Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I’ve been shopping at Trader Joe’s a little more lately, and last week I picked up a package of the microwaveable butternut squash Mac and cheese, on a recommendation, and it did not disappoint! It was creamy and full of warm spices, just so delicious! So I decided to try to make a homemade version inspired by that. This was delicious, and bonus points for sneaking veggies in, and my kids gobbling it up!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

1 package of pasta, cooked.

1 cup cooked butternut squash. (I cooked mine, quartered, in my instant pot for 25 minutes high pressure, and the scraped off the skin.)

3 tbs of butter

1 tbs of flour

1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

A dash of thyme powder

And a dash of cayenne (up to a 1/4 tsp depending on how much heat you like it!)

-Boil pasta according to package instructions.

Sauce:

-Start by melting the butter, and adding flour to make a roux. Then add butternut squash and cheddar cheese, and let the cheese melt. Add the spices, and let simmer for about 3-4 minutes to let the flavors meld. Stir in the noodles and enjoy!

It’s super easy, but so delicious! Perfect for a fall lunch, or pair it with some chicken or steak for a hearty dinner!

Love,

Becca

Becca’s Apple Pie

This pie is a classic dessert year round, but especially in the fall! It’s so comforting and awesome for holidays, or just to brighten gloomy rainy evenings! The addition of clove and vanilla give it extra flavor and compliment the tart apple flavor so well!

Pie crust:

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 cup of butter, cold and cubed

6-8 Tbs of cold water

1 tsp of sugar

1 tsp of salt.

Mix flour, sugar, salt and butter together until they are a coarse crumble. (Not completely mixed together, pea sized clumps. Add cold water, mix gently until dough comes together in a ball and can be handled without being super sticky. Use plenty of flour to roll it out into a round dough to fit your pie plate. Fold into 4ths, to transfer to plate easier. This recipe works awesome for both sweet and savory pies!

Apple Pie filling:

4-5 large Granny Smith apples

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of clove

Peel, core and chop apples into thin wedges. Mix flour, sugar and spices (minus vanilla) together. Sprinkle over the apples, and mix. Add the vanilla and mix again. Spoon over the pie crust, add a top crust, crimp shut, and make sure to cut two ventilation slits on top, and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes. (May need longer/shorter bake time depending on your oven. I set a timer for 45 minutes and check every 5 minutes after that until it is perfectly golden!) Enjoy with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream!

Happy baking!

Smoked Spatchcock Chicken

We are obsessed with spatchcocked chickens! They are so easy, take only about 2.5 hrs in the smoker, and taste amazing every time! And while they look and taste impressive, spatchcocking a chicken is incredibly easy!

I buy our whole chickens from Costco, they come in a 2-pack for about $10, and it’s the best price I’ve found! We buy a several at the beginning of the month, and I usually do at least a couple this way.

Spatchcocking is just cutting the backbone out, so that the chicken can lay flat on the grill, so it gets that good smoky flavor all over, and it cooks way faster than it would as a whole chicken. (I am 100% sure you could also do this in the oven and it would turn out great! We haven’t had an oven for over a year now, so I cook everything outside on our Traeger.)

I use a pair of kitchen scissors and just cut along both sides of the backbone. (you just want to go slowly, because you are cutting through some bone, so you don’t want them to jump around.)

Smoked Spatchcock chicken:

What you need:

Kitchen scissors, basting brush

Oil (I use olive)

Salt and pepper

BBQ sauce (my favorite right now is the Private selection Kansas BBQ sauce from Fred Meyer

Directions:

Preheat oven or grill to 350°

Begin by cutting the backbone out. Discard, along with the pieces inside the bird.

Oil the entire chicken, inside and out, and coat with salt and pepper.

Place on hot grill, laid flat, breast side up, and cook for an hour.

After and hour, it should be golden. Brush with some bbq sauce, (both sides) and then place back on grill. Turn heat down to 300°. Brush with more sauce after another 30 min.

Check internal temperature at 2.5 hrs total, but leave it on the heat until it reaches 180° internally.

Take it off the grill, let it rest for 10 minutes, and then serve!

I like to serve it with mashed potato’s, and steamed veggies! (Right now we are on a whole30, so I will just serve it with some steamed veggies, and a chopped salad.) Enjoy!