Blog Bites IV

1. I found this One Pot, Creamy Mac and Cheese by White on Rice Couple on Pinterest.

I used whole wheat shells, 3/4 cup 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, organic 1% low fat milk, and added in 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper & 1/4 tsp paprika.

I finished the mac & cheese off with crumbled crisp applewood smoked bacon and fresh parsley and served some roasted broccoli (olive oil, s & p; roast at 400°F until crisp, about 15 minutes) alongside.

The creative technique of cooking the pasta in milk and then melting in the cheese resulted in perfectly al dente shells enveloped in a creamy cheesy sauce. In other words, exactly what you want in stove top mac & cheese – without needing to make a roux!

2. Given how much both John and I liked my Chicken Parmesan Burgers, I had a feeling we would feel the same about these Chicken Taco Burgers from Elly Says Opa!

As a rule of thumb, I stretch 1/2 lb of chicken between 3 burgers – I find it to be the perfect amount of meat. Other slight changes I made were to use both green and red onion, sub in cilantro for the parsley, add in ground black pepper, and the following technique for forming cheese-stuffed patties: form meat mixture into a ball, make an indentation in the middle with your thumb, insert a 1 inch cube of cheese, (pepper jack in this case), push the meat mixture over the cheese so it is no longer visible, and finally flatten the ball slightly into a patty (I prefer a thicker patty – about 2 inches thick).

I served the burgers on whole wheat buns with baby romaine, thick tomato slices, and a mixture of avocado, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, and s&p… with Alexia Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries on the side.

As suspected, John and I both really liked these burgers!

{photo courtesy of Instagram on my iPhone}

3. I made this Pumpkin Cornbread (using white whole wheat flour) from Sugar Cooking (originally from Sugar Crafter) specifically to serve alongside my Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, & Black Bean Chili, (recipe to be posted soon), but it is definitely tasty enough to eat solo.

Think warmly spiced pumpkin muffin meets sweet cornbread.

Whether you crumble this cornbread over chili, toast it and slather it with butter, or drizzle it with maple syrup, you are sure to love it!

4. I whipped up a half batch of Angela’s Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts on Sunday morning after a run. I figured I should fit in a workout before making these little cuties because they looked too good on Oh She Glows to stop at just one.

I was right; three warm doughnuts disappeared within minutes ;).

These tender spiced doughnuts (I made ’em with all whole wheat pastry flour) – dunked in melted Earth Balance buttery spread and dusted with cinnamon and sugar – are absolutely as delicious as they sound.

If you do make these treats, be forewarned: you will literally need to drag yourself away from them to keep from scarfing the whole darn pan!

5. Kristin’s (The Kitchen Sink Recipes) Maple Baked Beans marks the first time I’ve made the classic barbeque side dish from scratch, and the 5 hours of sweating while the oven heated our already warm apartment definitely paid off.

The beans ended up tender without being mushy, and were enveloped in a sweet & slightly smoky sauce that was finger lickin’ good.

Get ready for even more pumpkin recipes next week!

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