October 23, 2014

Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese with Hot Sausage, Spinach & Caramelized Onions

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Butternut Squash, sweet caramelized onions, hot sausage and gooey cheese makes this perfect comfort food -Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese with Hot Sausage, Spinach, & Caramelized Onions will definitely find its way on our table again soon!
Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese with Hot Sausage, Caramelized Onions & Spinach
I made this amazing recipe while Grumpy was out in the woods bow hunting.  I knew that he was going to love it too when I saw how creamy and cheesy it was.  As a matter of fact, he loved it so much, I wasn't sure I would have any leftovers for lunch the next day!
If you feel like splurging a little and want to comfort yourself with a delicious pasta dish, then you will not go wrong with this one.  Definitely give it a try, you will feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Promise :)

Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese with Caramelized Onions & Spinach

Published 10/23/2014
Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese with Caramelized Onions & Spinach
Sweet butternut squash, spicy hot italian sausage in a creamy cheese sauce with pasta!


  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 clove Frieda's elephant garlic (or 4 cloves regular garlic), chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion, vertically sliced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 2-1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 8 ounces colby cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
  • 1 lb uncooked pasta, cooked according to directions (I used cavatapi)
  • 1 lb hot italian sausage, crumbled and cooked


  1. Preheat oven to 350.Combine squash, 1/2 tablespoon oil, sage, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Arrange squash mixture on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until squash is tender. While squash is roasting, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to stock pot.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue cooking for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Place onion in a bowl.
  3. Heat 2 1/2 cups milk, and thyme in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard thyme. Return pan to medium heat. Combine remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl. Add to pan, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in teaspoon salt, cheese, and nutmeg.
  4. Add spinach and hot sausage to cooked pasta. Pour cheese sauce over top of pasta mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Place pasta in a large casserole and sprinkle with Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 40 mins.
Total time: 70 mins.
Tags: Butternut Squash, Hot Italian Sausage, Spinach, Caramelized Onions, Cheese, Comfort Food, Pasta, Fall Food

October 21, 2014

Pre-Historic Rum Martini

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I had never had a Horned Melon before. Also known as the Kiwano Melon. This fruit is very different and while I didn't care to eat the fruit on its own, I had a good old time creating an adult beverage out of it! The scary look of this fruit kind of looks pre-historic doesn't it?  Hence, I present you with my Prehistoric Rum Martini!

I received product from Frieda's Specialty Produce to sample.   All thoughts and opinions shared here are my own.
While this drink may "look" like it has swamp scum floating on top, it really doesn't.  Makes it a perfect Halloween Drink though doesn't it?  Just serve in the horny melon cup with a slice of lime and your guest won't even care that they have to avoid the horns to just drink the beverage!  

If you aren't in the mood to make your guests be cautious when drinking (although I don't know why you would not want to do so!) you can serve it in your martini glasses without the stem for easier handling!  This recipe is created for two beverages, however, feel free to double, triple, or quadruple it for your small gathering of friends and impress them with your pre-historic ways!

Looking for other Halloween Party Ideas?  Check out my post on the Adult Halloween Party where there are several spooky recipes to make!

Pre-Historic Rum Martini

Published 10/21/2014
Pre-Historic Rum Martini


  • 2 tall shots white rum
  • juice of 1 horned melon
  • juice of 1 lime (use two limes if your lime is not very juicy)
  • 5-6 mint sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Scoop fruit from melon. Mash fruit to bring out as much juice as possible. Remove the seeds if you wish, but I didn't.
  2. In a shaker, muddle your mint and sugar to bring out the essence of the mint.
  3. Add ice to the shaker and then add the rum, melon juice and lime juice. Shake well and serve.
  4. To use the melons for your cups, just cut the melon in half when your are ready to scoop the fruit out. Once the fruit is scooped, press a few paper towels into the melon halves to dry the cup. Or, serve in little martini glasses :)
Yield: 2 beverages
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 10 mins.
Tags: Kiwano Melon, Horned Melon, Frieda's Specialty Produce, Rum, Mint, Boozy Beverages
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Butternut Squash Chipotle Enchiladas

Butternut Squash Chipotle Enchiladas


  • 4 large tomatoes, diced

  • 2-15 ounce cans diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 elephant garlic, minced

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 cup canola oil

  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle Chili Powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried Cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 cup enchilada sauce

  • 1-8 ounce block Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
  • Instructions

    1. Roast butternut squash in roasting pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.  About 20 minutes

    2. Make Enchilada sauce.  Place 1 cup oil in large dutch oven and heat until hot.  Add garlic and onions and cook over medium heat until onions are soft.  Add

    3. October 19, 2014

      Chicken Potpie Turnovers #SundaySupper

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      This week the #SundaySupper crew is bringing you budget friendly recipes.  What could be more budget friendly than chicken pot pie?  Its comforting, its home, it is warmth.  Its chicken and gravy and vegetables all wrapped in a buttery flaky dough-Chicken Potpie Turnovers.
      Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers #SundaySupper #comfortfood #chicken
      Today's #SundaySupper is co-hosted by T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley and David of Cooking Chat.  
      What could be more fun than saving money?  Well, saving money making recipes with ingredients that you almost always have around or are inexpensive to purchase and incorporate into a meal. Today's meal cost was approximately $2 per serving, if that!  You can't buy any meal anywhere that cheap and have it be this good!
      Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers #SundaySupper #comfortfood #chicken
      One of my favorite all time meals is the pot pie.  I remember getting the frozen pot pies as a kid and thinking how yummy they were.  It was all about getting to have something I rarely had that made me love it so much.  Mom didn't buy pre-made frozen meals often, so to me, that was a treat.  I still love those chicken pot pies from the freezer, but I don't buy them.  I want homemade,  I want the satisfaction of knowing I made something yummy and delicious and good on the wallet at the same time!

      These Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers are an attempt to recreate the pot pie of my past, with a dough that is buttery and flaky and ever oh so tasty and a hand pie that is also easy to just pick up and eat.  :)  I hope you will like my version of this recipe.  If you are someone who does not use wine, you can substitue another 1/2 cup of chicken broth.  Enjoy!

      Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

      Published 10/19/2014
      Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers


      • 2-1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
      • 2 Tablespoons butter
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1/2 cup white wine
      • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
      • 2 tablespoons flour
      • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
      • 1 sheet phyllo dough
      • 1 egg, beaten


      1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
      2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in hot skillet. Turn heat down to medium. Add garlic cloves and stir constantly, cooking until lightly browned. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour and cook until flour is browned. Add 1/2 cup white wine, swirl pan and whisk into flour. Add 1 cup chicken stock and whisk to prevent lumping. Bring to a low boil, turn down to a simmer.
      3. Whisk remaining tablespoon flour with 1/2 cup chicken broth until combined. Add to hot broth mixture and whisk until thickened. Stir in Chicken and simmer until chicken is just warmed through. Stir in 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables and stir until coated with gravy. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool.
      4. Roll out phyllo dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into squared by cutting in half horozontially and vertically. You will have 4 squares.
      5. Roll each square out to increase the size by about 1/2 inch circumference. Place square on parchment lined cookie sheet. Place 1/2 cup of pot pie filling in center of dough. Fold the square into a triangle. Press edges together with tines of a fork. Repeat with remaining phyllo squares.
      6. Brush tops of turnover with well beaten egg wash. Cut a small slit in top of turnover to allow steam to escape.
      7. Bake for 30 minutes, until turnovers have browned. Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes prior to serving.
      Yield: 4 turnovers
      Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
      Cook time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.
      Total time: 45 mins.
      Tags: Chicken, Budget Friendly, Comfort Food, Casserole, #SundaySupper

      Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

      October 15, 2014

      Pulled Pork Nachos

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      This is the second meal I made with my 5-Ingredient Pulled Pork that I made last week. These Pulled Pork Nachos can be an amazing appetizer for guests or it can be a main course meal for a lighter dinner.
      Pulled Pork Nachos #appetizer #pork
      When I was at Trader Joe's last week I grabbed a bag of the Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips.  If you can get your hands on these, I highly recommend them!  These were perfect for our Pulled Pork Nachos. 

      I found the recipe for the nachos on myrecipes.com, but I adapted it to suit my own taste and to accomodate what I did have in my pantry.  I really wanted to make the Queso Blanco Dip from Marion, of Life Tastes Good, but it was a weeknight and I'm short on time during the week.  So, I just took the easy way out and grabbed a jar of queso dip at the store.  I am going to try Marion's recipe soon though, I swear I am!
      We will definitely have these again.  I loved everything about them!  Grumpy had no problem eating these either and such a great easy throw together meal for a weeknight!

      Pulled Pork Nachos

      adapted from myrecipes.com
      Pulled Pork Nachos


      • Tortilla chips (sweet potato ones if you can find them!)
      • 1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
      • 1 cups pork from 5 ingredient slow cooker pulled pork, warmed
      • 1/2 cup salsa
      • 1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
      • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
      • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
      • 1 green onion, sliced
      • 1 avocado, diced
      • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
      • 1/2 cup queso, warmed
      • lime wedges


      1. Place a layer of tortilla chips on two plates and spread out evenly.
      2. Top with each plate with warmed pork, salsa, tomatoes, black olives, green onion, avocado, jalapeno and cilantro.
      3. Squeeze 1/2 lime over plates, drizzle with queso, and serve.
      Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
      Total time: 15 mins.
      Tags: pork, nachos, cilantro, jalapeno, mexican, lime, appetizer, snack
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