Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Crisp fall nights call for baking. Lots of baking. Cookies and cakes are obvious go-tos anytime I choose to bake something sweet. When it comes to savory dishes, though, the first thing that always comes to mind is pasta.

There’s just something so nice and comforting about taking a big tray of baked, bubbling, cheesy pasta out of the oven. It’s instant happiness and a whole meal without putting in a lot of effort. Sometimes, if I’m in the mood, I’ll serve a big tray of pasta with a side dish, like a green vegetable or a salad. It can help to feel a little bit better about eating all of that cheesy goodness, even if I know, deep down, that it doesn’t make a damn difference.

When it comes to naming a so-called king of baked pastas, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in my house who disagrees with the fact that it’s macaroni and cheese (baked ziti, a distant second place.) It’s one of the most versatile baked pasta dishes that I can make and everyone loves it. I’m always trying new recipes, too — adding spinach or other vegetables, bacon, or simply just loading up on different kinds of cheese because more cheese, more better. The best part is that even when a recipe doesn’t come out quite as I planned, even bad mac and cheese is good.

This is how, on a whim a few years ago, I ended up with this memorable, very orange — and, dare I say, sort-of healthy — mac.

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Butternut Squash and Carrot Puree

By this time in the Fall, butternut squash and carrots tend to be “surplus” items in my pantry. They are two of my favorite root vegetables that I love to dice up to add to a vegetable soup, roast with herbs and olive oil for a side dish, or puree after roasting to create a versatile base that can be transformed into several dishes.

When packaged in smaller containers or zip-top bags, this butternut-carrot puree can be thawed a little at a time to use as a quick sauce, soup, or side dish. The portions are flexible, so it’s perfect to use up whatever you have on hand.

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Taste Testing: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Move over, cat videos. Tasty videos are the new online obsession.

We’ve all seen these posted on Facebook from Buzzfeed Food and others. These videos feature a person making a recipe, all filmed from his or her point of view. Some are narrated and others just feature catchy music and captions to go along with the video. The end result is often a delicious and mouthwatering dish that we’re lead to believe (because we just saw whole the process) is a cinch to make.

Tasty videos are always entertaining to watch, but there are some recipes I see and my immediate reaction is, Really? Looks like a hot mess to me…

About a month ago, one really caught my eye as something that could just be crazy enough to work: Chicken Bacon Ranch pasta, posted by Twisted Food on Facebook.

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Homemade Irish Cream

irish-cream-featureOriginally posted on Fuchsia-Revolver.org.

I came across a recipe for Homemade Irish Cream that presented me with a perfect excuse to imbibe over the holiday weekend while simultaneously knocking off one of my my foodie resolutions while doing so. Pretty cool. 😉

I guess Irish Cream is considered a cordial… or a liqueur. Serious Eats suggests that the terms are interchangeable, with cordial appearing more often on dessert-like products: liqueurs flavored with coffee, cream, chocolate, etc.

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#ThrowbackThursday: Homemade Mustard from Foodie Resolutions for 2015

In 2015, I set out to complete a list of foodie resolutions over the course of the year. The inspiration for the challenge came from an MSN Food & Drink article featuring 51 new things that foodies should try. Foodie Resolutions have since become a tradition for me to blog about, with goals set at the beginning of each year and progress updates along the way. 

In honor of Oktoberfest, here is a recap of my progress and experience completing one of my 2015 goals: to make homemade mustard. Updated September 2016. 

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