Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Banana

I eat bananas on an almost daily basis. Never in a million years would I think to mash it into a side dish. Let alone with sweet potatoes. But after reading a magazine last month I saw the idea and I felt the urge to try it. I love sweet potatoes. My husband on the other hand, not a huge fan but he will eat sweet potatoes or starve. I started a new fitness program called Baby Boot Camp at the beginning of last month. I’ve been working out 3 days a week with fellow mom’s of babies ages 3 months (mine is currently the youngest) to 5 years of age. It’s a boot camp style workout where you can bring your baby. No one judges at the screaming, crying, cheeri-o throwing tots that are with us, because we are all experiencing this thing called motherhood, together. Since I’ve started working out I’ve really been trying to eat a little healthier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still indulging (because you know I do need a few hundred extra calories a day since I’m breastfeeding) but for the most part I’m trying to make even more health conscious decisions. That’s the good thing about always eating relatively well–eating healthier is not that difficult. And can I just tell you that I’ve dropped 7 lbs since starting boot camp and I’ve had to ditch my large stretchy maternity shorts for actual non-maternity shorts. I never knew how much I missed being sore until I started working out again. To say I’m addicted to it is an understatement. I’ve never been one too really want to work out but since joining Baby Boot Camp I’m in love with working out.

Each week, our fearless instructor, Kirstin, gives our group an ingredient of the week. It’s a challenge to add it into your daily meals. A few weeks ago it was sweet potato and since I love sweet potato I was up for the challenge. I wanted to do something different other than just baking the sweet potato which is what I normally do. Of course, my recipe for twice baked candied sweet potatoes was not going to fly. Ironically, this week our ingredient of the week is bananas! So I felt it was fitting to post this recipe this week rather than wait a few more weeks. Sweet potatoes are loaded in fiber and are naturally high in vitamin A. Bananas are a heart-healthy food and a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins B6 and C. (Banana Facts courtesy of Chiquita)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Banana

This side dish comes together in a flash. I used the microwavable sweet potato bags to expedite the process. I let them cool down once they were done cooking, cut them length-wise and scooped the insides into a bowl. Then I took one really ripe banana and mashed that into the sweet potatoes using a fork because I couldn’t find and didn’t have the time to look for my potato masher. I also added in fresh orange juice and a little brown sugar for good measure! This made 3 portions and was the perfect side dish to a tasty grilled chicken recipe I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks.  I did not tell my husband that I mashed a banana in with the sweet potatoes I wanted to see if he would notice. He noticed alright and at first wasn’t sure if he liked it or not but after a few bites he said he loved it and actually prefers a side dish of sweet potatoes thanks to this recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Banana.

Katie Original Recipe

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Banana

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Banana

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. petit sweet potatoes (about 4-5)
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Microwave sweet potatoes according to package. Let rest to cool 5 minutes, then slice lengthwise. Scoop out the insides of the sweet potatoes (discarding the skins) and place in a large bowl.
  2. Place sliced ripe bananas in the bowl, add the brown sugar, and the orange juice. Using a fork, mash until desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Notes

If you cannot find or do not like to use microwavable sweet potato bags you can peel and dice 1.5lb of sweet potatoes. Boil in a pot of water with salt for 15 minutes until fork tender.

*Like it spicy? Add 1-2 tablespoons of minced jalapeño to the sweet potato mash!

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2014/07/mashed-sweet-potatoes-banana/

 


read more

Enjoy fresh Idaho® potatoes cooked in rendered bacon fat to create the ultimate breakfast side dish; Bacon and Onion Breakfast Potatoes!

Bacon and Onion Breakfast Potatoes #FWConWe love breakfast in our home. We also feel that a hot cooked breakfast is not complete without breakfast potatoes. Something about the starchy side that makes me feel like breakfast is complete. I’m attending the second annual Food & Wine Conference here in Orlando, Florida in just three short weeks. The Idaho Potato Commission has challenged attendee’s to develop a recipe using fresh Idaho® potatoes! Since we love potatoes and adore breakfast I knew this was one recipe contest I not only wanted to enter but needed to enter! 

Bacon and Onion Breakfast Potatoes

I have my traditional breakfast potato recipe that I make time and time again. I also make southern-style breakfast potatoes on occasion. While brainstorming the other weekend I brought up the contest to my mother in-law in hopes she would help me come up with a new breakfast potato dish. She told me how she makes her breakfast potatoes, loaded with bacon! I immediately thought that was genius. She fries up the bacon, uses the rendered bacon fat to cook her potatoes in it, caramelizes onions, and crumbles the bacon on top. I think she even takes it a step further and smothers cheddar cheese on top and pops it under the broiler for a minute or two.

The idea of Bacon and Onion Breakfast Potatoes in my mind are pure genius. Without knowing all the spices and measurements my mother in-law uses for her own recipe I went to work in my own kitchen. I decided to cut the potatoes thin. I love to use my OXO Hand-held Mandoline Slicer. It’s the best slicer that can be bought for just $15! I cut everything on it from cucumbers and tomatoes to onions and potatoes!  This recipe for Bacon and Onion Breakfast Potatoes is the perfect side dish to any breakfast item in town! I actually have also served this as a side with dinner the other night just because I couldn’t get my mind of this recipe.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to cook my traditional breakfast potatoes again. Even my bacon hating husband LOVED these breakfast potatoes!

Katie Original Recipe

Bacon and Onion Breakfast Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4

Bacon and Onion Breakfast Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 Idaho® potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced (about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 6 strips of Bacon + rendered bacon fat (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Lawrys Seasoning Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Directions

  1. Scrub and thinly slice about 1.5 pounds (4) Idaho® potatoes. Rinse in a pot with cold water three times until the water runs clear. Place on stove top, add one tablespoon of salt, and cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and place to the side.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, cook the six slices of bacon in a skillet on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes (turning half way through) until golden brown and crispy. Work in batches if need be, and place the crispy bacon to the side on a paper towel. Make sure you keep all the rendered bacon fat in the skillet.
  3. Place the drained cooked potatoes and the diced onions in the skillet with the rendered bacon fat. Sprinkle Lawrys seasoning salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika on top of the potato and onions. Carefully flip potatoes to mix the seasoning (trying not to break the thin slices of potatoes). Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until golden brown, flipping potatoes often to prevent burning. Once the potatoes are cooked to your liking place the minced fresh parsley in the skillet and crumble the bacon on top. Serve immediately.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2014/06/bacon-onion-breakfast-potatoes/

Disclaimer: I am not required to post a recipe for Idaho Potato Commission. This is a voluntary contest. Three winners will be selected and will win a cash prize. As always all opinions are my own. 


read more

Looking for a light and refreshing Mexican-style salad? Give my recipe for Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad a try! 

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Tomorrow, is the official start to summer. It’s also my sixth wedding anniversary. Seriously, I’ve been married six years–where the heck has the time gone? One thing I’ve learned about being married to my husband over the past six years is that he is a “dip” guy. He loves chips and dip and if he could have chips and dip as a meal he totally would. However, being the loving and nurturing wife that I am I will not allow a meal of only chips and dip. Instead I added other components to the meal like my Chipotle Chicken & Bacon Baked Quesadillas.

I struggled on what to call this side dish. In the end I decided on Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad. I ate it as a side dish with my quesadillas. However, my husband turned it into a dip. Bite after bite was consumed with a chip in his hand. I also scooped some of the salad on to my plate. My husband scooped up each bite directly from the bowl. Even at dinner that night we both debated about what to call this side dish. In the end, I won with Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad. Because let’s face it–the wife is always right, and well… after six years my husband has learned to pick his battles!

I shared my recipe for Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad over at The Law Student’s Wife. Head on over to get the full recipe and read about her amazing host parents in France. Erin is spending four (yes, you read that correctly) weeks in France with her husband. Her husband who just so happened to graduate from law school! I’ve been living vicariously through her blog post, and if you like to travel I think you should too!

 

 


read more

Utilize leftover baked potatoes, oil, and seasonings to whip up a tasty side dish of of italian-style baked potato wedges.

 Use up leftover baked potatoes and make these Italian-Style Baked Potato Wedges

You guys, I’m so sorry I was absent all last week. Every time I tried to get on the computer something else was calling my name. Whether it was my newborn, my home, or paid projects I was a busy lady. By the time I would get free time in the evening, the baby was asleep and this mama was tired. Since being pregnant I’ve tried not to “sweat the small stuff”. I’ve really tried to roll with the punches, and for someone who is a planner–that is a challenge. But overall I think I’m doing good just taking it day-by-day, and because of that I’m finding that some evenings I make random meals. Meals that we would not normally eat for dinner. With that being said I’m constantly looking for ways to not only use up leftovers but make really quick and delicious tasting side dishes.

Italian-Style Baked Potato Wedges

I find that I’m making baked potatoes in the slow cooker at least every two weeks. I typically just eat the leftovers for a quick lunch, or chop them up and make a quick breakfast potato. Most recently, I had this ah-ha moment. Why not make potato wedges out of the leftover potatoes. So, that is exactly what I did. I split the potatoes in half and then cut 3 thick wedges from each half. I placed them in a ziplock bag and tossed them with an olive oil blend, garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Gave them a shake and then roasted them for 20 minutes.

Italian-Style Baked Potato Wedges

Katie Original Recipe

Italian-Style Baked Potato Wedges

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 18 wedges

Italian-Style Baked Potato Wedges

Ingredients

  • 3 cooked baked potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 tbsp Mediterranean Blend Oil (Olive Oil, Canola Oil, and Grape Seed Oil)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut leftover, cooked baked potatoes in half, then cut each half into 3 wedges. Each baked potatoes should yield 6 large wedges. Place the wedges in a ziplock bag and combine with oil, garlic, italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Carefully toss, then place on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2014/05/italian-style-baked-potato-wedges/


read more

Today, Sam from Sweet Remedy is here to share her recipe for Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa. Sam and I have met a few times in real life and room together at BlogHer Food last summer. Can I just tell you she is the sweet person on the planet. The girl sacrificed her time to help me get ready for a big dinner at BlogHer Food –ironing my wrinkly dress while I raced around the room to get ready. That is a true friend for you! 

Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa | Sweet-Remedy.com

Hi Everyone! While Katie is busy getting into the grove of Motherhood, she has enlisted some of her friends to entertain you. I do hope you stick around! I’m Sam from Sweet Remedy and today I’m ready for a picnic where I can eat a huge amount of salsa with fruit. How about you?

It’s April and I know that this salsa is more of a summer recipe but I’m hoping to propel full force into warmer weather. Katie doesn’t really have this issue, being from the sunshine state and all. Since I call New York home, I’m always cold and dreaming of warmth.

I’m ready for bright produce and frosty treats! Bring on the popsicles, ice cream and this Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa!

The addition of fruit to this salsa gives it such a sweet taste, one that is perfect to help celebrate the rising temperatures in the North East.

I used Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste in this recipe, but you can always use fresh cilantro instead!

So I do hope you’ll join me while I stuff fruit into my salsa and congratulate Katie and Jon on their baby bundle! I’m so incredibly thrilled that they are starting their family. The next time I find myself in Florida, which is usually about once a year, I hope to meet the little guy we’ve all been waiting for!

Original Recipe for Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa from Sweet Remedy

Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherries
  • 2 mangoes
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro

Directions

  1. Pit and cut the cherries in half or quarters, depending on how large you want your cherry pieces.
  2. Pit the mangoes and score each half with a knife by making light overlapping slices from one side to the other, being careful not to cut through the skin. Push up on the skin side and cut off the chunks that fan out.
  3. Dice the red onion and red pepper. Cut the chipotle peppers into small pieces. Mix all ingredients together and add the cilantro.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2014/04/cherry-cilantro-mango-salsa/


read more

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Looking to spice up the traditional mashed potatoes? Why not make my recipe for Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes? They are perfect for any day of the week, a special occasion, or even a holiday. The other day, I need to make a new slow cooker ham recipe and while that ham was slow cooking away in the slow cooker I started to think about the side dishes I wanted to serve with it. That’s when the idea of Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes came to mind. I had a 5lb bag that was close to being on its way out, so I decided to make the entire bag. I know what your thinking… you made 5 pounds of potatoes for just two people?

Well, yes, but I have a great reason. I froze the leftovers! Yes, you can freeze mashed potatoes. Who knew?

I’m kind of on a food freezing kick since the baby will be here any day now (15 days and counting–gah)! I don’t think I can fit a single item in my freezer at this point, so I guess this baby better come soon, so we can start eating every thing I’ve been making/freezing.

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

I was also a nice friend/neighbor and invited our neighbor over for dinner to help with the 5lbs of mashed potatoes. We hadn’t had dinner together in a while and I knew I had plenty of food. Plus who doesn’t love a ham dinner on a Tuesday night? That’s the beauty of the slow cooker, my friends. You can have a swanky holiday like meal during the week day. And mashed potatoes don’t take long at all to make. I had contemplated baking these mashed potatoes after I was done mashing them, but didn’t feel the need to add more time to the cooking process. I was hungry and wanted to photograph them and then do a face plant right into the bowl. If you love a good sour cream and chive baked potato you’ll love these mashed potatoes. They complemented our sweet ham perfectly. Stay tuned next month for the ham recipe.

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Katie Original Recipe

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 5lbs Golden Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic in water,
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, add salt to water and boil peeled cubed potatoes for 20-25 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes.
  2. While potatoes are draining melt the butter in the stock pot. Once the butter is half way melted, add the potatoes back to the stock pot followed by sour cream, chives, minced garlic, and black pepper. Using a hand mixer, mix potatoes until smooth and creamy. Taste and decide if you want to add any additional salt and/or pepper. Top with additional chives and butter if desired and serve immediately.

Notes

Have leftovers? Freeze the mashed potatoes in a freezer zip lock. They will store for up to 3 months in the freezer. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal side dish!

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2014/03/sour-cream-chive-mashed-potatoes/


read more

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Valentine’s Day is less than 2 weeks away. How the heck did this happen? Over the next week I’ll be sharing a few delicious recipes you can cook for the one you love this Valentine’s Day. Let’s start with this Cream of Asparagus Soup. You can make this right before dinner or make it ahead of time and reheat the night/day your serving it.  Just because you might not be going out to a fancy restaurant this v-day doesn’t mean you can’t make fancy food at home. If you do chose to stay home, make your meal extra special. Don’t just make a main course and dessert.

Serve several courses just as if you were dining in a 5 star restaurant (of course for a fraction of the cost). Start with a salad like my Beet, Tomato, & Artichoke Salad, then move on to Cream of Asparagus Soup, and then maybe make Steaks with Mushroom Sauce and a little Cauliflower-Leek Puree. Finish off your meal with Puff Pastry w/ Strawberries & Cream. Most of the recipes can be prepared a head of time or at least some of the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time like slicing strawberries and mushrooms, etc.

Normally, we stay home and make a meal together, which is rare since my husband is not the cook in the house, so its a nice welcomed change. It’s nice to cook together every now and then–it makes the meal that much more special. At least it does in our home. This year, since its our last kid-free Valentine’s day I’ve insisted we go out to dinner. This is the last year (for a very long time) that we won’t have to worry about getting a babysitter on Valentine’s day! I don’t care how over-priced the meal is–we are taking advantage of  our last few carefree weeks of no babysitting scheduling needed. In the 12 Valentine’s days we have celebrated together–that is something we have never had to worry about and as it crossed my mind this year I realized we need to enjoy our “last” holiday together as 2. I then started to try and imagine how different next Valentine’s day will be. I envision a baby, sitting in between us in his high chair as we take turn feeding him peas and mashed potatoes! More reasons why we are going out this Valentine’s day. But if you are in our shoes that we will be in next year–make a nice multi-course meal at home and try to enjoy a few minutes together without interruption (easier said then done as I’m told by friends with kids).

Katie Original Recipe

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4

8 oz.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 lbs Asparagus, cut 1/2 inch pieces (reserve tips)
  • 32 oz Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, add olive oil and 1/2 inch pieces of asparagus tips. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat with lid on until asparagus has started to soften. Then add chicken broth to the pot. Cook on high with lid on for 25 minutes. During the last 5 minutes add the asparagus tips and cook until just tender. Remove the tips and set to the side.
  2. Once the asparagus is done, carefully pour the broth and asparagus into a blender. Blend until pureed (about 20-30 seconds). Return back to the stock pot. Add salt and pepper and heavy cream. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-high until cream has thickened and soup is hot. Serve immediately with freshly ground black pepper and steamed asparagus tips.

Notes

Feel free to strain the soup if you don't like the added texture from the pureed asparagus stalks.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2014/02/cream-asparagus-soup/


read more

{Guest Post from Katie's Cucina} Smoked Paprika and Shallot Brussels Sprouts #recipe #vegetarian #sidedish

Last year, I shared this recipe over on Rachel Cooks. I figured why not share it this year with my readers in case you missed this awesome recipe last year.  People either love or hate Brussels sprouts. I am a lover, but I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t until my late teens / early twenties when I first began to fall in love with Brussels sprouts. I am always looking for new ways to cook them up. I also love to keep my vegetable side dishes relatively healthy and not drown them in butter and fattening sauces. That is why I turned to my good friend, I mean spice, smoked paprika. This spice packs a punch and can bring tons of new layers of flavors to any dish. I just so happened to have a shallot in my pantry so I decided to make them fancy and add an extra-large shallot to the pan.

Smoked Paprika and Shallot Brussel Sprouts Guest Post from KatiesCucina.com #recipe #vegetarian

The night I made the Smoked Paprika and Shallot Brussels Sprouts I served them with the most delicious (and once again easy-to-make) Crunchy-Baked Chicken Strips and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower. This is a perfect healthy meal to cook on a busy weeknight when time is limited. Instead of reaching for your phone to call take-out give my complete meal a try!

Katie Original Recipe

Smoked Paprika and Shallot Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and stems removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme + more for garnishing

Directions

  1. Trim and remove stems from brussels sprouts. Place in a large pot and boil for 10 minutes until tender.
  2. In a skillet, add two tablespoons olive oil and one shallot (thinly sliced). Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat then add the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to the pan. Stir well and then add brussels sprouts: stirring so that the shallots and seasoning cover the sprouts. Cook for 5 additional minutes. Once the Brussels sprouts are done sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2014/01/smoked-paprika-shallot-brussels-sprouts/


read more

easy to make -->> dark chocolate macadamia nut bark from katiescucina.com

I’ve been a little absent lately. I’ve definitely been in a food blogging slump. I expressed it the other week–when I cook I need to cook quick because I’m starving. I don’t have time to wait the extra 5 minutes to take photos of my food. I need food NOW! I recently made a batch of dark chocolate macadamia nut bark to hand out to family and friends during the holidays and I figured this would be the perfect recipe to share with my loyal readers. I promise I will get out of this slump and start sharing more recipes (frequently) again. Until then… hang in there with me. Please!!??!?

dark chocolate macadamia nut bark

This dark chocolate macadamia nut bark is super easy to make, but looks way fancy and will impress just about everyone you know! That’s why I love making this bark. Plus, who doesn’t love macadamia nuts? I toasted them to really let the flavor come out and used some of the best chocolate I know… SCHARFFEN BERGER Chocolate. I always have a little stash on hand especially during the holidays so I can make delectable barks to hand out. I also always have dried fruit on hand. I recently purchased a Costco size bag of dried apricots. I eat a handful nightly to keep the calf cramps away. It seems to be working, and I’ve actually started to love them.

Oh and because I like no-mess I used a SILPAT mat to pour my warm chocolate on to. If you don’t have one, no worries–just line you’re baking sheet with parchment paper. I popped the tray into the refrigerator for 30 minutes and voila… it was ready to be broken up and distributed. Of course, you have to have room in your refrigerator to be able to store the cookie sheet. Luckily, I had the room since any more I can’t keep our refrigerator full enough thanks to my raging teenage-boy like appetite! dark chocolate macadamia nut bark

So if you are looking for a quick and easy holiday gift to give your friends and family this holiday season, give my recipe for dark chocolate macadamia nut bark a try! Don’t worry–if you don’t have dried apricots and pomegranates on hand you can use other dried fruit. The sky is the limit!

Katie Original Recipe

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bark

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bark

Ingredients

  • 9.7 oz Bittersweet Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 6 oz package of Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 cup Macadamia Nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dried Pomegranates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dried Apricots, chopped

Directions

  1. In a frying pan, toast macadamia nuts until golden brown 3-5 minutes on medium-high (tossing frequently). Remove from the pan, and rough chop.
  2. While the nuts are roasting, begin to melt the bittersweet dark chocolate. *I use a microwave on the melt setting in 30 second intervals. Mix every 30 seconds then add in the semi-sweet chocolate. Mix until just melted.
  3. Pour on a lined cookie sheet, top with chopped macadamia nuts, dried pomegranates, and dried apricots.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until hard. Break apart and package. Store in sealed container for 3-5 days.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2013/12/dark-chocolate-macadamia-nut-bark/


read more

Make these Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes in just 15 minutes!

My recent obsession has been sweet potatoes. Candied sweet potatoes to be exact. Dessert and a side dish all in one. I’ve made this recipe for Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes over a handful of times in the past 2 weeks. It all stemmed from wanting candied sweet potato casserole. That’s when I got the genius idea to make a twice baked candied sweet potato. When I’m hungry–I’m starving and I want food ASAP. So I’ve been doing everything in my power to get food on the table and in my belly as quickly as possibly. I can whip up two of these twice baked candied sweet potatoes in just 15 minutes. They aren’t the prettiest of food to look at, but they are darn tasty. And that is all that really matters, right?

Twice Baked Candied Sweet PotatoGranted, I cheat a little. I use the microwave for a little help. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want too. You can bake them in the oven the traditional way.  Or you can get these bad boys on the table as quick as possibly like I’m teaching you today. My mom thinks I’m crazy for making a candied version, and keeps reminding me I have a glucose test to take in the next few weeks. Mom, it’s ok. It’s not like I’m eating 10 of these in one sitting (just maybe 2). 

I was tempted to make these for Thanksgiving but went the traditional route with a casserole instead (I’ll share that recipe later this month). These make for a great snack (in my case) or a quick and easy side dish for twice baked candied sweet potatoes. Oh and if you’re wondering if I ate both of these after the photo shoot… no. I ate one and wrapped the other one up and ate it a day later! Not as good a day later, but when you’re instantly hungry, what else is a girl supposed to do?

Katie Original Recipe

Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potato

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2

Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potato

Ingredients

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp brown Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
  • Dash of Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • Mini Marshmallows

Directions

  1. Wash sweet potatoes really well. Poke with a fork, wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 5-7 minutes until cooked through and soft (time may vary depending on the microwave).
  2. While sweet potatoes are cooking, in a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and dash of nutmeg. Set to the side.
  3. Preheat broiler in the oven.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave.
  5. Carefully open up the sweet potatoes (I like to use a fork and poke holes and gently open the potato). Divide the cinnamon sugar mixture between the two potatoes and mix well inside the sweet potato. Add a handful of mini marshmallows to each potato and then drizzle with melted butter.
  6. Broil for 1-2 minutes until the marshmallows are toasted.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.katiescucina.com/2013/12/twice-baked-candied-sweet-potato/


read more