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!

 

 


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Our very last guest blogger for the month is Angie from BigBearsWife.com. She is sharing  100 Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Recipes. Angie and I have met a few times now; first at Mixed and then at Food Blog Forum. We chat on Twitter and Facebook often. I’m so thankful for all of my blog friends helping out while I’ve been adjusting to my new title as “mom”. Today, Angie is sharing 100 Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Recipes!

100 Crock Pot /Slow Cooker Recipes

Hi Ya’ll! I’m Angie and I normally blog over at BigBearsWife.com but I’m here today on Katie’s blog to share some great recipes with you!

You see, my sweet friend Katie and her husband are enjoying their time together with their sweet little boy. I am beyond ecstatic for her!! She is going to be an amazing mommy and I’ve enjoyed seeing photos of her little boy! Since bringing a little one into the world is a lot of work, and Katie will need to give the little guy most all of her attention, I wanted to put together some slow cooker meal ideas for her (and for ya’ll of course!)

I’ve found 100 amazing, delicious Crock Pot/Slow Cooker recipes that can take away the stress of trying to plan and fix a big dinner after a long, exhausting day! So I hope you love them all and Thank you so much Katie for allowing me to be a guest here at KatiesCucina.com!

A few from Katie’s Blog:

Slow Cooker Ham with Apple Sauce from Katie’s Cucina
*Loaded Baked Potatoes in the Slow Cooker from Katie’s Cucina
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from Katie’s Cucina

Soups/Chowder/Chili

Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder from Two Healthy Kitchens
Crock-Pot Crazy Pineapple Chili from Two Healthy Kitchens
CopyCat Crock Pot Cincy 3-Way Chili from The Frugal Foodie Mama
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
*Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe with Black Beans & Corn from Cookin’ Canuck
Slow Cooker Winter Squash Beef Stew from Will Cook for Smiles
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup from A Cedar Spoon
Mushroom Barley Stoup from Busy in Brooklyn
Mongolian Beef Stew from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Manly Meaty Chili  from Cravings of a Lunatic
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chile Verde from Noble Pig
Zingy Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup from Noble Pig
Chicken Chile Verde {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly} from Tasty Yummies
Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew – Vegan + Gluten-free  from Tasty Yummies
Low-Carb Spicy Chunky Vegetable Beef Chili from Yours and Mine are Ours
Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup from Cooking with Crystal
Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup from Garnish with Lemons
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Crock Pot French Onion Soup from My Frugal Adventures
Creamy Crock-pot Potato Soup  from Glued to My Crafts

Snacks/Appetizers/Dips

*Taco Seasoned Pretzels {Slow Cooker} from Cravings of a Lunatic
Slow Cooker Applesauce from The Corner Kitchen Blog
Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins from Call Me PMC
Hot Crawfish Cheese Dip from Call Me PMC

Main Meals

3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos from Two Healthy Kitchens

Crock Pot Balsamic Roast from Julies Eats and Treats
Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki from Julies Eats and Treats
Balsamic Beef  from Food-Ramblings
BBQ Pulled Chicken from 52 Kitchen Adventures
Chicken Adobo from 52 Kitchen Adventures
Chicken Fajitas from 52 Kitchen Adventures
Slow Cooker Tikka Masala from Dinners Dishes and Desserts
Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Tacos from Dinners Dishes and Desserts
Crock Pot Mongolian Beef from Very Culinary 
Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken from Very Culinary 
Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks from Mom on Time Out 
Spicy Pulled Pork Popper Sandwich from Mom on Time Out 
Apricot-Orange Slow Cooker Chicken from Mom on Time Out 
Slow Cooker Chicken Shwarma from MarocMama 
Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pork Chops from The Frugal Foodie Mama
*Slow Cooker Thai Chicken from The Law Student’s Wife
Cheese Stuffed Apple Chicken Meatballs from The Law Student’s Wife
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Slow Cooker Asian Pot Roast from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Slow Cooker Mexican Barbacoa from Imagina Inventae Intenta
Sloppy Joes from Taste Love and Nourish
Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Cupcake Diaries Blog
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese from Cupcake Diaries Blog
Crock Pot Cheese Ravioli with Meat Sauce from Cupcake Diaries Blog
Crock Pot Bourbon Street Chicken from Cupcake Diaries Blog
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken from Will Cook for Smiles
Slow Cooker Apple Pork Loin from The Kitchen is my Playground
3-Ingredient Chicken Cacciatore  from Shockingly Delicious
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Fajitas from Shockingly Delicious
BBQ Brisket form Busy in Brooklyn
Salmon Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip from Farm Fresh Feasts
GREEK Chicken Tacos  from Farm Fresh Feasts
Mexican Red Chili Tacos  from A Cedar Spoon
Coconut Basil Tofu from The Healthy Maven
*Honey Mustard Drumsticks  from The Healthy Maven
Apple Cider Pulled Chicken Sandwiches  from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
BBQ-Rubbed Turkey Breast  from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Beef Short Ribs from The Corner Kitchen Blog
Slow Cooker Barbacoa With Beans & Rice from Yours and Mine are Ours  
Pot Roast with Veggies from I was Born to Cook
Slow Cooker Gluten Free Pinto Bean from Call Me PMC
Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan from Cooking with Crystal
Cuban Ropa Vieja from Cooking with Crystal
Crock Pot Ribs from Garnish with Lemons
Vegan Brown Rice Mexican Bowl with Black Beans, Bell Peppers, and Poblano-Avocado Salsa from Kalyn’s Kitchen
no-Boil Crock Pot Baked Ziti from Thrifty Jinxy
Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash & Noodles from Amanda’s Cookin
Slow Cooker Barbecued Country Style Ribs from Amanda’s Cookin
Easy Weeknight Lasagna in the Slow Cooker from Around My Family Table
Slow Cooker Honey Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches from Uncommon Grounds
Southwest Chicken Tacos from Big Bear’s Wife
*Pizza Pasta from Big Bear’s Wife
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese from Big Bear’s Wife
Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs from Big Bear’s Wife
*photo included in round-up image.

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Today, I’m happy to have Angie from EclecticRecipes.com here to share her recipe for Black Bean Salmon Croquettes. Angie is a fellow Central Florida Blogger. We’ve had the opportunity to hangout at our annual Central Florida Bake Sale for the past few years. Angie cooks up some stellar recipes. I encourage you to visit her blog after your done reading her recipe she is sharing today! 

 Black Bean Salmon Croquettes

I am so happy and honored to be guest posting for Katie today while she’s taking a little time off to be with her new baby. I am over the moon happy for Katie and her husband! Babies are the best, and the smell of their little heads, you can’t beat that!

My name is Angie and I blog over at EclecticRecipes.com. I like to cook food that my whole family will love, with an eclectic flare. We love to explore new flavor combinations like this Peperoni Pizza Quiche and this Thai Chicken and Cabbage Noodles.

I wanted to share one of my favorite go-to weeknight meals that I’ve been enjoying since I was a kid, salmon croquettes. Over the years, I’ve changed my mom’s salmon croquette recipe several times. This recipe is one of my latest re-inventions to make croquettes a little healthier. I added black beans and lots of flavorful spices to make these have a bit of a Tex-Mex flare.

Black Bean Salmon Croquettes

To make these I start with fresh salmon that has been pulsed in the food processor. Then I add black beans that I first partially mash with a potato masher. Then I add my onion, garlic, egg and spices in a large bowl. After forming the patties, I roll them in bread crumbs and then shallow fry them in vegetable oil.

To go with these, I made an avocado salsa with corn and tomato. I serve the croquettes topped with the salsa along side a fresh salad garnished with lime wedges.

Black Bean Salmon Croquettes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Black Bean Salmon Croquettes

Ingredients

    For the Croquettes:
  • 1/2 lb filet fresh salmon, pulsed in food processor or chopped fine
  • 1- 15 oz can back beans, rinsed and drained, and partially mashed with a potato masher
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or chopped very fine
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 cup additional bread crumbs for coating
  • For the avocado salsa:
  • 1 hass avocado
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Combine salmon, black beans, onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs and spices in a large bowl. Make 1/4-cup sized patties and coat each patty in additional bread crumbs.
  2. Bake croquettes for 15- 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145°.
  3. While croquettes are cooking, combine all ingredients for salsa. Serve croquettes with salsa and fresh lime slices.
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Today, I’m excited to have my friend Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny sharing her recipe for Strawberry Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast. Brandy and I co-hosted Frozen Treat Week together last summer and although we haven’t met in real life (yet) we chat via email and Facebook messages like we’ve known each other forever.

Strawberry Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast Recipe from Nutmeg Nanny on KatiesCucina.com

 

Hi everyone! I’m Brandy from the blog Nutmeg Nanny and I’m super excited to be guest posting here on Katie’s Cucina! I wasn’t sure what to bring to the table but I finally opted on breakfast.

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals but the one I probably skip the most. I hate getting up in the morning and cooking for myself. I’m one of those “lounge for an hour before doing anything” people. If I won the mega lottery I would totally hire a personal chef. I know that might sound like a weird thing for a food blogger to say but sometimes it’s nice to have a break…am I right?

Strawberry Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast Recipe from Nutmeg Nanny on KatiesCucina.com

But, since I haven’t yet won the lottery. I’m still in the kitchen trying to muster the energy to figure out breakfast each morning. This totally over the top stuffed French toast is the perfect weekend meal. I used thick sliced challah bread and stuffed it with sweetened mascarpone cheese and fresh-diced strawberries. Let me tell you, strawberries in the middle of the winter make me so happy.

Strawberry Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2

Strawberry Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar (depending on desired sweetness level)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/3 cup diced strawberries
  • 4 thick slices challah bread
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Whipped cream
  • Powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and diced strawberries.
  2. Lay out challah bread and spread 1 tablespoon butter on one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Flip two slices over and spread half of the mascarpone mixture on each slice of bread. Top with other half of bread, butter side up.
  4. Add to a large skillet or griddle set over medium heat. Heat until the underside is golden brown, flip and cook the other side till golden brown.
  5. Add to a large plate and top with whipped cream and powdered sugar.

Notes

If your challah loaf is not very wide you can make 4 sandwiches instead of 2.

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Today, we have Jessica from A Kitchen Addiction. We first met at Food Blog Forum last year. She is super sweet and bakes up some even sweeter recipes! I encourage you to go check out her blog and take a look at a few of my favorite recipes from her: Carrot Cake Scones, Fudge Frosted Peanut Butter Cake, and Strawberry Cream Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels!

 Monster Cookie Cream Pie

Hi! I’m Jessica, and I blog over at A Kitchen Addiction. When Katie asked me if I would be willing to guest post for her, I jumped at the chance to be able to help out. I was able to meet Katie last year and she is just as sweet in person as she seems online! She definitely deserves a break from posting so she can snuggle her new, precious little boy!

Since life is crazy busy for Katie right now (and I’m sure for a lot of you!), I wanted to share an easy recipe that required the minimum amount of work but still tasted like you were in the kitchen for awhile! My mind instantly went to some sort of cream pie. I love making cream pies, because they are super versatile and most of the time the ingredients are already in our cupboards. This peanut butter monster cookie cream pie is a combination of all things good about monster cookies, which come to think of it, is everything! There’s peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and, of course, M&M’s!

Monster Cookie Cream Pie

The base uses chocolate graham crackers, but feel free to swap them out for regular graham crackers. The same goes for the pudding. This recipe uses vanilla pudding, but I’ve made it with chocolate and it’s just as tasty! If you really wanted to go the quick and easy route, you could use a pre-made crust. But, I really think the 8 minutes it takes to bake it is worth it! The oats and graham cracker crumbs are combined with brown sugar and a bit of vanilla extract to give the crust the flavor of an oatmeal cookie. Just the base you need when making a monster cookie pie. So go check out your cupboards and the fridge, I bet you have most of the ingredients to make this pie today!

Original Recipe from A Kitchen Addiction

Monster Cookie Cream Pie

Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes

Yield: 8

Monster Cookie Cream Pie

Ingredients

    For the Crust
  • 1 C crushed chocolate graham crackers (about 10 whole sheets)
  • 1/2 C quick oats
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Filling
  • 1.5 oz box of fat-free sugar-free vanilla pudding
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 C non-fat milk
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1 (8 oz) tub lite whipped topping
  • 1/3 C peanut butter chips
  • 2 tbsp quick oats
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1/3 C M&M's

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in melted butter and vanilla. Press into the bottom of prepared plate. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. Whisk together pudding mix and brown sugar. Whisk in milk until smooth and thick. Add in the peanut butter and vigorously whisk to combine. Gently fold in whipped topping. Stir in peanut butter chips.
  4. Pour into cooled pie crust. Sprinkle oats and chocolate chips on top. Refrigerate 1-2 hours until firm. Sprinkle with M&M’s right before serving.
  5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
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Today, we have Erin from The Law Student’s Wife sharing her recipe for Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding. I stumbled across Erin’s blog a year ago and have enjoyed it ever since. I mean who wouldn’t love baked pistachio pudding donuts or a 20-minute healthy ricotta pasta? She has a wide variety of recipes on her blog, and although we haven’t met in person I feel like we’ve been friends for years.

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding

Hey there! This is Erin Clarke from The Law Student’s Wife, and I’m honored to be guest posting for our favorite new momma, Katie. I discovered Katie’s blog when this outrageous stuffed French toast entered my life, and I’ve been a fan since!

Today, we’re going to my happy place: pudding. Pudding and my illustrious love affair begin with Snack Packs in the second grade. Back then, the fact that Snack Packs do not need to be refrigerated in the grocery store did not disturb me as it does today. All my sweet 7-year-old self cared to know was that pudding is creamy, dreamy, and deeply chocolaty. I had my priorities straight.

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding

Fast forward to college graduation. I moved into my first “grown up” apartment and was consequently responsible for feeding myself. Despite the most fervent of wishes, I couldn’t live on Snack Packs alone, and thus I took to the kitchen. I fell in love with cooking (and started a food blog in the process), but to this day the recipes that energize me the most are ones like today’s Lightened Up Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding: a grown-up twist on a childhood favorite.

Making pudding from scratch demands only a few bowls and some elbow grease. I love this Lightened Up Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding recipe because requires few ingredients, uses an egg to thicken the milk instead of heavy cream (which keeps it reasonably healthy), and tastes totally decadent. It’s also no-fuss. Rather than making two separate pudding recipes, we simply make a vanilla pudding base, save a little at the end, then stir in a copious amount of chopped dark chocolate + espresso to intensify the espresso flavor. Voila! Perfectly balanced, luscious dark chocolate pudding, for a fraction of the effort.

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding

Although this Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding was inspired by childhood, a few of my grown-up tastes make an appearance: velvety dark bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and speckly sweet vanilla bean. (I purchase my vanilla beans online here for a steal of a deal, but you can always swap extra vanilla extract instead.) If you care to stir in a bit of rum as well, I certainly won’t deter you.

My final adult flourish: chopped pistachios for texture and crunch. Salty-sweet desserts have my heart forever and always, and the pistachios are the ideal counterpoint to the sweet vanilla and rich chocolate pudding layers. The good-as-obligatory dollop of whipped cream is just because life is short, and I can already tell that we are going to be friends.

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding is my inner-second grader in perfect harmony with my late 20-something adult self. No therapy or yoga for this girl—pudding is my gateway to inner peace!

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding

Prep Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Pudding

Ingredients

  • 3 cups non-fat milk (or the milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Chopped pistachios, walnuts, or pecans for serving
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Place a sieve over a large measuring cup or bowl; set aside
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups of the milk to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large heat-proof bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into the sugar mixture. Place the empty vanilla pod into the saucepan with the heating milk. (If you’re replacing the vanilla bean with extract, do not add it yet.) Very gradually, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup milk into the sugar-cornstarch mixture. Add the milk a little at a time and stir constantly so that lumps do not form. Whisk in the egg.
  3. Once the milk has boiled, slowly add it to egg-mixture a little bit at a time, stirring constantly (using a ladle can be helpful). Be sure to work gradually so that the egg does not scramble. Once all of the heated milk had been added, pour all of the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and bring the mixture to a simmer (at this point, do not let it boil.) Simmer for 1 minute, stirring the whole time. If using vanilla extract, stir it in now.
  4. Pour all of the vanilla pudding mixture through the sieve into the bowl or measuring cup (this ensure the pudding will be very smooth). Return 1/3 of the strained mixture to the saucepan (this will become the chocolate pudding). Cover the remaining 2/3 with plastic wrap so that the plastic touches the surface and refrigerate until fully set, about 2 hours.
  5. To the remaining pudding on the stove, add the chopped chocolate and espresso powder, stirring until the chocolate melts. Pour the chocolate mixture into a separate bowl, cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic touches the surface and refrigerate until fully set, about 2 hours.
  6. To serve: Spoon the vanilla pudding into the bottom of individual serving dishes. Top with chocolate pudding. Serve sprinkled with nuts and dollop with whipped cream.
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Today, we have Liz from Books n’ Cooks sharing a recipe for Salad with Pear Vinaigrette. Liz and I met in real life 2 years ago at Mixed.

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette from Books n' Cooks on KatiesCucina.com

Hello Katie’s Cucina readers!

I’m Liz from Books n’ Cooks. I first met Katie and discovered her blog a couple of years ago, at a foodie conference we attended together. I am usually a bit quiet when I meet new people, but it was easy to open up and chat with Katie, and not just because we have a love of food in common. Katie has an infectious bubbly personality and I immediately liked her. I’ve enjoyed reading Katie’s blog over the past few years, so I was flattered when Katie asked me to guest post while she’s enjoying her maternity leave.

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette from Books n' Cooks on KatiesCucina.com

Earlier this year, I was asked to bring salad to our semi-monthly book club dinner. I was looking forward to having a low maintenance contribution considering how busy my weekends have been lately, but I didn’t want low maintenance to mean boring. Enter: this salad. It felt appropriate to me – with wintery pears and summery blueberries fitting the 60 degree weather in February and March (well, 60 degrees on those weeks where we didn’t have snowstorms). The fresh and dried fruit make the salad super flavorful and visually stunning. It was anything except boring.

Adapted from Prevention RD

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette

Ingredients

    Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 a pear, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbs. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • Ingredients for the Salad:
  • 5 oz. your favorite lettuce or salad green
  • 3/4 a pear, finely sliced or chopped
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. walnut pieces, toasted

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse pear, garlic, cranberries, salt and pepper briefly. With the mixer running, add vinegar and olive oil until smooth. Add equal portions of additional olive oil and vinegar until desired consistency. Vinaigrette will keep for about a week in the fridge.
  2. Toss all salad ingredients, except the walnuts. Add walnuts just before serving.
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Today, I’m excited to have Marnely from Cooking with Books to share her recipe for Blueberry-Almond Granola! You guys know I love homemade granola. I can’t wait to make this recipe since its way different than the blueberry granola cereal I make!

————–

Why buy granola when you can make your own?! This Blueberry-Almond Granola takes 20 minutes to make and is swirled with vanilla bean and warm spices!

Blueberry-Almond Granola Parfait guest post from Cook with Books for KatiesCucina.com

Hello Katie’s Cucina readers! I’m Marnely from Cooking with Books. I’m so happy to be here today bringing you a homemade Blueberry-Almond Granola recipe that will have your tastebuds asking for more!

If you follow me on Instagram, you noticed that last month I spent an entire week with my best friend who has a one-month old baby girl and a 22 month old toddler. I had decided to visit for a variety of reasons, not only to meet the new addition to the family, baby N. My main reason for visiting was to stock up her freezer and pantry with easy meals, snacks, and baked goods so she could have more time to take naps and enjoy her new baby girl.

One of the many recipes made was a variation of this almond granola, only we quadrupled this batch and filled up a huge glass jar with it. Perfect for on the go breakfasts for her and her husband, as well as perfect as a midnight snack while she feeds the newborn.

Blueberry-Almond Granola Parfait guest post from Cook with Books for KatiesCucina.com

Since this recipe has very few ingredients, make sure to use the best. We used Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats as our base and dried blueberries from Oh Nuts for added texture and flavor. This is a great recipe for friends to bring over to new mom’s such as Katie – they’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness and secretly smile that it’s not another casserole dish!

Have a friend that just had a baby? Bring her a batch of this Blueberry-Almond Granola, a quart of your favorite yogurt, and a freshly made fruit salad. It’s a fresh idea and new moms (and dads!) will appreciate it. Other granola recipes on Katie’s site to get you inspired: Cinnamon-Maple Granola, Coconut Cherry Granola, and Pumpkin Pie Granola.

Blueberry-Almond Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

 Blueberry-Almond Granola

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt coconut oil (about 45 seconds). Whisk in maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats and almonds. Drizzle coconut oil mixture over oats/almonds and stir until combined.
  4. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until almonds are toasted.
  5. Sprinkle dried blueberries into cooked granola and let cool for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Store in airtight jar for up to two-three weeks.

Notes

This recipe is easily doubled or quadrupled, as well as simple to adapt to whatever you have in your pantry. Have pecans instead of almonds? Use them. Dried apricots instead of blueberries? Go for it! Make this recipe your own.

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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.
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Today, Rachel from Rachel Cooks is here to share her recipe for Dark Chocolate and Pecan Cookies. Rachel has helped out before and shared her recipe for reduced-fat cucumber salad. And when she had her baby I helped her out while she was tending to her newborn. We’ve yet to meet in person, but chat online often, and I know one of these days we will finally get to meet! 

 Dark Chocolate and Pecan Cookies

Hi everyone! I’m so thrilled to be helping out Katie while she’s at home snuggling with her little one. I know blogging  is the last thing on her mind right now as she’s keeping herself very busy with diapers, chubby thighs, tiny little toes, priceless snuggles, and sleepless nights.  I wish I could bring her dinner but I guess virtual cookies will have to do.

If you’re wondering who I am, I’m Rachel and I blog at extremely creatively-named blog Rachel Cooks. I’m a physical therapist (sometimes), a blogger (almost always), a wife (always), and a mom (more than always).

 Dark Chocolate and Pecan Cookies

I survive on toddler giggles, popcorn, and coffee.  But adding cookies to the mix can’t hurt. And these cookies are winners. They’re a sophisticated version of the classic chocolate chip cookie that everyone loves. However, I promise you everyone will love these too. Big dark chocolate chips automatically start these off on the right foot. Pecans add a great nutty flavor and bite to these cookies and cinnamon adds interest, flavor (and antioxidants!).  These thick, chewy cookies immediately climbed to the top of my list of favorite cookies. Even if you think the cinnamon sounds weird, I urge you not to leave it out! It really makes these cookies special and unique and…perfect. If I do so humbly say…

 Dark Chocolate and Pecan Cookies

Wish I could bring you over a batch of these cookies and snuggle with your little cutie, Katie! Congrats and thank you for having me here today! I’m honored to be able to help you out.

I’d love for you to stop by Rachel Cooks and say hi some time! You can also find me on TwitterFacebookGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram. Or you can subscribe to my emails and never miss a recipe!

Original Recipe from RachelCooks.com

Dark Chocolate and Pecan Cookies

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 2-3 dozen depending on size of cookies

Dark Chocolate and Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream together butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). With the mixer on low, add in egg and vanilla. Return mixer to medium and mix until incorporated. Scrape sides as needed.
  3. With the mixer back on low, add dry ingredient mixture gradually until dough forms. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans by hand. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat and set aside.
  4. Form balls from approximately 1 tablespoon of dough. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are just barely golden. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes on baking sheet before removing and placing on wire rack to finish cool. Store in airtight container.
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