Guys.I have a new obsession this winter…CAFE.MOCHAS.I seriously don’t know what took me so long to try these, but holy guacamole I’m so glad I did!I love having my black coffee in the morning, and then to add hot chocolate to it?! YES, YES, and more YES.Whoever first crafted this heavenly, caffeinated, chocolatey sip from heaven…I commend you.
So obviously I want to make this a winter staple in my house for those snow day pick me ups, or when the winter blues are sucking the life out of my happy hormones.The problem with coffee shop mochas, albeit they are DE.LIC.IOUS., is that they are full of sugar and calories.And if I’m being honest, I would really like to enjoy my mocha with a side of cookie and not feel bad about it later.
And that’s how I set forth on mission, Super-Yummy-Cafe-Mocha-With-Side-Of-Guilt-Free.I used cocoa powder with almond milk as the hot chocolate base, and honey as the sweetener.Added some homemade black coffee with a little vanilla extract, drank it and then me and my mocha lived happily ever after.JK JK…anyone who knows me, knows I cant leave a good thing well enough alone, sooooooo…
I added a little holiday twist!PEPPERMINT and CINNAMON.Don’t worry folks, not both of those flavors together.Two separate mocha flavors, because my husband likes to remind me that everyone on the planet doesn’t like peppermint as much as I do.So there we have it, and now you can have it at home too…whichever way you prefer!
And the best part…for the added flavor, all you need is a candy cane or cinnamon stick (how fun?!). For peppermint…use the candy cane as your stir stick.
And for cinnamon, use a cinnamon stick for stirring! Or if you don’t have a stick available, use a 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder for flavor.
GUYS.We are days away from Thanksgiving, which I might add…is my ALL TIME fav Holiday.Thanksgiving is the epitome of what this blog is all about, which is why I’m so excited to share these recipes with you!Not to mention, this Holiday is basically an entire day that revolves around food.Can I get an amen?!
In honor of Thanksgiving being my favorite Holiday, I decided to feature 3 of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes to share with you guys!So without further ado, let me introduce you to the crew…
THE BEST Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
This mac and cheese will change your life forever.I’m serious.It’s so dang good that anyone you serve it to will become your new best friend.This was a recipe my mom used to make for us growing up, and it continues to be a classic to this day.AND to make this all the more exciting…there’s a secret ingredient!Yup…NUTMEG.Adding nutmeg takes this mac to a whole other level, and will seriously challenge your will power to not eat all the cheese sauce before adding pasta!
Keyword: creamy, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, nutmeg
Author: Lulu's Table
1pinthalf and half cream
1blockvelveeta cheesecut into 1/2 inch slices
1blocksharp white cheddarcut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tspfresh nutmegground
1 1 lb boxrotini pastacooked
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay out all of your ingredients ahead of time, as the sauce will need to be stirred while cooking to prevent hardening or burning.
Prep the cheeses by cutting them into thin slices (that way they melt in the saucepan quicker). Allow cream to get close to room temp, to avoid curdling.
Once ingredients are laid out, add butter to saucepan over medium heat. Allow to melt and then whisk in flour.
Slowly pour cream into saucepan in stages, while continuously stirring. This will thicken and create the roux for your cheese sauce.
Once you have added all the cream and created your roux, start to add the cheeses and continually stir. Add cheese in stages (a handful of velveeta and cheddar at one time). Stir in cheese until it melts, then add another handful until everything is blended together.
Sprinkle in nutmeg and stir.
Add most of your cooked noodles to the cheese sauce and stir (I leave out a handful of noodles so it's extra creamy!).
Transfer to a greased baking dish.
Melt butter in a separate bowl and stir in 1/2 cup panko. Take panko mixture and sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.
Bake for 30 min with foil on top for first 20 min.
I use Vermont Sharp White Cheddar by Cracker Barrel for my choice of cheddar.
Rotini pasta is my favorite to use with mac and cheese, because I find that its shape is best for grabbing the sauce.
Gluten Free Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffing
Just to be clear…stuffing is the real MVP of Thanksgiving dinner.It’s probably the one item that you could mix in with every other dish and it all tastes bomb.com.Think about it…turkey? Yup.Cranberry Sauce?Yup.Mashed potatoes?Yup.Pumpkin Pie?Well, maybe not pumpkin pie.
This recipe gives you a gluten free stuffing to make for the centerpiece of your plate.Find yourself a GF bread, get yourself some sausage, and mix in all the veggies!Mixing in wild rice is so yummy and gives it added flavor.
3cupscooked wild riceyielded from 1 cup dry wild rice
3 tbspapple cider vinegar
Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large casserole dish with oil. Set casserole dish aside.
Cook 1 cup of wild rice (should yield approximately 3 cups cooked).
Add 2 tablespoons EVOO to saucepan and cook sausage over medium heat. Break apart with a spoon.
Take a loaf of gluten free bread, and cut 3/4 of the loaf into small cubes. Take bread cubes and set aside in casserole dish.
When sausage is done cooking, pour over bread in casserole dish.
Chop garlic, onion, mushrooms, and celery. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to saucepan with sausage drippings, add chopped veggies, and cook over medium heat. Sauté veggies for 8-10 min or until wilted.
Add chopped herbs (sage, thyme, and rosemary), and 2 cups broth to veggie mixture and stir. Once broth is warmed up, remove from heat.
Whisk together 1 cup of broth, two eggs and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper.
In the casserole dish, already containing the bread and sausage, add the vegetables with broth, and cooked wild rice. Stir together and let cool a little. Then add broth/egg mixture (want the dish to cool down so the eggs don't cook). Stir all ingredients together.
Drizzle apple cider vinegar over the top to bring out the flavor.
Bake for 30 min with foil over top. Remove foil for last 10 min of baking.
In order to cut down on time there are definitely parts of this recipe that can be prepped days ahead. For myself, I chopped all the veggies the day before making it. OR you could make the entire dish a couple days ahead of time and store in an air tight container or freezer bag. Then on the day of serving, just grease the pan and pop in the oven to cook!
If made ahead of time, bring it to room temp, add a little more broth (as it was all soaked up while in the frig), blend and bake.
If putting the stuffing in a bird, just stuff and cook as usual.
Orange Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce
There is something to be said about a really good homemade cranberry sauce.This recipe avoids the refined white sugar and uses natural sweeteners, like honey and oranges, instead.The sauce has a wonderful mixture of bitter and sweet, with added dimension from the orange juice, and some seasonal spice of cinnamon.As if the taste isn’t enough to get you to try it, the color it makes is absolutely gorg!
In a sauce pan combine cranberries, honey, juice from oranges, and cinnamon stick. (Some chunks or orange fell into the saucepan while I was juicing them and I just left them in there!)
Cook on medium heat for 20 min. Cranberries will start to pop.
Stir a couple times while over heat. This will help blend the ingredients together, and you'll start to see the sauce forming.
Remove from heat to allow sauce to cool and thicken. Once sauce has cooled, remove cinnamon stick.
Store in container or mason jar and refrigerate until time to use!
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving this week and that we all take a moment to appreciate those around us.Enjoy the craziness of family, the time with friends, and the moments shared with one another over some really good food:)