Mouthwatering Monday: Four Cheese Baked Skillet Rigatoni

Monday, January 28, 2013

Its been a while since I've posted a good recipe on this blog here!
Wellll I have found one worth blogging about!
Seriously, SO good. 
Its a problem that I'm now cooking all the time and trying out new recipes as a job. 
I continue to "accidentally" make too much so I get to try a bit ;)
Anyhow, this recipe is a problem...
For my figure that is. 
Its a twist on the traditional baked mac n cheese.
Only, seriously better!
Ooey, gooey, cheesy, crunchy, deliciousness. 

I modified the original recipe to fit my own liking. 
I'm in love. So are my taste buds :)

Four Cheese Baked Skillet Rigatoni
serves 4-6
1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressde
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
8 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 cup shredded chicken
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grate cheeses, placing them together in a large bowl. Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions, cooking for 3-4 minutes less than called-for time.
Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in olive oil and butter, then throw in a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add flour to the skillet then whisk constantly to create a roux. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Pour in milk, stirring continuously for another 1-2 minutes. Add in mascarpone and almost all of the grated cheeses, reserving about 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Stir continuously until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt, then taste and season more if desired. Add pasta and shredded chicken to the skillet and toss thoroughly to coat.
Sprinkle the top of the mixture with remaining cheeses and breadcrumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Note: this pasta will be more oily then traditional mac and cheese due to the mascarpone.

Now go make it!! Seriously!
You will not regret it, until you put your jeans on the next day :)
You can thank me later ;)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Sunday is my thinking day

Sunday, January 27, 2013

> Be patient with yourself. Perfection does not come in this life, but in the next.
>Scripture study is more than important. Seek and ye shall find.
> Now is the time to prepare ourselves to meet our Heavenly Father.
>The power of prayer hits me hard. Ask and ye shall receive.
> The Lord expects us to do something before we receive something.
>Patience with others is crucial, we must see others as they may become.
> There is something in each day to be grateful for and cherish.
>At the end of the day, I hope your cheeks hurt from smiling. 
> If you feel and express joy, you will be happy.

And so, I shall leave you with a quote. One I particularly love:

"We are never alone. The teacher is always silent during a test."
There are so many times in our lives where we feel alone. No one there to hold your hand, dry your tears or give you words of encouragement. But we are truly never alone, God is always there and hears our prayers. Sometimes we may have to struggle, get hurt and betrayed. Without struggle how would we grow? The Lord only puts you through something He intends to help you through. He is always there no matter if He answers your prayers directly or not; He has a plan for you, He knows you're strong enough to overcome. In the toughest of days, it is essential to stay obedient and have faith. "Your loving Father in Heaven would never leave you alone in this mortality to wander in the dark. You need not be deceived  You can overcome the darkness of this world and discover divine truth."
-Neal A Maxwell

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Tuesday, January 22, 2013
"Sometimes you need to step outside, get some fresh air, and remind yourself of who you are, and who you want to be."

Today I made  This chicken for my "personal chef" (kinda) job.
Seriously so good.  I even made a yummy rice with it.
Too bad you don't lose weight with the more calories you eat.
I would be a twig :)

This talk is absolutely amazing!
I'm really loving reading a talk a week. I feel so inspired.
After high lighting and underlining galore I realized how perfect it would be for the sweet boy in Ohio.
Yep, sending that pronto. 

Today at work a boy told me his name was spongebob.
I gave him a funny look, not being rude, just because I was confused.
I think he was intimidated because well, he ran away.
I drank his smoothie. 

When I run down hills with my new running shoes I feel like I'm flying.
I let my arms flail around in the sunlight the other day, I felt so free.
Then I passed an old man who clearly thought I was a freak.
Especially because Glee's version of "Proud Mary" was blasting on my ipod.
Right at the part where miss thang totally jams out. 
I passed him again on my way back. 
This time, Silent Night was playing and I was so tired I started walking.
He laughed, so did I :)

Best friend turned sister Audrey and I decided we are going to do something fun every month.
We were planning it out last night and found so many fun things on groupon
We will be running This 5k in April and we are so excited!
We also planned out a fun little 2 night get away for March!
Then we found out you have to be 21 to check in to the hotel.
Are you kidding me?
By then I'll have a child.
 Pushing a stroller around by the pool wasn't really what I had in mind. 
We're still hotel hunting though.

This song reminds me so much of the night I last hugged the sweet boy that its hard to listen to.
I don't know when I got so mushy.
I don't know when I got so obsessive.
I really don't know why I'm just realizing this.
Ohhh it is love.

I have come to realize I should never work in a mall ever again. like ever. 
I have more clothes and shoes than I know what to do with.
I just can't pass up a sale and because I'm always there, I always see the sales!
Last week Forever 21 was having a 50% off sale on all their already clearance items.
Say hello to $7 coats.
I bought 4. One was for my mom though :)
I need to get out of Jamba. Pronto.
I sure will miss my 50% off card though.
 See, there I go again with the deals!

I thought my holiday spirit left when December ended.
Nope. I'm still listening to Christmas music.
I love it too much. It makes me happy.
I like being happy :)

Hmm. I think I'm done rambling now. 
Well, for now.
I seem to always have something to say :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


You Raise Me Up

Sunday, January 20, 2013
Happy Sunday!

Really though, today I feel really quite happy.
I slept in, ate honey bunches of oats, curled my hair, emailed Hunter, listened to a conference talk, put on a maxi dress and was off to church. 
The sun was shining and I had my best friend beside me. I'm so lucky to have the best friends ever that believe the same as me.
Sacrament meeting was awesome. I received my young womanhood recognition today. I started that journey as a sophomore. I love that I have made it this far. 
In primary the lesson was about missionaries and ours came in to talk to the sweet children. I missed my sweet missionary in Ohio but it helped me feel close to him.
During third hour I asked the kids if they knew where we came from before coming to Earth. Emily responded, "The North Pole!" I giggled and my heart felt warm. I love my sunbeams. 
They have such a special spirit about them. I can't help but just want to squeeze their cheeks and hug them all day long.
We took them for a walk and the sun felt warm on my skin. Weston fell on his knee. I kissed it and he gave me hugs. My heart was warm once again.
There is something so magical about watching these sweet three year old's running around in the grass with the sunshine making their eyes twinkle as they collect pine cones, flowers, and chase each other around :)
I'm now sitting here in happiness, in peace.
I love my church with all my heart. 
I love Sunday's. I look forward to them all week.
So Happy Sunday friends!
I hope you have a lovely day and remember why we set aside one day of rest :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Let's play catch up!

Saturday, January 19, 2013
Not blogging in an entire week?
I'm quite proud of myself, that means I've been busy!
I like being busy, I like having a long list of things to do.
Did I mention I'm now a list maker?
What the heck! I've never been a "list maker"
I love it though, a lot.
I have a little notebook that I keep in my purse. On each page I write down the date and make a list of things that must get done. Or else, I WILL forget. 
I thoroughly enjoy crossing things off and seeing all I have accomplished in a day's time :)

2013 has been good to me so far. 
I'm feeling 120% more optimistic and happy this year than last year.
It could very well be due to the fact that sweet Hunter friend/lover left last year in January.

I've been so inspired and motivated lately.
Definitely praying this will last.

 As of lately:
-I have decided I am going to be done working at Jamba by May. I will make it happen.
-I got a new side job! I'm kind of like a "personal chef" if you will, for some family friends. They are very hard workers and by the time they get home at night fast food is the first option. Therefore, they called me :) I now plan their meals, go grocery shopping, make the food, and deliver with instructions. I love it already!
-As far as New Year's resolutions are going, they are holding true! I have stayed strong with them and I'm so very happy :) (as a side note: this working out 4 times a week is the best decision! I feel so good all the time and I'm already feeling better about myself! I bought new workout clothes to motivate me and it is really working!)
-Last Friday I was walking through good 'ol Target. when I spotted a pillow I fell in love with. All of a sudden I had an itch to redo my room. So, I did! I love it so much! Oh, and that pillow was returned. Funny how that works out!
-I bought a "smile" journal. That's just what I like calling it :) On the front it says "How time flies" which I am realizing is so true more and more often. I'm writing down everything that made me smile in a day's time. I put my 2013 quote on the inside to remember to live each day to the fullest. I figured if I keep this journal I can look at it on rough days to cheer me up and remember all is good :)
-While reading my scriptures and pondering in the temple the other night I read a verse about arising early and I have been motivated to become a morning person! Slowly, but surely :)
-This list made me laugh quite loud to myself, This talk is perfect, and This song is too cool :)

That's about all the new info I have for now :)

I'm a picture person if you haven't figured out by now, without further adieu:

New running clothes make me smiley before runs, and the sunshine makes me even happier :)

I told you I redid my room, I just love it so much! Now if I could get the desire to paint the walls a very light grey...

I invented a delightful cookie the other day! Hot chocolate double chocolate cookie with toasted marshmallows and then I drizzled a chocolate sauce over the top :)

Mother got me Nike Frees! I am so in love with these! Running has never been more fun :)

White chocolate toffee nut steamer with mixed nut and berry oatmeal while grocery shopping for my side job. I could get used to this :)

My favorite time to dress for church is when it is chilly outside. sweaters, long skirts and scarves :) Oh, and I have fallen in love with my sweet new sunbeams!

ONE YEAR down on the countdown! oh and as of right now, I'm on the last row of the "T" eeekkkk! :):)

I celebrated Hunt's ONE YEAR with a delightful snowball roll :)

YAY! Don't mind the fact that I look well, like that ha.
Temple Thursdays with these lovelies! :)

As Madeline would say:
"That is all, there isn't anymore"

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Halfway to Home!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oh my gosh, is this really happening right now?
Is it seriously already January 11, 2013??
sweet Hunter began his 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Columbus, Ohio.
woah. time flies. 

I really really tried my hardest to start this post off not sounding like a completely obsessed girlfriend, but shoot, every single time it sounded the same.
I think I am "that" girl.
Whatever, waiting 2 years for a boy comes with the territory. 

I'm sorry. I think that's about all I can say right now. 
I've only been waiting for this moment for an entire year and now I'm speechless!
In only one year (and quite possibly less) I will be reunited with my best friend in the entire world!
That is totally a reason to celebrate!
So I will, with popcorn, a movie, sushi, shopping, listening to love songs, looking at old pictures, a really long run, working on his scrapbook, and reading old love letters :)

I'm loving this whole picture countdown thing every month. 
I wish I wouldn't have gotten such a late start on them, but truly I just wasn't prepared when he left.
Which actually sounds funny because I had 4 years to prepare, I knew it was coming all along. 
You can see the other pictures and posts herehereherehereoh and here

Wow, what an emotional roller coaster this journey is.
It really is everything we needed.
Being apart has only caused me to fall even Moore in love with him.
I'm convinced he is perfect.
Sorry, that's a bit mushy. (actually I'm not sorry, today at least.)
I haven't seen this boy in an entire year, and here I am still absolutely obsessed with him.
Ohh what a reunion we will have in one more year :)

So, let me tell you a story. 
This story takes place about 5 years ago, oh it's where it all began :)
Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we?

It was the summer of 2008. I was 14 years of age, Hunter was 15. I was aboard the Sprinter on the way home from the beach with some girl friends when I got a text from a number I didn't recognize. It happened to be "boyfriend" at the time using another male figure's phone. I didn't think much of it. All I knew was that we would be walking to said "boyfriend's" house from the sprinter station due to a lack of a drivers license. Later come to find out that number happened to be Hunter's. Fate. I walk in through the backyard gate and immediately spot a tall, attractive, masculine, tan, and shirtless young man. Woah. Double take. He dives in the pool, I spot the "boyfriend" and suddenly want nothing to do with him. I promise I'm really not shallow. We all end up in the jacuzzi, and now I know mystery man's name. "Oh it's Hunter? I like that name, what's your last name?" Upon his response I think "Moore, yep I like that one too. I could work with that." "Boyfriend" is now mad at me for not sitting by him. Hunter, consoles this. I asked questions, he answered. He made me laugh. He was sweet, now that's refreshing. "There is definitely something special about this boy" I kept thinking. I later find out there are already 2 girls in his world. One I have known since middle school, and the other was a mystery. The night ends, my mind was somewhere far far away in the clouds. Maybe love at first sight really does exist. "Boyfriend" and I end up "breaking up" very shortly after. I remember that I still have Hunter's number saved in my phone. Should I make the first move? If I tell him I was thinking about him would he think I was crazy? Maybe I just shouldn't, nothing will come of it. (ha.) I go to my contacts. Said ex "boyfriend" had saved his name as "Hunter the God" in my phone. I laughed, and agreed, then mustered up some courage to send a silly, total teenage crush text to him. He replied. And it was in that moment, that I knew he was the one I wanted. I got butterflies just seeing his name appear on my phone. I would write a text, delete it, re-write it, delete it again until it was finally just perfect. It took him far more time to figure out he liked me of course, but he eventually came around. That is, once those other 2 girls were out of the picture... Ladies man. I couldn't wait for the first day of school to start so I could see him and follow him around like a little puppy dog. Somehow, this silly little freshman found her way into the most amazing man's life. And now, her whole world has changed. It has never been better. 

So there's a tid bit of our very long and complicated story. 
Maybe I'll continue to share more as this next year passes. 
It's most definitely my favorite story ever :)

Alright, I think that's all for now.
and one to go...
Here's to the past present and future!
January 11, 2013 thank you for coming.
I've been waiting far too long :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

"Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale"

Make it Last.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
After much debate and review, I have finally made a decision.
The winner of 2013's quote is:
drum roll please...

I'm so very pleased with this one!
It's actually song lyrics, but oh how perfect!
There were some pretty close runners up, and every single one of them were along the lines of living each day to the fullest.
Hmm I was definitely on to something...
One day as I was driving and finally got my temperamental ipod cord to work this song came on and I was reminded of how much  I love the tune and her voice.
Then the chorus came and I actually got a tear in my eye.
It was like a slap in the face. 

I am beyond guilty of "just getting through" every single day.
Now, there's no fun in that!
Every single day has something to look forward to, something to smile about.
I'm learning how to take my life day by day instead of week by week or month by month. 
It's time to live for today.  

As of right now, I can't wait until sweet hunter comes home.
But I will, I have to. 
So I might as well find joy within this journey apart. 
I have about 4 different countdowns leading up until he comes back. 
I don't want to count down the days anymore. I want to live each day as if tomorrow the world really was going to end. 
(disclaimer: I'm still putting a sticker on the chart every day. It makes me so giddy. I just won't let it take over my life.)

I get so sick of my boss and my job frequently.
I get impatient with customers far too easily.
I spill smoothies, I mess up, and I get cranky without fail.
I continue to wonder what the next job is in store for me, but the time will come.
As for now, this is a time to create memories. 
I will always remember this as my first job. 

Today I did everything I could to look for the beauty around and find reasons to smile.
I went for a run and was thankful for a body that allows me to exercise.
I took note of the scenery that surrounded me and felt thankful for the country I live in.
I ate a delicious lunch and remembered how often I take that for granted.
I went to work and spent a bunch of time deeply discussing life with my manager. I'm thankful for others insight and how many people out there care about me.
I went through a box of Hunter and I's old letters. I smiled reading each one and died looking at the dates. I'm so thankful I had so much time with him before he left. 

I just have to keep remembering that one day the future will come, and when it comes, I will be so happy because I made it there whole-heartily not half. 
Sure there will still be rough days and I am aloud to stay in bed all day pinning my heart out on my wedding board via pinterest while the notebook plays in the background, but there will be less of those if I take each day and make it last :)

I'm going to start a new journal with this quote on the front.
I'll record all the reasons I felt especially happy and why I'm thankful I got to live another day :)
I'm feeling inspired.
I'm loving a new beginning, a new year :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


It's a girl!

Sunday, January 6, 2013
We threw a shower yesterday to honor my almost sister Michelle and her sweet baby
Chloe Nichole!
...who could be coming any day now :)

Just like her precious nursery, the theme was nautical with tons of pink and navy blue :)
We played games, showered her with gifts, and ate lots of yummy food.

Michelle has taught me a lot about motherhood and the happiness it brings.
I sure can't wait to meet this darling child :)

And now Chloe can officially come :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, January 5, 2013
Well hello there 2013!
I would just like to let you know, I'm welcoming you with complete open arms :)

I can't believe we are already here. I can't believe how far I have come since last year at this point in time. I can't believe Hunter has been gone for almost an entire year. I can't believe I'm just now writing this post. I can't believe I'm still rambling...

This past year was one of my most favorite years ever. It was also one of the most hectic and life changing. There were so many days I went to bed thinking "I cannot wait for this year to just be over."  There were so many weeks that ended with me saying, "This year is going by way too quickly." I clearly am not the best at making up my mind :)

I thought back to everything that occurred this past year. I can't believe how monumental it was for me. It was a year of change. It was a year to remember.

Every year for the past 4 years, I have chosen a quote to live by. In years past, they didn't mean nearly as much as 2012's did. I picked "Do more of what makes you happy" and never could have imagined how much I would need it throughout the year. I'm really really good at being a doormat. I'm really good at being non confrontational and keeping my opinions to myself. I'm really good at doing things to make OTHERS happy. This year, I learned how to make myself happy. I am slowly figuring out that you cannot make everyone else around you happy, there will always be those that think they know better than you. Well, newsflash, I know myself better than anyone else out there. I know what makes me happy, and I'm going to do more of it. It breaks my heart to see those I love disapprove or unhappy, but I just can't live my life trying to please everyone else. I'm the happiest now than I ever have been, and that is because I followed my heart. You wanna know where your heart is? Look where your mind wanders, I promise you will figure it out. I have, and I needed this year to finally live for myself, to finally make myself happy :)

January: Sweet Hunter leaves to serve a mission for 2 years for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I cry. Basketball Season begins. I find out I have a hernia and have to get surgery.
February: Hunter turns 19 years of age. I begin my million doctors appointments. Basketball season continues, and I can't cheer. I send my first package to Hunter.
March: I finally get surgery. I filled out my first March Madness bracket. Went to my last cheer banquet for high school ever.
April: Mother's birthday. AP Tests. Aubrie and Kyle get married. Michelle and I make their wedding cupcakes. 3 beautiful babies enter the world. I sent Hunter's second package.
May: I turn 18 years of age. Mother's day. I get to hear Hunter's voice for the first time since he left. More birthdays. I have my first massage. I receive my cap and gown. Sweet friend Anthony passes away.
June: I graduate. I get baptized. I move out. I go to Catalina for girl's camp. I feel overwhelmed.
July: Hunter finally reaches six months of being out. I go on a trip to Utah. We see  the Beach Boys at the Stadium of Fire. We go on the trek. I get a new job, for a week. I learn the importance of listening to the Holy ghost.I did baptisms at the temple for the first time. I feel less overwhelmed.
August: I get promoted. Dad turns Fifty. Football season begins. It's still ridiculously hot. Sam leaves for college. Almost all the Moore's move. I receive a calling in church.
September: Football season continues. It's STILL hot. I learn to love my calling. Hunter is now 8 months out. I send him a third package. I get my patriarchal blessing :)
October: Halloween is here. My Christmas spirit arrives. Halloween boat dance. Long hours at work. Brother's birthday.
November: Thanksgiving comes and goes very quickly. Hunter is now at Ten whole months. Brother's football team goes to the CIF championship. I'm diagnosed with IBS.
December: Christmas parties, Christmas concerts, Christmas presents, Christmas lights! Friends come home. I get in my first car crash. I get to talk to Hunter, the best present ever. He is now out for eleven whole months. I send him a Christmas package that I spent far too much time on. Christmas leaves, and it is now time for a new year!

So there it is my 2012 review.

As for 2013 I am not making resolutions because I don't like the word and I am less likely to keep them. I will make goals.

1) Get toned, lose this "winter coat"
2) Floss every single day
3) Work out at least 4 times a week
4) Keep my room a whole lot cleaner
5) Get a new job
6) Learn to save my money
 7) Be better about journaling
8) Learn to read music

This is probably a very boring and long post, but it is for my own personal documentation :)

Happy New Year Friends!
My best friend could be coming home this year! :)