One of my favorite things about the holidays is cooking for friends and family. We love getting together all through the season, usually for a dinner on the weekend, when we are relaxed and have plenty of time to visit.
I recently made this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese and it was a big hit. Everyone loved it, and I'll definitely make it again soon. But as much as I love cooking, I always dread the cleaning up afterwards.
When I was at Walmart recently, I bought some Scotch-Brite™ Brand Sponges. I've used them for years and they always do a great job. With all the holiday cooking and baking I'll be doing, I bought plenty to help with cleaning up.
The green Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge is great for cleaning tough, baked on messes in your pots and pans. It also cleans oven racks, grill racks, sinks, and even tires. Use this heavy duty sponge in your kitchen, garage, and outdoors.
To clean this more delicate baking dish that I made my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese in, I used the blue Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge. I want to protect my white bake ware from abrasions and scratches, so using these non-scratch sponges lets me do that. They also clean non-stick cookware, counter tops, dishes, windows, and more.
My family and I are big pumpkin fans, so I am always on the look-out for great tasting recipes that include it. This dish calls for fresh sage, but if you only have dried, that's okay too. But I do think that putting on some fresh sage leaves looks pretty and adds a bit of festivity to the dish.
Recipe for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
2 cups dried elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 15-oz. can pumpkin (1 3/4 cups)
1 1/2 cups finely grated mixed white Vermont cheddar and mild cheddar, divided
1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage, or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Return to pan, cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, to make sauce, in a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually stir in cream and milk. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in pumpkin, 1 cup cheese, and sage.
Remove from heat and stir in macaroni until mixed. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
For topping, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup cheese, bread crumbs, walnuts and olive oil. Sprinkle evenly over macaroni mixture. Bake 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
If desired, top with additional fresh sage leaves.
Makes 6 servings.
I use the green Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge for all of my stainless-steel pots and pans. It does a great job of cleaning them, and removes tough, baked-on messes 50% faster than other competitive sponges.
You can find Scotch-Brite™ Brand Sponges in different size packages, the 3-Pack: $2.96, 6-Pack: $5.48, and 9-Pack: $7.97.
And Save $1 on any two Scotch-Brite Products (Scrub Sponges, Lint Rollers and Scrubbing Dish Cloths) by going here.
If you want help making your home cleaner and brighter for the holidays, look for Scotch-Brite™ Brand products in the cleaning aisle at your local Walmart. If you use the right tools for each surface, cleaning your home will be easier and faster.
Be sure to visit this site to see what other bloggers have done with their Scotch-Brite Scrub Sponges.
Do you have a favorite holiday recipe that leaves your pots or pans needing some extra clean-up?
Leave me a comment below, I'm always looking for yummy new recipes and I'd love to hear about yours!
-Post by Patricia