This past Friday, I had a nice short 8:30 - 11:00 AM shift at work and obviously was in the kitchen the rest of the afternoon at home. Ian brought home a butternut squash from work a few days before so, naturally, I found a recipe online to use it.. butternut squash mac n cheese! Ian also got another flat tire that day (that's five in two weeks.. I think he's at 11 total now?) so I made a dessert to make him feel better, cookies and cream brownie cheesecake bars. I got both of these recipes from +BuzzFeed Food Newsletter. I highly recommend them!!!! I also highly recommend signing up for the Buzzfeed Food Newsletter - I use recipes from it way more often than Pinterest! Like I said in my last post, I can't have photos on here because I'm at the library, but they really did turn out looking just like the posts that I got them from.
Here is the link for the Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. This is seriously delicious, you guys. Here's a bit of a play by play.... I didn't use elbow macaroni. We had some noodles left from when I made soup a few weeks ago, so that's what we had - they were basically the exact same noodles that come in Kraft Dinner but a little bit bigger. I used an entire small yellow onion, I don't think it was quite caramelized enough and I think next time I would cut it into small chunks instead of slicing it so there are more onions to go around. I debated where or not to chop or grate the apple - I chopped, and I think that was a good choice! I also added some pickled jalapeno (and by some I mean one because it was really juicy, but I should have added more), to give it a bit of kick. I definitely used more than 1/4 cup (plus two tablespoons) of evaporated milk, which is good because the can I bought was massive and I didn't want to waste most of it. What else? Well, I wasn't too sure how to make butternut squash puree but I assumed I could just cook the squash like a spaghetti squash (cut in half, cover in oil, lay face down on parchment and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees), scoop it out and mash it. Done and done. Just don't forget to scoop out the seeds. I ended up sprinkling cinnamon on the leftover bnut squash and eating it for a snack! Oh! I also couldn't find the bouillon cubes at the super market and just didn't feel like asking for help - so I just used water and poultry seasoning. It did the trick! I was so excited when we finally sat down to eat - and this mac and cheese was honestly SO good!!!! I will definitely be making it again (probably with more bacon).
And finally, the link for the Cookies & Cream Brownie Cheesecake Bars
If I am being honest, this was the first time I've ever made boxed brownies and I felt a little guilty. But it is what the recipe called for and they were sooooo easy! I sent the recipe to my cousin and she mentioned she read the reviews that said the middle wasn't cooked for a lot of people - but for me it cooked right through just fine! The only thing I would say, is to make sure it is cooled all the way through before you cut and serve it. We ate it after cooling for two hours and it wasn't easy to get a nice piece - but after a while I cut it to put it away in containers and it was much easier. The next day, when I cut a piece in half - it was even easier. So all that said and done, I recommend making it a day ahead. It won't last long once it's cut anyways. The recipe says serves 10-12, I was able to have 12 pieces. OH! Also, I'm not too sure about the number of Oreos.. here in England, I'm pretty sure the Oreos are smaller!!!! Or maybe I just haven't had them in a while, but I swear they seemed smaller. I definitely used more than 36.
I hope a few of you are inspired to try your hand at these yummy recipes! They really weren't a ton of work and even if they were - they'd be worth it!!!
dream big dreams, be reckless .. bon appetit!