I felt like I blinked and September disappeared! Now it’s October?! I don’t know about you, but once October hits, I feel like the accelerator hits the floor and it’s a race to the end of the year.
This year, I hope to decelerate and enjoy the season; go for golden hour walks, listen to kids playing at the park, ogle the vibrant colors of the turning leaves, and maybe even crunch through a pile of fallen leaves (I still love doing that).
Maybe we’ll sit outside on a cool evening, wrapped in a cozy blanket and roast weenies over the fire-pit, sipping on a hot buttered rum for the hubs and me and a rich, creamy hot cocoa for our son; doesn’t that sound delightful?
I haven’t done much fall decorating yet, have you? — up until a few days ago it was still in the mid-80’s, but now that it looks like more seasonal fall weather is here I am ready to decorate. I did place these transitional fall sunflowers in my trusty milk-can and added a few miniature pumpkins in the meantime.
When cooler temperatures arrive, it stirs in me the desire to sip a superb soup, bake up a loaf of warm bread, enjoy a steaming cup of spicy & creamy hot tea, or this immune boosting, sleep inducing Golden Milk!
Today, I am featuring a brand new recipe for Smoked Mac and Cheese, oh sure this probably isn’t something you would make for a weeknight dinner, but for a potluck or holiday side dish, yes please! I first made this creamy smokey mac and cheese for a book club potluck a few weeks back. Two words for you — RAVE REVIEWS!
You can make this creamy smoked mac and cheese in the oven, or I provide instructions for how to make on a campfire or in your actual smoker!
What’s Cooking in my Kitchen?
I am so excited to fire up the oven for some feel-good, wrap your tummy in a cozy “food blanket” kind of meals, maybe you have too! These are a few things I’ve made this week.
- Bread & Butter Pot Roast made yesterday for a neighbor and made one for our family too. I’ll serve the leftovers over a creamy baked potato!
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup was on the stove yesterday as well, healthy, filling, and so good for you soup, especially with homemade croutons!
- Copycat Panera Autumn Squash soup is what I brought a friend recovering from major knee surgery this past week and saved a little extra to eat for lunch during the week. WIN-WIN!
- Magic Mineral Broth was on my menu this week, this healthy, vitamin and mineral laced broth is easy to make and delicious to sip! Build your immune system naturally, or great for someone with the flu, cold or battling cancer.
- Beef Bone Broth is another HUGE winner in our house, some days I enjoy a steaming mug for lunch — if you have never made or tried bone broth, now is the time!
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are almost on a weekly rotation in our house, but I’m baking up a bunch this week to bring to our oldest at college this weekend, can’t wait to see him!
- Occasionally on the weekends, Mr. Fresh Cooky and I will sit on the porch and enjoy a libation, this Maple Whisky Sour or this Hibiscus Dark & Stormy are two of our favorites.
The casserole dish is a workhorse in the kitchen isn’t it? You do not need a fancy casserole dish but a few solid ones that clean up well are essential. These are my favorites:
While making my Creamy Smoked Mac and Cheese I have to share how much I love this Dansk casserole baker. I actually bought mine from a friend. This is enameled steel and an investment for sure, but I get compliments on this dish all the time, it makes for a beautiful presentation.
- Essential Everyday Pyrex Casserole dish – I use it for baking, marinating, storing and freezing!
- I love these slightly smaller Staub Baking dishes, dishwasher safe and beautiful for serving.
The holidays are around the corner
Yikes, I know you don’t want to hear it and October might seem too soon to talk about the holidays, but shipping times continue to be impacted and I personally am a “shop early, shop often” for the best deals kind of girl!
From the Kitchen Gifts | I love a personally made delicious gift from the kitchen, so it stands to reason that others do too! Here are my favorites:
- Homemade Vanilla Extract or Bourbon Vanilla Extract is a beautiful, thoughtful gift for the baker, these have free printable labels for gifting!
- Lemon Antibacterial Hand Scrub or this Strawberry Sugar Scrub both make amazing gifts.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix is a great gift to give a baking friend and don’t forget this great list of Cookbooks!
- My most popular gift guide is my Stocking Stuffer Ideas! So many great stocking and gift ideas!
- Best Gifts for College Guys is another great gift guide, loaded with ideas, plus gift ideas for college girls too!
- My personal favorite is this Gift ideas for the Entertainer in your life!
- Get in the spirit of the season with these great Best Family Advent Devotional Books for 2020
I am loving this devotional, Seeing Beautiful Again, if you are not familiar with Lysa Terkeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, you should check it out. She has been through a storm to say the least; may we all be encouraged to leave traces of beauty wherever we go!
- Traditional Tiramisu | If you have never made it you will be surprised at how simple this no-bake dessert is!
- Russian Black Bread in the bread machine, the pictures are terrible, I need to update, but the recipe spot on!
- Creamy White Queso Dip is perfect for tailgating, Taco Tuesday and anytime you want a delicious all-natural queso.
- This Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting & Glaze is so versatile and delicious, is perfect on scones, bundt cakes, and quickbreads of all types!
- Cinnamon Crunch Scones are our families favorite scones, and super popular with you too!
PSSSTTT — Did you know that clicking the links to the recipes on the blog is what ultimately provides the means for me to bring you fresh, new recipes each week! FREE TO YOU!
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P.S. Be sure to browse through last weeks Fresh Fridays for more great recipes!