Monday, October 31, 2011

Mac & Cheese FTW!

Remember two weeks ago when I said I was going to make Buffalo Mac & Cheese for dinner? Well, I didn't. But, yesterday I got to thinking that Mac & Cheese sounded really good for dinner this week. I hit the SOPO (aka Southport) Jewel Osco to pick up a few ingredients and tonight was dinner magic!

Of course, I always say BYOC (be your own chef), so per usual I made a few substitutions.

I had fresh chopped leeks in the house, so I used it instead of celery.

I kept the chopped onion (on, how I love onion!)

I didn't have dill, onion powder (shocker), etc. The only spices I used were 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. chili powder and 1/4 tsp. paprika. Also, I had hot sauce in the fridge instead of actual buffalo sauce.

I wasn't in the mood to cook and cut up chicken, so I omitted it. Because this is a healthy version of mac and cheese, I used turkey bacon instead of the oh-so-delicious pork kind.

Overall, it was a yummy dinner. Hubster even said I could make it again (score!)... of course, he had a few recommendations for next time (like bleu cheese?!).

High quality photo & recipe from Courtney of Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

I can't wait to make this recipe again. FYI, it only makes an 8x8 pan full... great for dinner, but doesn't leave much for lunch leftovers. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October in Review

It's hard to believe that the last day of my October {my favorite month} is tomorrow. So many wonderful things seem to happen in the month of October, that I'm sad to see it leave.

Instead of writing a few short posts about what I've been up to, here is October via iPhone photos... Enjoy.

Hubster and I served as Lincoln Park Course Marshals for the Chicago Marathon on October 9. As folks who ran the marathon last year, it was so nice to give back. I can't believe how many runners said thank you to me as they ran by. I'm so torn to keep going as a volunteer or to actually run it again next year. Hmm. Stay tuned. 

I've spent about half my mornings on Skype with this cute 1 year old. <3 him 

I ventured all the way out to Aurora to sit in the freezing cold to support Hubster as he officiated a high school football game. 

I carved a pumpkin for the first time in about 5 years. 

Alright, November. I'm ready for you. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Autumn Treats


Pumpkin Dessert Bars via The Daily Dish 

Pumpkin Filled Cannoli Cones via The Daily Dish 

Grown Up Pumpkin Pie Milk Shakes (w/ Bourbon) via Sweet Tooth Sweet Life 

Crock Pot Baked Apples via Skinny Chef 

Oh, sweet nectar. I'm going to need to test out a few of these recipes before Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu Sunday

It's back! After a nearly 6-week hiatus, I am back with a menu for the upcoming week. I have to admit that hubster and I really haven't grocery shopped in a couple weeks, so it's been tough to make meals. Every once in a while we get in this kick to 'eat everything in the kitchen, so we can start fresh at Jewel-Osco.

My co-workers know when it's one of those weeks because I'll bring a sweet potato, apple sauce and a granola bar for lunch. Healthy? Yes. Filling? No.

Our food cabinet is just.about.empty...

Alright. It's time to get to the goods. I present, the menu...

Butternut Squash Lasagna via Cheeky Kitchen
Buffalo Mac & Cheese via Sweet Tooth Sweet Life
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili w/ Sweet Potatoes via The Daily Dish (via Real Simple) 
Risotto w/ Butternut Squash, Leeks & Basil via City Girl Chicago (1/2 of recipe and using orzo instead) 

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple Cider Cupcakes

I follow quite a few food blogs and have been obsessed with autumn recipes lately. One blogger in particular, Courtney from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life featured a delicious recipe called Apple Cider Cupcakes. 

Last week I made a batch of them for work and they were a huge hit! This recipe will definitely be a staple in my cookbook for years to come. Unfortunately, none of my pictures turned out okay, but my cupcakes turned out exactly like the ones Courtney made...

** Photo from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life ** 

For the full recipe, please CLICK HERE. 

Here are a couple of thoughts about the recipe...
  • Do not be intimidated by the amount of cinnamon. It's just right. 
  • The home made frosting recipe made too much. It was also a little bit runny. 
    • I suggest cutting the quantities in half. 
    • I also suggest putting the cupcakes in the fridge immediately after frosting them so the frosting has a chance to firm up. I did this and it worked great. 
The home made frosting was too easy to make and folks raved about the frosting! Enjoy! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lovin Autumn

Chicago in the autumn is like my BFF. That's all.