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

Vegan Scampi

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The time has come to say goodbye to my beloved Washington.

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It seems like just yesterday I was kicking and screaming the entire move to this place.

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While I didn’t warm to WA as quickly as you might imagine given that I am so incredibly easy going and adaptable to different environments, I am now deeply in love.

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I will miss literally everything about my adopted state. The sights, the smells, the unbelievably laid back people from whom I hoped to learn something from over the last several years…sigh. Most of all, I will miss the sunny, summer weekends spent gallivanting through the cities and partaking of delectable nibbles and libations. This place has taught me so much about the world in which I wish I lived 24/7 – food and drink. I’m, like, so uppity now I barely tolerate chain restaurants and non-local beverages… Barely being the key word as Chili’s is in the my top 10 favorite establishments in the country. I digress. The peeps at Pacific Rim share my love of Washington wines. Their Rieslings are just one example of all of that is good in this state. Though WA still has the gigantic fault line problem to figure out.

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Not to worry Washington, I’ve made my husband pinky swear we can retire in a seaside mansion with a perfect view of the mountain.

 

 

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

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of whole grain linguine
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 can of hearts of palm, drained + cut into lil rounds
  • 4 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. of vegan butter
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of Pacific Rim dry riesling
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • Parsley, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Arrange cauliflower on a lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil + some S+P
  • Roast 20-25 minutes, stirring once
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil + 1 tbsp. of butter in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add hearts of palm rounds + S+P, cooking on each side for 2-3 minutes or until browned to your desire, remove from pan
  • Meanwhile, cook linguine to al dente
  • Meanwhile x2, heat remaining olive oil + butter in the skillet you cooked the hearts of palm
  • Add shallots + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add garlic, cook another minute
  • Add wine, cook another 1-2 minutes
  • Add veg stock + crushed red pepper + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes or until reduces a lil and flavors start to get all yummy – taste test to see if you likey, adjust seasoning
  •  Add lemon juice + a bit of your parsley, cook another minute
  • Now add linguine + coat to combine
  • Toss with cauliflower + hearts of palm, add a lil S+P and the rest of the lemon juice + parsley
  • Serve warm with a glass of cold wine
  • Allow me to be your spiritual pasta guide and follow my lead by eating all of this over the course of two dinners, finishing off with a scoop of peanut butter

 

Adapted from here!

Drunken Pasta with Roasted Beets

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Another new year, another new season of The Bachelor.

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As the number 1 fan of this franchise, I have the right to say this: That premiere was boring as all get out.

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For those who have never seen the show (sorry that rock you’ve been under doesn’t have television), let me catch you up to speed! Each time the women are on screen, they remind us of their name, age, and job title. The producers have always given the girls lame, fake jobs, but this year they’ve really outdone themselves.

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One gal? Chicken enthusiast. Like, that’s her job. This would be cute if she was obsessed with chicken nuggets or something. No. She just loves her pet chickens. Not cute. Just sad. Then, there are twins on the show. Do you know what they do? They twin. Their job title is literally “twins”.

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But their is one chick who is keeping it too real with a title of “Unemployed”.

 

 

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of whole wheat pasta
  • 4 beets, rinsed + trimmed
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 4 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 oz. of mozzarella cheese
  • S+P, to taste
  • Parsley, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Add beets to a baking dish + add 1 tbsp. of olive oil + S+P
  • Cover with foil + bake for 55 minutes
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta for about 5 minutes in salted water
  • Drain + add pasta back to hot pot
  • Add wine
  • Cook, tossing often, for another 5-6 minutes
  • Meanwhile, heat other tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add shallots + S+P, cook for 3 minutes
  • Add garlic + S+P, cook for another 3 minutes
  • Add balsamic vinegar, cook for another minute
  • Stir shallot mixture into pasta
  • Remove beets from oven + carefully remove skins with paper towels
  • Slice into bite size pieces + add to pasta
  • Add S+P + mozzarella + parsley
  • Serve hot
  • Wrap drunk noodles all over body + allow the wine to soak into your pores

 

Idea came from here! http://www.rachaelray.com/recipes/drunken-spaghetti-with-sweet-roasted-beets