Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Post sponsored by Sartori di Verona wines

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Have I mentioned how pleased I am rom coms are back in style?

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There’s something about the predictability of a good love story that fuels my basic life.

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The very best is forcing my real life love to watch Hollywood love unfold.

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We go to the movies like once every two years, as a rule. He just cannot handle sitting through two hours of a moving picture show while confined to the same chair. Plus, I am just not the best movie partner. I absolutely HAVE to sit in an aisle seat, in case of emergencies. I ALWAYS start a slow clap as the credits roll. I find it’s a real crowd pleaser. Additionally, I tend to throw rational perspective out the window when watching love stories. For example, after the last movie we went to, I left the theatre in tears (not unusual), but this time I was mute. I would not speak to Garrett. I was so angry that he even had the audacity to speak to me after such a moving tale. “I cannot be spoken to, I need time to PROCESS.” When I finally could form words, I spat out, “YOU DON’T LOVE ME ENOUGH,” and rolled over and went to sleep without smooching. Now that’s a love story you can hang your hat on, am I right?! IDK what that means. Lucky for muah, the peeps at Sartori Di Verona sent me a bottle of their Love Story Pinot Noir to perfectly complement our at-home movie nights. Plus, it’s like authentic and vintage Italian wine and I feel fancy as all GET OUT!

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It’s really better this way – Garr can play musical chairs during the film and I can loud cry without the judgmental stares of strangers.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of pasta
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes + drained
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. of turmeric
  • S+P, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of sage, chiffonaded

How to:

  • Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a lil skillet
  • Add shallots + some S+P, cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add garlic, cook another minute
  • Meanwhile, process cashews in a food processor until totally crumbly
  • Add in shallots + garlic, process together
  • Add milk + nutritional yeast + red pepper + pumpkin pie spice + paprika + turmeric + S+P until combined
  • Add pumpkin puree, process until smooth, adjust seasoning to taste, set aside
  • Cook pasta to al dente, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water, + drain
  • Add pumpkin sauce to empty, warm pasta pan + add pasta back in, stir well + add the pasta water if necessary to thin
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in the shallot + garlic skillet
  • Add sage, cook 2-3 minutes or until fragrant
  • Serve warm with sage + a glass of Love Story
  • Serve to sweetie + hover over him asking whether or not he thinks any cheese is actually in this mac + cheese

Pumpkin + Chocolate Chip Muffins

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What a great day to be a sports fan!!!!!!!!!

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I wish I knew what that was like.

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I think it’d be really great to get that jazzed about a team that has no bearing on my existence. Sigh.

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Instead, I have been VERY busy watching Stranger Things. I’m finally on this train, y’all, & I am not hopping off anytime soon – chugga chugga choo coo! I freaking love this show. I’m not sure where they found these uber talented mini humans to be the main characters, but I am thoroughly impressed. It’s also mighty refreshing to see Winona Ryder on screen. I’ve missed you, girl. We’ve all forgotten about the Saks Fifth Avenue incident.

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I’m sorry for bringing it up again right now, though.

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 dozen muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree, not off brand!
  • 1/4 cup of skim milk
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp. of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. of allspice
  • 1 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats + more for topping

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In a large bowl, whisk olive oil + honey
  • Whisk in eggs
  • Fold in pumpkin + whisk in milk
  • Add baking soda + vanilla + cinnamon + ground ginger + nutmeg + allspice
  • Add flour + chocolate chips + oats, combine well
  • Place muffin cups in a muffin tin + lightly spray with cooking spray
  • Pour an even amount in each cup
  • Top with a sprinkle of oats + a dash of cinnamon
  • Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Invite pals over + pour everyone glasses of skim milk + serve them a warm muffin + compare chocolatey milk mustaches, winner gets high five

 

Idea came from here!

http://cookieandkate.com/2014/healthy-maple-pumpkin-muffins/

 

 

Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

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K my life is forever changed.

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I, Rachel the peasant, breathed Idina Menzel’s air for 3 hours this weekend.

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Idina brought If/Then to Seattle. I will allow you 2 minutes to Google what that is if you have been living under a rock at the bottom of the sea for the past 2 years.

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It was, without a doubt, the greatest theatre experience of my existence. I laughed, I cried, I bawked in awe of what my eyes and ears were digesting. Idina’s voice – STOOPID. Her personality – can we date? I’ll just never be the same. I left the theatre & literally could not stop crying. I was so overwhelmed. I spent the rest of the evening sashaying through the streets of Seattle & singing at the top of my lungs.

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Actually, I spend all of my nights doing this so…..

 

 

 

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of sage, chopped
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Cook pasta to al dente, reserving a cup of cooking water
  • Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add sage + fry for 2-3 minutes or until browned + fragrant
  • Remove from pan onto a paper-towel lined plate
  • Turn down the heat to low-medium + add the other tbsp. of olive oil
  • Add garlic + cook for 2 minutes
  • Add pumpkin + let simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Add coconut milk + simmer for 4-5 minutes
  • Stir in crushed red pepper + S+P
  • Add drained pasta + cooking water to the sauce
  • Stir well + add more S+P
  • Serve hot
  • Rub creamy noodles on face + share photos with me