There are things I miss about living in an urban area.  I miss having everything at your finger tips, (like a target that is less than an hour away or a whole foods that is less than three) I miss being close to my friends, (most of which are still in Chicago) and I miss the culture that surrounds urban areas.

What I don’t miss are the people.  I drove up to Chicago last Friday night and I sat at a dead halt for a half an hour on an interchange.  Everywhere I went, there were people.  While this isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes I need to be alone- especially when it comes to being alone in nature.

I love being able to head out on a trail and know that most likely no one else will be around.  True peace and quite.  I’ve grown accustom to the slower pace of life and while I miss aspects of living in an urban area, I feel less stressed.

I also love food that makes me less stressed.  I had the apple pie yesterday and today I have mac and cheese.    Awhile back ago I shared my favorite go-to quick mac and cheese.  This version is similar only with the addition of pureed butternut squash.

The squash not only adds a bit of healthiness to an otherwise slightly unhealthy meal but also adds a bit of earthiness to the creaminess (which I love!) It also doesn’t hurt that the color of the squash makes it look extra creamy and cheesy!


Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4


  • 2 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • pinches salt, pepper, and garlic
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 ounces pasta


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add butternut squash. Cook until squash is softened and drained. Place in a food processor, add broth, and pulse until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  2. Prepare pasta according to box (or how you normally do it!) Drain and set aside.
  3. In a small pan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, butternut squash, salt, pepper, and garlic. Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken (1-2 more minutes). Once thickened, remove from the burner and mix in cheese, continuing to whisk until melted (if the sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk.) Stir into pasta and serve.