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Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Sides, Thanksgiving, The Holidays, Winter

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Baked Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese is just that: baked and melty and cheesy with a crunchy bread crumb topping that is very optional but very delicious!

For this post, I teamed up with Le Creuset! I love and use their cookware nearly every single day so this truly is a dream come true.

I was very lucky to have been sent a few pieces from their new fall collection and let me tell, it is all so gorgeous! In this post, for this recipe, I’ll be using the 5-quart Dutch Oven in Persimmon and their 6-quart Casserole Dish in Persimmon. As you can see, Persimmon is a beautiful autumnal orange color that is perfect for any Thanksgiving table. Honestly the color, while super fall-like, looks good year around and is perfect for baking in the oven and then going straight to the table.

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese Basics!

I love stove-top macaroni and cheese. It’s creamy and delicious. I’ve always struggled with baked macaroni and cheese because it can dry out very quickly. I didn’t want that for this macaroni and cheese so here are some things that we did in order to achieve creamy while baked.

1. More sauce. The saucier the macaroni and cheese is, the less likely it’ll dry out in the oven. In my opinion, it’s a bit too saucy for a stove-top macaroni and cheese, but for a baked version the ratios are perfect.
2. Rinse off the pasta. I NEVER rinse my pasta but in this case, I want to get rid of any extra starch that will contribute to a thicker sauce. I learned this tip from The Kitchenista!

3. Liberal amount of cheese! This recipe uses a pound of cheese. More info below on the type of cheeses and breakdown, but you need a good amount of cheese in order to make it, well, cheesy!
4. Crunchy top! Some people LOVE a crunchy bread-crumb topping. Others want more cheese. I say you do you! I personally think a bread crumb topping is the move.

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Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate, Desserts, Pie, Thanksgiving, The Holidays, Winter

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

The hardest question I’ve been asked lately has been, “What’s your favorite pie to make at Thanksgiving?!” THIS IS HARD FOR ME TO ANSWER. But, if I had to answer, I’d wince and say this Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie. Of course I love all pie but chocolate and pecans are a match-made in heaven. They’re meant for each other!

For this post, I teamed up with Karo® Corn Syrup which is my go-to ingredient for the silkiest smoothest pecan pie. It’s an essential ingredient in classic pecan pie because it prevents the crystallization of sugar. This is crucial when cooking all of these ingredients together.

The corn syrup isn’t overly sweet but I really love the dark chocolate because it balances the sweetness in the pie and gives a really complementary bitterness.

Let’s dive in!

How to Make a Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

– For this recipe, you can use store-bought pie crust or homemade pie crust. I made my own. If you want more of an in-depth post, click here!
– Fit the pie crust into your pie dish and transfer it to the fridge.
– Whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter, Karo Light Corn Syrup, eggs, vanilla extract and salt.

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Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Fall, Scones & Muffins, Sides, Thanksgiving

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

I kissed a lot of cornbread frogs before I landed on this perfect Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. This cornbread has crispy edges, a super moist crumb, flavorful (thanks to the cheese, cornmeal and jalapeño), it’s a teeny bit sweet and is delicious for days after.

Before we dive in, let’s discuss what I love and want from cornbread.

Cornbread History!

Cornbread history has it that it first started with Native Americans grinding corn into cornmeal and mixing it with water and cooking it over a fire. It was simple back then. It evolved over time; people added buttermilk, leavening, pork fat, salt…all the good things. They often times cooked it on a gardening hoe, over an open flame, hence the name “hoe cake.”

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