Red Wine Burgers

Red Wine Burgers ~ Mother Thyme

I love to pair red wine with a good juicy burger.  At the end of a long week, it’s nice to sit on the back patio grilling some burgers, chatting with friends and sipping a glass of wine as we watch the sunset.  It was one of those evenings that actually made me think of this recipe, why not incorporate red wine into the burger.  Wow!  Where has this burger been all my life?  These Red Wine Burgers are the ultimate gourmet burger, perfect if hosting a casual cookout with friends.  The red wine adds such a rich flavor.  These tasty red wine burgers combine lean ground beef with crumbled gorgonzola, crispy bacon, onions and glazed with a red wine reduction, served on ciabatta rolls.

One thing I love to do is try new wines.  I am fortunate to live near an amazing wine store that is filled to the brim with wines.  I often find myself getting lost in there looking at the selection.  I always like to go on the hunt for a good wine at a good price, meaning under $15.00.  I was recently introduced to Arrogant Frog wines from Domaines Paul Mas which come from the Languedco region of Southern France.  

Whether you are hosting a dinner party, having movie night with friends or just looking for a good bottle of wine, it’s always nice to have a red and white wine on hand.  Arrogant Frog Chardonnay is fresh and light with fruity notes, perfect to serve chilled with seafood, white meats or even fruit desserts. 

Chardonnay lily pad white jcm

Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied wine with a long-lasting finish, perfect to serve at your next wine and cheese tasting.  You can pick up a bottle of these wines available at Beverages and More for under $15.00 a bottle.  Cheers to a great deal on a lovely bottle of wine!

Red Wine Burgers ~ Mother Thyme

This Sunday is Bastille Day.  Fire up the grill and celebrate with these amazing red wine burgers that you will love! 

Red Wine Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Red Wine Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pinot noir or good dark red wine
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese plus additional for serving
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon (about 2-3 strips)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Few cracks of fresh black pepper
  • 4 ciabatta rolls

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan bring wine, brown sugar and rosemary to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until liquid reduces to 1/2 cup, about 7-8 minutes. Remove rosemary and set aside to cool, reserving 2 tablespoons for serving.
  2. In a large bowl add ground beef, onion, gorgonzola, bacon, garlic, worcestershire, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of red wine reduction. Mix until combined. Form into 4 equal size patties.
  3. Preheat grill or a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add burgers and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Flip and brush with some of the remaining red wine reduction and cook for 5-7 minutes longer. Flip again and brush with red wine reduction and cook until desired doneness.
  4. Place burgers on rolls, drizzle with reserved reduction, top with additional cheese and serve.

If desired, slice a small red onion and cook with burgers in skillet. Serve on top of burgers with cheese. Quick bacon tip: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and place desired amount of bacon strips on baking sheet. Cook for 18-20 minutes until crispy.

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Looking for more burgers?  Here are few favorites-
Feta and Basil Turkery Burgers
Buffalo Chicken Burgers
General Tso’s Chicken Burgers
Italian Turkey Burgers

Disclosure:  I received wine to sample for review.  I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions, as always are my own. 

 

Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas and Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Do you know how easy it is to make enchilada sauce?  

It’s super easy.  It’s like you probably have all the ingredients on hand kind of easy.  Best part?  You can make it in a snap.    

If you make enchilada sauce you kind of need enchiladas to go with it, right?

This is an easy black bean and rice recipe that keeps in theme with most ingredients already on hand.  

These tasty and filling enchiladas make for a quick weeknight meal and will quickly become a family favorite!
Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas and Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Serves 6

Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients

    For Enchilada Sauce:
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • For Enchiladas:
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 15.5 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (recipe above)
  • 10 6" flour tortillas

Instructions

    For Enchilada Sauce:
  1. In a small bowl stir together tomato sauce, water, chili powder, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt and cumin until blended and set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir in flour until flour dissolved. Gradually whisk in tomato mixture. Reduce heat to low and stir until sauce thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. For Enchiladas:
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray non stick cooking spray on a 9"x13" casserole dish and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl combine rice, black beans, corn, salsa, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce and 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Stir until combined.
  6. Divide mixture between each tortilla. Wrap each tortilla and place seam side down in casserole dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce on top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce

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Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas and Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Apple Caramel Cake Rice Krispie Treats


When I think of Rice Krispie treats I often think of what I used to make or buy when I was young at bake sales.  Whether it was to raise money for a school trip or for the church youth group, bake sales were a fun way to enjoy a sweet treat.  

I always loved Rice Krispie treats.  There is just something about the combination of the rice krispies and marshmallows I love.  Nothing beats the original Rice Krispie treat.  Since then there have been so many variations, including my Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats which inspired this version.

I have to give credit for this to Mr. Mother Thyme.  He always has great ideas, including this one.  He loved the original version of this recipe that I put a spin on it for fall and came up with this.  Ideally you could use any flavor of cake batter but I truly love this one.  

If you are familiar with the Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats, this tastes much different.  With the Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats it tastes exactly like cake batter.  This takes on the flavor of the cake with little bites of apple that are in the mix.  

These recipe has quickly become a favorite that I have made for people and once you give them a try I’m sure they will be a favorite for you too. 

You can also check out my video to see how I make these easy and fun treats!  



Apple Caramel Cake Rice Krispie Treats

Apple Caramel Cake Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups Duncan Hines Apple Caramel Cake Mix, not prepared (or similar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 packet of caramel sauce, prepared per package instructions (included in cake mix)

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan with butter or non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan melt butter and marshmallows over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once marshmallows are melted and mixture is creamy, stir in cake mix and vanilla.
  4. Gradually stir in Rice Krispies until combined.
  5. Pour half the mixture in prepared pan.
  6. Dollop half the caramel sauce on top. Top with remaining Rice Krispies.
  7. Add remaining caramel sauce on top.
  8. Set aside until cool and cut into squares.
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Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

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I love takeout, who doesn’t?  But if I can provide delicious takeout inspired meals from my kitchen and know exactly what ingredients are being put into the food even better.


I want to share a version of Chicken and Broccoli that is sauteed, not fried in oil which is typical in many Chicken and Broccoli recipes.  Even though I have eliminated the oil, this healthy version is still packed full of flavors sure to be a hit. In this recipe I use ingredients found in many Chinese inspired dishes such as hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste and fresh ginger.  Combining all these ingredients together creates a sauce full of flavor that is tossed with the chicken and broccoli.  To complete the dish, serve over rice and garnish with scallions or green onions along with sesame seeds.  I choose to substitute sesame seeds for flax seeds.  It still gives that little crunch and texture as sesame seeds but the flax seeds provide the health benefits of omega-3 that it is commonly known for.   

Looking for more takeout inspired recipes?  Here are a few from the menu-
Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce



Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground fresh chili paste (Sambal)
2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1 pound chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound broccoli crowns 
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
flax seed or sesame seed for garnishing (optional)
green onion or scallions for garnishing (optional)

Directions
In a medium bowl combine chicken stock, soy sauce, tomato paste, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, chili paste and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.  Stir until blended and set aside.

Generously spray a large skillet or wok with non-stick cooking spray.  Toss chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, salt and pepper.  Add coated chicken to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until chicken is cooked, no longer pink in the center and juices run clear, about 7-10 minutes.   Add broccoli and garlic and cook until broccoli is slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in sauce, reduce heat to low and cook until sauce is heated, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Garnish with sesame seed and/or scallions and serve. 

Merry Christmas Top 5

Photo by:  Jennifer | Mother Thyme onto Pinterest 
It has been a busy last few days prepping for a festive weekend.  We are hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We have family coming in and staying with us to celebrate Christmas.  I have been busy baking and getting ready to host another exciting year.

I look forward to sharing with you some of the recipes I created for this weekend and new dishes I have coming up for 2012.  In the meantime, I wanted to recap some of the popular recipes that have been on Mother Thyme this year in case you missed any.  

Also, check out Mother Thyme at Home here and on Pinterest for my 25 Days of Christmas Inspiration where I have shared things that have inspired me this holiday season.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating and enjoying time with family and friends.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Warmest holiday wishes,
-Jennifer


Top 5 Most viewed recipes of 2011



This was featured back on November 10th, and so far has been the 5th most popular post on Mother Thyme this year.  It is simple and delicious and the perfect drink to cozy up with this winter!  



Featured back on October 17th, these moist and delicious cupcakes are tasty and delicious!  



These simple and delicious truffles were part of the Countdown to Christmas Series however these are good anytime of year!  



Featured back on August 23rd, if you love Nutella, these will become a new favorite for you!  



These were wildly popular and the # 1 most viewed recipe on Mother Thyme this year.  Featured back on November 14th, these are perfect anytime of year and frost them as you desire.  They taste just like the store bought cookies, but even better.  I just finished frosting a batch for Santa! 

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

{Countdown to Christmas Cookies Series}

Have you ever had one of those thick and cakey Lofthouse Sugar Cookies that are sold in many grocery stores?  If you have, you probably know how irresistible they are.  Each delicious bite delivers pure satisfaction to cure your sweet tooth.

Sure it may be easy to drop a package of these cookies in your cart while at the grocery store but with a few simple ingredients you can create these cookies anytime and what better time to start than making cookies for the holidays.

These cookies have all the goodness of those store bought cookies.  They are cakey and soft and topped with frosting.  These can be made all year round for all occasions and holidays;  just decorate them as you desire.  

When I was creating this recipe I tried a few versions.  What I think makes my recipe a hit is the use of cake flour.  If you don’t have cake flour, pick up a box and have it on hand.  Definitely try this recipe using cake flour.  I also add just a hint of sour cream, to add to the moist texture. 

These cookies freeze well so you can start now with baking your holiday cookies or to  have a sweet treat on hand anytime.  To freeze, bake and cool completely.  Freeze without frosting in a freezer safe container or storage bag. 


My mom with my son Tyler pointing at all the yummy cookies! 
My aunt making the cookies.

 

One thing I enjoy about making Christmas cookies is baking with my family.  I remember when I was young, making Christmas cookies was a tradition.  My mom would make the cookies in stages.   First we would make the cookies with our cut outs.  She would freeze them, and as we got closer to Christmas she would bring them out and make frosting in a variety of colors.  My brother and I would spend the day sitting at the kitchen table frosting cookies. I still remember those years, and being a mom I want to create those traditions with my children as those are memories I will always cherish.

It was so nice to bake these fantastic cookies with my mom and my aunt.  The holiday season can be a hectic time for many, but taking some time to enjoy simple pleasures like spending time with family cooking and baking is priceless.  

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time stirring after each addition. Stir in sour cream and vanilla until combined. Gradually add in flour mixture combined.
  3. Chill dough for at least one hour in refrigerator.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll 3 tablespoons of dough into a ball. Use flour on your hands if needed. Place ball on baking sheet and flatten to about 1/2 inch thick, molding sides to keep round shape if necessary. Continue with remaining dough, placing each 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Frosting
  8. Using an electric mixer combine butter and gradually add in confectioners sugar. When all sugar is added, pour in milk and vanilla and blend on medium until fluffy. Add in food color if desired.

For shapes- roll out chilled dough ½ inch thick on a well floured surface. Flour rolling pin and cut out to prevent sticking. Cut out desired shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool for a few minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool.

Shapes will spread from the baking powder. To define the shape used after the cookie has cooled, place cookie cutter on top of cookie and firmly press all the way down, removing any access cookie for the edges.

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My little princess, Eden enjoying one of these delicious cookies. 
 

Macaroni and Cheese~ Crazy Cooking Challenge


I am thrilled to be participating in the Crazy Cooking Challenge.  69 fellow food bloggers and I have all made irresistible Macaroni and Cheese dishes to share with everyone.  Here you will have a chance to view my creation along with all the other creamy and delicious recipes.  Isn’t this fun?  

So how did I come up with mine?  I wanted to do something different for this challenge that combined some of my favorite cheeses; gruyere, asiago, provolone, fontina and sharp cheddar.  They melt together in perfect harmony.  After scouring the internet I stumbled upon the site My Husband Cooks and found a recipe I wanted to adapt.  If you are a cheese lover like I myself, you are in for a delicious treat.  With fall at our doorstep, this is the perfect dish to make for a potluck, or for a weeknight dinner.  Better yet, make this the night before and the next day, add the bread crumb topping, and bake and dinner is served.


Macaroni & Cheese
Adapted from My Husband Cooks


Ingredients

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked

3 tablespoons butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ cup milk

1 cup Gruyere, shredded

1 cup Fontina, shredded

1 cup Asiago, shredded

1 cup Provolone, shredded

1 cup White Sharp Cheddar, shredded

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

For bread crumb topping-

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 tablespoons bread crumbs




Directions


In a large saucepan melt butter.  Stir in flour until combined.  Slowly add in milk a few tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition until sauce thickens before adding more.  Continue until all milk is combined and sauce is thick.  Add in cheeses and salt and pepper.  Stir until cheese has melted.  

Pour cheese sauce over cooked elbow noodles and mix well.  Pour in to a 9”x13” casserole dish or 4 12oz individual ramekins.  Stir melted butter with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of casserole.  Bake in oven for 12-17 minutes until top is bubbly.  

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste if desired and serve.  



Happy cooking!


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Nutella Brownies

Who doesn’t love a soft and chewy brownie?  It is the perfect little 2 inch square snack to fulfill any chocolate craving.  The only problem is, its hard to eat just one.

You know when you make a fresh batch of brownies and they are sitting in that brownie pan, you cut that first little square.  You leave the knife in the pan and you come back and cut a little more.  Before you know it a huge chunk of brownie has disappeared.  I think we are all guilty of being a brownie thief.

If you are a ooey, gooey, chocolate brownie lover and have never tried Nutella Brownies before you need to try this one.  You may, just may have found a new love in brownies like I have in this recipe.   These are  so simple to make, and simply delicious.  

If you haven’t tried Nutella in a brownie before, try this recipe and let me know what you think.  I made these and I didn’t even tell people they were made with Nutella (until later of course) and they didn’t know.
Nutella Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: PT30-37M

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12

Nutella Brownies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Nutella

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour and salt and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer blend butter until light and fluffy. Mix in sugar, eggs, vanilla and mix well followed by Nutella and stir until mixture is creamy. Stir in flour mixture.
  4. Pour into a greased 8-inch square brownie pan and bake for 30-37 minutes. Cool pan on wire rack.
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Watch the video to see how easy these are to whip up and enjoy!

Nutella Brownies | www.motherthyme.com

Weekend Brunch



I love doing brunch; especially on the weekends.  During the summer months we usually head to the Farmers Market first thing in the morning after the twins have a quick bite to eat.  I love getting to the Farmers Market early when the produce is still not picked over and it isn’t to crowded.  We drive eastbound to the Farmers Market and on a beautiful morning as the sun is rising above the trees, I sip on a cup of coffee and I just soak the moment in.  I love this area and I love the country drive.


Since we head to the Farmers Market early I don’t really eat much before we go; just got to have my coffee!  My husband works a few Saturdays a month so sometimes he joins us, other times he doesn’t.  If he does work he usually returns home shortly after noon.  The twins and I are usually back from the Farmers Market and any other errands we needed to do by then.  We are all usually ready to eat and having a Saturday brunch seems like the perfect menu.  

For this brunch I am serving up Sausage, Pepper and Onion Quiche along with Chocolate Banana Bread.  I choose creating a Sausage, Red Pepper and Onion Quiche because I like the combination of the three key ingredients and I like having a meat in the Quiche. It makes for a more satisfying meal;  especially for my meat loving husband.  You can omit the sausage all together or what I like to use a light sausage, or turkey sausage but any type of sausage can be used.

I paired this brunch with Chocolate Banana Bread. I love Banana Bread for breakfast, I love Banana Bread anytime actually.  I thought adding in Chocolate Chips would be a nice addition to the Banana Bread and make this almost dessert like for after the Quiche.

Serve brunch with fresh fruit such as cantaloupe and honeydew, coffee, tea and juice.


Sausage, Pepper and Onion Quiche
Ingredients
1 9″ inch pie shell, ready made or recipe below
1 7oz box of precooked sausage links, cooked and diced (lite, turkey or regular)
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/3 cup white onion, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Toss sausage, peppers, onion and cheese in large bowl.  Pour in to 9″ pie shell.
Whisk eggs, half and half, salt and pepper in medium bowl.  Pour mixture on top.   Bake for 35 minutes until set.


Directions
Toss sausage, peppers, onion and cheese in a medium bowl and pour in to pie shell.  In a small bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, salt and pepper and pour on top of sausage mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes until center is set.  Remove from oven and let sit for 3 minutes before slicing.

For the crust




Makes 1 9″ pie shell


Ingredients

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold water

Flour for dusting


Directions

Using a dough hook or spoon mix shortening, flour, sugar and salt together until crumbly.  Add water and continue to mix until dough forms.


Sprinkle flour on to clean surface and rolling pin.  Roll out dough using additional flour as needed.  Transfer to pie dish and press against sides and rims pinching the top using fingers or fork. 


Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)


Ingredients
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Cream together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.
Gradually add in flour mixture alternating with banana.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour in to a well greased 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until tester comes out clean.



Directions
Cream together shortening and sugar.  At eggs one at a time by hand.  In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  


Gradually add to creamed mixture alternating with banana blending well after each addition.  Fold in chocolate chips.


Pour in to a well-greased 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until tester comes out clean.  


Let cool slightly and remove from pan cooling completely on wire rack.  





Happy Cooking!

Cheesy Pesto Bowtie Pasta


This recipe is a whole lot of wacky and a whole lot of yum!  
I recently purchased a few bags of Wacky Mac bowtie pasta at the grocery store with the intentions of trying to figure out a creative recipe with it.  The past few days when I would open my pantry I kept eyeing my Wacky Mac and knew it was soon time to burst open that bag and make something fun.
My initial intentions was to do a Summertime Mac and Cheese incorporating several types of cheese along with fresh roasted zucchini and summer squash.  Since I have several bags of Wacky Mac I will probably work on that recipe in the upcoming weeks.  When I was enjoying some time outside today and pruning back my flourishing basil and I decided that I would incorporate a basil pesto along with a macaroni and cheese to go along with this wacky pasta.  


With the twins taken care of by my food critic for the evening (my dear mother) off to the kitchen I went to start creating this recipe.  I thought the combination of pesto and mac and cheese would be delicious.  The subtle hint of fresh basil pesto combined with the creamy and mild mozzarella cheese is a fantastic combination.  
I serve this in four 12oz individual ramekins.  This can also be served in a casserole dish. The bowtie pasta can be substituted for other pasta such as elbow or penne.  
This makes a fantastic dish to serve to company or to my mom and I as we thought it was wonderful!
Mac & Cheese + Pesto = Delicious!


Ingredients
12oz package of bowtie pasta, cooked and drained 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons pine nuts
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
Directions 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
In food processor or blender combine basil, olive oil, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, garlic and pine nuts.  Blend until creamy and set aside.
In a large pot melt 3 tablespoons butter on low heat.  Stir in flour and salt and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually add in milk, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened.  Add in the 2 cups cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in pesto until combined well with cheese.  Stir in pasta.  
Melt additional 2 tablespoons butter and mix with bread crumbs
Spoon in to 12oz individual ramekins or in to a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons parmesan and top with bread crumbs.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  


Happy Cooking!