Kats’ Kitchen

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Mushrooms May 5, 2016

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Side Dish,Uncategorized — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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I randomly purchased Squash Spaghetti Squash at the store.  It sat on my counter for a week or two.  Sometimes I do that.  Buy something with no plan to make anything specific.

I saw it every time I went in my kitchen (which is lot!) until a day came that I decided to search for a recipe and throw something together.  I also had spinach and mushrooms to use up that day (which I love) and added those ingredients in my search.

I found this Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Mushrooms, threw it together fairly quickly and had a delicious lunch!  It was light and full of flavor.

I will make it again, when I decide to randomly buy another spaghetti squash.  I do like to plan, although I like to be spontaneous also…sometimes it’s easier to buy a bunch of stuff I enjoy eating or want to try cooking with and do exactly what I did here.

 

 

Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake April 28, 2016

Filed under: Breakfast,cake,Uncategorized — stacielk @ 10:34 am
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I was planning to head to my mom’s one Friday.  My husband was going to be out of town for the weekend, my mom was having outpatient surgery the day before.  So I thought it would be nice for her to have some company and entertainment (aka my little ones)apple.

Before heading over there she started talking about this coffee cake she pinned.  She asked if I had a block of cream cheese.  I did.  I usually do have extra of those.  So I planned to bring it so she could whip this together.  My mom called back, “do you have flour” she asked.  I did, I ALWAYS have flour, plus some.  She was running low, so I lugged my flour container and block of cream cheese over.  Little did I know I was going to be ‘throwing’ this coffee cake together. :)

It was simple to make, maybe slightly time consuming because of the 3 components and the chopping of the apple.  But not difficult.

I popped it in the oven and before we knew it the house aroma was divine!  The coffeecake turned out great.  The sugery topping was a bit over the top…hence the comment on reducing the sugar in the recipe.  But otherwise, I loved it!  It was delicious slightly warm or chilled.  With a good cup of coffee.

Cream Cheese Apple Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apples (chopped small)Cream Cheese Layer Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons white sugarStreusel Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup white sugar(reduce if you don’t like extremely sweet topping!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8×8 inch square pan.

Combine the butter and sugars for the cake and mix until fluffy. Add the egg, oil, and vanilla and mix until combined.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and stir into the butter mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in the chopped apples. Spread into the prepared pan.

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla for the cream cheese layer and spread over the cake batter in the pan.

Combine all the streusel ingredients using your hands or a pastry blender until well combined. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the topping is browned.

Can be stored in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Yammie’s Noshery

 

Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup January 20, 2016

Filed under: Chicken,Main Dishes,soup — stacielk @ 10:15 am
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Soup

Here is a great soup for these cold Winter days.  Go here for the original recipe.  We made the soup a bit healthier and replaced some ingredients for others we had in the house.  If you want the creamy goodness that is found in the original recipe/picture linked above, I would suggest using the heavy cream.  We used skim milk which made it a broth-based soup.

A few other changes/suggestions:

-Used the pasta we had in the house, also used less of the pasta

-Seasoned with Cajun to taste

-Used all chicken flavored broth and, again, used seasoning to get the right flavor

-And again, used milk instead of cream

Hope this warm comforting soup warms you up on this beautiful Winter day!

 

Twice-Baked Butternut Squash December 3, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — stacielk @ 7:00 am

Hi friends!  It’s been a while…again.  I apologize for the time between each post!  It’s just life right now.  I’ve been making some fun things in my kitchen lately like this delicious Parmesan Herb Crusted Salmon and these Toffee Pumpkin Muffins, which I hope to make again soon!  I brought this Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash dish to a dinner party and made these Peanut Butter Bars for some friends who recently had babies.  Yum, all those recipes turned out great.  And just this week I made this Twice Baked Butternut Squash which I got the recipe right from the Aldi site.  It turned out great and is a delicious meat-free dish (for those who don’t mind eating a meal without meat :)

If you get to try any of these recipes, I would love to hear what you think of them!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and just in case this is the last post until the new year….Merry Christmas! :)
Twice-Baked Butternut Squash

 

Twice-Baked Butternut Squash

1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded

5 oz Honey Goat Cheese Log, crumbled, divided

¼ C Half & Half (I used almond milk)

2 T Unsalted Butter, melted

5 oz Dried Mixed Berries (I used craisens)

2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

½ C Chopped Pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large baking dish, place butternut squash cut side up. Add 2 cups hot water, cover with foil. Bake until tender, approx 45 min to 1 hr. Remove from oven, discard water, cool. Scoop out tender parts of squash leaving skin intact.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine squash, 3 oz  goat cheese, half & half, melted butter, mixed berries, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper. Stir together. Scoop mixture back into squash skin, top with remaining goat cheese and chopped pecans. Bake until mixture is slightly firm, approximately 10-12 minutes.
  4. Change oven setting to broil.
  5. Broil until cheese is browned, approximately 5-8 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adopted from Chef Morgan, ALDI Test 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

Cupcakes

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.

Frosting

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.

focaccia

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

oregano

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

 

 
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