Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

I have made macaroni and cheese from scratch maybe once or twice in my life, this time probably is my third time.

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I have a really good friend who’s favorite food is mac and cheese and she makes it every chance she gets. She will always order it at restaurants if it’s on the menu . She tries different recipes all the time, adding different cheeses and add-in ingredients. Some are good, some are ok, none have made me want to make any myself, until she made this pumpkin macaroni and cheese a few years ago.

I remember making a mental note to make it then I completely forgot about it. Until today.  I had some leftover roasted pumpkin in the refrigerator and out of the blue I remembered that macaroni and cheese.

This is pretty straightforward to make. If you have pumpkin or squash cooked it goes together really quickly.

I barely adapted this recipe. My recipe notes, things I would change or try will be * at the bottom of the page

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked pumpkin/squash. If you don’t have any cooked pumpkin or squash here is a ‘how to’ post from a few years ago.
  • salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces pasta, your choice gluten free is fine
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sage, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons flour, again, gluten free is fine
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese, shredded – I used a combo of smoked Gruyere and mozzarella
  • 4 amaretti cookies, crumbled, weird sounding but delicious, you could use ginger snap crumbs or just bread crumbs.

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Directions

  1. Cook the pasta as directed.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat add the sage and cook until the butter is bubbling and it has turned golden brown.
  3. Mix in the flour and let simmer until it returns to a light golden brown.
  4. Add the milk, nutmeg, mustard and cheese and simmer until it thickens and the cheese has melted.
  5. Mix the pumpkin, pasta and cheese sauce and pour into a baking dish topping it with the amaretti cookie crumbs.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on the top and bubbling on the sides, about 30-40 minutes.

I handed this to my husband to try and he said he doesn’t really like macaroni and cheese. I said, me either, try it. He ate the whole bowl.

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*Things I would do different, or try.

  • More pumpkin, 1 1/2 to 2 cups of roasted pumpkin
  • Maybe cube some pumpkin and leave it in large chucks
  • Use cauliflower and or broccoli instead of pasta

I am going to make this as a side for Thanksgiving. I will make it ahead and finish it while I make gravy and slice the turkey.

This would be a great pot-luck dish too.

Only two more weeks of CSA. See you at pickup.

Mo

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, Recipes, Winter Squash | Leave a comment

CSA Week 22

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 22 of our CSA:

Watermelon Radish

REGULAR SHARE
Winter Radishes
CHOICE: Carrots OR Roasted Chiles
Topped Beets
Turnips
CHOICE: Celery OR Parsley OR Cabbage
CHOICE: Leeks OR Onions
Winter Squash
CHOICE: Collard Greens OR Chard OR Kale OR Baby Red Russian Kale

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Broccoli OR Romanesco
Parsnips
Roasted Chiles
Sunshine Kabocha

FRUIT SHARE
Pears
Plums

Posted in 2019, Newsletter | Leave a comment

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

This is a super simple side dish salad you can make ahead and it will keep for days in your refrigerator.

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I made a simple vinaigrette not a mayonnaise based dressing. I think it keeps nicer. Mayonnaise gets watery after a few hours. I can re-toss the vegetables to freshen this slaw up and redistribute the vinaigrette and it will be nice and crunchy and evenly dressed.

You could add or substitute any crunchy vegetables you have like celery or turnips. Sometimes I make this with only grated carrots.

Gather the vegetables you are using. Wash them, core the cabbage and trim the carrots. I never peel farm carrots. If you have some herbs, throw them in. After I took this picture I went to the garden and got some chives.

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Shred the vegetables either in a food processor or with a mandolin or just with a knife if you  like.

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I had about 6 cups of shredded vegetables, for that amount of vegetables I made a vinaigrette with these amounts. You can easily adjust for the amount of vegetables you have.

The juice of one small lemon
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4-6 tablespoons olive oil

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I mixed it all up in a bowl and tasted it and then decided to add about a teaspoon of honey, not pictured, last minute add-in, that’s why you taste! Toss everything together and enjoy.

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You can add nuts or seeds or grated or crumbled cheese to bulk it up for a more substantial salad. Crumbled blue cheese is great. I like this type of salad in wraps for lunch.

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It was great to see so many of you Sunday at the CSA party enjoying our community and the lovely Colorado Fall weather.

Have a great week.

Mo

 

 

Posted in 2019, Cabbage, Carrots, Recipes | 1 Comment

CSA Week 21

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 21 of our CSA:

Arugula

fall arugula comin’ to CSA!

REGULAR SHARE
CHOICE: Potatoes OR Bell Peppers
Carrots
Topped Beets
CHOICE: Beans OR Roasted Chiles
CHOICE: Celery OR Parsley OR Onions
CHOICE: Arugula OR Baby Kale
Winter Squash
CHOICE: Collard Greens OR Chard OR Kale

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Leeks
Winter Radish
Sweet Peppers
Garlic

FRUIT SHARE
Apples
Plums

Posted in 2019, Newsletter | Leave a comment

CSA Week 20

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 20 of our CSA:

You can use your pie pumpkin as a decoration until you’re ready to use it.

REGULAR SHARE
Zucchini
Cucumber
Carrots
CHOICE: Topped Beets OR Roasted Chiles
Pie Punkin’
Tomatoes
CHOICE: Celery OR Parsley
CHOICE: Collard Greens OR Chard OR Kale

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
DOUBLE Roasted Chiles
Onions
Cabbage
Potatoes

FRUIT SHARE
Apples
Pears

Posted in 2019, Newsletter | Leave a comment

Freezing Corn, Peppers and Roasted Chili Peppers

A couple of years ago I did a post on Freezing Summers Bounty. This is pretty much a repost/reminder  to you that you don’t have to eat all your CSA share in one week. You can easily freeze some and enjoy it in the winter when you are wishing for Summer vegetables.

I love freezing a few ears of Red Wagon Corn to pull out in the dead of winter. In years past I have shucked, then blanched the cobs in boiling water, then shocked them in ice water, then cut the kernels off the cob. This year I tried grilling the corn, un-shucked and let them cool in their husk before cutting the corn off the cob. Grilling the corn was much easier and much less messy than blanching and shocking them.

Grilling them added that nice char flavor too. Save those cobs for some corn stock!

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This took no time at all. 6 ears gave me about 2 pints of corn to freeze. Now I have some Summer happiness in my freezer.

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You can freeze the roasted peppers too. You can just chuck them in the freezer in the bags we put them in. Sometimes I like to clean them so they are ready to throw in a pot of beans or stews. Either way it’s always nice to have a little stash of roasted peppers in the freezer.

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You know those HUGE bell peppers we have been getting. You can freeze those too. Just seed them and cut them up.

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Then spread them on a tray so they’re not touching each other and freeze until firm. You don’t want to just throw them in a bag or other container and freeze or you will have a huge pepper ice ball that won’t break apart.

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When they are frozen hard transfer the them to a freezer-safe zip-lock bag or container with as much air pressed out as you can to prevent freezer burn.

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I love having these peppers. I grab a handful to toss in eggs or stir fries. You can freeze celery and onions the same way. It just takes a few minutes and it is so handy to have.

We only have a few more weeks so think about saving some of your CSA for the winter months.

Have a great week.

Mo

 

 

Posted in 2019, Recipes, Storage and Preparation

CSA Week 19

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 19 of our CSA:

REGULAR SHARE

Winter SquashCHOICE: Cucumber OR Zucchini
Winter Squash
CHOICE: Corn OR Beans
CHOICE: Carrots OR Beets
CHOICE: Potatoes OR Cabbage
CHOICE: Carmen OR Poblano OR Bell Peppers
Red Tomatoes
CHOICE: Collard Greens OR Chard OR Kale

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Arugula
Celery
Parsley
And one other item!

FRUIT SHARE
Peaches
Apples

Posted in 2019, Newsletter

Roasted Carrots with Raita

I saw this roasted carrot recipe in the food section of the New York Times a while ago.

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I knew it would be delicious, what’s not to love? Roasted carrots, crushed salty peanuts served on what is basically raita.

The recipe is pretty straight forward I hardly changed anything.

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CARROTS:
1 ½ pounds small to medium carrots (I didn’t cut peel mine they were small)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander

FOR THE RAITA:
1 cup full-fat yogurt-I used goat milk yogurt  and it was delicious
1 small cucumber diced
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice, (about 1/2 lime), plus more for serving (optional)
Kosher salt
¼ cup roughly chopped roasted, salted peanuts- any nut or seed will work here.

Step 1 Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and toss the carrots with the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and roast until the carrots are golden brown and tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

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Step 2 While the carrots roast, make the raita: In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cilantro, cucumber, cumin and lime juice. Stir well to combine and salt to taste.

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Step 3 Spread the raita on the bottom of a plate or platter and arrange roasted carrots on top. Scatter peanuts, and finish with flaky salt and a squeeze of lime juice.

After I took the first picture my daughter came over and it was lunch time. I added a few things I had laying around to the carrots and raita plate to make enough for two of us for lunch. Then took this picture.

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We grabbed a couple of tortillas and made, sort of, carrot-yogurt tacos and after about 10 minutes it looked like this.

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I love dips and sauces and I love the idea of the raita on the bottom of the dish to be scooped up with the other ingredients. This was a fun satisfying meal to share.

If you try this or anything posted here let me know if you like it, or if you don’t! I love to hear your comments.

Have a great week. See you at pickup.

Mo

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, Carrots, FeaturedRecipe, Recipes

CSA Week 18

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 18 of our CSA:

REGULAR SHARE

CHOICE: Cucumber OR Zucchini OR Bell/Carmen Pepper Combo OR Shishito OR Poblano Peppers
Spaghetti Squash
CHOICE: Corn OR Beets
CHOICE: Carrots OR Cabbage
CHOICE: Beans OR Potatoes
CHOICE: Roasted Carmen OR Roasted Anaheim Peppers
Red Tomatoes
CHOICE: Collard Greens OR Chard

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Sweet Jimmy Nardello Peppers
Broccoli
Leafy Green
Pepper Combo

FRUIT SHARE
Peaches
Pears

Posted in 2019, Newsletter

Marcella Hazan’s Famous Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are full on. I have been eating, canning, and drying tomatoes for the last couple of weekends. I love Marcella Hazen’s super popular tomato sauce recipe, I usually make it in the winter with tomatoes I canned in the summer. I recently saw a blogger change the original recipe using fresh tomatoes. I decided to try it!

This is one of those recipes, I know I say this all the time and I am going to say it again; that is more than a sum of it’s parts. The combination of ingredients and time sort of emulsifies and becomes silky and smooth and the fresh tomato taste stays true but there is a richness that is unique. It’s tempting to add herbs but I don’t. Sometimes simple is best. This is one of those times.

You only need 4 ingredients.

  • 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes-I didn’t peel mine I just cored them and chopped them up
  • 5-8 tablespoons of butter. Some recipes call for 5 others call for 8, I use the whole stick of butter baby, but you do you.
  • 1 or 2 onions depending on the size, chop them up
  • salt

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Chop everything up and throw it all in a sauce pan and simmer it for an hour.

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It will look like this after about 20 minutes.

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Keep cooking it. It will look like this after about 45 minutes.

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After an hour or so, when all the vegetables have completely collapsed, hit it with an immersion blender or blend it in a blender or food processor and it will be lush and smooth like this.

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This makes a generous 2 quarts of sauce. I froze some and I used some to make eggplant Parmesan.

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Enjoy the fresh tomatoes while we have them, but maybe put a few quarts away in the freezer for winter. Fall is right around the corner and the tomatoes will be gone.

Have a great week. I’ll see you at pickup.

Mo

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, Recipes, Tomatoes | 2 Comments