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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

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As I was saying, I have embraced the pumpkin.

I am not ashamed.

Just your basic mac; that is, if you make your mac with fontina.  This recipe also called for whole milk and whipping cream.   If you can actually stretch your 11×7 pan to eight servings then you can hit close to teh 400-calorie mark.  Unfortunately, when I pulled this from Bettter Homes and Gardens the nutrition info wasn’t included.   Oh, well.

Isn’t that a lovely color.  The sauce alone was noticeably pumpkiny, but the end result was just creamy goodness.

I just can’t get enough.

My mom used to make her mac with Velveeta and crushed saltines on top.  No saltines today.  This crunchy compilation is bread crumbs, parmesan, and walnuts.   Oh, my.

Eat Well and Savor.


Cheese Tortellini in Light Broth

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Please, hold your applause.  I did not make tortellini.  Frankly, I didn’t make the broth either.  I guess that means you can file this under pretty simple.

It doesn’t get much easier than this:  Top with parmesan and parsley.  I guess when Giada called her book Everyday Italian she considered everyday synonomous with simple.   I think I’m having deja vu.

Of course I had to switch things up and use pumpkin tortellini.  Tis the season.

I must state for the record that I could care less about pumpkin pie.  However, I have completely jumped on the bandwagon with the pumpkin pie latte.  I also picked up a jar of Stonewall Kitchen’s Maple Pumpkin Butter.  I have put it on everything from toast to scones to yogurt.  My friend Avery was here over the weekend.  She lived in St. Louis for a while and introduced me to ooey-gooey butter cake.  Of course I had to make her Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars.    I also have to admit to ordering the pumpkin cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory yesterday.  Seriously, I don’t ever eat pumpkin pie.

Eat Well and Savor.

Wild Mushroom Turnovers

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I like to think that all of this experimentation with new recipes would eventually lead to some education.  With this recipe I learned how expensive chanterelle mushrooms are.  Elizabeth Bard recommends mixing them with criminis and black trumpets to equal 1.5 pounds.  Let’s just say I used a lot of criminis.  The 4 ounces of chanterelles cost more than 5 bucks!

While I’m ranting about mushrooms I should mention that EB also suggests that you brush them off instead of rinsing them.  I guess I am a rebel.  I ran those suckers under water like nobody’s business.  Alton Brown once did an episode on myth-busting.  You guessed it.   He said it didn’t matter.  Besides, you know what those babies grow in; right?

These are basically sauteed and then mixed with some cognac and creme fraiche.

Then you wrap them up, snug as a bug, in some puff pastry.

What a difference a little crimping makes.

I’m not one to criticize Lunch in Paris, but EB says that you should use one tablespoon of mushroom per turnover, but there was enough to use two instead.   I guess that’s just a wee issue.


The mushrooms may not be too pretty,  but anything would taste great in puff pastry.

Eat Well and Savor.


Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Are these the thinnest little guys you’ve ever seen?

They were crispy, yet gooey.  Perfect for an ice cream sandwich.

The best part?  They are from an Ellie Krieger recipe so they are only 110 calories each.  The worst part?  The recipe only yields two dozen.  Seriously?  Two dozen didn’t even last the weekend around here, and it’s only me and Jake.   Let’s just say that when I came home from work on Friday he tried to blame the cleaning lady for eating them.  This one definitely was a Comfort Food Fix.

Doesn’t that look like an awful lot of chocolate for just a little bit of batter?

I’m not complaining or anything.  I’m just saying.

Eat Well and Savor.



Wine-Soaked Grape Cake

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Shouldn’t every cake recipe include wine?

Obviously the baking Gods were not smiling upon me.  First, I realized that I didn’t have any oranges, an integral component of orange zest.  Then, I almost mixed up the measurements for baking soda and baking powder.  This was a mistake I made in an elementary 4-H project.  I have lived in fear of repeating it ever since.

Finally, when the recipe called for a cup and a half of grapes, no problem.  However, it only required one cup of wine and I might have mixed that up with the grape measurement and put in a little extra.  I know baking is an exact science and all, but I just tossed in the little bit of flour that was left at the end of my bag and hoped for the best.

It worked out all right, but I did get a little buzz when I licked the spatula.  The grapes really soak up the alcohol too.

This is the last installment in Sharon O’Connor’s Wine Tasting series.  As much as I’d love to move on to Cooking with the Blues, I think it’s time for a change.  I have it narrowed down to a few selections, so stay tuned.

Eat Well and Savor.



Honey Candy

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There’s just two ingredients:  honey and sugar.

According to Jennifer Reese and Make the Bread, Buy the Butter you just bring it to a boil and get it to 300 degrees, then let it cool in a 9×13 pan.  I am here to tell you that 10 minutes is not enough time to cool.  I’m pretty sure that I have the second-degree burns on my thumbs to prove it.  I’m also pretty sure that it didn’t make as many pieces as was expected.  This would come in pretty handy if I had a sore throat, but otherwise it’s a nonrepeater for me.

Eat Well and Savor.

Spicy Tomato Sauce

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Well, don’t believe everything you read.  It’s technically not that spicy.

This is supposed to be Giada’s version of arrabbiata and it mostly is.  The only spice the recipe called for was a generous pinch of crushed red pepper, and I might have left that out.  Instead GDL uses black olives and capers, which is fine by me.

Overall, this was pretty basic but very tasty.   However, it apparently was uninspiring since I don’t have anything else to say.

Eat Well and Savor.