What happens in the kitchen makes a house a home

Fall feels like it is officially here! I didn’t get home from work until after dark, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is in the house, and I needed a sweatshirt after my run while cooking dinner. Shipyard is my all time favorite pumpkin beer, starting with the packaging. I love it! To me, some pumpkin beers have an overbearing cinnamon and spice flavor and feel like drinking potpourri. Shipyard is nice and smooth with a hint of cinnamon pumpkin pie.



This evening I broke one of my cardinal rules of going to the grocery store between a workout and dinner. . . which resulted in a basket full of fun looking things that I probably didn’t need. I am sure you will be hearing all about them.

The hubs and I cooked dinner together tonight. His being out of work is kind of nice in that he is home and does a lot of cleaning around the house so that I don’t have to. I love being in the kitchen with him, and when I said so tonight, he gave me the title of this post “What happens in the kitchen makes a house a home”. I happen to completely agree. When we have company, we don’t end up on our comfy sectional couch or in a room with a TV, we all end up in the kitchen. When we were buying our condo, a big kitchen with entertaining space was a must, and most nights it is where I unwind while chopping, roasting, and listening to music. 

On tonight’s menu, homemade macaroni and cheese with a Swiss twist. We started with Cabot Racer’s Edge sharp cheddar cheese, 6 cloves of garlic, chopped baby Bella mushrooms, Barilla gemelli pasta, skim milk, apples, and nutmeg.



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I love my little nutmeg bowl and grater. We bought it three years ago in Grenada on our honeymoon. It is the lifetime supply of nutmeg!

I grated the entire block of cheese and divided it so that 1/4 was reserved off to the side. Then I grated the garlic cloves and started to sauté the pulverized garlic in olive oil. I tossed in 3/4 block of cheese, lowered the hear, and poured in about a cup of skim milk. Stirring very slowly, I increased the heat until the cheese and milk were blended. Once the sauce was creamy, I grated a bit of nutmeg in and then added some fresh ground black pepper. At the same time, hubs was cooking the pasta and chopping and sautéing the apples in a bit of olive oil. Once the pasta was al dente, it was drained and poured into a baking dish. I poured in the cheese mixture and then added crumbled baby Bella mushrooms, stirring everything thoroughly. I sprinkled the remaining shredded cheese on the top and put this mixture in the oven at 375 for about 15 minutes.


The sauce was a bit thin, I think because I did not use cream and maybe needed more cheese. But the taste more than made up for it. The mushrooms gave it a lovely earthy, meatiness that went well with the creamy cheese and the slight spice of the nutmeg. Topped with warm, soft apples, it reminded me a lot of the Alpine noodles that we enjoyed so much in Switzerland.

Its been a really great week so far. I booked my travel and accommodations in San Francisco last night, and tonight we are going to plan our wine country itinerary. I also had my annual review at work today, and not only did it go well, but I was able to talk about what I would like to do more at work, mainly Public Relations and development of more creative, robust communications materials and events.

I am off to enjoy this chilly evening, and I hope you all do too!

  1. Caroline’s avatar

    Nutmeg is where it’s at. One of the families staying at the house where I live and work made fettucine alfredo the other night with nutmeg and it was one of the best tasting dishes I have had in a long time. I think it can all be attributed to that little bit of spice. I bet your Swiss twist mac came out fabulous. Enjoy your night!


  2. eatlivetravelwrite’s avatar

    Gosh – you ARE having a good week and it’s only Tuesday!!! Who KNOWS what might happen next!!! Love the mac dish and the pumpkin beers!


  3. backbaygirl’s avatar

    I really, really like this idea… good call. I’ll have to try it! And seriously? Boston’s getting chilly. I’m all wrapped up because I refuse to shut my windows yet. Stay warm!


  4. Lynn (The Actors Diet)’s avatar

    i have so much nutmeg! funny how i only use it in the fall/winter


  5. burpexcuzme’s avatar

    I am so, SO excited to see you in the Fest! YAY! And I totally agree with your title! It’s not a home unless there’s something bubbling in the pot, or something baking in the oven! ;-) Wow – an entire block of cheese? Girl, you’re playing with my heart!


  6. Simply Life’s avatar

    I completely agree with you and hubby! It’s the place I spend most “awake” time in my home and the first room I go to when I’m visiting my mom – it just has that sense of home :)


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