Mac Chicken ‘n Cheese Muffins + A Giveaway

September 23, 2012

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Mac, Chicken 'n Cheese Muffins and a Giveaway | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comA few weeks back I got this crazy great email from Catherine McCord reaching out to me to see if I wanted a copy of her new book, Weelicious – One Family One Meal. Immediately responding with a big YES, I anxiously waited for the mail man each day for my package to arrive. When it did, I ripped open the packing material and started thumbing through the pages – earmarking recipes that I wanted to make, with more than half of the book earmarked.

With a busy week shuffling 3 boys here, there and everywhere, plus the Jewish New Year stuck in the middle of all of that (tons of cooking for that), I settled on her Mac Chicken ‘n Cheese bites to accompany some grilled chicken, kale chips, and a cucumber salad.

Grate your cheeses at the beginning of the week - cuts down on prep for those very rushed, weeknight meals | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comWith all the ingredients on hand, including some shredded chicken that was leftover from a few chicken breasts I had roasted two days prior, plus both kinds of cheddar, this was the obvious choice. Converting this recipe to a gluten free version was a simple task. Using brown rice penne and my gluten free all purpose flour blend to make the roux, whipping up this dish in less than 20 minutes was just what I needed at the end of a very busy day.

Make individual Mac, Chicken, 'n Cheese bites and save the leftovers for lunch | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comThere are so many more recipes I want to try. On the top of my list are the brown rice and veggie casserole, shrimp fried rice, chicken and wild rice casserole, veggie nuggets, “fried” green beans, oatmeal on the go bars, apple-cinnamon sticks, and so much more! Just yesterday, Levi picked the book up and with unprovoked excitement, he chose a few recipes that needed to be on next weeks meal plan. He’s 6. If he’s asking for something new and different, I am going to give him what he wants!

@Catherine McCord's recipe for Mac, Chicken, 'n Cheese bites is great for portion control | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comWhat I loved most about making macaroni and cheese in individual servings (which, duh, I have never done), is how easily it transferred into the lunch box the next day. Warming up the thermos (filled with boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes before putting in the food) and the mac ‘n cheese muffins(wrapped in foil, in toaster oven at 300*), simultaneously, was easily done in 5 minutes.

Weelicious " One Family-One Meal" Recipes and a Giveaway! | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.com

This book is a must have in everyone’s home library. That is why I am offering one lucky Urban Baker reader a copy of Catherine’s book. It’s easy to enter and only takes a few minutes.

How to Enter

You have until Sunday, September 30th, 12 midnight PST to enter this giveaway. The Winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 2 days to respond or a new winner will be selected. U.S.A. residents only.

You can enter multiple times by leaving a separate comment for each of the following steps listed below:

• tell me your favorite mac ‘n cheese recipe.
• go to Weelicious’ Facebook page and like her page.
• go to The Urban Baker’s facebook page and like me!
• tweet about this giveaway. make up one of your own or tweet this sample message: pls RT @theurbanbaker has a copy of @weelicous new book #giveaway. family + kid friendly meals http://is.gd/ufDJOV
• follow @therubanbaker on Twitter
• follow Catherine McCord on Twitter
• follow my pin boards on Pinterest
• follow Catherine’s pin boards on Pinterest
• follow @susansalzman on Instagram
• sign up for my RSS feeds and receive my blog posts each week
• Stumble this post and follow me (and see who I follow) @theurbanbaker on StumbleUpon.

Good Luck!

Mac Chicken ‘n Cheese Muffins
Catherine suggest adding veggies to the mix, however we were having a few extra kids the night that I made these for dinner, and wasn’t sure what kind of eaters they were going to be. I kept them authentic and instead added some ricotta for a creamier mixture and some cayenne for a little kick. The possibilities are endless and I would not be opposed to adding some grated zucchini next time along with some chopped spinach!
yield: 24 regular size muffins

ingredients:
2 ounces | 57 grams | 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for greasing the pans)
1.25 ounces | 35 grams | 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayanne (optional)
16 ounces | 450 grams | 2 cups whole organic milk
8 ounces | 225 grams | 1 cup organic heavy cream
4 ounces | 112 grams | 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces | 112 grams | 1 cup raw, white cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces | 112 grams | 4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
3 ounces | 86 grams | 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
1 pound brown rice penne (I like Trader Joes)

instructions:
• in a large stock pot, bring copious amounts of water to a boil. add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to water. add pasta and cook for 8 minutes. drain and set aside.
• preheat oven to 400*
• generously butter(I use room temperature butter and a piece of wax paper. this helps cover it evenly)  two 12 cup capacity muffin tins. set aside on rimmed baking sheets.
• in the same pot that you cooked the pasta, melt the butter over medium heat. whisk in the flour and salt and whisk for 1-2 minute until all is combined. you want to make a roux. this will help thicken up your sauce later on. add white pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne.
• slowly add the milk and cream, whisking to combine. bring to a boil, whisking the whole time. let boil for two minutes and then turn heat down to simmer. cook until thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes.
• off heat, add both Cheddars, ricotta, and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan. using a rubber spatula, stir until combined.
• in a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken, and cheese sauce.
• using a 1/4 cup ice cream scooper (or a large spoon), fill individual muffin cups with pasta mixture.
• sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan over macaroni cups.
• bake 20 – 25 minutes or until tops are starting to turn golden brown.
• let cool slightly before removing them from the muffin tins (I actually made these in the morning and let sit at room temperature. at dinner time, I removed them – in one piece – and warmed them slightly in the oven).
• save left overs for the lunch box. I warmed them, wrapped in foil, in the toaster oven for 5-7 minutes and then placed in a warm thermos. got rave reviews when I picked the boys up from school!

More Weelicious Info:
Brocolli Pesto – ivillage
A great interview w/Catherine – Ergobaby Blog
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – Siriously Delicious

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marla September 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

These are so fun & very pretty Susan. Will make for my kids :)

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2 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I’ve seen muffin tin mac n cheese before but never got around to making it. So cute! My kids would love it and they’d definitely be handy as leftovers. My favorite mac n cheese is a good ole baked mac – really just about any cheese works but I love extra sharp cheddar for that.

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3 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I like you on fb :)

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4 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I like weelicious on fb

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5 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I follow you on twitter

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6 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I get your rss! :)

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7 Laura West Kong September 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm

My DD loves mac&cheese! I’m following The Urban Baker on Twitter, @GrainFreeFab

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8 Laura West Kong September 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I’m following weelicious on twitter, @grainfreefab

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9 Laura West Kong September 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I’m following you on Pinterest

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10 Laura West Kong September 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I’m following Catherine on Pinterest.

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11 JRenee Mck September 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I started following your boards on Pinterest.

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12 JRenee Mck September 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I have been following Catherine’s board on Pinterest and added a few more today

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13 JRenee McK September 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Liked Weelicious’ FB page (as Jessica McKinney)

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14 JRenee McK September 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Liked Urban Baker’s FB page (as Jessica McKinney)

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15 Kim September 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Really a good idea this portable mac’n cheese… so bad I live in Canada! I will look for this book next time I go to a bookstore!

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16 Safire Waldron September 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Following Weelicious on FB.

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17 Safire Waldron September 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Following @theurbanbaker on Twitter

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18 Safire Waldron September 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Following Catherine’s boards on Pinterest

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19 Safire Waldron September 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Liked The Urban Baker on FB

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20 Safire Waldron September 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Following Catherine McCord on Twitter

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21 Safire Waldron September 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Following The Urban Baker on Pinterest

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22 barbara n September 24, 2012 at 4:42 am

I love a southwestern mac and cheese

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23 barbara n September 24, 2012 at 4:55 am

I am an email subscriber

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24 Loretta E September 24, 2012 at 5:26 am

I think my favorite mac ‘n cheese recipe is from Bon Appetit, but I’m not with my cookbooks right now and couldn’t tell you for sure!

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25 Loretta E September 24, 2012 at 5:28 am

I’m also a fan on Facebook.

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26 Loretta E September 24, 2012 at 5:34 am

I’m now following Susan on Pinterest.

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27 Loretta E September 24, 2012 at 5:35 am

I’m also following Catherine’s Pinterest boards.

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28 gail September 24, 2012 at 7:26 am

honestly, i like the box mac and cheese!

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29 gail September 24, 2012 at 7:27 am

liked weelicious on fb

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30 gail September 24, 2012 at 7:27 am

liked you on fb

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31 HeatherChristo September 24, 2012 at 7:37 am

these are adorable, as is Catherine McCord! My fave is plain old cheddar!

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32 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] September 24, 2012 at 7:58 am

I’ll have to give these a shot. We don’t eat a lot of mac-n-cheese, so the muffin size is perfect!

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33 Maria September 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

So fun!

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34 Lucy Lean September 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

Love these and the idea of mini mac and cheese ‘cupcakes’ – Catherine’s book looks so great too.

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35 Megan September 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

I’ll be out of town when the drawing is held, but I went and did a few of the above things (twitter and facebook) just because I like the sound of her book! Thanks for sharing!

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36 Monica September 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

I am a fan on facebook, I follow you on Pinterest, and I will now follow you on twitter too! My favorite mac and cheese is my mom’s old school baked one with eggs. I have tweeted it a bit but still love the original!

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37 Libby Lopez September 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

I like weelicious on FB.

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38 Libby September 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

Patti Labelle’s Over-the-Rainbow mac and cheese is my favorite mac and cheese recipe.

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39 Kelli B September 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I like you on FB!

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40 Kelli B September 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I follow you on Pinterest!

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41 Kelli B September 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I follow all of Catherine’s boards on Pinterest!

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42 Kelli B September 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I follow all of your boards on Pinterest!

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43 Sasha September 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I love Catherine’s mac and cheese recipe, so do my kids!

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44 Emily G September 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I like weelicious and urban baker on fb. Love finding new blogs and recipes! Thanks.

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45 Crystal September 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I like the Urban Baker on fb

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46 Crystal September 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I like weelicious on fb

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47 Crystal September 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I follow theurbanbaker on twitter

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48 Crystal September 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I follow Catherine McCord on twitter

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49 Jane September 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

i’ve been making these as a way of portioning out extra mac-n-cheese (WolfCreek’s Mac N Cheese is a easy favorite), freezing the portions in muffin cups, then baking them up or popping them out and storing in a ziplock to be microwaved for individual portions.

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50 Gopi September 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

My favorite mac and cheese is baked with gouda!

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51 Ambri September 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I just discovered you and am following you on facebook now.

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52 Jorie September 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I am a weelicious FB fan.

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53 Jorie September 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I liked the Urban Baker FB page.

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54 Jessica T September 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I like Weelicious on facebook!

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55 Jessica T September 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I like The Urban Baker on Facebook!

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56 Jessica T September 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

We like plain ol’ mac & cheese at our house with whole grain noodles cheddar cheese and plenty of cracked pepper…usually accompanied by a green smoothie:)

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57 Corisa September 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm

My aunts sister in laws recipe is amazing !

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58 Jill September 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I love just good old traditional mac and cheese with breadcrumb topping!

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59 Mb September 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

butternut squash mac and cheese!

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60 Christy September 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I liked Weelicious’ Facebook
Christy Lowery Wiggins

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61 Christy September 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I follow Catherine McCord on Twitter
@jinxyisms

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62 Christy September 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I follow Catherine McCord on Pinterest
@Jinxyisms

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63 Christy September 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I follow you on Pinterest
@Jinxyisms

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64 Christy September 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I follow you on twitter
@jinxyisms

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65 Randi Lynne September 25, 2012 at 7:19 am

I really like Pioneer Woman’s baked mac and cheese recipe. It’s pretty tasty!

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66 Randi Lynne September 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

I get your RSS Feed.

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67 Randi Lynne September 25, 2012 at 7:22 am

I stumbled this to my sister in law and I follow you on SU.

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68 katrina September 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I just make mine out of a box but this looks so much better!

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69 Brooke @ Food Woolf September 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Great idea! I love the single serving “cupcake!”

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70 Lynna September 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I liked you on fb! :D

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71 Lynna September 25, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I liked weelicious on fb!

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72 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

Although your recipe looks AMAZING, I think my favorite mac&cheeze recipe I’ve tried so far is the Mac Daddy recipe in “Veganomicon.” It is to die for!

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73 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

I already like you on FB!

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74 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

I like Weelicious on FB!

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75 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:25 am
76 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

I already follow you on Twitter!

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77 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

I follow Weelicious on Twitter! :)

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78 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

I follow your boards on Pinterest!

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79 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

I follow Catherine’s boards on Pinterest!

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80 Alicia @ Treble Tart September 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

I follow you on Instagram!

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81 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. September 26, 2012 at 10:46 am

wow so cute! Great giveaway!

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82 Tonya Lynn September 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I like weelicious on FB

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83 Elissa September 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm

My favorite mac-n-cheese is the recipe my younger sister makes with 5 different cheeses! My son won’t even let me make it because he says she does it better :)

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84 Elissa September 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I follow Catherine McCord on Twitter (@elissam)

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85 Elissa September 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I follow @therubanbaker on Twitter (that’s how I found out about this giveaway!)

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86 Elissa September 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I follow the Urban Baker on PInterest

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87 Elissa September 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I follow Catherine’s pin boards on Pinterest

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88 Cori September 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Lobster mac & cheese- yum!!

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89 Cori September 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I’m an email subscriber.

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90 Anne September 29, 2012 at 9:02 am

Susan, these look amazing! I think I’ll make them for my daughter’s birthday party… can’t wait to try them!

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