Blog Archive
Send Me a Message
Search Recipes
Subscribe to Cooking with Mel
Certified Yummly Recipes on


my foodgawker gallery

My KitchenArtistry Gallery





Follow CookingwithMel on Twitter

Entries in Macaroni and cheese (6)


Mini Mac 'n' Cheese Cakes

Happy Friday Lovely Foodies! Last night I was cooking up a storm while also co-dealing with our fun move. Oh yes, we are still trying to handle the move six weeks later. Mayflower and all of their entities are the most incompetent business I have ever encountered in my adult life. The company got everything wrong; and, we are paying… literally. I do not know if it was the pure frustration or running around the kitchen with only some fluffernutter in my stomach but I suddenly got sick. It was horrific for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, I was not able to eat dinner! It was sad.

Even though I was not able to enjoy dinner last night, I know what I made will be enjoyable for all of you. For my Kid – Friendly Friday segment this week I give to you Mini Mac and Cheese Cakes! They are super easy and super yummy. Oh, and they can easily be gluten free!

Adapted from Gluten Freely

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 to 1 ½ cup uncooked macaroni noodles [if you are Gluten Free then use GF noodles!]
  • 3 cups Corn Chex Cereal, finely crushed
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoons gluten free flour blend
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Cook and drain the macaroni as directed  [using the ¼ teaspoon of salt in the water if you like]
  • Move oven rack to the lower third of the oven
  • Lightly grease 12 regular sized muffin tins
  • In a medium bowl, mix crushed cereal, 1 cup of the cheese & the 4 tablespoons melted butter together

  • Divide mixture among muffin cups; press firmly in bottom and up the sides of the muffin cups with your hands

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together remaining butter and flour blend for about a minute
  • Gradually stir in warmed milk with whisk
  • Cook and stir about 5 minutes until thickened
  • Add the remaining 1 ½  cups shredded cheddar cheese and whisk together until completely melted
  • Pour over the cooked macaroni & and incorporate 

  • Spoon about ¼ cup mixture into each crust lined cup

  • Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese on top of each of the muffin cups
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown

  • Cool and EAT!

This is such a great idea to get the kids involved and it is not the typical macaroni and cheese recipe that everybody thinks the kids love. I know that children love macaroni & cheese, I mean, I love macaroni & cheese, but it gets boring after a while. This is a great way to spruce up the age – old staple while getting the kids involved in a different way.

I hope you all enjoy & Happy Friday!

Until Next Time,

Happy Macaroni & Cheesin’


Independence Day Picnic Round-Up

You’re probably thinking, Mel already blogged today what’s up with posting twice? Well, I know a lot of you will be celebrating our Independence tomorrow at picnics, around the pool, near the barbeque and I think it is important to know that you have a TON of options. You don’t have to worry when somebody asks for something other than a hot dog & burger.

Below you will find some of my favorite picks for any outside holiday event or any occasion [period]! Just click on the picture and you will be whisked away to the recipe of your 4th of July celebration dreams! I hope you all enjoy!

Kicked Up Blue Cheese Hamburger Sliders


Buffalo Grilled Chicken Breast with Blue Cheese Sauce


Corn on the Cob with Spicy Jalapeno Garlic Butter


Grilled Romaine with Spicy Sausage & Blue Cheese – Balsamic Vinaigrette


Applewood Smoked Barbeque Ribs


Sweetly Smoked Barbeque Ribs


The Almighty Chili – Cheese Dogs

Gorgonzola & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The Cheesiest Smoked Mac n’ Cheese

Momma’s Famous Fruit Salad


Apple Pie Bars

Fried Pickles

Homemade Lemonade

Frozen Lemonade

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

Sweet Tea

4th of July Red, White & Blue Striped Drink

I know this is quite the list, but you cannot go wrong with these recipes! I hope you give one or more of them a try tomorrow or in the future!

Happy Independence day! 


Sweetly Smoked Barbeque Ribs

Good Monday Morning everybody! I hope this finds you having had an extravagant weekend of fun festivities! This weekend was a little tumultuous for me. First, I hurt my ankle on Friday during some freak – not – wanting – to – fall – so – I – used – my – ankle – to – stay – standing accident. It was the size of three ankles; that is no joke. Then on Saturday we took our puppy for a checkup at the vet and to update his vaccinations. We found out that he has two very small ear infections [I knew it!!!] and he has not been himself since the visit. He has strokes of Pipsqueak behavior but then he goes back to glaring at us and moping around. We are giving him medication, which he hates and I’m positive it irritates his ears even more. He cried yesterday when Nick rubbed his ears! Seriously, I almost cried. And, finally I am feeling pretty under the weather. It’s much more than a cold and it is worrying me. I’m hoping to be diagnosed and/or fixed today.

Why don’t we talk about something a little less crummy and a little tastier? Well today I have something pretty awesome for any summer picnic, dinner or weekend meal! However, this particular meal was not designed or prepared by me. It was prepared by Nick last weekend when my mom was in town for the holiday! Memorial Day is one of Nick’s favorite holidays. Memorial Day has a very special place in my heart because of Nick’s service in the military so we wanted to celebrate with an awesome dish! So are you ready to know what I have for you today??  Today I have for you amazing Sweet and Smoked Barbeque Ribs!!

For his birthday Nick received an awesome smoker from my mom! He has not been able to use it enough in the days since his birthday! There was no doubt that he was going to whip his smoker out for Memorial Day weekend and get down to business, especially with my mom around. The last time we cooked ribs there was a spicy kick to them, but my mom is not a huge fan of too much spice so he kept it on the sweet side of things this time around.

He tells me the right ribs start with the right rubs. So let’s start there.

Here is what you will need:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons of ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoons salt (also as stated previously Nick tries to limit salt in the rub)
  • ¼ cup of white sugar
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder (add to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder (add to taste)
  • ½ cub of honey
  • You can also add: (pretty much to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne powered or chili powder


  • Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until there is a slurry

  • Thoroughly rub the mixture all over your ribs

  • Vacuum seal the ribs or cover them tightly with foil and allow the ribs to marinate in the refrigerator over night
  • If you don’t have that much time then allow at least an hour to marinate!
  • After the meet is marinated pre heat your grill or smoker.  If you are grilling put the outer burners on low.  Like has been stated, “low and slow” is the best for ribs and most bbq.  We set the smoker at 225 degrees F. 

  • Then cook for 1 ½  hours flip and cook until internal temperature is 165 degrees F

Then cut into individual servings and eat away!! It’s pretty easy. I mean, it was really easy for me because I did not prepare or cook them. The smoker is Nick’s baby and I do not trump in! It’s fun to cook and create meals with Nick! He took the reins with this particular part of the meal and it turned out phenomenally.

If you’re interested in a wet rub and don’t have anything in your kitchen except for some brand-name bottle of barbeque sauce [much like we did] it is easy to make it your own and add flavors. We had two racks of ribs so half of them got the dry rub and half of them got the wet rub. Here is what you will need: barbeque sauce, lemon juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, brown sugar, paprika! Mix it all up and add the sauce after the ribs hit an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. After the mixture is lathered on the ribs just cook for another 30 minutes! Simple, right? I know!

I hope you all give this a try! It is super easy and super yummy!

Until Next Time,

Happy Rubbin’ Ribs