Butternut Squash Mac 'N Cheese

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 275
A great take on an original home-cooked meal. This Fall-inspired Butternut Squash Mac 'N Cheese will not disappoint. Although the recipe calls for frozen butternut squash, fresh is my go-to choice. Be sure to precook the squash till it's soft enough to add to the recipe. This is a borrowed recipe and a favorite of my home. Enjoy the sweet richness of this recipe.


  • 4 c. 20 ounces frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (divided)
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 lb. large shells or other short pasta


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high, combine squash and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook (uncovering to stir occasionally), until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until liquid evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and stir until butter is melted. Add flour and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring constantly, until squash mixture thickens, and raw flour has had a chance to cook, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Add garlic powder, cayenne, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Add cheddar and goat cheese, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook 3 minutes short of package instructions. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water, and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, transfer squash mixture to a blender and puree until smooth (you should have just over 4 cups).
  • Place the pot with cooked pasta over medium-low heat and stir in sauce until coated. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. (If sauce looks thin it with thicken as it begins to cool.) Add splashes of pasta water to loosen until you've reached your desired consistency.
Calories: 275kcal
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: butternut, mac n cheese, squash


Apple-Cranberry Crostata

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 298
This Apple Cranberry tostada is a great dessert to bring your fall meals to a close. The flavors of this dessert bring warmth and richness to your plate. Add Cinnamon or Holiday Spices if you want to try something different with the recipe.


  • 3 tbsp tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds Granny Smith apples (or other firm, crisp apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick)
  • 1 pound Macintosh apples (or other soft-textured apples that fall apart when cooked, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 sheet Frozen puff pastry (thawed but still cold (follow package directions))
  • 1 Egg white (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 cup Ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream (Optional)


  • Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, 1/2 cup sugar, and cranberries; cover and cook until apples release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook, frequently stirring, until soft apples fall apart and juices thicken to a thin-syrup consistency, about 5 minutes longer. Pour onto a large-lipped cookie sheet or jellyroll pan and cool to room temperature. (Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.)
  • Adjust the oven rack to a low position and heat the oven to 400 degrees—open the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a rectangle, about 10 by 16 inches. Transfer to a large cookie sheet. (I suggest lining the sheet with parchment paper; this ensures the crostata doesn't stick and allows easy cleanup.)
  • Spread cooked apples over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold up pastry borders over apples. Unfold corners and form ruffled creases to keep the dough from overlapping. Brush the pastry border with egg white and sprinkle the remaining 1 Tb. sugar. Bake until pastry is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with optional ice cream or whipped cream.
Author: Spiceman
Calories: 298kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple-cranberry, crostata




  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 6 ounces homemade mini marshmallows (approximately 3 cups)
  • 1 cup clementine orange segments (approximately 6 clementines)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 cup toasted (chopped pecans)
  • 1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries


  • Place the cream and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Add the sour cream and whisk to combine.
  • Add the marshmallows, orange, pineapple, coconut, pecans and cherries and stir to combine.
  • Transfer to a glass serving bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.

Favorite of “The Spice Man”

Jameson Black Barrel Old Fashioned

Servings 1
Spice Man Favorite. Tradition with a twist.


  • 2 ounces Jameson Black Barrel
  • 0.75 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters
  • 1 Dash Soda Water
  • Orange Peel


  • Fill a glass or jug with ice
  • Add 2 ounces Jameson Black Barrel
  • Add 0.75 ounces Simple Syrup
  • Add 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Stir until ice cold
  • Squeeze the oils from the orange peel over the glass.
  • Garnish with the orange peel.

Easy Parmesan Risotto

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups simmering chicken stock (preferably homemade, divided)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (diced)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven or cast iron pot. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: risotto

Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 8


  • Large Pot
  • Whisk
  • Mugs to serve in


  • 6 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 12-ounce bags semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Hershey's or Ghirardelli)
  • Cocoa powder (for serving)


  • In a large pot over medium heat, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Add chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted. Cover and turn heat to low for 5 minutes.


Great simple drink to “spice” up something traditional.
Course: Drinks
Keyword: chocolate, drink, hot drink, spice