Get stadium-quality candied walnuts in minutes at home with just a few everyday ingredients!

Easy Candied WalnutsFootball season is here! There is nothing that my husband and I love more than hot candied walnuts when we attend a sporting event. Heck, even when we go to the theater to watch an off-broadway show the minute we smell the brown sugar glazed walnuts we have to buy a pouch. I recently needed candied walnuts for a recipe and as a scoured the store I couldn’t find any. Then it hit me… duh these are probably so easy to make. So I heated up a sauté pan and melted butter and brown sugar and then add the walnuts to the pan. I continued to mix the walnuts until all the brown sugar had coated the nuts.

Easy Candied Walnuts

My home smelled like a sports arena in minutes (minus the smelly players and people). These are the ideal snack for watching a game or even a movie or television show. If your kids don’t have a nut allergy and like nuts these would be perfect in a bento box lunch. Give them a few of the sweet sugary easy-to-make candied walnuts in their lunch box and I’m sure they will eat them all. Who wouldn’t eat brown sugar glazed nuts?

Katie Original Recipe

Easy Candied Walnuts

Prep Time: 11 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 16 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Easy Candied Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions

  1. In a large saute pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Then add the walnuts, white granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until all the sugar has coated the walnuts. Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes on medium-high heat until all sugar has dissolved on walnuts.
  2. Remove the candied walnuts off the heat and pour the candied walnuts on a sheet of parchment paper. Spread the candied walnuts out and allow to cool and harden for at least 10 minutes. Store candied walnuts in a sealed container for up to one week.
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 This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cost Plus World Market. As always all opinions are my own. 

Caramel Apple Oatmeal

Oatmeal. Do you love it or hate it? For years I hated it and just in the past 5 month’s I’ve been working on trying to embrace it. I’ve experimented all different ways trying to spruce it up and I’ve finally come up with a flavor combo that is out of this world and make oatmeal bareable to me. This caramel apple oatmeal is like fall harvest in a bowl for me. For those that don’t read regularly, I’m a breastfeeding mama and oatmeal is said to help produce milk production. So I’ve started bellying up to a bowl of oatmeal every morning. The things we do for our kids!??!

Caramel Apple Oatmeal

I found that I couldn’t do the texture in oatmeal so adding crunchy fresh ingredients has helped. And of course it doesn’t hurt to add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top. I’ve been eating this caramel apple oatmeal for the past few weeks and I can say that I feel like I’ve seen a boost in my milk supply (but then again maybe its just my mind making me think that).

Caramel Apple Oatmeal

I found the ingredients to my Caramel Apple Oatmeal recipe at World Market. You guy’s know I love to shop there. My mom, baby Ryder, and I went a few Friday’s ago. We had a lovely lunch together to fuel up our bodies to shop! I tend to stock up my pantry when I go there from fresh pastas, oils, and a few bottles of beer. This time I stocked up on the Modern Oats Apple Walnut Instant Oatmeal. They have a wide assortment of fall food & drinks think all things pumpkin and apple!

Caramel Apple Oatmeal

So if you aren’t fond of oatmeal I challenge you to give this recipe a try. I think my Caramel Apple Oatmeal will make you start to enjoy oatmeal more like me!

Katie Original Recipe

Caramel Apple Oatmeal

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 1

Caramel Apple Oatmeal

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook oatmeal according to package. While oatmeal is cooking, chop apples. Place half the apple pieces on the bottom of a bowl. Then add cooked oatmeal on top. Sprinkle half the remaining apples on top, followed by walnuts and drizzle with caramel sauce. Eat immediately and enjoy.

Notes

You may need to warm the Dulce de Leche sauce in the microwave for 15 seconds to allow it to spread evenly.

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Grilled chicken fajitas are the ideal no-mess very little clean-up meal. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal all contained on the grill or even better for tailgating at a football game!

grilled chicken fajitas - easy meal to make in minutes on the grill!
I’ve recently came to the realization that I don’t share enough of my everyday recipes with my readers. Recipes I make in my kitchen day in and day out. Today, I’m sharing with you a tried and true favorite of ours; grilled chicken fajitas. I even did a demonstration on how to make this recipe at the Food & Wine Conference earlier this summer with STōK grills.
grilled chicken fajitas
I’ve blogged about grilled chicken fajita kabobs before which are fun but not practical for a quick dinner! I’ve been making grilled chicken fajitas on the grill for the past year and since making them on the grill I can honestly say I can’t remember the last time I made chicken fajitas on the stove top. True story. You see my grilled chicken fajitas can be prepared 100% on the grill. Grill the chicken, place the onions and peppers in a veggie basket and wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil to place on the grill just before serving. I marinate the chicken in fajita seasoning and grapeseed oil in a plastic bag.
grilled chicken fajitas
This can be prepared right before you go to grill or the night before for maximum flavor. Same goes with the onions and peppers. Slice them up and place them in a plastic bag with more fajita seasoning and grape seed oil. I cook them with grapeseed oil because grape seed oil has a high smoke point so my food is less likely to burn. I cook everything on low on the grill and with 15-20 minutes time frame dinner is served! Grilling chicken fajitas is that easy.
grilled chicken fajitas
While the fajitas are cooking I whip up a batch of my fresh homemade salsa. Most of the time I’ll make a box of Spanish rice to go with our fajitas. That’s it… Dinner is served. I make this frequently when entertaining. I also make this at least twice a month  as it’s always a hit. And I always have leftovers for lunch. Over the next few weeks I’ll share with you how I repurpose my grilled chicken fajita leftovers and make them into something amazing!
Katie Original Recipe
Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp fajita seasoning, divided
  • 1 of each; red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced in quarters
  • 10 flour tortillas (use corn tortillas to make these Gluten Free)
  • Sour cream and shredded cheese optional

Directions

  1. Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Trim any excess fat you might not want. Then place in a ziplock gallon-size bag. Place one tablespoon grapeseed oil in the bag coating the chicken as well as one tablespoon fajita seasoning. Seal bag and mix with hands to ensure the seasoning is coated all over chicken. Place in refrigerator until ready to cook.
  2. Place sliced bell peppers and red onion in another ziplock gallon-size bag. Place the remaining one tablespoon grapeseed oil and fajita seasoning in the bag. Seal and mix well.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Clean grill. Once the grill reaches 350 degrees place the vegetables in vegetable basked and reduce heat to low. Then place the chicken on the other side of the grill and lower the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes then flip chicken. Make sure you stir veggies every 5 minutes to ensure they cook evenly and do not burn. Cook chicken additional 10 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to check chicken. Chicken should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. During the last two minutes of cooking place tortillas in aluminum foil and place on the top rack of the grill with lid closed. Remove chicken from grill. Let rest 2-4 minutes. Then slice, place on a platter or in a large bowl with vegetables. Remove tortillas off grill and serve dinner

Notes

You can use corn tortillas to make these gluten free. Always make your own seasoning or check the packaging of the fajita seasoning to ensure that it's gluten free.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Certified Angus Beef via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

You don’t need to visit a fancy steakhouse to eat like a king or queen at home. Learn how to make the most delectable Steakhouse Onions and Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce in the comforts of your own home!

Have you ever dined at a swanky steakhouse and they offer a variety of sauces to pair with your plump and juicy steak? I always get adventurous and try one of the sauces. I love to have sautéed onions with my steak and my husband loves to have mushrooms with his. I partnered with Certified Angus Beef® brand to show that busy moms (and dad’s) can make a steakhouse meal at home and on a week night!

Since giving birth to Ryder I crave steak all the time! All my life I’ve been a flexatarian and now since having a cute baby boy I’ve turned into a carnivore. They say your body craves what it needs… beef has Zinc, Iron and Protein –nutrients that are essential to a healthy, balanced diet. Did you know that there are 29 cuts of beef that are lean (less than 10g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat and 95mg cholesterol per 3.5-ounce serving). The best way to find a lean cut, look for ‘round’ or ‘loin’ in the name (i.e. strip loin, tenderloin, round roast).

After receiving a box of 8 steaks from Certified Angus Beef® brand I decided to treat my husband to a delicious steak dinner on a Monday night. I can’t think of a better way to make Monday better than with steak! I paired our Filet of Sirloin steaks with twice baked potatoes that I had made last month and froze (easy side dish just defrost and bake to warm and crisp up)! I also threw some asparagus on the grill half way through the steaks cooking. While our meal was cooking I sautéed the onions and mushrooms and then added in the ingredients for the red wine sauce.

{{missing photo of steaks on the grill}}

Do you know how to cook steak on the grill? I use to be intimidated until I learned and now I have no fear of grilling steaks. Keep these tips in mind when grilling steaks and you will be a pro in no time!

  • Place your steaks on the counter 10-15 minutes before your going to cook them. You want to take the chill off them so they can cook more evenly.
  • Make sure your grill is super hot. Searing each side of the steak for 1-2 minutes to lock in the juices. Then lower the flame to medium-low heat.
  • Try to limit the number of times you flip your steaks.
  • Always cover your grill while cooking. Keeping the grill cover closed will help food cook more quickly.
  • Always use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the steak is done to your likeness.
    • Rare – 140 degree Fahrenheit
    • Medium Rare – 145 degree Fahrenheit
    • Medium – 160 degree Fahrenheit
    • Well Done – 170 degree Fahrenheit
  • Let steaks sit for a few minutes before serving to keep the juices inside the meat.
  • Stay food safe by washing everything that comes in contact with raw meat.

So you might be wondering where you can buy Certified Angus Beef® brand? Type in your zip code and you can find what grocery store or even restaurant that sells it! When you see Certified Angus Beef ® brand logo, beef has met 10 standards for premium quality, including abundant marbling. What I love about the Certified Angus Beef ® brand — they support local farmers and ranchers across the country, even the rural neighbors of your community. It’s a tradition of excellence spanning more than 35 years. The brand offers amazing beef you can count on every time you sit down at the table. So the next time you serve beef in your home make sure it’s Certified Angus Beef ® brand!

Do you love steak? What is your favorite cut and how do you typically prepare it? I’d love to read about it in the comments below!

Red Wine Sauce Adapted from Certified Angus Beef® brand

Steakhouse Onions & Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2

Steakhouse Onions & Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. Sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of butter. Melt on medium-high heat and then cook onion, garlic, and mushrooms until soft about 5 minutes. Remove all but a spoonful of onion/mushroom mixture and place into a bowl.
  2. In the same sauté pan whisk in wine and dijon mustard. Reduce by half (about 5 minutes) over medium heat. Slowly whisk in butter. Remove from heat and place the onion/mushroom mixture back in the pan add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on top of your favorite Certified Angus Beef® brand cut.
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Stay connected with Certified Angus Beef® brand get cooking tips and recipes by visiting their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and their blog!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Certified Angus Beef via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.


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 This is a sponsored post by Stonyfield Greek Yogurt. As always all opinions are my own. Looking to cool off during the dog-days of summer? Try my easy recipe for Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup made with Stonyfield Greek Yogurt.

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup using @stonyfield yogurt #StonyfieldBlogger

I’ve always had a love for cucumbers. From as young as I could remember I would eat slice by slice as a snack. I remember in the summer months visiting my Uncle Sammy’s garden in Pittsburgh, where he grew an insane amount of tomatoes and cucumbers. I’m talking rows and rows of cucumbers and tomatoes. I think of my summers visiting his garden when I eat cucumbers and tomatoes in the summer months. Since it’s so dang hot out right now I figured a nice chilled soup would be good to cool off with. This recipe for Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup is just what the doctor ordered and best of all it’s made in 10 minutes.

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup using @stonyfield yogurt #StonyfieldBlogger

All you need to make this soup is a high power blender or even a food processor. I used my food processor and it worked just fine. I may or may not have had to puree this soup in my garage while working on this recipe. My baby boy was finally napping and the last thing I was about to do was take a chance and wake him up thanks to a minute’s worth of food processing.  Instead of using sour cream, heavy cream, or milk or a combination of any one of the three I used one cup of Stonyfield Organic Plain Greek yogurt! Did you know that there are 23 grams of protein in just one serving of Greek yogurt. So you can eat this soup guilt free and meat free without having to worry about getting your serving of protein in! Cool off this summer with my super simple and quick recipe for Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup!

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup using @stonyfield yogurt #StonyfieldBlogger

Looking for more chilled soup recipes? Check out the following bloggers recipes:

Quick Cold Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Greek Yogurt from Cook the Story
Pea Soup from Peaches Please
Chilled Cucumber Peach Soup from Cooking with Books
Chilled Tomatillo & Avocado Soup from The Kitchen Prep
Roasted Red Pepper Greek Yogurt Gazpacho from Take a Bite Out of Boca
Chilled Mango Raspberry Soup from It’s Yummi

Katie Original Recipe

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-1/2 cups

2-1/4 cup servings

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Greek Yogurt Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 European Cucumbers, Peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, lightly packed
  • 2 tbsp red onion
  • 1 cup Stonyfield Organic Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, finely minced

Directions

  1. Peel European cucumbers and cut in quarters. Place in food process (make sure you reserve at least 2 tablespoons of diced cucumber for garnish) along with fresh dill, red onion, Greek Yogurt, salt and black pepper.
  2. Puree for 1 minute until everything is well incorporated. Pour into two bowls and top with one tablespoons each cucumber and red bell pepper.

Notes

You can also add finely diced tomato to garnish. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

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Don’t waste the carcass of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Learn how easy it is to make chicken stock in less than one-hour from a store-bought rotisserie chicken!

How To Make Chicken Stock From A Rotisserie Chicken In Less Than An Hour!

In an effort to stretch our money and food a little further I’ve started making chicken stock from a store-bought rotisserie chicken. I buy a $5 rotisserie chicken from Costco just about every week. Normally I remove all the white meat from the bird and discard the carcass (I’ve never been a fan of dark chicken meat). I’ve been doing that for years… until last month when I decided I wanted to make some chicken stock. Well, actually, I didn’t have any boxed chicken broth on hand and I wanted to make a pot of soup. Then the light bulb went off in my head… ding ding ding… make chicken stock from that Costco rotisserie carcass! Duh?!?! Why haven’t I thought of that before. Now, that I’m home daily with the baby I have no excuse. Plus, we are on a very tight budget now so I’m trying to stretch our money just a little further in this world where food is continually rising in price.

how to make chicken stock from a rotisserie chicken

First step, take your carcass and place it in a large stock pot. I put mine in this 5.5 quart Le Creuset cast iron enamel pot. Then load it up with veggies. I like to use carrots, onions, and celery and since I grow my own herbs I put in a handful of fresh parsley. I also add in 2 chicken bouillon cubes (it adds additional chicken flavor) and some black pepper.

how to make chicken stock from a rotisserie chicken
Then I pour in 10 cups of water.

how to make chicken stock from a rotisserie chicken

Next up, bring your carcass and veggies to a boil. Then reduce to medium heat and simmer with lid on for 50 minutes. I remove the pot off the stove and let it cool to room temperature. I begin to sift through and gather all the vegetables and dark meat from the carcass. I place that in a separate container that I’ll use during the week for another pot of soup. See I told you I’m being ultra thrifty here. Then I place a mesh colander inside a very large bowl and begin to pour the broth into the bowl. The colander will catch all the bones and anything you don’t want in the soup.

how to make chicken stock from a rotisserie chickenI divide the stock (4-5 cups each) into two containers or freezer bags (label the bags before you pour the stock into it).  I typically place the stock in containers because I’ve never been able to freeze the stock to date because I make a pot of soup each week or every couple of days depending on how much I make.

That’s it… super easy way to make your own homemade chicken stock and stretch your food and wallet a little further!

Katie Original Recipe

How To Make Chicken Stock From A Rotisserie Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 10 cups stock

How To Make Chicken Stock From A Rotisserie Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • Small bunch of parsley (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 chicken bouillon
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 10 cups water

Directions

  1. Place the chicken carcass in a 5.5 quart stock pot. Then place in carrots, celery, onion, parsley, chicken bouillon cubes and black pepper. Then pour the water on top of the contents in the pot. Bring to a boil on high (about 10 minutes) with lid on. Then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 40 minutes. Mix on occasion to ensure the carcass is breaking apart and all the flavors are mixing.
  2. Let cool, remove any chicken left on the carcass plus vegetables and store in a separate container to be used for soup. Strain stock in a mesh colander that is sitting in a large bowl. Pour stock into freezer bag or container to use at a later date. Use within one week or freeze and use up to 3 months later.
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 Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. That means if you click on it and make a purchase I’ll make a percentage from the sale. 


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Combine fresh homemade peach salsa with pan seared Blackened Red Snapper for the ultimate weekday dinner!
Blackened Red Snapper with Peach Salsa
I mentioned last week how my husband went deep sea fishing on the east coast of Florida last month during the very short-lived red snapper season. He hasn’t been deep sea fishing since last summer and sadly when he went last summer I couldn’t indulge in any of the fish he caught because I was pregnant and had a horrible food aversion to all things fishy smelling. We went from consuming fish on a weekly basis to 100% cut off! I did try cooking it later towards the end of my second trimester and a minute into cooking fish I thought I was gonna get ill. Needless to say we ended up giving away all the fish in our freezer to friends and family since by the time I would be able to stomach fish it would all have gone bad. It killed me to giveaway all of our fish. I’m talking a month’s worth a meals.
It’s been nice having a few bags of freshly caught red snapper in the freezer again. To preserve the few bags we have I’ve added it into my dinner rotation every other week. That way it will last us until September and hopefully by then my husband will have gone fishing again and have caught even more fish for us to enjoy! A little information for those who are not familiar with red snapper. You can fish for it from North Carolina all the way down to the Florida keys. Spawning typically occurs from May through October with the peak time here in Florida in July. Because of over fishing, Florida Fish and Wildlife have dramatically shortened the season. Now, you can only fish for red snapper a few weekends in July and August. Limiting one red snapper per person per boat.  Did you know that adult red snapper may live to be 20 years old and 35lbs in weight (source)? Pretty crazy to think!
Blackened Red Snapper with Peach Salsa
Red snapper is a white flaky but firm fish. So don’t worry if you aren’t lucky like me to had red snapper laying around your freezer. If you can’t find it in the stores you can opt for a mahi mahi or even a grouper. I loved making this recipe for Blackened Red Snapper with Peach Salsa because not only is it healthy it’s super quick and easy to make! And it made me feel like we were eating in some swanky restaurant–when in all actuality we were at home on a week night with a baby cooing and laughing at the dinner table. Even better the entire recipe is done from start to finish in 10 minutes. To ensure you can make it this quickly always read the entire recipe first! So if you love fish and looking for a which and healthy meal my recipe for Blackened Red Snapper with Peach Salsa should fit the bill!
Katie Original Recipe
 
Blackened Red Snapper with Peach Salsa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2

Blackened Red Snapper with Peach Salsa

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat sauté pan on medium heat. Pour in one tablespoon of grape seed oil. While oil is heating rinse and pat dry fish. Place fish on plate and pour over remaining 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil. Then sprinkle on blackening seasoning, dividing among the two filets, seasoning both front and back. Don't be afraid to use your hands to massage the seasoning into the fish (don't forget both sides).
  2. Place fish fillets in pan. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, flipping once. Your red snapper should have a nice blackened crust on both sides and be cooked inside (internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Plate and top with a generous portion of peach salsa (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup salsa each filet).

Notes

Serve on top of wilted spinach if desired.

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Combine fresh peaches and ripe plum tomatoes to create the ultimate peach salsa recipe. 
Peach Salsa
Peach season is nearing the end and what better way to commemorate the season than to make a delicious fresh and homemade peach salsa. I’ve made mango salsa a few times, sadly never documented it here on Katie’s Cucina. While dreaming up ideas for dinner last week, I decided I would make a big batch of peach salsa verse my traditional salsa recipe that I make on a weekly basis. If dinner isn’t close to being ready by the time my husband gets home from work we typically have what we call an appetizer and indulge in some chips and dip. If my husband had his way he would eat greasy potato chips with fattening french onion dip. But me, being the good and health conscious wife I am always try to have healthy options on hand. Hence why I pretty much always have fresh salsa in the fridge!  It’s light enough to not ruin dinner yet filling enough to keep us content.
Peach Salsa
Back to my dinner planning. My husband went deep sea fishing for the first time in a year last month. He caught the biggest red snapper of the day on the east coast of Florida! That meant fish fillets for our freezer. Which I welcome with open arms since it’s been a year since our freezer has been stocked with fish! I have perfectly portioned bags of fish for two in the freezer. I take them out of the freezer the night before and place them into the refrigerator to thaw and by the next day they are typically thawed and ready to go by dinner time. Last week, I decided I would make blackened red snapper and top it with peach salsa. The dinner turned out divine and we found ourselves eating large spoonfuls of peach salsa with each and every bite of the white flakey fish (recipe to come)!
Peach Salsa
This peach salsa would also compliment a grilled pork tenderloin or chicken breast. Oh and what about a fresh summer spinach salad and using a few spoonful of peach salsa instead of dressing? Or of course you can scoop up the peach salsa with crispy tortilla chips! Peach salsa is perfect for munching on poolside, too!
Katie Original Recipe
Peach Salsa

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Peach Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Peaches, peeled and halved
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered

Directions

  1. In a food processor combine, fresh cilantro, lime juice, red bell pepper and red onion. Pulse for 5 seconds. Then add in the garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, peeled and halved peaches, and quartered plum tomatoes. Pulse for 5-10 seconds until diced up. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
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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!

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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.
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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. 


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