Whether you’re looking for a perfect dinner for your cozy night in or looking to impress that hot date, this is THE pasta. It’s warm and cozy and filling, but not heavy. If you want to make it vegetarian you can totally skip the sausage. There’s plenty of squash in there to fill you up!
Love an easy pasta recipe? Try out some of these appetizers ideas!
1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeds removed
1/2 medium red onion
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. bucatini
1 lb. sausage, casings removed
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage
2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
1/4 c. shaved Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425°. Cut squash into 1/2 “ cubes. In a large bowl toss squash, red onion, and 2 tablespoons oil together. Divide between two large baking sheets and season with salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender and golden, 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, then drain.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add sausage and cook, breaking meat up finely with a wooden spoon, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on a plate to keep warm.
- Return skillet to heat and add butter. Cook butter until foamy, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir until butter starts to smell nutty and turns a deep golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, sage, and thyme and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, then remove pan from heat.
- Add bucatini, sausage, squash, and ¼ cup reserved pasta water to skillet and toss to combine. Add more pasta water to help sauce come together as necessary.
- Top with shaved Parmesan before serving.
Brown Butter Butternut Squash Pasta
Do you get confused between macarons and macaroons? You’re not alone! Many people use the two names interchangeably, when in fact, they refer to very different sweet delights. So read on to find out the differences between these two exquisite confections.
Differences in Ingredients
The main difference between macarons and macaroons is their ingredient list. Macarons are meringue-based and consist of almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. Macaroons, on the other hand, are coconut-based and comprise of grated coconut alongside powdered sugar and egg whites.
Looking at the history of macarons, they are single recipe cookies that were brought from Italy and introduced to France by the famous chef, Catherine de Medici. When macarons got to France, they were upgraded and a new sandwich cookie recipe was created. The method that was created is not the recipe most pastry chefs use today. If you’re looking for a recipe for the kind of macarons you’ve probably sampled at high-end patisseries, see here for a guide to how to make macarons for beginners.
There seems to be some confusion about the origin of macaroons because there are numerous stories. The most famous tale told about the history of the macaroon is that it was an American version of the French macaron. With an increased import of coconut into the Americans in the 1800s, Americans quickly re-invented the original macaron recipe which was later referred to as the macaroon. Or so the story goes.
Main Differences in Characteristics
Macarons are characterized by their delicate egg-shell like crust with an inner meringue texture while macaroons are characterized by their dense and lumpy texture that creates that delectable chewy experience in the mouth.
Macarons come with a delicious filling of fruit jam, ganache or buttercream, and the ratio of cookie to filling must be 2:1 respectively. On the other hand, macaroons’ shredded coconut gives them their signature texture and taste.
Another characteristic difference between macarons and macaroons is that macarons are moderately sweet while macaroons are extremely sweet. Macarons come in a wider variety of colors while macaroons are only known for three popular variations which are; chocolate-dipped, lemon-flavored and original coconut.
Preparation Differences Between Macarons and Macaroons
Macarons are the more challenging and fiddly to make of the two, especially for beginners. They require significant practice and patience to get right. The key step is the “macaronage” process, where ground almonds and sugar must be carefully folded into the meringue before being piped onto baking sheets. The macaroon, on the other hand, can be prepared in under 20 minutes, and there is even one variation that requires no baking at all.
Macarons are best enjoyed within a few hours of baking, and will last a couple of days when kept in the fridge, whilst macaroons can last for more than two months when frozen. The average cost per macaron cookie is almost double the average cost of the macaroon cookie. Whilst the macaron and the macaroon are very different confections, they are both sweet treats worth making the effort for!
Sure, classic cheesecake is delicious. But PUMPKIN cheesecake? Now that’s a dessert worthy of your Thanksgiving table. The gingersnap and graham cracker crust are actually genius, and that shimmering layer of caramel is the literal icing on the [cheese]cake. It’s one of our all time favorite pumpkin desserts—and that’s saying something, considering we have over 80 recipes.
3/4 c. graham crackers, crushed
3/4 c. gingersnaps, crushed
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp. granulated sugar kosher salt
3 (8-oz.) bars cream cheese, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice, plus more for garnish
Warm caramel, for garnish
whipped cream, for garnish
Chopped, toasted pecans, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325° with a rack in the middle position. Grease an 8” springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Make crust: In a large bowl, add cookie and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. Press crust into bottom of pan.
3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined, then beat in flour, pumpkin spice, and ¼ tsp. salt. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.
4. Double-wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom. Place pan in a large baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven, and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Bake until only slightly jiggly in center, 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.
5. With oven door propped open, turn oven off and let cool 1 hour in the oven. Remove from water bath and discard foil, then refrigerate cheesecake until cooled completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.
6. Garnish with a layer of caramel and a few dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle all over with pecans and more pumpkin pie spice.
Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake
This Banana Split Eclair Cake tastes just like a divine, creamy eclair only it’s in cake form.
Banana splits are definitely for summer-time fun, so I incorporated banana pudding, whipped cream and strawberries as the filling between the graham crackers and topped it off with a tub of chocolate frosting.No Bake Banana Split Cake, made gluten free. A graham cracker crust, topped with fluffy cream cheese, bananas, crushed pineapple, vanilla pudding and whipped cream—and a cherry on top!
No bake cakes are lovely for so many reasons. Not only do they, well, require no baking which is perfect for the warmer months. But no bake cakes are also lovely because they’re best when they’re made ahead. For crying out loud, Ina Garten has built an entire empire of cookbooks and cooking shows on the concept that you should be able to host a perfect party—and enjoy it along with your guests
Either way, when the weather warms, you’ll be needing lots and lots of graham cracker crumbs. Go ahead and make a double or triple batch of my recipe, and stock up before it gets too hot!
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1 box graham crackers 1-pound
2 boxes instant banana pudding 3 1/4-ounce
3 1/2 cups milk
1 container frozen whipped topping 8-ounce, thawed
2 cups of strawberries sliced
1 tub chocolate frosting
1. Butter the bottom of a 13×9 pan.
2. Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, mix pudding with milk and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Fold in whipped topping and strawberries.
4. Line bottom of pan with whole graham crackers.
5. Pour half the strawberry/pudding mixture over graham crackers,
6. Repeat with another layer of whole graham crackers on top of pudding layer.
7. Pour remaining half of strawberry/pudding mixture over the graham crackers and cover with another layer of graham crackers.
8. Put tub of frosting in microwave and microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute so frosting is pourable.
9. Pour over cake and spread out evenly.
10. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Oreos! I think just about everyone loves Oreos, those chocolate cookies with the creamy filled centers. Of course everyone has their own preference when it comes to eating those yummy cookies. Do you bite into the whole sandwich or do you twist one side off and eat the creamy filling first? Personally I’m the bite the sandwich kind of gal! Now as much as we love oreos we also love funnel cake, that oily sweet crunchy treat you find at fairs, carnivals, and theme parks. Well have you ever had Deep Fried Oreos?
The only way I can describe Deep Fried Oreos is to say they’re a marriage of Oreo cookies and funnel cake. Yes it’s a battered and fried treat that has recently been added to the fried treats found at the state fairs and carnivals across the country. But it’s so easy to make at home so you don’t have to wait until the fair comes to town!
All you need is pancake batter, eggs, milk, oil, and of course the oreos. It’s so easy you can make a batch of about 2 dozen in less than an hour. I fry mine in coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, the coconut oil gives it that little bitty taste of coconut, yummy! But you can fry it in any oil you normally use. So with out further delay here’s the recipe. Hope you love these treats as much as we do!
Deep Fried Oreos
1 Cup Milk
1 1/2 cups Bisquick mix
1 Tsp. Vanilla
About 2″ oil for deep frying
Beat Eggs and milk together in a small bowl.
Mix in Bisquick until the batter is smooth not lumpy.
Stir in Vanilla
Heat oil over medium high heat.
Dip each oreo in dough and drop into hot oil.
Fry until golden brown.
Drain fried oreos on paper towel
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Some folks like them hot, they’re crunchier when served hot. But others like them cooled. I’m not sure how well they keep as we never have any left over that needs storing!
I’ve written about themed parties many times, I just loved themed events. But I don’t limit my themes to parties and events; I think it adds fun to family dinners and get togethers too! One of my favorite themed dinners is Middle Eastern night mainly because it ends with a favorite Middle Eastern dessert called Znoud El Sit!
What you may ask is Znoud El Sit. Well literally translated it means “lady’s arms”. I heard it was because the creamy sweet pastries are reminiscent of a lady’s creamy white fluffy arms, interesting I know. But what ever it translates to in my book it’s delicious! Its a crunchy pastry made from fried phyllo dough strips filled with a fluffy sweet cream and dipped in honey syrup.
I’ve included the recipe for Znoud El Sit in this post, but before I share it let me give you some ideas on how you too can have a Middle Eastern themed night.
First off it helps if you have a few items you would consider “middle eastern” such as colorful tablecloths, napkins, plates, etc. it would help set the stage, it not it’s ok. If you really want to you can run to Walmart or the dollar store and pickup some disposable items in the party section. You can download some middle eastern music too, think Aladdin! Candles in brass holders or lanterns help set the stage and the mood. All this is great if you have it but not really needed because in a real Middle Eastern get together the focus is the food. Here are a few ideas of things you can serve.
You can start off with a selection of “mezzes” or appetizers like Sundried Tomatoes and Peppers Hummus dip, Baba Ganooj eggplant dip, balls of falafel, tabouleh salad, arabic salad, and of course a selection of olives and pickles.
Tasty main dishes can be Shawarma, Mensaf, or Shish Tauok, or any type of kabob if you feel. like grilling.
Then of course it’s dessert time! The best part of the meal! So for a middle eastern themed night serve up a tray of Znoud El Sit!
This recipe is a bit fussy in that it involves 3 different things to prepare – the cream, the pastry, and the syrup. But you can make everything well in advance and store in the fridge or freezer depending on how far in advance you make it. To be honest I keep a supply of all these things, the pastry and cream in the freezer, and the syrup in the fridge. That way all I have to do is fry them when I’m hungry for some Znoud El Sit!
So here’s how to make this yummy dessert.
1 Quart Half & Half
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Corn Starch diluted in 2 Cup water
Place the Half & Half and sugar in a large pot over medium high heat until it starts to boil.
Slowly stir in the diluted corn starch. Your cream should start to thicken.
Stir constantly to keep the bottom from scorching and cook until it reaches the consistency of pudding.
Remove from heat and let cool.
You can use the cooled cream immediately or place in a sealed container and freeze for up to 3 months. Just be sure to thaw it out before using.
4 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Water
1 Tbs. Honey
Place the sugar and water in a large pot over medium high heat.
Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
Stir in honey and cook until it starts to boil.
Turn down heat and cook until it starts to thicken, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and squeeze and stir in the juice from the lemon.
Cool and pour over cooked pastry or store in sealed jar in the fridge for up to a month.
Znoud El Sit
1 box Phyllo Dough Sheets cut lenghwise into thirds and sheets/strips separated – keep a damp cloth over the sheets so they don’t dry up while you work.
1 stick butter, melted
Ashta Cream (recipe above)
Oil for deep frying
Honey Syrup (recipe above)
Take two strips of phyllo dough sheets
and place on a board to form a cross.
Brush with melted butter.
Place a heaping tablespoon of cream in the center
Fold the “arms” of the cross over the cream
Brush with melted butter.
Fold bottom part of remaining strip over the folded arms.
Brush with butter then roll the rest to the end of the strip.
Repeat this process until you’ve used all the strips.
At this point you can deep fry all of the rolls until they are golden brown or freeze some of the unfried ones for later use.
Drain the fried rolls on paper towels then dip in syrup before serving. If you want to you can drop a dot of red cookie icing or red jam on top of each roll just to give it some color.