Easy Meals and BFF Thanksgiving Craft Nights |Building Our Story Yum

Monday, November 17, 2014

Easy Meals and BFF Thanksgiving Craft Nights

Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #CollectiveBias #Feast4All

Now that my Best Friend is living in the same state we have quite the plans.  One of those plans happened to be Thanksgiving Craft Night!  YES!!  I decided that I would have her and her husband over for dinner and we would craft away the evening.  Now, this sounds lovely and relaxing to most but this also meant I still had to cook, clean, wrangling kiddos and prepare for said craft night.  I love getting creative in the kitchen and on the crafting table, especially with fall recipes but I knew my time and energy would be limited for this gathering.  I had to prepare for 4 adults and 2 VERY picky kiddos.  

I headed to the frozen section in Walmart and instantly decided I can totally make this easier on me but still provide my family and guests with a yummy dinner  Entertaining doesn't have to be hard on the host and I really need to start remembering that!  I picked up a family favorite STOUFFER’S® Macaroni & Cheese but in the family size AND to get the holiday feeling through out the meal I decided on a Special Holiday Edition Drumstick.  Peppermint!  YUMMY!  Okay, I have a confession - I crave Ice Cream a lot - especially when it is freezing out!  Weird I know!  ;)  

I didn't want to just serve Macaroni & Cheese so I decided to spice that easy entree up a bit by adding some frozen veggies and panko bread crumbs!  Simple and easy, yet the perfect easy meal.  

"Mac and Cheese Add the Veggies" Recipe 

Free Printable recipe here.  

Ingredients:STOUFFER’S® Macaroni & Cheese - Family Size (frozen)
Frozen Veggies (medium bag, your choice)
2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs


1.  Preheat oven as directed on box.

2.  Bake Mac and Cheese for 35 minutes.

3.  Remove from oven, add veggies, stir in well.  Make sure all veggies are covered in cheese and pasta.

4.  Bake for 15 additional minutes.

5.  Remove from oven, sprinkle Panko Bread Crumbs on the "casserole".  

6. Bake for 5-7 minutes, do not let burn!  

7.  Serve HOT!!  

Well, that did not take much effort at all and it was a hit with the adults and the kids at the table.  STOUFFER’S® Party Size Macaroni & Cheese is crafted with freshly made pasta and real aged cheddar cheese.Warmed us from the inside out!  Not sure if you knew this, but its be rather COLD in Colorado recently.  These warm home cooked meals have been a staple in our home in the last week, thankfully I have been able to create some easy meals that have made us stay at home in the warm house.  There is something cozy about having the oven on and dinner baking when it is snowing out.   
Once we all finished our dinner we sent the kids and boys down to the basement for a movie night and Lauren and I started our fast clean up of the meal and kitchen.  I love when dinner doesn't make me work hard to prepare or clean up!  Bonus!!!  

Lauren and I settled in at our craft table with our Christmas music playing, cider candle burning and hot cocoa warming.  Perfect night if you ask me!  ;)  I cannot wait to share the 2 fun crafts I made while we had this time together.  Productive and a fun night!

With Thanksgiving approaching very quickly I knew that I wanted to nail down some time with Lauren.  The holidays are going to be here before we know it, which means we all get busy.  I was happy that we could make this evening work and have time to spend with the whole family, Lauren and her hubby but then also find a way to make sure we had some DIY time together as well.  

Funny story - as we sat down for dinner, Jude looked around the table and said - "Wow! Is this Thanksgiving?"  We laughed and then I said, "it sure is!  We have a lot of love and thanks around this dining room table tonight!"  It became clear that night, Thanksgiving doesn't have to be held on THANKSGIVING DAY - Thanksgiving is any day that we come together as friends and family to enjoy one another.  Thankfully with the help of Nestle we can do that and not spend as much time in the kitchen!  Now that is something to be Thankful for as well!

Just like every night once dinner is settled the kids ask for dessert.  Well, I had a big surprise for everyone!  I showed everyone the NESTLÉ® DRUMSTICK® Peppermint - special edition treats and everyone was ready to try one.  Yum!  The peppermint ice cream is the perfect ending to a great night with friends.  And who doesn't love a good DRUMSTICK®?  So good!  Yes, even in the freezing cold winter! 

A video posted by Censie (@censiej) on

I hope to have more of these Craft and Family Nights because it not only gave us all time to enjoy each other but it was also a great "girls night in" for Lauren and me.  Rejuvenated and ready for the hustle and bustle!  

Find all of these goodies that are perfect for making entertaining easier at Walmart.  I wonder what other easy meals I could create with the delicious STOUFFER’S® Party Size Macaroni & Cheese?

How do you make sure you spend less time in the kitchen during the holidays?  

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  1. I have a couple short cuts that I like to do in order to cut down on the menial kitchen tasks.. most involve prepping meals during nap time and freezing what I can!

  2. That looks like so much fun! I love how you served your cones. So cute!

  3. Love the idea of adding veggies to Stouffer's Mac & Cheese -yum!

  4. Sounds like the perfect fuel for a night of crafting! So fun. #client


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