Pumpkin Mac N Cheese

One of Bre’s favorite dishes is creamy macaroni and cheese.  This year I introduced her to…pumpkin mac n’ cheese!  I know what you’re thinking, that I’m crazy for wasting a perfectly good pie filling but I assure you, it’s one of the creamiest recipes I’ve found to date.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb macaroni noodles
  • 1 lb shredded cheddar cheese (I use mild but sharp works just as well)
  • 1 small pumpkin (roughly 3-4 lbs) OR 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Cook macaroni al dente (i.e. leaving it cooked but still firm), set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. If you are NOT using pumpkin in a can: De-seed your pumpkin, cut it into wedges, place wedges on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees until a fork easily slides into it.  Set aside to cool. Once cooled, remove skin and mash in a large bowl.
  4. Add ricotta, sour cream, pumpkin and cheddar cheese to a large mixing bowl and thoroughly incorporate.
  5. Add noodles to cheese mixture and mix till all the noodles are well covered.
  6. Pour noodle mixture into a large casserole pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake until peaks are a light brown.
  8. Top with sun dried tomatoes and sprinkle with garlic powder.

Crockpot Turkey

This recipe is a bit difficult to write out as it depends on how much you are planning to make.  I’ve brought everything down to the smallest increments for a meal for two that averages about 3-4 lbs of meat.

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 lbs Turkey parts*
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup brown gravy mix
  • 2 Tbsp Apricot preserves**
  • 1 cup Bisquick mix***
  • 1 cup Cranberries (dried, fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Bouillon cubes
Directions:
  1. Boil one cup of water and whisk in gravy mix until thoroughly dissolved; add to slowcooker.
  2. Add 2 cups of water, garlic, preserves and bouillon cubes to cooker; mix.
  3. Remove the skin from your turkey if you so desire.
  4. Place turkey in a slow cooker and set on high.
  5. Allow turkey to cook on high, until turkey falls off the bone or cooked as desired.
  6. Remove the bones (you can freeze the bones to make broth later) if you cooked legs.
  7. Remove the meat from the cooker and set aside.
  8. Boil the last remaining cup of water and whisk in Bisquick until all lumps are gone.
  9. Whisk Bisquick mixture into the liquid in the cooker.   Add more Bisquick if you want it thicker just remember it thickens a lot upon cooling.
  10. Add cranberries.
  11. Drizzle gravy over meat, stuffing, potatoes, or whatever else suits your fancy.
Notes:
*White meat falls apart a lot sooner than the dark meat.
**Apricot preserves can be substituted with apple sauce as it’s primarily used to keep the turkey moist and add a bit of autumn flavor.  They are also a great addition to your yam/sweet potato recipe!
***Instead of Bisquick, you can use Arrowroot or any flour you wish but it doesn’t quite have the flavorful effect.

Minced Meat Pies

Ingredients

  • Minced beef – 1 ½ lbs
  • Beef broth – ½ cup
  • Apple cider – 1 ½ qt
  • Apples – 2 lbs (granny smith)
  • Currents – ½ lb
  • Brown sugar – 2 cups
  • Molasses – 12 ounces
  • Allspice – ¼ Tbsp
  • Nutmeg – ¼ Tbsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 Tbsp
  • Cloves – 1 tsp ground
  • Cherries – ½ lb dried
  • Orange juice concentrate
  • Raisins – ½ lb
  • Ginger – ½ tsp
Directions
  1. Core, peel and slice apples.
  2. Mix ingredients together (except meat), in a food processor and chop till minced.
  3. Pour ingredients into a crock pot and set on high.  Cook till slow boil then set on low and cook for three hours or till mixture stiffens.
  4. Add 1 cup mixture for every pound of meat to a skillet and brown beef.
  5. Add meat to minced mixture and thoroughly incorporate.
  6. Add mixture to pie shells or wrap a spoonful in a prepared roll. (See options)
  7. Cook till crust is golden.
  8. Cool and serve.  Unused portions freeze well.
Options:
  • Brandy: add 1 cup of brandy to the above recipe when you add the mixture to the crockpot or marinade your meat in it.
  • You can cook this quite quickly on the stove top by boiling the mixture till everything is fully cooked, softened and the liquid thickens slightly.
  • If you want a thicker sauce, add arrowroot till you achieve the desired consistency.