Easy Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

An oldie but a goodie! Perfect for dinner this fall.

Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese, especially when it’s home-made? I’ve tried many mac and cheese recipes in the past and have found a few that are amazing; however, they do take some time to prepare and bake. That’s why this easy pumpkin mac and cheese is my new favorite recipe! Not only does it have healthy nutrients from the pumpkin, but it’s so quick and easy to make. Plus, the pumpkin puree adds a rich creaminess to the dish so you don’t have to use that much cheese, which means less calories!

I was inspired to make this dish one night while watching Rachael Ray make a mac and cheese using butternut squash. My mouth was literally watering while watching the show. Needless to say, I wanted to make mac and cheese for dinner, but I didn’t have any butternut squash. The only thing I did have was canned pumpkin puree. So, I decided to wing it and make the dish using pumpkin puree and a few other substitute ingredients. I also kicked up the spiciness of the dish by adding red pepper flakes. The result? An awesome pumpkin mac and cheese!  Continue reading

Pumpkin Bread

It’s been quite an adventure the last few weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, but I’m finally back (with electricity, water, and internet)! In the days leading up to the hurricane, I tried to use most of my ingredients in the refrigerator by making dishes that would last a few days at room temperature. One of the recipes I turned to was for this pumpkin bread, which is so incredibly moist it could even be a cake. It is one of my favorite recipes for the holidays because it’s so easy to make and actually tastes better over time (I’m not kidding)! Boy were we glad to have this delicious pumpkin bread to munch on for a few days while the power was out. :)

I love to use Trader Joe’s pumpkin puree for this recipe because it’s organic and inexpensive, but you can use any brand of your choice. Just make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to give this pumpkin bread a try this holiday season. A fun idea is to bake in mini loaf pans to give away as gifts! :)

Note: This recipe calls for 1 cup of pumpkin puree, which is about half of a 15 ounce can. Wondering what to do with the remaining half of puree? Don’t fret, try out my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese!

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Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

You know that autumn is officially here when stores begin to advertise pumpkin lattes and pumpkin donuts. I was inspired to make these fluffy pumpkin pancakes last week at Trader Joe’s. While standing in the ridiculously long line, I saw their canned organic pumpkin puree. I usually buy this in November to make pumpkin pie, but decided to pick up a can earlier this year since the weather in NYC is already very autumnesque.

I came across this quick and easy pumpkin pancake recipe years ago in a Martha Stewart Living magazine. Although I made a few tweaks to the spices, I kept everything else the same. These pancakes are simply divine! They are so fluffy and rich in flavors. The pumpkin puree adds a fluffy creaminess to the pancakes without adding tons of calories. Be sure to try this recipe for your next autumn brunch! Continue reading