Pumpkin Spice Latte {No Equipment Needed}

Pumpkin Spice Latte  is a famous Starbucks recipe but guess what!? It’s a 1000x better made right at home (no special equipment is required). It’s so easy to make, you can enjoy it year-round…including iced in the summer!

Homemade lattes are a great way to enjoy your favorites without waiting in line and without a hefty price tag. Whether it is spiked eggnog latte or an Irish coffee.

Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.

Jura has provided me with the amazing coffee machine used to create this perfect pumpkin latte.

What Is In a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

A pumpkin spice latte contains pumpkin puree, milk (non-dairy works too), and coffee or espresso to make this drink so luscious and creamy! Don’t forget the whipped cream and caramel sauce for drizzling!

This copycat recipe takes all the pumpkin spice and everything nice you’d see in the Starbucks version. But since you can make it at home, your whole house will smell like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves! It is SO MUCH BETTER than any coffee house latte I’ve ever had!

For an adult version spike it with add a shot of Baileys or hazelnut liquor.

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

This pumpkin spice latte is an easy recipe to make, with just 2 steps you can enjoy your favorite latte any time of the year!

Coffee or Espresso: Coffee is truly my love language. I have a Jura S8 Coffee Machine (which you may remember from my Affogato recipe) for both lattes and coffee. I’m obsessed with it for everything from lattes to my perfect cup of joe in the morning.

In this recipe I use it to make the espresso but I’ve also made this recipe with regular black coffee (which I brew a little bit on the stronger side).

  1. Heat milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin puree and spices in a pan until just about boiling. Do not let it boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add shots of espresso or strong coffee

Divide over two mugs and top with whipped cream.

How to Make it in a CrockPot

If you are making pumpkin spice lattes in a crockpot, scale up the recipe and keep the crockpot on warm so people can help themselves!

Stir occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the crockpot. Enjoy the fragrance of fall all throughout the house!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin puree, espresso and cream are combined to make the perfect PSL

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup light cream (such as half and half)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (or 4 oz espresso)
  • 2 oz baileys or hazelnut liquor (optional)
  • whipped cream & caramel sauce for topping
  1. Combine milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add coffee (or shots of espresso, see note).
  2. Divide between 2 mugs and add liquor if using.
  3. Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce and additional pumpkin pie spice

Note: If using espresso, increase milk to 1 1/2 cups and eliminate cream.

Adapted from Food Network

 

Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.
Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.
Top photo - Ingredients to make PSL in a pot, with an espresso machine in the background. Bottom photo - Close up of Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

How to Make Mashed Potatoes that come out perfectly creamy every time! These are truly the best mashed potatoes.

Potatoes are my kryptonite (ok, potatoes and Stuffing).They are an easy side dish and go perfectly with Mushroom Salisbury SteakCrock Pot Pork Chops and of course a roast turkey!

A bowl of creamy mashed potatoes topped with fresh parsley and melted butter.

Potatoes are great however they’re prepared – baked potatoes, fried potatoes, and or in a Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole. Homemade mashed potatoes are at the top of my list!

The Best Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes

This is an easy mashed potato recipe but it’s important to start with the right kind of potatoes.

The best kind of potatoes for mashed potatoes are starchy potato, such as a Russet or Idaho potato is ideal, Yukon gold makes great mashed potatoes too. I sometimes like to leave some of the skin on if I’m using a Yukon gold potato, I love the texture it adds to the mashed potatoes.

Other Ingredients

This recipe is for classic mashed potatoes so there are no additions of cheeses or exotic spices. Of course you can add those if you’d  like.

  • Butter: This is one place where there really are no substitutes. Add real butter to your potatoes and plenty of it. I prefer salted if it have it but unsalted works and the potatoes can be salted to taste.
  • Cream/Milk: I use regular whole milk in this recipe, you can also use cream if you have it on hand. Remember to heat the dairy for the best potatoes.
  • Garlic/Seasonings: Again, keeping this recipe simple, I simply add salt & pepper. If you’d like a little bit of garlic, chop a few cloves and let them boil with the potatoes.

A wooden spoon full of light and fluffy mashed potatoes

How To Make Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes are super simple to make with very few ingredients. You can make them in the Crock Pot or Instant Pot, but I really do think the best mashed potatoes are a simple classic. 

The real key to making the BEST creamy mashed potatoes is to get the consistency right. Here are a few tips for perfect mashed potatoes:

  1. Drain well: I usually let them sit about 5 minutes or so to completely drain or even drain well and put them back in the warm pot for a few minutes to make sure all liquid is evaporated.
  2. Mash by Hand: Use a hand masher or a potato ricer. Using a hand mixer, stand mixer or food processor can break down the starches in the potatoes and cause a very gluey or gummy texture. You can still get buttery smooth creamy mashed potatoes mashing by hand.
  3. Butter is Your Friend:. There are places you can skimp on butter and this is not one of them.  I like to use salted butter and lots of it (but you can use unsalted season yourself). Butter helps your mashed potatoes get a creamy… well, buttery texture.
  4. Heat Your Cream:  Heat your milk/cream before adding.  This keeps the potatoes hot and absorbs better.  Add cream/milk a little a a time to get the right consistency.

Cream cheese, garlic, and butter added to homemade mashed potatoes can add a delicious tang! You can really add whatever toppings you love the most, mashed potatoes are very forgiving!

Creamy mashed potatoes getting mashed with pepper and butter.

How Long To Boil Potatoes For Mashed

Potatoes should always be placed in cold salted water and brought to a boil, this helps them cook evenly. 

The length of time you need to boil the potatoes for entirely depends on how big they are cut. I quarter them so they generally take about 15 minutes.  To check if your potatoes are ready, use a fork. If it is easy to pierce the potato, it is ready to go!

Make Ahead

Mashed potatoes can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Follow the recipe as directed and cool completely. Refrigerate.

To reheat, they can be placed in a casserole dish in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Stir in a little bit of warm cream/milk if needed. You can also reheat these in the microwave stirring occasionally or even on low in the slow cooker for a couple of hours.

a close up of a pile of creamy mashed potatoes with melting butter.

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes

You sure can, frozen mashed potatoes reheat pretty well in the oven with a little milk. To freeze, scoop them into a plastic freezer bag and press flat (this helps them defrost and reheat evenly)! When you reheat them, add about a tablespoon of milk per cup of potatoes and stick them in the oven to reheat.

What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes

I have four words for you. Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy, creamy and buttery, these are literally the PERFECT mashed potato.

  • 4 pounds potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • 1/3 cup salted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup milk (or cream)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic (optional)
  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, place in cold salted water.

  2. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

  3. Heat milk on the stove top (or in the microwave) until warm.
  4. Add butter to the potatoes and begin mashing. Pour in milk a little at a time while using a potato masher to reach desired consistency.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Add milk/cream a little bit at a time until desired consistency is reached.

 

 

 

 

 

These are the perfect mashed potatoes! They are fluffy, buttery, light, and go perfectly with just about any main dish! #spendwithpennies #potatoes #potato #mashed #mashedpotatoes #butter #starch

Easy Cheesy Ham Casserole

Ham Casserole is one of those yummy cheesy dishes that just scream home-cooked comfort. This casserole is made with ham and pasta tossed in a creamy cheesy sauce (much like a mac and cheese)!

This is a great dish to make that leftover ham stretch to satisfy a crowd.

Close up of the baked ham casserole with a spoon taking a scoop out of the corner.

What Goes in Ham Casserole

Cheesy ham casserole combines diced ham, with tender pasta in a creamy homemade cheese sauce. With 3 types of cheese (cheddar, gruyere and parmesan cheeses) this is a tasty dish!

A little thyme and Dijon add a savory lift to this leftover ham casserole .

Finally, a topping of buttered Panko bread crumbs with cheese provides some welcome crunch-appeal.

Close up of the cheese sauce being poured over the ham and pasta in a white casserole dish.

Substitute to your heart’s content with the cheeses and pasta! Any kind of pasta will work for ham noodle casserole. Shells are my favorite, they cup and hold the cheese sauce, and are melt-in-your-mouth tender! I also find cheddar cheese is always great for melting into a sauce, but you can use any pasta or cheese you have on hand for this dish!

  • Pasta: rotini, penne, macaroni or even spaghetti.
  • Cheese: colby, asiago, swiss or muenster would be delicious!

How to Cook Ham Casserole

Homemade Cheese Sauce is easy to make and creates great flavor for this casserole. The sauce for this recipe starts with a roux.

Pre-shredded cheese can have starches added to keep it from clumping so it may not melt as well. For this sauce, it’s best to shred your own cheese.

Overview of the ham,pasta and cheese sauce mixture in a white casserole dish with the remaining toppings on the side.

Prep & Bake

  1. Melt butter in a large pot. Whisk in flour and cook for about a minute (per recipe below). Slowly whisking in the milk and to thicken. Add cheese until creamy.
  2. Combine cheese sauce, ham and pasta in a casserole dish.
  3. Top with crumb topping.

Bake until bubbly and the top is browned and crisp.

Creamy cheesy ham and noodle casserole with a bread crumb topping

What to Serve With Ham Casserole

Ham and cheese casserole is creamy stick-to-your-ribs rich with salt from the ham and cheese. Look for a side dish that is light, fresh and sweet or tangy. A fresh fruit salad, fresh tomato salad or cucumber dill salad would be welcome companions for ham casserole.

More Cheesy Pasta

Ham Casserole

This easy cheesy ham casserole is the perfect way to use up your leftover ham and stretch it to feed a crowd!

  • 1 lb medium shells
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream (10-12% M.F.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar (divided)
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups diced ham

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix together topping ingredients, set aside.
  2. Cook shells al dente according to package directions. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter, flour and seasonings in a saucepan. Allow to cook 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add in cream and milk while whisking after each addition. The mixture will seem thick at first but will smooth out with each addition.
  5. Once all of the cream/milk is added, whisk while bringing to a boil over medium heat. Allow to boil 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups cheddar, gruyere cheese and parmesan until smooth.
  7. Mix cheese sauce with cooked pasta and ham and place in a 9×13 pan. Add topping and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  8. Bake 22-26 minutes or until heated through and topping is browned. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

This ham casserole is made with pasta, 3 types of cheese, and a crunchy bread crumb topping! It's a great dish when looking for a way to stretch your leftover ham to feed a crowd. #spendwithpennies #hamcasserole #maindish #pasta #kidfriendly #budgetfriendly #leftoverham
This ham casserole is made with pasta, 3 types of cheese, and a crunchy bread crumb topping! It's a great dish when looking for a way to stretch your leftover ham to feed a crowd. #spendwithpennies #hamcasserole #maindish #pasta #kidfriendly #budgetfriendly #leftoverham

Penne Alla Vodka (30 Minute Meal)

Penne Alla Vodka is thick and hearty pasta dish with a delicious creamy vodka tomato sauce. Penne is the perfect pasta choice as the noodles really hold the sauce giving it just the right amount of savory flavor!

Top this 30 minute meal with fresh parmesan cheese and serve with a big hunk of Homemade Garlic Bread and an Easy Italian Salad for the perfect meal!

Penne alla Vodka garnished with parmesan and parsley in a large pot

Easy Creamy Tomato Sauce

Don’t be put off by the fancy sounding name, this easy pasta Alla Vodka recipe is always on the menu at your favorite Italian recipe…and for good reason!

What is Penne Alla Vodka? Hailing from both Italy AND America, a good Penne Alla Vodka recipe is one of the most iconic recipes of the 80s however, the exact origin of this popular dish is kind of mysterious. Penne is tossed into a creamy Vodka sauce with garlic, pancetta, whole tomatoes and heavy cream and parmesan cheese! A sprinkle of Italian parsley is a beautiful and tasty garnish!

Penne alla vodka served and garnished with parmesan cheese.

How to Make Penne Alla Vodka

Like most pasta recipes, this is an easy and quick dish! The sauce is ready almost as quickly as the pasta boils!

It all starts with a bit of garlic and pancetta. Crisp up the pancetta to render some of the fat and flavor. Put on a pot of salted boiling water for the pasta while you make the sauce.

Pancetta is the only item in this recipe that is unusual but it’s worth looking for at the grocery store. If you can’t find it you can use bacon or prosciutto in its place (although it changes the flavor of this dish).

Ingredients for penne alla vodka in a sauce pan including whole tomatoes and pancetta

To Make Penne Alla Vodka Sauce

This Penne Alla Vodka sauce recipe is so easy, it practically cooks itself! As the name indicates, yes, there is vodka in this sauce! It adds wonderful flavor but does cook down so the dish doesn’t taste boozy (and don’t worry the alcohol cooks off so you won’t get drunk from it)! Add Vodka into the pan with the garlic and pancetta and let it simmer.

Stir in the chili flakes and canned whole Italian tomatoes (San Marzano are best). Be sure to use quality whole Italian tomatoes for best flavor and consistency. Simmer for a little bit to thicken, stir in heavy cream and simmer to thicken a little bit more!

Add in the pasta and a handful of parmesan cheese. Season to taste and garnish with parsley and more parmesan cheese.

Voila. Easy right?

A photograph of penne alla vodka creamy tomato sauce in a bowl with parsley and parmesan cheese.

Customize This Creamy Pasta

  • Add in Italian sausage, Meatballs or even top with Oven Baked Chicken Breasts for a delicious penne alla vodka with chicken
  • Baked Penne Alla Vodka is another cheesy favorite! Prepare as directed, top with a bit of mozzarella/parmesan and bake at 400°F about 15 minutes.
  • Swap out the penne for your favorite pasta shape. Shapes with holes or ridges are best (like ziti, rotini or rigatoni) as they grab the sauce.

More Italian Favorites

Penne alla Vodka

This easy pasta has a creamy vodka tomato sauce tossed with penne and lots of fresh parmesan cheese!

  • 1 pound penne (cooked al dente)
  • 4 oz pancetta chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 28 oz whole Italian tomatoes (with juices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  1. Cook garlic in butter over medium low heat until fragrant. Add pancetta and cook 2 more minutes.
  2. Add vodka and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chili flakes and tomatoes slightly breaking up with a spoon. Simmer 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add cream and cook 5 minutes. Add penne to the sauce and cook 1 minute to combine flavors. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
  5. Place in bowls and top with parsley and remaining parmesan cheese.

Classic Chicken Pot Pie

A classic homemade chicken pot pie recipe is not only delicious, it’s easy to make! A creamy base with chicken broth and light cream is enhanced with savory herbs and a mixture of vegetables and tender chicken. It’s all topped off with a flaky puff pastry crown!

This easy meal bakes to golden perfection in serving sized portions for a dish as pretty as it is delicious! Serve it with a fresh tossed salad with your favorite homemade salad dressing.

Individual chicken pot pies on a silver baking dish freshly baked.

Chicken Pot Pie

Most ceramic bowls or dishes are oven safe (it should say on the bottom). I make these pot pies in french onion soup crocks that I purchased at the dollar store about 10 years ago! You can buy them on Amazon as well (but the dollar store ones are great and cheap). I use the crocks for much more than French Onion Soup, they’re great for all kinds of baked dishes.

How to Make Chicken Pot Pie

  • Sauce
    • The base of this recipe starts with a roux and is made from cream and chicken broth.
    • Add broth/cream a little bit at a time mixing after each addition until smooth. It will seem thick at first but will smooth out as you add more liquid.
  • Vegetables
    • Cut potatoes into small 1/2″ cubes for quick cooking.
    • Leftover roasted/cooked potatoes and vegetables work well in this recipe.
    • Frozen vegetables make this quick and easy. If you’d prefer, substitute 1 cup of fresh carrots/celery and cook with the potatoes.

Chicken pot pies being topped with puff pastry and egg wash.

  • Chicken
  • Crust
    • I prefer to place this in individual bowls and top with puff pastry.
    • This recipe can be made with pie crust (homemade or store bought). If using pie crust and cooking as an entire pie, line a deep dish pie plate with crust. Fill and top with second crust cutting slits to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and bake 35 minutes or until golden. Cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Individual chicken pot pies being assembled on a working board.

How to Reheat Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie can be made ahead for the freezer or refrigerator.

To Make Ahead: Prepare filling as directed and refrigerate up to 48 hours. Divide into bowls or fill crust before baking. If the filling is chilled, you may need to add extra time to heat through.

To Reheat: Leftovers can be reheated in the oven or microwave. The crust tends to get soggy in the microwave so if you know you are going to have leftovers, bake the puff pastry separately on a baking sheet and simply top the pot pie in a bowl when serving.

To Freeze: This filling can be frozen before cooking. If you are baking in a pie crust, the entire pie can be prepared (cool the filling before preparing) and frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. If you notice the crust beginning to overcook before the filling is hot, cover it with foil to prevent it from browning too much.

A white dish full of chicken pot pie on a baking sheet with wooden utensils.

What to Serve With Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is so rich and filling that it only needs a light side dish. Try it with cucumber onion salad, or a refreshing ice cold fruit salad.

I love serving a classic chicken pot pie with a peach cobbler and some ice cream for dessert in the summertime.

What a fantastic dinner awaits!

More Creamy Chicken Recipes

Classic Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken and vegetables in a creamy broth are topped with a flaky crust for the perfect comforting meal.

  • 1 small potato (diced)
  • 1/4 cup butter (divided)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup light cream (+ 1 tablespoon for brushing)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen vegetables (defrosted)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (or rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1-2 sheets puff pastry (defrosted)
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Placed diced potatoes in a small saucepan with water. Simmer covered until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.

  3. Place butter in a saucepan. Add onion and seasonings cook over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes. 

  4. Sprinkle flour over onions and cook 1 minute.

  5. Whisk in cream and chicken broth a little bit at a time until smooth. It will seem thick at first. Continue adding a little at a time whisking until smooth. Allow to boil 1 minute.

  6. Add drained potatoes, vegetables and chicken. Cook 1 minute more. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

  7. Divide mixture over 6 oven safe bowls.

  8. Cut a sheet of puff pastry into squares large enough to overhang about 1″ on each dish. Cut 4 slits in each piece to allow steam to escape. Drape puff pastry over bowls.

  9. Beat egg yolk with 1 tablespoon cream and brush over pastry. Bake 25 minutes or until golden. Rest 5-10 minutes before serving, filling will be very hot.

To Make in a Pie Crust

You can also make this in a double pie crust. Create the filling as directed. Line a 9″ deep dish pie pan with pastry crust. Add filling and top with second pie crust. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cover the edges of the crust with foil during the last 15 minutes to avoid over browning.

REPIN this Delicious Recipe

Chicken Pot Pie prepared in a white bowl

 

This classic chicken pot pie recipe is made with puff pastry and frozen vegetables, making for an easy filling and delicious individual chicken pot pies! #spendwithpennies #chickenpotpie #chickenpotpierecipe #potpie #chicken #easychickenpotpie
This classic chicken pot pie recipe is made with puff pastry and frozen vegetables, making for an easy filling and delicious individual chicken pot pies! #spendwithpennies #chickenpotpie #chickenpotpierecipe #potpie #chicken #easychickenpotpie

Mashed Potatoes & Cabbage (The Perfect Comfort Food)

Colcannon in bowl tipped with bacon and butter being served with wooden spoon

Colcannon is the perfect dish for St. Patrick’s Day (or any other day you’re craving the best ever comfort food)! Combining the flavors of sweet cabbage, fried onion and creamy mashed potatoes creates a traditional Irish dish that will fill the family and leave them feeling satisfied!

This dish makes a great side dish served with Corned Beef or a perfectly glazed honey ham.

Colcannon garnished with butter and bacon

©SpendWithPennies.com

The Perfect Combination

Cabbage and potatoes go together like peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese!  It’s just a perfect marriage of flavors, in fact, cabbage is perfect in pretty much any dish!

I think most of us have enjoyed cabbage in a traditional Cabbage Roll recipe or even just simply fried and mixed with noodles but I have to admit, this recipe definitely tops my list! Colcannon is an easy, comforting and absolutely delicious dish!

Colcannon being prepared in a glass mixing bowl

A Traditional Irish Dish

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish consisting of cabbage and onion (or leeks) fried until tender and gently folded into rich and creamy mashed potatoes (I add a little bit of bacon too). This makes the most amazing side dish with ham or corned beef, but it’s so good, I happily eat it as a meal too!

This dish is made with either kale or cabbage. I personally prefer cabbage but if you like kale (or happen to have it on hand) feel free to swap it in!  While it’s optional, I like to serve my Colcannon somewhat traditionally and top it with melted butter.

Colcannon served with a wooden spoon

This recipe is a great way to stretch your grocery budget without sacrificing taste! I love to serve this year round, but it is the perfect recipe for St. Patrick’s Day (although it’s most often served at Halloween)! Should you have leftovers, you can make some amazing potato cakes the next day or even top a shepherd’s pie!

Colcannon in a large bowl and served with a wooden spoon

More Irish Favorites

Colcannon (Cabbage and Potatoes)

Colcannon is the perfect dish for St. Patrick’s Day! Combining the flavors of sweet cabbage, fried onion and creamy mashed potatoes creates a traditional Irish dish that will fill the family and leave them feeling satisfied!

  • 3 lbs yellow or red potatoes (, peeled & quartered)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 white onion (, diced)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage ((approx. 6 cups))
  • 3 tablespoons butter (, melted)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook potatoes 12-15 minutes or until fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large pan until crisp. Set aside to cool, reserve drippings.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bacon drippings. Cook onion and cabbage over medium heat in drippings until onion is translucent and cabbage is tender.
  4. Mash potatoes adding cream and 1/4 cup butter as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Gently fold together mashed potatoes, cabbage & onions and chopped bacon. Top with additional melted butter if desired.

Repin this Delicious Recipe

Colcannon served in a bowl and garnished with bacon bits

Colcannon is the perfect dish for St. Patrick's Day! Combining the flavors of sweet cabbage, fried onion and creamy mashed potatoes creates a traditional Irish dish that will fill the family and leave them feeling satisfied!
Colcannon is the perfect dish for St. Patrick's Day! Combining the flavors of sweet cabbage, fried onion and creamy mashed potatoes creates a traditional Irish dish that will fill the family and leave them feeling satisfied!

Cream of Cauliflower Soup (in 30 minutes)

Cream of Cauliflower Soup is a simple 30 minute soup perfect for lunch or a light dinner meal. We serve this creamy soup when company’s coming or just for a Saturday afternoon.

Add in a side of crusty bread for dipping or some 30 Minute Dinner Rolls and a fresh crisp Italian Salad.

Cauliflower is the perfect veggie, it’s versatile and mild in flavor making it perfect for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or even for creating a low-carb cauliflower fried rice. It makes a great base for this mild soup recipe and is perfect paired with cream and cheeses if you’d like!

This recipe is relatively healthy and the lack of flour or starches keeps this cream of cauliflower soup keto friendly and low carb!

How to Make Cream of Cauliflower Soup

There really isn’t a lot to creating the perfect cream of cauliflower soup recipe. Simply chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, add seasonings and let it simmer until tender. Blend and add a bit of cream.

I sometimes add cheese to this soup, both sharp cheddar and parmesan cheese work well. Remember to add the cheese at the end, once the soup is ready to serve. Cooking cheese over a high temperature can cause it to separate or become grainy. It will melt in if the soup is hot once you remove the soup from the stove.

Cream of cauliflower soup with fresh cauliflower

Blending Cauliflower Soup

Just like Roasted Cauliflower Soup, this cream of cauliflower soup is blended to a smooth consistency. I use a hand blender to make it smooth (and save on washing dishes) but you can also transfer it to a regular blender. If using a regular blender, be sure that the lid isn’t on tight as the steam and cause the blender to burst open.

For more texture remove some of the cauliflower and chop it. Blend the soup to desired consistency and once blended, add the chopped cauliflower back into the soup.

Can You Freeze Cream of Cauliflower Soup

This soup does freeze well. We place it in single serve freezer bags and label. To serve, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until warm.

Ladling Cream of cauliflower soup in a pot

More Creamy Soups You Need in Your Life

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

A silky smooth cauliflower soup for the perfect lunch or starter.

  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 cups fresh cauliflower
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese (grated, optional)
  1. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and celery until tender (do not brown).

  2. Add cauliflower, broth and seasonings. Simmer uncovered 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally until cauliflower is tender.

  3. Blend using a hand blender until smooth. Add heavy cream and simmer an additional 8-10 minutes or until thickened.

  4. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Stir in parmesan cheese if using.

Note: For a chunky texture, remove 1 cup of cauliflower before blending and coarsely chop.

 

Ham and Spinach Frittata! (Brunch or Dinner)!

Ham and Spinach Frittata is a snap to assemble, quick to bake, and can be adapted to add in your favorite fillings! We love making homemade frittata for Sunday brunch, but it’s easy enough to be a weekday breakfast too (or even dinner)! 

Frittata is a very versatile recipe and you can add any combination of ingredients you’d like! This easy frittata recipe can even be made into spinach frittata muffins for a make ahead breakfast on the go! It’s easily made ahead and reheats well. Just add a side of home fries!

Spinach Frittata cut and ready to be served.

What is Frittata?

Like a quiche recipe, frittatas are egg-based recipes, but frittatas are crustless, which makes them perfect for people following a gluten free, Paleo or even a Keto diet (if you skip the potatoes). Both low carb and healthy! It’s similar to an omelet but can be easily scaled to serve a lot of people.

The other difference between a quiche and a frittata is the ratio of egg/dairy; a frittata only has a bit of dairy.

How to Cook a Frittata – There are a different ways to make a frittata, one being to cook the eggs stovetop until almost set and then broil/bake to cook the top. However, I find it easier just to bake frittata in the oven.

Ingredients for a ham and spinach frittata recipe

How to Make Frittata

This spinach frittata recipe is a cinch because…well, eggs! Eggs are the perfect base for anything whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here’s how you make a frittata:

  1. Preheat the the oven.
  2. Cook your add-ins in an oven proof pan (potatoes, ham, spinach, and green onions).
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, and seasonings and pour over the add-ins. Top with cheese.
  4. Bake until the eggs are set, about 10 to 12 minutes. For a crispy top, broil for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Cool for about 5 minutes before serving to make sure the eggs are set and the cheese is perfectly melted! It’s simple to make and tastes great!

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A cheesy slice of spinach frittata baked and ready to serve.

Creative Add-Ins

You can mix and match the ingredients for this easy frittata! Fresh or frozen spinach can be used in this recipe! Cook your add ins (except cheese of course) and bake in the oven! Whatever is in the fridge and pantry can be tossed into a frittata from potatoes and leftover spaghetti to Roasted Butternut Squash, steamed broccoli or even Grilled Zucchini!

Swap out the cheddar cheese (or add some crumbled feta or goat cheese). Why not try a spinach mushroom frittata or a spinach feta frittata? Cheese is an excellent compliment to eggs, any way you look at it!

Can You Freeze Frittata?

A frittata keeps for a few days in the fridge and reheats beautifully! It’s perfect to make ahead for lunches but it’s also great to put between a couple of slices of bread for lunch!

If you’d like to keep it longer than that, you can freeze a frittata. Freezing egg-based dishes is easy. Make sure the frittata is fully cooled and then portion as desired and place in freezer containers or freezer bags. Egg-based dishes are easy to reheat in the oven or microwave.

This spinach frittata recipe doesn’t disappoint when it comes to simple in every way!

Ham and Spinach Frittata

This ham and spinach frittata is a snap to assemble, quick to bake, and can go anywhere in a moment’s notice! Perfect for a Sunday brunch or a weekday breakfast. 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb baby potatoes (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach (torn (or 1/2 cup frozen spinach))
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (divided)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10″ skillet. Add potatoes and 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cover and cook over about 10-15 minutes or until softened.

  3. Stir in ham, spinach, and green onions until hot and spinach is wilted.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, half and half, dry mustard and seasonings. Pour over potato mixture. Top with cheese.

  5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until eggs are set. Broil 1-2 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

We love this homemade ham and spinach frittata recipe for an easy brunch. It's a delicious and simple easy frittata recipe that everyone loves! #spendwithpennies #hamandspinachfrittata #frittata #spinachfrittata #easyfrittata #breakfastrecipe #breakfast #brunch
We love this homemade ham and spinach frittata recipe for an easy brunch. It's a delicious and simple easy frittata recipe that everyone loves! #spendwithpennies #hamandspinachfrittata #frittata #spinachfrittata #easyfrittata #breakfastrecipe #breakfast #brunch

Creamy Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Closeup of sausage and cabbage soup with potatoes in white pot

This easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup is the ultimate comfort food. A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth.

When the weather gets cooler, in my house it’s officially soup season.  There is just something about a delicious warm bowl of soup that warms your belly from the inside out and this creamy cabbage soup recipe is no exception.  If a hug were food, it would be this soup.

cabbage and sausage soup in white bowl

Cabbage and Sausage

Cabbage and sausage just seem to go hand in hand.  If you’ve read my blog before,  you likely  know that I love all things cabbage from Cabbage Roll Soup to Sausage and Cabbage cooked on the grill! Cabbage is inexpensive, a little bit goes a long way and once cooked, it’s tender with a delicious sweet flavor.

This is just one of my many favorite cabbage recipesfavorite cabbage recipes. If you don’t cook with cabbage often, you can find lots of great info in The Ultimate Guide to Cabbage!

A pot of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup with potatoes

Irresistibly Creamy

This easy soup starts with sausage, I use kielbasa but you can also use a garlic sausage or pretty much any smoked (fully cooked) sausage that you’d like.  I make this cabbage soup with potatoes to give it a nice creamy texture (and to keep my belly full all day long).  Fresh carrots and cabbage add both fresh and sweet flavors to this soup and of course cream makes it buttery irresistible.

While this is a creamy soup, keep in mind it is not a thick soup like a chowder. The creamy portion of this soup comes from making a roux.  While roux may sound like a fancy or difficult cooking term, it’s really easy.  A roux is the base for most white sauces (and even Sausage Gravy) and starts by cooking butter and flour (to get rid of that raw flour flavor) and then adding in milk or cream and cooking until thick and bubbly.  The roux is then added to the soup in this recipe giving it a delicious buttery cream flavor.

Spoonful of Sausage & Cabbage Soup in white pot

More Cabbage Soups

How to Thicken Your Sausage and Cabbage Soup

If you’d like your soup to be thicker, you can certainly increase the butter/flour mixture to about 3/4 cup each while leaving the milk the same.  I also give my potatoes just a slight little mash with a potato masher to help thicken the broth somewhat.

We add a little bit of fresh dill to this soup at the very end for a pop of freshness.  If you don’t have fresh dill you can substitute dry dill and add it along with roux to allow it to rehydrate.

Can you Freeze Creamy Cabbage Soup?

Unfortunately, most soup recipes that contain dairy don’t freeze well (non-dairy is usually ok). The soup can separate and the texture can become grainy.  I would suggest freezing a portion before adding the dairy in this recipe.

Sausage & Cabbage Soup

This creamy Cabbage Soup contains smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth.

  • 1 lb smoked sausage (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup onion (chopped)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb potatoes (diced (about 2-3 medium))
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • 3-4 cups cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery (sliced)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  1. Cook sausage, onion and butter until onion is tender. Add celery, carrot, potato, cabbage, broth and salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour and cook over medium heat about 2 min. Add milk and cream and stir until smooth. Continue whisking until thick and bubbly.
  4. Once vegetables are tender, add cream mixture into the soup. Allow to simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in dill and parsley.

More Creamy Soups to Try

Warm your belly from the inside out with a bowl of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup! A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth. #spendwithpennies #cabbage #sausage #creamsoup #vegetablesoup #easyrecipe #soup #souprecipe
Warm your belly from the inside out with a bowl of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup! A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth. #spendwithpennies #cabbage #sausage #creamsoup #vegetablesoup #easyrecipe #soup #souprecipe
Warm your belly from the inside out with a bowl of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup! A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth. #spendwithpennies #cabbage #sausage #creamsoup #vegetablesoup #easyrecipe #soup #souprecipe

The Best Mac & Cheese You’ve Ever Had!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Homemade Mac and Cheese is a rich, creamy casserole that is truly a show stopper!

Not only is this creamy macaroni and cheese recipe easy to make it, has a special ingredient making it extra delicious!

This dish has so much velvety cheese in a quick homemade sauce that, once you try it, this is going to be the only baked macaroni & cheese dish you’ll ever need!

Scooping mac and cheese out of a white casserole dish

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Hello, my name is Holly and I am addicted to Macaroni and Cheese.  It is literally my favorite thing to eat on the whole planet! It doesn’t even have to be fancy, I love crock pot mac & cheese, stove top mac and cheese or even out of a little blue box.

Of all of the mac and cheese recipes, *this* little gem right here is like striking mac and cheese gold. It is definitely the best mac and cheese recipe ever and always gets rave reviews! Take it from me, I definitely should know!

How to Make Homemade Mac and Cheese

Making homemade macaroni and cheese (including this 5-star recipe) is surprisingly easy and quick!

This mac and cheese casserole starts with tender macaroni noodles that are slightly undercooked so they don’t get mushy when it’s baked.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese on Plate next to serving dish

About This Mac and Cheese Sauce

The sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese is a classic roux based cheese sauce.  Roux sounds very fancy but truthfully once you make a roux, you’ll realize how easy it is! It’s just butter and flour cooked and then milk added so don’t let it scare you away!

The results of creating a roux based sauce means your macaroni and cheese is going luscious and velvety smooth every single time. This allows the cheeses to melt in evenly and perfectly for this casserole.

To add to the creaminess of this dish, I combine a little bit of milk and a little bit of light cream (I use a cream that is about 10-12%MF or half and half).

Homemade mac and cheese in serving dish with scoop taken out

What Cheese Is Best For Mac and Cheese?

Now, this recipe has a special ingredient that is a little bit unconventional but makes it extra yummy…  AND it is optional.

The addition of cheddar soup makes the sauce a little bit extra velvety and just adds a little something.

Mac and cheese with Velveeta, I personally prefer to make it without!  The addition of the cheddar cheese soup to this recipe is something you definitely should try!  (You can find it at your local grocery store with the other condensed soups or online here).

If you don’t happen to have cheese soup on hand (or if you just don’t want to use it), this baked mac and cheese recipe is still ridiculously great without.

You might be wondering what cheese is best for mac and cheese, and it’s one with lots of flavor!

I generally use a sharp cheddar in this recipe as I love the flavor however you can certainly use your favorite cheeses in this recipe too. Sometimes I mix up the cheeses and use a bit of gruyere, or even pepperjack for a little kick. If you have bits of cheese leftover, you can combine them all together in this easy homemade mac and cheese sauce.

I would suggest buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself as pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt the same way as they have additives to keep them from clumping/sticking.

Making Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is not difficult but below are a few simple tips to make sure it turns out absolutely perfectly every single time!

A serving spoon of gooey macaroni and cheese with on the table

Tips to Make Creamy Mac and Cheese

  • Cook your pasta al dente (firm) as the noodles cook extra in the sauce and you don’t want them mushy.
  • Don’t forget to salt your pasta water.
  • While not everyone agrees with rinsing the pasta after cooking, in this particular recipe it stops the noodles from cooking and the sauce is created with a texture that pairs perfectly with the rinsed noodles.
  • A sharper cheddar cheese will add a stronger cheese flavor.
  • Pre-shredded cheeses contain additives to keep it from sticking together which affects the way it melts.  The sauce is best if you shred your own cheeses.
  • Allowing the baked macaroni and cheese to rest for a few minutes after baking will thicken the sauce.
  • Most importantly of all… Do not over bake this recipe.

When cooking your macaroni noodles, cook them according to the package directions but you want them to be still firm.  If your package says 6-8 minutes, just cook them 6…  you get the idea. I choose not to top this baked macaroni casserole with a bread crumb mixture but if you really like bread crumbs on your macaroni and cheese, by all means, add some!

How to Make a Bread Crumb Topping for Mac & Cheese

Combine the following and sprinkle over your casserole before baking.

  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (Panko Bread Crumbs are best)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (optional)

This recipe makes an extra saucy creamy macaroni.  Do not over-bake this recipe.  You want it creamy and rich, over-baking will cause it to dry out.

I find that 20 minutes was perfect in my oven…  note that the recipe will thicken slightly while standing.

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Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole

This homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole is the best you’ve ever had. Tender noodles in a velvety sauce for the perfectly irresistible dish!!

  • 12 oz dry macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream (about 10-12% MF)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can condensed cream of cheddar soup (optional 10.75oz)
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar (divided)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Slowly whisk in cream, milk, mustard powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese & 3 cups cheddar cheese until melted. Add soup if using.
  5. Toss cheese sauce & macaroni noodles together. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 18-24 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over cook. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Creamy Mac and Cheese Casserole

This Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is a show stopper! It's easy to make with tons of rich cheese sauce and a specail ingredient making it extra delicious!

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Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese in a white bowl with fork