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Tis the season...the season for heavier and carbier foods. As soon as the weather gets cooler and I add my extra blanket to the bed and dig out my favorite fuzzy pink slippers, my body starts to signal that winter is near by berating with cravings for all things carbs! Seriously, like bears, I swear it's some biological need to bulk up the pounds and fat for winter. You know, in case I fall in a snowdrift while shoveling out my driveway, my body has extra energy reserves or something, right?? Anyway, generally ignored all summer, I have a nice collection of yummy but healthy pasta recipes that I keep on hand for just such an occassion. We whipped up the creme de la creme one yesterday...homemade Mac 'N Cheese...yes, the good stuff that is drowning in a made-from-scratch cheese sauce with a crumbly, buttery topping that takes up our big-dog 9x13 baking dish.

I would feel more guilty about the bowlful that I'm going to dominate for lunch today, except that it is homemade...I handpicked its contents, being sure that the pasta is made from clean ingredients and whole grains, all the cheese is low-fat, the butter is a lite spread sans transfats, and the entire pan came out of the oven and was immediately broken down into serving-sized portions that can be taken in "brown bag" lunches. While the 655 calories takes a chunk out of my daily allotment, it is a far cry from the 1200+ I would blow on a splurge for the same meal at most local restaurants. Lots of good reasons why it's SO much better to make your own foods! Yes, it may be challenging at first, but the benefits far outweigh the calories and junk you and your family will avoid by just cooking at home and brown-bagging your lunches!

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