Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese


Did you think it was possible for me to have more pumpkin posts?

Surprise, it is!

This pumpkin mac and cheese comes together in a flash so you really have no excuse for not making it.


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

1 lb pasta
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups grated cheese, I used a Cheddar combination
sprinkle some sage, nutmeg, and pepper as you see fit

1. Boil pasta and cook according to package directions, drain.
2. In pasta pot melt butter, cheese, and milk.
3. Pour pasta back into pot and mix with sauce.
4. Season with nutmeg, pepper, and chopped sage.


Is pumpkin season over? Should it ever end?

We'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jello Squares


Sometimes Friday nights can get lonely.  When that happens I take on ridiculous projects, like this one.

There is nothing incredibly difficult about this recipe, but it is most definitely time consuming.

So if you need complicated recipes to fill the voids in your life, this one's for you kids.


Jello Squares

3 boxes of Jello
2 boxes of unflavored gelatin
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
plenty of hot water

1. Mix can of condensed milk with 1 3/4 cups of hot water.

2. Mix 2 envelopes of gelatin with 1 1/4 cups of hot water. Combine with milk mixture and set aside.

3. Combine 1 Jello package, 1 envelope gelatin, and 1 1/2 cups hot water.  Pour into a greased 13x9 pan and freeze for 15 minutes.  Don't worry you won't taste the spray and the Jello squares will come out so easily.

4. Pour half of the milk mixture on top of frozen Jello.

5. Mix your second package of Jello as per instructions in step 3.

6. Pour the rest of the milk mixture on top of frozen Jello.

7. Mix your third package of Jello as per instructions in step 3.

8. Cut into squares and serve!  The first one might be tricky to get out of the pan, but the rest will come out just fine.  I promise.


Jello squares are a labor of love.


Layer after layer after layer after layer after layer.


Well worth my Friday night.  They look really impressive.  You could do fun colors for different holidays or events too.  Red white and blue for 4th of July, red and green for Christmas... you get the idea.

Note: the green layer is super thin because I had already used most of it for a preschool art project.  I'm sure you have no queries about Jello art projects right? Good.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stuffing Casserole

In a week's time I'm sure you'll all have some leftovers laying around that are sick of eating.  Why not transform them into something a little more desirable?


For the base of this casserole we shredded a few cups of leftover chicken.  The chicken was then topped with frozen corn and butternut squash.  No need to thaw it, it's going in the oven.  Layer the stuffing on top and cook until heated through.


We whipped up a quick gravy from a packet to top it all off with.  Serious culinary skills here folks.


Little known fact this dish makes a fantastic breakfast.

Yes, that was me telling you all we cooked this at 10 am.  By the time it was done, it was totally brunch time so quit judging.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin rolls

Have you guys had enough pumpkin yet? Doubt it!

These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are such a great weekend or holiday breakfast.  What makes them so great? They are beautiful, give off the appearance that you were in kitchen all morning, smells up your kitchen something wonderful, and are ridiculously easy!


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 can Pillsbury Recipe Creations seamless dough sheet*
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
cream cheese frosting, only about 1/2 cup will be needed. a powdered sugar and milk glaze would work nicely also

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Unroll dough sheet.  Spread pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg evenly over the dough.
3. Roll dough into a log, working from the short side of the dough.
4. Cut dough into 8 pieces using a serrated knife.  Place onto a greased round glass pie plate.
5. Bake 15-20 minutes.
6. Top rolls with cream cheese frosting and devour instantly.

*Note: You can use regular Crescent rolls.  You would just have to press all the seams together.


Just unroll it, spread it, roll it up, and slice it. I told you it was easy!


These are very small cinnamon rolls so if you are feeding more than 3 or 4 people you will certainly want to double the batch.


It's ok to drool.


You have to, have to, make these for breakfast.  You're family would be so disappointed if you didn't.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bacon Lattice Mac and Cheese

This is really not a recipe.  It is just a chance for me to show you that I eat things that are terrible for me sometimes... OK, I eat things that are terrible for me often. Moving right along.


So last week I made some mac and cheese.  Wove a bacon lattice on top.  Then baked it in the oven.


Looks pretty doesn't it!?


For the record, if you want mac and cheese with bacon, just mix some bacon into it.  The lattice on top makes it a tad challenging to serve.  Unless of course you have some guests to dazzle or you want to make people jealous on Instagram.  Then by all means lattice it up kids.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies


Looking for something different to add to your Thanksgiving dessert menu? These pumpkin shortbread cookies with cream cheese frosting are exactly what you need.

They require minimal ingredients and effort which is great since you have about 30 other dishes to cook for the Thanksgiving meal.


It would be helpful if I actually posted recipes on this site wouldn't it? Let's give it a whirl.

Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies
From Cookies and Cups, with minor adjustments by KTC

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 powdered sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
cream cheese frosting, get a can, mix up some of your own, you decide.  you won't need very much of it.

1. Preheat oven to 300.
2. Spray an 8x8 pan.
3. Beat butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
4. Beat in pumpkin puree.
5. Add dry ingredients until incorporated.
6. Bake for 60-70 minutes until the shortbread is firm.
7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and cut into small squares.
8. Spread each square with cream cheese frosting and eat up!


These came out exactly how I wanted them too, plenty of pumpkin and spice flavor.  Hope you give them a go this fall, especially since I went through all the trouble to post the recipe for you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pork Chops With Ginger Pear Sauce

Ginger, pears, rosemary, I am just so damn seasonal.  Don't you love it?  Now if we could sneak some local artisan ingredients in there I would be hipper than ever.


For a complete list of ingredients and directions look here.  The only change I made was that I used pomegranate vinegar instead of cider vinegar.  Let's be real, pomegranate sounds way better doesn't it?  Oh also I didn't have shallots so I just opted out of them.


I chose to cook the sauce while the chops were cooking instead of cooking it in the pork chop pan once they were done cooking.  It was really just a matter of impatience, usually I always agree with pot reduction.


I made that fun little potato fan in the background too.  I'll say those babies look better on pinterest than they did when I cooked them.  The ginger pear sauce way much more successful.

Elevate your pork chops tonight with ginger pear sauce!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cake Batter Blondies

Hoooooooooooly God, I'm just going to gush like crazy of these lovely treats.  Bonus fact: they are so freaking easy!


The recipe can be found here.  I used semi-sweet chocolate chips (instead of white) and half and half instead of the milk and the heavy cream.  Same thing right?  She also gives a pretty gigantic time span to cook these, 25-40 minutes.  How is that helpful to anyone?  I cooked mine for 25 minutes, once the sides were pulling away from the pan.  They came out just as dense and gooey as I wanted them too.


I did something dangerous.  I baked these when I was home alone.  That meant I got to make lots of excuses to walk downstairs to have just one more small slice.  All that walking up and down the stairs totally canceled out the calories right?


These have so few ingredients and require so little of your time. They are practically begging to be baked.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Stuffed French Toast

Some days I wake up with recipes in my head.  Sunday morning was one of those days.  Cinnamon apple filling, cream cheese spread, stuffed inside french toast.  That's what was in my head when I woke up.  It had to be done.


I thinly sliced half an apple* and kept the skins on.  I cooked them with butter, cinnamon, and sugar for a few minutes to soften them.


I spread cream cheese on one side of the bread, apples on the other.  Once the sandwich was nicely mushed together, I dipped both sides in egg and cooked it up in more butter.

Sometimes dreams really do come true friends.

*Note this breakfast was just for me folks**.  If you are making more than one sandwich, use more apples as necessary.

**Yes, I made this breakfast just for me.  I know how to treat myself right.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Brown Butter Brussel Sprouts with Apples

I recently fell in love with the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  They have a whole slew of delicious looking twists on traditional side dishes.  I'll be trying my best to cook my way through it this month so look forward to some Thanksgiving side dish inspiration coming your way!


First up are these fantastic brown butter brussel sprouts with apples and rosemary.  This side dish is simple, straightforward, and perfect for fall.


The BHG recipe calls for thyme, but I had fresh rosemary on hand and used that instead.  The smell of the butter and rosemary browning in the pan was spectacular.


All of the flavors come together so nicely in this dish.  It would most definitely make a great side for your Thanksgiving spread.


I served my sprouts alongside some stuffing and my cheesy stuffed chicken.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cheesy Stuffed Chicken

I set out to make this dish using this recipe.  As usual I ended up grabbing whatever I had on hand to make this so there were some substitutions.


Things I didn't have: cheddar and bread crumbs.  I substituted havarti and cracker meal for those two ingredients.  I also thought it was necessary to use toothpicks to keep the cheese from melting out of the chicken.


I was disappointed that the chicken didn't get nice and brown on the outside.  Maybe if I had cooked it longer? Or I had used breadcrumbs? Or if I fried it instead?


Regardless of the lack of browning, this chicken was delicious! I'll admit I was hesitant about the cream cheese, but it makes such a nice creamy filling for the chicken.  This is definitely an nice change from your usual chicken dinner.  Try it!

Come back in a few days to read about the tasty Autumnal brussel sprout side dish I made along side this chicken.