Let me start at the beginning.
This year, we are having lunch with Stephen’s family here in town first. Then we are driving 3 hours away to see my family and rest up for black Friday. My sisters in law and neices are all preparing dishes for dinner and I wanted to bring something a little…different.
But first, I wanted Pumpkin Spice Bars. Think blondies but with pumpkin. These are chewy and oh so good.
Pumpkin Spice Blondies
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of spelt flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon and cloves
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of butter softened
1 can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons of vanilla
- beat sugar, butter, and vanilla in stand mixer or hand mixer
- in a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, spices ( use fork)
- add eggs, one at a time, to the sugar/butter mixture
- beat in pumpkin to sugar/butter/egg mixture
- slowly add flour mixture to sugar/butter/egg mixture
- mix all together until just combined
- pour into greased 9×13 for thin blondies. For thicker blondies, use 9×9 pan.
- bake 350 for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely.
2 packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup of butter softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/8 cup confectioner’s sugar. Original recipe called for 2 1/2 cups. I cut it back drastically.
1 teaspoon stevia
- beat cream cheese and butter
- add vanilla
- slowly add SIFTED sugar and stevia
- beat until fully incorporated
Ice the blondies. Devour. Thank me later.
For my part of Turkey Day, I originally had in mind two dishes: roasted butternut squash and roasted green beans with mushrooms and bacon. I bought everything last weekend, had it on the calendar, been on my mind all week, I was READY.
But then….under the influence of good cough medicine, a hot toddy (for my throat. I promise. It was for medicinal purposes….) and the Lexus commercial, I realized there is an empty space in my life that can only be filled with Alton Brown’s macaroni and cheese.
I adore Mr. Brown. I’ve tried several of his dishes and have not been disappointed yet. I’m also a big fan of EASY. Good and easy. And worthy of happy tears. I think this accomplishes all three.
(I was hungry. I forgot the bread crumbs. I’ll add them in the morning when I reheat the whole thing for lunch.)
Alton Brown’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb of macaroni (cook until al dente)
In medium pan melt 1 stick of butter
Add 5 Tablespoons of flour. Whisk for 3-5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of milk and whisk.
Add 1 cup of diced onions, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of paprika.
Cook for 8-10 minutes on med-high. Sauce will thicken.
Remove bay leaf. Take half a cup of sauce into bowl and let cool for a couple of minutes.
Temper an egg in the removed sauce. Just whisk egg in sauce until fully mixed. This will prevent scrambled eggs.
Add tempered egg mixture back to sauce.
Add cheeses. 1/2 cup of the following: Sharp, white cheddar, havarti, parmesan. Turn off heat and stir until cheese is melted.
Pour over macaroni in a 11x 13 greased baking pan.
Add a layer or sharp cheese.
Melt 1/c cup of butter in pan. Add 2 cups of panko crumbs or regular bread crumbs. Coat crumbs with melted butter. (could do this in a ziplock bag). Sprinkle crumbs on top of cheese layer.
Cook 350 for 30 minutes.
Tomorrow will bring the rest of Turkey Day dinner. I’m about to drink an Irish Crème so who knows what I will conjure up to add to dinner.
Turducken anyone? (gag)