It’s officially Fall!
Crisp air, beautiful array of tinted leaves, warm and comfy layered knits, and let’s not forget one of the best parts of this splendid season — Fall Comfort Food!
As in every season, I enjoy heading to my local farms or farmers markets and picking up seasonal goodies to incorporate in my recipes.
One of our favourite things to do in the Fall is Apple-Picking and Pumpkin-Picking — it’s a family tradition!
I especially love the fall fruits and veggies: Frost-kissed cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and apples galore. But the cream of the crop for me (next to the apples, of course) is butternut squash.
I love, love, love butternut squash.
When cooked, it’s sweet, tender and delicious. And it pairs so well with so many recipes.
My kids help me pick out these goodies when at the farmers markets or supermarket and I also have them assist me in the kitchen when creating these delicious farm-to-table meals.
They always find it intriguing where these ingredients come from and what they can turn into.
They are also most likely to eat it knowing that they contributed too.
Barilla® Canada is making mealtime meaningful again with their Share the Table initiative that I truly stand by.
You can get some wonderful tips and great recipes here.
One of our favourite family recipes is Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash.
It’s cheesy, creamy and sinfully delicious.
For an added protein (and especially if I’m serving adults), I love to add lobster.
The richness of the lobster marries well with the zesty Cheddar, mellow Gruyere and sweet butternut squash.
Mmm, mmm, good.
Here’s my easy recipe that I’m certain your entire family will enjoy!
Perfect for kids (because some picky eaters won’t even know they’re eating veggies!), just right for a romantic dinner in with your other half, your BFF or even just for yourself snuggled on the couch with some Netflix and wine. Ooh that sounds so good.
- 1 box of elbow macaroni (I use Barilla gluten-free elbows)
- 2 cups of chopped butternut squash
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk, at room temp
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound chopped cooked lobster meat
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
- Add oil to a pan and cook butternut squash for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken broth and cover and let butternut squash cook for 10 minutes until softened.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan (or you can warm in microwave), but don't boil it.
- In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, butternut squash, salt and pepper, and nutmeg.
- Fold in the cooked macaroni and lobster and combine well.
- Add mac and cheese to ramekins (for individual servings) or casserole dish and bake at 375° for 20-30 minutes or until crust is crisp and sauce bubbles. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- If you can't find gruyere, you can swap with mozzarella cheese.