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Pumpkin Mac&Cheese

12 Oct

Yay for pumpkin month! This weekend the bf and I decided to go with mac and cheese. We love mac and cheese. After some research, the Better Homes and Gardens recipe sounded like a good place to start. Here is our version…delicious!

Pumpkin Mac'n'Cheese

2 cups  dried elbow macaroni (or your favorite shape)
2 Tbsp  butter
2 Tbsp  flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup  heavy cream
1 cup  whole milk
4 oz Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
15  oz canned  pumpkin
1/4 cup  bread crumbs
1/4 cup  grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp olive oil
Pumpkin Mac'n'Cheese!
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.
Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper. Add heavy cream and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese and pumpkin until cheese is melted and combined. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to an un-greased 2-quart baking dish.
In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Very delicious with chicken apple sausages :)
Delicious sausages! The fungi was for the boy...

Delicious sausages! The fungi was for the boy…

My notes: This made so much sauce! Totally enough for a whole pound of pasta I think (but you would need a much bigger  baking dish). We added some herbage for extra flavor (thyme and parsley). We also felt this could have used more cheese (cheddar or gouda maybe) and a little less pumpkin.
♥ k

Pumpkin Month!

8 Oct

About a month ago, when everyone really started getting tired of the heat, the lovely bf and I started talking fall. The cool weather, the sweaters, the holidays, pumpkin flavoured things… And we decided then and there to make at least one pumpkin thing every weekend. I picked way too many recipes for one a week so maybe it will be more : )

WEEK 1: Pumpkin Mac’n’Cheese!

We were going to roast our little Trader Joe’s pumpkin, but he looked so cute on the counter. (And we didn’t really feel like putting dinner off an hour plus so we could roast it.) Inspired by this dish.

Pumpkin Mac'n'Cheese

2 cups dried penne rigate (8 ounces)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tblsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pumpkin Mac'n'Cheese!


Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.
In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Delicious sausages! The fungi was for the boy...

Delicious sausages! The fungi was for the boy…

*Notes* Next time try with more cheese (maybe cheddar), caramelized onions, less pumpkin (maybe 1 cup), add cooked chicken and vegetables to make into a stand-alone dinner casserole.
We had it with some amazing garlic and wine chicken sausages and simple salad. We drank pumpkin beer also. And had pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin bourbon macarons for dessert. Fall is off to a delicious start…

Edamame Fried Rice

28 Apr

Sometimes a girl makes way too much rice. This is easy to do, especially when she is living and cooking alone. I had also been by trader Joe’s recently and gotten shelled edamame. They were supposed to be for sautéing with lots of garlic for snacking. Until I saw a recipe for fried rice. This is my version of that recipe.

3 cups leftover cooked rice
1 egg, scrambled
1 tbsp  oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
5 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shelled edamame
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Whisk egg and season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok (or pan, I didn’t have a wok), add a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

Let the wok (pan) get really hot. Add oil and cook onions, scallion whites, carrots, and garlic for about a minute, watch to make sure they don’t burn. Add rice and stir to heat through. Add cooked egg along with soy sauce, scallion greens, and edamame, heating for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, maybe more soy sauce if you like.

I sautéed some teriyaki chicken and green beans to have with it. Delicious. But no pictures…

This also didn’t really help my way-too-much-rice situation, it just made it tastier.

♥ k

Reunited at last!

19 Jun

I am officially back from NorCal for the summer! And while most of the four days that I have been back have been dedicated to tackling the black hole that is my room, a few baking adventures have taken place. Thank goodness!

On Saturday we made clover-leaf rolls. No one took any pictures of them, but I did take a picture of the braided ‘loaf’ I made out of the extra. We used a recipe that came with our KitchenAid mixer, a variation on this.

On Sunday (Happy Father’s Day!!) we made these amazing ‘Ultimate Pecan Sticky Buns’ for the father. They were rather time consuming, but the deliciousness that we ended up with was totally worth it. It had a much nicer, soft, cloudy dough even after baking than our normal overnight cinnamon rolls. We used the recipe for Bon Appétit and added in some extra cinnamon-brown-sugar mixture along with the pecans for the filling. I never did get a good picture of the rolls though…sorry.

We also made some delicious oven-onion rings and zucchini fries. So tasty and crunchy! I think it was just dipped in seasoned four, dipped in egg mixture, dipped in lightly olive oiled panko bread crumbs, and baked in the oven.

On Monday I helped mom make a lovely blackberry Cabernet sorbet. Blackberry juice, wine, a little honey, and a whipped egg white. So refreshing (too bad it wasn’t a hot NorCal night). Some dark chocolate curls finished it off. Unfortunately, the only picture I have is after mom dumped all the extra shavings onto mine…

I may make cookies for my cousin-in-law who is fixing my bikes… Or chocolate zucchini bread…we are being buried in vegetables!

Herb Bread

27 Jan

(KitchenAid ©2001)

**SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: This recipe requires a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment**


I put grated Parmesan cheese in one loaf = delicius

1/2   cup low-fat milk

3   tablespoons sugar

2   teaspoons salt

3   tablespoons butter

2   packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 1/2   cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)

5-6   cups flour

1   tablespoon herbs (I used a Herbs Special Pizza blend we had in the cupboard)


Place milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan; heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl.  Add lukewarm milk mixture, herbs, and 4 1/2 cups flour to yeast.  Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer; turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.


Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time (using the shield that came with your mixer prevents flour flying out as you add it), and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl.  Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic.  Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in large greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover.  Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and divide in half.  Shape each half into a loaf by rolling out on a lightly floured surface to a 9 x 14 inch rectangle; starting at short end, roll dough tightly, pinch edge to seal seam; pinch ends and turn under, placing seam side down in greased loaf pan.  Cover.  Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.



Bake at 375° for 25, or until golden brown.  Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.


That's how tasty it was, it didn't even last a day

Risotto with Peas and Bacon

9 Sep

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups water

6 slices thick-cut bacon

4 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped fine

1 medium garlic clove, minced

2 cups Arborio or pearl rice

1 cup dry white wine (or water)

2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)

1/8 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 cup frozen peas

Bring broth and water to a boil in a large sauce pan over high heat. reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven. Remove and set aside. Drain pan but do not wipe out! You want to keep those nice crispy bits at the bottom.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in the Dutch oven over medium heat. When melted, add onions and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently until onion is softened but not browned, 4 to 7 minutes.

Add garlic, stir. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.

Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in 5 cups of hot broth mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and rice is just al dente, 16 to 19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Add frozen peas to the broth mixture left in the sauce pan, remove from heat, and cover. Chop bacon.

Add 3/4 cup broth mixture and stir gently and constantly until risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, bacon, and peas; season with salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, add up to 1/2 cup remaining broth mixture to loosen texture of risotto. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated and Elizabeth David


21 Jun




a.k.a. delicious


♥ v

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