Spaghetti Squash

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This is the easiest dinner you’ll ever make!  Its delicious, healthy and for those on a low carb diet, this is officially going to be your pasta substitute bestie!  I picked up my spaghetti squash from Trader Joe’s (I know, I’m surprised they had it too).  I didn’t get a chance to carve a pumpkin for Halloween so scrapping out the seeds of this squash was as close as I got to making a  jack o lantern this year.  lol.

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First step is to cut this sucker in half.  That was the hardest part for me but here’s a tip:  nuke it in the microwave for about 3 -5 mins.  The skin of the melon should soften up a bit and you’ll avoid a bloody accident in the kitchen…*squirms*  Next, drizzle some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and sea salt over it.  Pop it in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

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Try poking the outer edge of the squash with a fork.  If it’s soft, it’s ready to become spaghetti!  Take a fork and start scrapping off the sides until it starts to look like spaghetti.  Next, I like to top mine off with Newman’s tomato sauce, chopped up Italian sausages or ground beef, and some parmigiano reggiano to finish it off.

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Buon Appetito!!

Truffled Mac and Cheese

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One of my many favourite comfort foods that I crave as the weather gets colder – mac and cheese.  But not just any mac and cheese, TRUFFLED macaroni and cheese is the way my palate likes it.  I love anything homemade so it made total sense that my mac and cheese would be as well.  It’s a relatively simple recipe that I followed from Williams-Sonoma’s collection of recipes.  The only muscle work involved really is the cheese grating (which I don’t really mind when the aroma of truffle is in the air!)  Bon Appetite!

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter for baking dish, plus 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 2 tsp. truffle oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh chives

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. While the pasta is still warm, drizzle with the truffle oil and stir well.

Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and melt the 4 Tbs. butter. Add the flour, paprika and mustard and cook, stirring well, until no visible flour remains, 1 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, half-and-half and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking frequently to smooth out any lumps, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add a pinch of pepper and 1 cup each of the Gruyère and cheddar. Stir until smooth.

Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni, add the chives and stir well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

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Raspberry Sorbet in Lemon Cups

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I love using lemons in a lot of my baking (and cooking).  Whether its lemon tarts, lemon margaritas or lemon chicken, that fresh lemony scent always puts me in a happy mood.  However, when a recipe only calls for fresh lemon juice, I feel like I always end up wasting the rest of the lemon.  So why not use them as decorative little cups for serving raspberry sorbet when guests are over?  It’s adorable and functional at the same time.  Enjoy!