Homemade Mac & Cheese

There’s something so cozy and comforting about warm foods. I think one of my favorite things about the leaves changing and temperatures dropping is the fact that I can really start using my oven for any meal. Over the past few weeks, I had been craving some heavy carbs, so I thought it was only fair to whip up probably one of my most nostalgic (and indulgent) warm dishes for fall. This is my homemade mac & cheese recipe!homemade mac & cheesehomemade mac & cheeseThis is the homemade mac & cheese recipe that I grew up eating. My favorite part was always the crushed Ritz crackers my mom would always garnish on top – they would turn perfectly golden brown. Of course, we didn’t have any on hand when I decided to make this, so unfortunately I don’t have photo documentation as evidence. However, I highly HIGHLY recommend adding a few Ritz on top of your mac & cheese before you put it in the oven. It adds the perfect, buttery crunch. This recipe is so simple and quick – it’s really the perfect dish to enjoy during the autumn season. And a side note, I am obsessed with black pepper! As you can tell, my bowl of mac & cheese was covered in pepper. Just the way I love it!
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated onion (optional)
  • Ritz Crackers (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Boil water and cook noodles – set aside.
  • Blend milk into cornstarch in a saucepan. Add butter, onion, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and pepper.
  • Bring milk mixture to a boil.
  • Once your mixture is boiling, reduce heat and add the cheese. Whisk until fully combined.
  • Pour mixture on top of the noodles and mix to combine.
  • Add crumbled Ritz crackers on top (make sure you try this!).
  • Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

 

Happy Eating!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Blueberry Crisp

My favorite part of blueberry picking? Picking enough berries so that you can make a pie before you consume them all. I think one of my all time favorite summer (and fall) desserts has to be Blueberry Crisp. While I love a good pie, there is something about a crisp that just reaches a new level on the dessert scale. Yes, the photos are messy – but trust me, you won’t care once you taste this.

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Blueberry Crisp Recipe

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 store-bought pie crust (or if you’re ambitious, you can totally make a homemade crust)*

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place pie crust in pie pan. Arrange blueberries on crust.

Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle mixture on top of blueberries.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool for 10 minutes (if you can possibly wait that long).

*If you’re looking for a lower calorie alternative, ditch the crust. I’ve made this so many times without a crust, and trust me, it’s just as good.

Enjoy!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Oreo Pie

In celebration of Pi Day (aka March 14th) I decided it was the perfect time to make a certain Pinterest recipe that caught my eye earlier this year.
IMG_1410 (1)While I certainly cannot take ownership of this glorious recipe, I can take credit for consuming a piece way too big for my own good. This recipe is super simple, requires zero baking time, and is the most decadent! This is Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Oreo Pie.
IMG_1426 (1)IMG_1432 (1)Check out the full recipe here. While I followed this recipe to a tee, Jacob and I were not patient enough – we should have allowed the pie to harden longer in the freezer. As you can see, our piece was much softer than what’s pictured in the original recipe. However, I can tell you, looks don’t matter here. The taste was there. It was all there.
IMG_1465 (1)I think Pi Day might be up there on my list of favorite holidays, after Christmas and Thanksgiving. Maybe Pi Day should become a national holiday? Everyone should take a day off work to celebrate all there is to love about pie, eat pie, talk about pie… you get the gist. I think I might be on to something here…
IMG_1456You can have your pie, and eat it too.

XOXO,

Becky Lee

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Zucchini Bread French Toast

Remember that Zucchini Bread recipe? Let’s take it a step further…

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Wait 3-4 days after you have baked your Zucchini Bread to try this one. You want to ensure that the bread will soak up as much of the mixture as possible.

4 pieces of Zucchini Bread

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

*The golden rule is 1 egg to 1/2 cup of milk. Take this into consideration depending on the amount of servings you are making.

Whisk egg into milk in a medium sized bowl. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla and fully combine. Place Zucchini Bread slice in the bowl, ensure to coat the entire piece. Allow the bread to soak in the mixture.

Place slices on a greased frying pan and cook to golden brown perfection.

Garnish with fresh fruit, powdered sugar, and of course, maple syrup.

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Saratoga “Clorn” Chowder

I’ve never been a huge clam fan, but I think they’re growing on me. Especially when I eat them with potatoes, corn, and some heavy cream for good measure.

Say hello to Saratoga Clam/Corn (AKA “Clorn”) Chowder.

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2 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium onion (diced)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
3 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
1 cup heavy cream
4 medium sized potatoes (cubed)
1 can of whole corn kernels
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the onions. Stir often until the onions begin to turn translucent. Stir in the flour. Add the chicken stock, juice from chopped clams (put the clams in the can to the side), cream, and potatoes. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and stir often as the mixture begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Stir often until the potatoes are tender. Add the canned clams (that you remembered to reserve!) and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Throw in some salt and pepper to your liking.

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If you have oyster crackers, grab ’em! If not (which is what happened to me), pray that you have saltines in your cabinet, because that extra crunch adds the perfect salty bite.

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Pumpkin Seeds

Still have a pumpkin accompanying your doorstep? Before you chuck ’em, take the hour out of your afternoon and make some homemade pumpkin seeds. They’re easy, quick, and (most importantly) as addictive as salted movie theater popcorn. Bold statement, I know.

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Preheat oven to 300°F. Seed your pumpkin – using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of the pumpkin and place into a bowl.

Separate the seeds from the pulp and rinse the seeds under cold water. Shake dry the seeds.

Spread the seeds on an oiled baking sheet, ensuring to make one even layer. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the seeds from the oven and add whatever spices you wish! I simply added some table salt. Return them to the over and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Simple. Delicious. Addicting. Can’t get much better than that.

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Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Dunk it in the milk. I dare you.”

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1 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 bag chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Chips)
1 package of OREO cookies (Try not to consume the whole package upon purchase)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream butter and both sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients, along with chocolate chips, until just combined.

Take a small amount of cookie dough and place underneath the OREO cookie, then another scoop of dough on top. Seal the edges together, making sure to fully enclose the OREO cookie in the cookie dough (don’t be afraid to add more dough if need be). 

Place onto a baking sheet (I placed parchment paper on top of the sheet). These cookies are large, so ensure there is ample space between each cookie to allow them to expand. Bake cookies for about 12-20 minutes (they should be golden brown on the bottom). Let cool for 5-10 minutes before placing on cooling rack.

*This recipe should yield about 15-20 cookies

While this was my first time I made these cookies, they have become an instant favorite. Why? These cookies are super cakey. They didn’t brown up like a chocolate chip cookie made with shortening would. However, that’s what makes them glorious. You can never go wrong with a cakey cookie.

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Alright, enough already. Let’s get down to business.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Directions: Add as much vanilla ice cream (or any ice cream of choice) in between two Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies; the more ice cream, the better.

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Enough said.

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