waiting on the cooler weather here in Vegas....But when it finally does show up, I'll be ready! There are a few wardrobe staples that every girl should have on hand in her closet to make navigating what to wear this fall simple. These are a few of my favorite essential items, with the links to these specific pieces.

You'll probably notice that most of my must-have list is on the casual side. That's just me. I'm rarely in heels these days, and I like it that way! :) You could easily dress up any of these items though, which is why I'm considering them staples. 

The utility jacket is a great piece to layer over a casual jeans look, or throw on over a cute dress. I'm totally obsessed with the blanket scarf trend-they are the absolute best. I know some people are off the skinny jean bandwagon and have moved on to flares, but I am keeping my skinnies. I love the flares, but I just don't feel like they're as versatile as a good skinny jean. And invest in some good quality leggings. If you cheap out on this one, it's noticeable. Hope I didn't miss anything!

What are your fall wardrobe essentials? Did I leave anything off the list, or do you have any favorite brands or styles? I'd love to hear from you!

xo, Summer

Here's some more options you may like!

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