Kats’ Kitchen

Honey Pear Bread September 11, 2015

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast — stacielk @ 10:45 am
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Hi!  I’m not sure if I should welcome you back or myself back.  It’s been a long 7 months!  Since my last post our family has welcomed a new little pumpkin to the family.  She is a month now and I’m ready to get my baking hat back on!  Honestly, I think it’s been 2 months since I’ve baked anything!  (and I can’t blame the Summer heat, the 90 degree days usually don’t turn me away from starting up my oven :) I’m ready to get back to it.  I can’t promise how much I’ll be posting but I’m happy to be getting this one on my blog!

Pear bread.  Never even thought of making this until my neighbor, who has a pear tree in their yard, delivered a bag full of pears.  Too many pears to eat, although they are delicious fresh!  So I went on a quick search for some pear recipes and came across this one.  It turned out fantastic.  The spices together with the sweet chunks of pear went well together. Besides a cut in my hand and forgetting to set the oven timer, the bread was a success!

My house smelled wonderful as the loaves baked in my oven.  Like Fall.  Mmmm.  Enjoy!


Honey Pear BreadPEAR BRD

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey

2 splashes milk (about 1/8 cup)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T vanilla extract

1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 TB ground flax meal (dry)

4 cups of very firm pears, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 3 medium loaf, 1 large loaf pans or muffin tins.

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce and honey.  Stir together.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla to incorporate.

In another bowl, combine salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, all-purpose and wheat flours, and flax meal.  Mix dry ingredients well.

Gently fold honey mixture into dry ingredients, just until completely moistened.  Gently fold in pears.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake 40-50 minutes for medium loaves, 60 for large or 18-23 for muffins (please check as needed with a toothpick)

Recipe adopted from Chew Out Loud


Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting February 27, 2015

Filed under: cake — stacielk @ 4:48 pm
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Bourbon Pecan Pie - 2

Not sure how to introduce these cupcakes, the title and picture does a pretty good job of that.  To say it simply, it is pretty much chocolate cake, pecan pie and some awesome frosting to finish it off.  It is good.  I had one for breakfast the morning after I made them…really, what’s the difference between a doughnut and a cupcake (besides that the cupcake is a bit boozy but thankfully all signs of that is baked out of it). I usually don’t enjoy my baked good I make till the next day.  Not saying I don’t try it but it always tastes better the next day.

The original recipe calls for 1 cup bourbon, I used 1 cup bourbon…after baking, it still had an extremely strong bourbon flavor (it does seem to mellow after a couple days :), although when you put the components together (filling & frosting) the cupcake is delicious.  When I make them again I will use 1/2 bourbon 1/2 coffee, which was a suggestion in the original recipe – just to tone it down a bit.

You may be overwhelmed by this recipe, this is not your basic whip together some cupcakes and spread on some frosting cupcakes.  These do take time.  If you want to make them I suggest making the the three components to them over at least 2 if not 3 days, it’ll make it easier on you.

The frosting only is delicious, so go ahead and skip the filling and the cupcakes will still be great!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting


1/2 cup bourbon*

1/2 cup coffee

1 cup canola oil

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all­ purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 large eggs

2/3 cup greek yogurt

**The original recipe calls for 1 cup bourbon.  I used the one cup and it was an extremely strong bourbon smell/flavor after baking.  The recipe also said 1/2 cup coffee could be substituted for half the bourbon, which is how I posted the recipe, this is how I would make them for now on – you can decide depending on how strong of the bourbon flavor you want to come out.  If you don’t want any bourbon flavor, I would suggest using 1 cup coffee.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.

In a stand-mixer bowl mix together the bourbon, coffee, canola oil and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs and greek yogurt and mix until silky smooth.  Beat in sugar.  Add the salt, baking soda and flour, mix just until incorporated.

Fill baking cups 3/4 full. Bake for about 18­-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.

Pecan Pie Filling

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

While the cupcakes are baking, make the pecan pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup cold water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a saucepan, whisk until smooth. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat, whisking consistently.  Continue whisking consistently and let boil for about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or until completely cooled and thickened.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

2 tablespoons bourbon

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans

In a medium sauce pan, melt together 1/4 cup butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer until cool. (30 min-1 hr)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray.

In a bowl whisk together the bourbon, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly. Transfer nuts to prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove and toss the pecans in a bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Allow to cool 10 minutes, set aside.

Grab the cooled butter mixture from the freezer and add the remaining 1/2 cup room temperature butter, vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat together until combined, smooth and creamy. Mix in about 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans.

To assemble the cupcakes: Use a small paring knife to cut a cone­-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the cooled pecan pie filling. (optional: cover the filling with leftover chocolate cupcake top that was cut out)  Spread with a thick layer of frosting.  Sprinkle each cupcake with the remaining pecans.

Recipe adopted from Half Baked Harvest


Focaccia February 9, 2015

Filed under: Bread — stacielk @ 11:08 am
Tags: ,

Focaccia is something that has been on a list in my mind to make for a long time.  Not sure why I didn’t make it sooner, it is super easy and the recipe I used turned out really really good!  The texture was great, the seasoning was great, dipped in a bit of oil or eating it by itself, it was delicious!

This recipe came from a neat recipe book I received for Christmas called Three Sisters Bake by the Reith Sisters who opened up a bakery of their own in Scotland.


Sea Salt and Oregano Focaccia

7 1/2 cups (2 lbs) white bread flour

2 tsp salt

1 oz instant yeast

2 1/2 fl oz olive oil

3 tsp sea salt


Grease a 9×13 roasting pan with olive oil.

With a dough hook, mix flour, salt and yeast.  Add 2 cups (1 pint) tepid water and the 2 1/2 fl oz olive oil.  Knead for 10 minutes adding a bit of additional flour if needed to form a smooth and glossy ball of dough.

Place dough in roasting tin and press into rough rectangle.  Cover with oiled suran wrap and let double in size in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.

Remove the suran wrap.  Pull the dough from middle to corners of tin.  Sprinkle with oregano and sea salt (or seasoning of choice and press your fingers into dough to create the focaccia dimples.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Serve hot or cold, with extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Recipe from Three Sisters Bake


Honey Garlic Chicken & Naked Pizza with Basil and Garlic January 16, 2015

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 1:30 pm
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This chicken is delicious!  The flavors of all the ingredients combined together is wonderful.  The flavor reminded my husband and I of the flavors you get at P.F. Changs.  I loved this chicken and served it over rice.  Leftovers were also great!  Check out Kelly’s blog at Just a Taste for some mouth-watering pictures.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

3 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts (2 1/2 to 3 lbs total)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup blackberry jam

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced onion

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Sliced scallions, for garnish

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker so that they are not overlapping.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes.  Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on LOW for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board.  Remove the bones then use two forks to shred the chicken into smaller pieces.  Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and cover with tin foil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 T of cold water to make a slurry.

Strain the liquids from the slow cooker into a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the slurry.  Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes.  Pour enough  sauce over the chicken to cover nicely, tossing to combine.  Serve the chicken topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Recipe from Just A Taste


This dough takes a couple days, but is really worth it and comes together very quickly, as far as hands-on time.  You have to let it set for 18 hours after you combine the ingredients for the dough so start the day before you want to make the pizza.  The dough was soft and chewy.  I used the recipe on Baking Steel with the basil & garlic topping, which was great, but I look forward to trying other dry herb mixtures and also normal pizza toppings.

Lahey Pizza Dough (makes 3 pizzas)

1 lb flour

2 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups water

Whisk flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl.  While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 1 1/2 cups water; stir until well incorporated.  Mix dough gently with your hands to form a rough ball.  Transfer to a large clean bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours, give or take.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface.  Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 3 equal portions.  Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds.  Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball.  Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining portions.

Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill or use immediately.  See below for the topping and cooking instructions I used.

Naked Pizza with Basil & Garlic

1 round pizza dough (Lahey Dough recipe below)
2 small cloves garlic
pinch salt
1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
sea salt for finishing

Place a metal pizza pan in the oven and preheat your oven to 425.

About 20 to 30 minutes before baking, remove pizza dough from fridge and place on a piece of parchment dusted with flour.

Make the basil-garlic sauce: mince garlic with a pinch of salt.  Stack basil leaves, roll them into a coil, and cut into thin slices. Then mince the basil slices with the garlic.  Transfer mixture to a small bowl.  Season with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (or enough so that the basil is just submerged) and the cheese. Stir.

Gently stretch your pizza round into a circle, roughly 11 inches in diameter.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Take your hot pan out of the oven and pull the parchment carefully onto the pan.  Bake until dough is blistered and lightly golden, about 8-12 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board.  Brush with basil-garlic mixture.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Cut and serve immediately.

Recipe from Baking Steel Blog


Shredded Wheat Snack Mix December 30, 2014

Filed under: Appetizer,Miscellaneous,Uncategorized — stacielk @ 4:32 pm
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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoys their New Year.

This snack mix is a salty one, really easy to put together and I love the flavor of it.  Enjoy!

shredded wheat

Shredded Wheat Snack Mix

4 cups shredded wheat cereal (spoon size – I got mine from aldi so not sure if it’s the right sz or not.)

2 cups popped popcorn

1 cup small pretzels

1 cup mixed nuts

1 envelope Italian salad dressing/recipe mix

1/4 cup butter/margarine, melted

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 300.  In a medium-large bowl toss cereal with popcorn, pretzels and nuts.  Sprinkle evenly with salad dressing mix.

Mix butter, Worcestershire sauce & garlic powder.  Drizzle evenly over cereal and toss to coat.  Place on a 10x15x1 inch baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly toasted.  Stir after 15 minutes.

Recipe from Kat’s Kitchen Binder (unsure of where original came from)


Shrimp Scampi Dip December 1, 2014

Filed under: Appetizer — stacielk @ 1:01 pm
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Shrimp Scampi Dip - One of the best (and easiest) dips I've ever had, baked to absolute creamy, cheesy perfection!

This dip is delicious.  Pretty simple to put together.  Once it’s in the oven, slice up some french bread, spray them with oil and broil just until brown.  The toasted bread works great as a dipper.

Unfortunately my picture didn’t make the cut.  I get to excited to try the food I make, that I don’t have enough patience to set up a photo-shoot, especially of the hot dishes.  Here’s a picture from the original blog I got it from.  If you want to see some more mouth watering pictures, find them here.

Shrimp Scampi Dip

2 T unsalted butter

8 oz med. shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I omitted)

1/4 C white wine

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used bottled)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (I used 1/2-1 oz less)

1/4 C sour cream

3 T mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

2 T grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in wine and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring to a simmer; remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley, 1/4 cup mozzarella and Parmesan.

Spread mixture into the prepared dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella. Place into oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 10-12 minutes.

Serve immediately with toasted bread.

Recipe adopted from here original from Closet Cooking


Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa Recipe October 31, 2014

Filed under: Main Dishes,soup — stacielk @ 8:16 am
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It’s soup season!  Love soup, could eat/make a different one everyday and not get sick of it.  This Chicken Stew was delicious.  It has some great seasonal ingredients and quinoa, which adds some health benefits and texture to the soup.

I followed the directions but left out the olives.  There are few things in this world I dislike, and one of them is olives.  I try them every few years just to make sure my taste buds haven’t changed, but they haven’t, as far as olives go!  I was going to throw in some black beans to get the color and more health benefits, but forgotto do that.

Head on over to Cookin’ Canuck for the recipe.

Thanks for stopping by, even though I’m not consistent with my blogging, I appreciate everyone who continues to check my blog out when I get around to it.

stewPicture from Cookin’ Canuck.




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