Mexi Mac and Cheese (and Maracas!)

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Themed meals and crafts are always fun! This week, the kids got to make maracas after one of our Stroller Strides classes, and boy, were they a hit! And a delicious new recipe to find its way to our kitchen is Mexi Mac and Cheese. The name says it all – it’s a cheesy pasta-y meaty Mexican bowl of goodness. I made a huge batch for us, and the leftovers did not last long. Try it for yourself!

Mexi Mac and Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
1 lb ground beef
1 oz taco seasoning
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1 bunch green onions (chopped)
4 oz can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups colby jack (or cheddar) cheese, shredded
salt and pepper

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente (about 6-7 minutes). Drain.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet and drain.

Return beef to skillet and add taco seasoning, bell pepper, green onions and green chiles. Saute over low heat until veggies are tender (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Stir in milk and reduce heat. Slowly stir in cheese and continue stirring until cheese is melted. (This takes longer than expected; just be patient and keep stirring.)

In a large bowl (or use your skillet if it is large enough), mix the pasta and the beef mixture. Pour the cheesy sauce over everything and stir it all together.

Garnish the top with a few extra green onions and shredded cheese and enjoy! Yum! Here are my before and after pictures:

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Now for the fun maraca craft! What kid doesn’t like shaking a maraca? These are so easy and fun to make, and you probably already have all of the materials needed, especially this soon after Easter.

Maracas

Plastic Easter egg
Dry rice
Plastic spoons
Colored Tape

Put some rice in the plastic egg.

Place two spoons on either side of the egg.

Wrap and decorate with the colored tape to hold it all together.

Shake! Shake! Shake!

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Zara loved hers!

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Hope your Cinco de Mayo was as fun and festive as ours! Ole!

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