Summer Veggie Mac and Cheese

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I know it’s not quite the season yet but I couldn’t pass up the zucchini and corn in the grocery store this week. Zucchini is probably my all time favorite vegetable, actually they might tie with tomatoes I’m not sure I can pick one over the other. Anyway, I had this idea of roasting all these vegetables together and adding them to a mac and cheese. You know me, I love a good mac and cheese so why not add some vegetables to it??

After roasting the vegetables they looked and smelled so good I was tempted to skip the rest and just eat them right out of the dish. I continued with the plan though and I’m glad I did. I debated over which cheese to use and ended up deciding on a cheddar and gruyere mix. The sweetness of the corn really makes this dish.  Now I have a feeling I’ll be making similar mac and cheese dishes for every season.

And of course I’m bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday! I had a great time co-hosting last week’s Fiesta Friday with Angie, Jhuls and Selma. I can’t wait to see what everyone else brings today!

Summer Veggie Mac and Cheese
2 ears of corn
2 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 box medium shells pasta
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Carefully cut the sides of the corn to remove the kernels and place them in a bowl. Cut the zucchini, pepper and onion into bite sized pieces and add them to the bowl with the corn. Toss the vegetables with the olive oil, salt, paprika and pepper. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes until the vegetables have softened.

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2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta into a strainer.

3. Add the butter to the pot on low heat. Once the butter has melted add the flour and whisk until combined. Next add the milk. When the milk begins to warm up, turn up the heat slightly, to about medium. Then add the cheeses and stir constantly until the cheese melts and you have a thick sauce.

4. When the vegetables are done take them out and add the cooked pasta to baking dish. Then add the cheese sauce on top. Combine the sauce with the pasta and vegetables until everything is combined. Add the breadcrumbs on top.

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5. Turn the oven down to 350 and bake the mac n cheese for about 25 minutes, until the top has browned. Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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I think I eat about twice as much mac n cheese as a normal human being should.  Whenever the mac n cheese food truck is even remotely near my office I can’t resist.  It’s just one of those foods that pretty much always sounds good to me.

This week a lone butternut squash was the only farm basket ingredient we had left to use by Sunday, so I was searching for something creative and relatively simple to do with it.  This recipe satisfied the need to use up the squash, and eat something cheesy and carby.  I was afraid adding squash to such a comfort food type of dish would end up kind of strange, but it’s actually not weird at all!

The one thing no one seems to mention about cooking with squash is how difficult it is to cut!  I mean I know I’m pretty weak but I still think cutting open a squash qualifies as a days work out.

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese
1 medium butternut squash
3/4 box of small pasta (elbows or shells work best)
3 T butter
3 T flour
2 cups of heavy cream
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and brush the insides with olive oil a bit of salt, pepper and cinnamon. Roast for about 45 minutes, until tender.

2. When your squash is cooked, lower the oven to 350 and let the squash cool for a bit. Carefully scoop out the insides of the squash, being sure not to get any of the skin.

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3. Cook your pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  When it’s cooked add it to a large oven pan

4. In a large saucepan melt the butter on medium – low heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously. Next add your heavy cream and continue to stir.  Then add the cheese and the squash and continue stirring until the cheese has melted and everything is combined.  Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Pour the cream sauce over the cooked pasta and top with breadcrumbs.

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6. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, enjoy!

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Corn and Cheddar Biscuits

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You know when you make something so good that you never want to eat the last bite?  Well, that’s how I feel about these biscuits.  We ate all but one of them the night I made them, and the next night I made them again, they are that good.  Best of all, they’re really quick to make, so you can throw them together as often as you want!  They also make for great breakfast sandwiches!

I don’t know about you, but whenever I end up making something with cheese, I can’t help but indulge myself along the way.  While cutting up the cheese for these, it went something like, one slice for me, one slice to add to the biscuits.  Oh well, that’s the best part of baking right?

In my second batch I added some chopped leeks that I had to the batter.  You could also try some green onions or very finely chopped red onion.  Also, feel free to switch up the cheeses and use fresh corn if you have it.

ImageCorn and Cheddar Biscuits adapted from Food Network

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cold butter cut into cubes
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese chopped into cubes or shredded
1/4 cup monterrey jack with jalapenos cheese chopped into cubes or shredded
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup canned corn

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees photo (38)

2. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl. Add in the butter and either work it in with your fingers or use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer until it forms small clumps.

3. Add the cheese, thyme, cayenne and corn. Slowly add the milk until combined into a dough.

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4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Don’t have a biscuit cutter – me either! Just use the top of a round cup, that works just as well.

5. Continue rolling out dough and cutting out rounds until you’ve used all the dough you can.

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6. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and brush a little over each round.

6. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until they just begin to brown.

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