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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

One more exam and then I'm feeling the ocean breeze from the Pacific, and the warm warm sunshine... I'm sure you've heard enough about In 'n' Out burgers and our incredible sunshine! But, seriously. West coast, best coast :D

Just finishing an exam makes me feel like I have time to cook, but I really don't because I have a cumulative exam next Thursday *cue for little kids popping balloons* Although, I just baked a batch of muffins in literally 5 mins with my new kitchenaid mixer. Yay! I love that beast.

Here's something I made last week. It doesn't taste strongly of pumpkin, but it makes the cheesy sauce super smooth and creamy.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

serves 4-5
2 cups dried elbow pasta
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup half and half
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
seasoned bread crumbs (optional)

  1. Cook pasta according to package (with salt), drain and set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 400F
  3. Make the roux: In a large pot, melt butter and toss in the garlic for 1 min. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary for 1 min.
  4. Pour in half and half, pumpkin puree and cream cheese. Stir until well blended and thickened ~5-8 mins
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1.5 cups cheddar cheese. Add pasta and mix. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Place in a baking dish or individual ramekins. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs (and more pepper if you like)
  7. Bake until heated through and cheese is nice and crusty!

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