Smothered Buffalo Chicken Chips from KatiesCucina.com

I’ve got another buffalo chicken recipe for you today. This time it involves chips. Yes, I know… not something I would normally post, but let me tell you–when you run out of fries and then all of a sudden crave nachos… buffalo chicken nachos the next best thing would be to use a plain potato chip. Combine the same great flavors of buffalo chicken dip and smother it over chips, bake them, and enjoy–life can’t get any simpler. Whether you decide to eat this for lunch like me (hey, no judging) or an afternoon snack while you watch your favorite sporting event I guarantee the buffalo chicken lover in your life will love this.

Smothered Buffalo Chicken Chips from KatiesCucina.com

I got the idea to make smothered chips after our recent trip up to New York City. We were eating at an Irish pub, and they had an Irish version of smothered chips with homemade potato chips. It was to die for. Lately, I’ve been able to do a little more spice and buffalo chicken sounded fantastic to me. So I combined the idea from the Irish pub with buffalo chicken, and out came Smothered Buffalo Chicken Chips. Best of all they are done from start to finish in 10 minutes. This recipe is for two, but you can easily double or triple it if you are serving this to a crowd! Then again, this was our lunch the other day–so maybe it would feed more?

Katie Original Recipe

Smothered Buffalo Chicken Chips

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2

Smothered Buffalo Chicken Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded pre-cooked chicken
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • ¼ cup bleu cheese
  • ½ tsp onion flakes
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
  • ½ bag plain potato chips
  • green onions for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl combine chicken, buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, onion flakes, dried parsley, and a ¼ cup of the shredded cheddar. Mix well.
  3. On a baking sheet spread out the half bag of potato chips. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the shredded cheddar over the chips, followed by the chicken mixture and then the rest of the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 5 minutes at 450 degrees.
  4. Remove from oven and garnish with green onions. Serve and enjoy immediately.
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Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Ham

Holy smokes. How is Easter this weekend? I knew it was going to sneak up with me and BAM! It’s this Sunday. I’m slowly adjusting to parenthood… slowly. This whole no sleep thing is something that I’ve dreaded for years–I love my sleep. I like to say that we waited so long to have a baby because I loved my sleep so much. I sleep at almost every nap, and I’m super grateful I’ve had friends to blog for me while I get use to this little human being. I can say that the days do seem to blend in although I do keep track of each day and document the little thing he is doing, so I guess that’s why I feel like Easter snuck up on me.

Let’s talk about ham. You guys know I love to make my ham in the slow cooker; Brown Sugar Honey Glazed Ham and Slow Cooker Ham with Apple Sauce. I contribute to Food Fanatic monthly and when they asked me if I would create another slow cooker ham recipe I jumped right at it. I created this recipe during my 9th month of pregnancy. So as you could imagine all cooking was taking longer than normal, which meant I was using my trusty slow cooker more and more.

Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Ham

This recipe for Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Ham calls for 5 ingredients! That’s it! Of course the main star is the ham, but followed by that is the maple syrup. I used an entire 8 ounce bottle of maple syrup. Don’t be afraid to skimp–maple syrup can be expensive but totally worth it!

For this recipe, I used my KitchenAid Slow Cooker. It is perfect for entertaining because of the easy serve lid. Each side lifts and locks which is convenient for one-handed serving. Of course, little tricky when you have a whole ham in the slow cooker. After I slice the ham I like to put it back in the juices and then the side lids help with easy-entertaining and serving. You can cut up your ham before your guest arrive and let your ham sit in the juices a little while longer. No need to find a place to put the lid!

Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Ham
We are spending Easter Sunday at my in-laws but that Saturday evening my parents are coming over to have an Easter dinner with us. I told my mom to not buy the expensive store bought ham–I’ll throw the ham in the slow cooker. She told me not to go to any trouble, but I insisted that it’s not trouble at all. I told her we will have a simple meal this Easter Sunday Eve, Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Ham, Sour Cream Chive Mashed Potatoes, steamed green beans, and rolls. Trust me, the sweetness of the ham pairs beautifully with my sour cream and chive mashed potatoes!

So if you’re entertaining this Easter Sunday (or for any holiday) and was planning on baking your ham. Stop the madness now and throw it into your slow cooker. You will thank me later, I promise!

I created this recipe for Food Fanatic. Make sure you head over to read all about my Crock Pot Ham Recipe.

Read more: http://www.foodfanatic.com/recipes/crock-pot-ham-recipe/#ixzz2yzVFSg3K


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Easy appetizer recipe -- BLT CrostinisThe other weekend our friends invited my husband and I over for a barbecue. We get together with them 1-2 times a month. It’s always very impromptu and spur of the moment. They had a baby last May, so our sporadicalness has started to become a little more well planned, although there are still days where its Friday at 3 and we are all messaging back and forth about dinner that night. As my due date approaches each time we hang out, we all kid and say this could be the last time before baby. They told us we didn’t need to bring anything to dinner, but of course I can’t come empty handed.

BLT Crostini

The thought of BLT crostini’s had ran across my mind a few times over the past month. In my head it was going to be a quick and easy appetizer, a little on the fancy side, and hopefully satisfying. Oh and que in the messy part. That part I didn’t really think through until we were eating the bite-size BLT appetizer. Because I was tired and had been working on nursery projects that day I decided to go a short-cut route and serve it up with ranch dressing, although later I tested it with the Dill Buttermilk Salad Dressing and found it to be much more enjoyable. It’s all about preference. The day I made this recipe in my kitchen, I picked the cherry tomatoes from my garden. The only surviving tomatoes from our harsh Florida winter. I love green tomatoes, so I chose to cut up some of the unripe tomatoes from the vine.

Easy appetizer recipe -- BLT Crostinis

So, let’s rewind back to my friends barbecue. When I showed up with my individual containers everyone was intrigued. We had one person who despises tomatoes so her’s was just lettuce, bacon, ranch, and crostini, and then we have my husband and my other friend who don’t like bacon, so theirs had everything but bacon. This is really a versatile appetizer. And as you can tell even perfect for the pickiest of eaters!

Katie Original Recipe

BLT Crostinis

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8-10

BLT Crostinis

Ingredients

  • 1 french baguette, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12 strips bacon, cooked
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup Dill Buttermilk Salad Dressing or Ranch Dressing
  • Fresh cracked pepper, optional

Directions

  1. Cook bacon according to package. Place cooked bacon on paper towels to drain excess grease. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a bowl, combine sliced cherry tomatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good toss and set to the side.
  3. Toast sliced baguettes for 2-3 minute or until golden brown.
  4. Place a drizzle of dressing on each of the baguettes followed by a slice of bacon, shredded lettuce, and tomato mixture. Drizzle with additional dressing and cracked black pepper if desired. Serve and eat immediately.

Notes

You can prepare the crostini's yourself or have a few prepared with all the ingredients surrounding it--allowing your guest to create their own BLT crostinis.

To bump up the bacon flavor, rub a little bacon fat on both sides of the baguette before toasting. It will intensify the flavor.

I have made this recipe with traditional red cherry tomatoes and a mix of red, orange, and green cherry tomatoes from my garden. Both yield a delicious BLT crostini and are all up to preference and availability.

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slow cooker lemon chicken orzo soup

I’m back today with a slow cooker lemon orzo soup recipe. I’ve made this recipe a few times now over the past 9 months and its been a big hit. Plus, who doesn’t love to let the slow cooker do all the work? I adore my KitchenAid Slow Cooker. It is perfect for entertaining because of the easy serve lid. Each side lifts and locks which is convenient for one-handed serving. No need to find a place to put the lid! I also love that my slow cooker has 4 temperature settings! I also love that its oval and not round. Not that it matters when you’re cooking soup, but if you’re roasting meet it’s a nice feature to have.

lemon chicken orzo soup in the slow cookerThe slow cooker lemon chicken orzo soup is chocked full of veggies, chicken, and flavor and makes enough to feed an army! I also love that it doesn’t really require a lot of ingredients. For instance, you only need 2 boneless skinless chicken breast. From the looks of the soup you would think I used a few pounds of chicken. A few veggies, nothing over the top, plus one cup of orzo pasta and you’ve got yourself a heart soup! You can prep your veggies the night before and place them in a container or a baggie to dump into the slow cooker the next morning or spend a few extra minutes in the morning prepping dinner.

Each time I’ve made this soup I’ve given a nice large container to my neighbor to enjoy. One of the times, she was sick and it just worked out perfect. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of homemade soup when your sick? So whether your up north and still battling the frigid temperatures, starting to come down with a cold, or maybe just craving a simple comforting meal; give my recipe for slow cooker lemon chicken orzo soup a try!

I created this original recipe for Food Fanatic.

Disclaimer: I’m a contributor to Food Fanatic and receive compensation for developing recipes. As always all opinions are my own.


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Spinach Arugula and Cherry Tomato FlatbreadA few weeks ago my husband celebrated his 30th birthday. I asked him what he wanted to do (given that I’m 9 months pregnant and pretty limited on what I can do I didn’t want to be a party-pooper). I was willing to throw/ host a party at our house and/or do just about whatever he wanted. I wanted to make his birthday as special as could be. All he wanted to do was go to a local craft beer bar with friends. So I arranged that, and then managed to sneak over before we arrived to drop off a cake and some balloons and a 30 birthday banner for our reserved table. We had a good group of people come out–about 20 or so friends. Lots of friends we haven’t seen in a while. I was trying to make it all about Jon; however, it was more like our last happy hour outing before we will need a baby sitter.

Spinach Arugula and Cherry Tomato Flatbread

I will be the first to admit, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the craft beer bar he chose. Let’s face it–I can’t drink, so really the only thing I have to look forward to right now is eating. And the food at this said beer bar is sub-par in my book. Anything I’ve ever had there was just so-so. They definitely do better as a beer bar then a food establishment (at least in my book, although all the guys love the food at the place). I was trying to be optimistic and when we got there I took a long hard scan at the menu.  I was starving and wanted to eat something I would actually enjoy. I decided to try the veggie flatbread. I mean how can they mess this up? When it finally arrived to the table I had a few bites and finally found something that I really enjoyed. I devoured the flatbread in seconds. It tasted like salad on a flatbread. About an hour later I was still hungry and decided I would order another veggie flatbread. I mean come on… who is going to judge… I’m a pregnant lady and if they were judging then shame on them. The flatbread was so good that I had been dreaming about it and wanted to recreate it at home. I mean how hard can it be to recreate a salad style flatbread. So I used all the same ingredients they listed out on their menu and I must say so myself its pretty darn close to the veggie flatbread I had at the craft brew bar. The only difference, I used a blend of arugula and spinach and their’s only had arugula. I left out the red onion because red onion and I aren’t really agreeing these days (cue insane heartburn).

If you are looking for a salad like flatbread, this easy recipe for Spinach Arugula and Cherry Tomato Flatbread will do the trick!

Katie Original Recipe

Spinach, Arugula, and Cherry Tomato Flatbread

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

Yield: 1 flatbread

Spinach, Arugula, and Cherry Tomato Flatbread

Ingredients

  • 1 Flatbread (I like Archer Farms brand)
  • 2 tbsp Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Organic Girl Super Greens
  • 1/2 cup Mixed Organic Cherry Tomato Medley, halved
  • 1 tbsp Olive OIl
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Smear the two tablespoons of cream cheese on the flatbread. Bake the flatbread for 8 minutes.
  3. While the flatbread is baking mix together the greens and tomatoes. In a separate bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour on top of the greens and tomatoes. Toss until well combined.
  4. Once the flatbread is done cooking, remove from the oven. Using tongs place greens and tomato mixture on top. Cut into 6 equal pieces and enjoy!

Notes

I like to use Archer Farms (Target Brand) flatbreads. Any flatbread though would work.

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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!

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Sausage Gravy

Learn how to make sausage gravy in minutes! from KatiesCucina.comYesterday, was my husbands 30th Birthday. I didn’t make him a sweet dessert or a fancy dinner this year. Instead, I woke up a little after he woke up at 5:45 am, packed his lunch, made his coffee, and made him a hot breakfast! He didn’t see me wake up–he was already out the door walking the dog, so when he got in he was beyond surprised. You see, before I was pregnant I was up with him every morning. Packing his lunch, making his breakfast, and coffee. And then I developed the craziest exhaustion I’ve ever experienced in my life with a healthy bought of morning sickness (which was really all day sickness) and the days of me getting up with him soon turned to Jon getting ready in the morning without me. He would also make me smoothies every morning, so that I had something to sip on before I even stepped foot out of bed. I know… he’s a keeper. Thankfully the morning sickness is long gone but the exhaustion still plagues me daily. So I “sleep-in” on work days and depending on if I’m working at home or have to go in the office will depend if I get to sleep until 6:30 or 7:30 am. So the fact that I got up to get him ready for work was a gift in itself to him. We splurged on a fancy dinner since this is the last Birthday we will share that we won’t need a baby sitter. I’m taking full advantage of this not needing a baby sitter thing while I can.

Sausage Gravy recipe from KatiesCucina.com

If their is one thing my husband, Jon, loves it’s breakfast. I’m pretty sure I’ve made that statement on here before. He LOVES breakfast and looks forward to having a sit-down breakfast every weekend (as well as sleeping in because who likes to get up at 5:30am, daily?). The other week after skimming the pages of my instagram feed I saw that my friend Jenna was having breakfast for dinner. I instantly knew I wanted to make breakfast for dinner. Forget the leftover chicken. Eggs and hash-browns and sausage patties were in my imminent future. I called Jon on his way home from work and asked him to stop for apple juice and sausage patties. I declared we were having breakfast for dinner. We had breakfast for dinner that night, and only used half of the ground sausage patties. I knew that we would use the rest of it over the weekend.

Fast forward 4 days later…

I woke up early that Sunday morning and knew I had a can of biscuits in the fridge and remembered that I had the half package of ground sausage to use up. I decided I would make Jon’s favorite breakfast food, sausage gravy and biscuits! I had all the ingredients on hand and knew he would be thrilled to wake up to smelling biscuits bake in the oven and sausage gravy simmer on the stove top.  We ended up inviting our neighbor over for an impromptu breakfast that morning thanks to the heating element breaking on our dryer. I was hoping she would be ok with biscuits and sausage gravy. Not everyone loves them. I will be the first to admit — it’s not my thing. I solely make this recipe for my husband. I paired the biscuits and sausage gravy with sunny side up eggs, home fries, baked bacon and a fruit salad. Everyone was in love with breakfast, and bellies were full by 9am. My neighbor proclaimed that she was beyond impressed that I’m still cooking breakfast being so pregnant.  We have to eat, and well I love breakfast too. It’s something that both Jon and I look forward to every weekend. She was shocked that we eat like this every weekend. Their is no such thing as cereal for breakfast in our house. I can whip up a hot breakfast in 15 minutes or less if need be. This one (because I photographed part of breakfast) was completed from start to finish in 30 minutes.

Katie Original Recipe

Sausage Gravy

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Sausage Gravy

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground breakfast sausage
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp white onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • fresh minced parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan, add minced onion and breakfast sausage and begin crumbling sausage. Cook for 5-10 minutes until sausage is cooked through.
  2. Once the sausage is cooked through add butter and melt. Then sprinkle flour over sausage, mix well, sprinkle salt and black pepper on top and pour in the milk. Stir milk until the mixture is thick (about 5 minutes).
  3. Remove the sausage gravy from the heat, add a little fresh minced parsley to the gravy, stir, and then pour on top of biscuits. Top with additional minced parsley for garnish. Enjoy.

Notes

If you happen to have leftover sausage gravy feel free to freeze it in a freezer baggie. To cook frozen gravy, thaw one day before, reheat in sauce pan and add more milk if necessary.

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Bacon Popcorn

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cost Plus World Market.

Movie night popcorn with a twist -- 5 ingredient Bacon Popcorn from KatiesCucina.com @WorldMarket #MovieLoversSweeps #Popcorn #Recipe

Raise your hands if you like to watch movies at home? Raise your hands if you HAVE-TO-HAVE popcorn while watching a movie! For those who can’t see me at my computer, both hands are way up (well not really since I’m typing), but you get my point. We try to watch a few movies at home each month and have an in-home date night complete with popcorn! Because let’s face it. You can’t watch a movie without eating popcorn!!! Or at least I can’t.

I know what you are thinking. Another bacon recipe. Sorry, not sorry? I feel like I’m craving bacon ten times more than before I was pregnant, and since I’m officially 9 months today (how the heck did that happen), I figure I’m aloud to post tons of bacon recipes for my fellow non-pregnant readers. Why not?

Last month, I was contacted by my favorite people over at World Market to create a recipe for Movie Night. I instantly knew I wanted to make a popcorn recipe. Sadly, I have very few popcorn recipes on Katie’s Cucina and I definitely want to change that. While browsing the food and drink aisles of World Market I stumbled across BACON SALT. Without hesitation I picked it up.

Bacon Salt for the best Bacon Popcorn from KatiesCucina.com

Bacon salt? I love the slogan on the packaging “Everything should taste like Bacon“. Best of all its low sodium, all natural, vegetarian, and kosher! I too was shocked at the vegetarian claim, but it really is. Note, omit the bacon bits on my recipe to make this a vegetarian version. It has a strong smokey taste to it and has very little salt to the seasoning. Think of a smoky seasoning more than salty. In my popcorn recipe you’ll notice I added sea salt to my recipe because I felt it needed some real salt. Making popcorn at home is really easy and way more cost effective than the bagged variety. Throughout the years, I’ve done some research and have figured out what gives homemade popcorn that movie theater taste, and believe it or not its coconut oil! It might seem odd, but coconut oil gives that buttery flavor without all the butter. In fact this recipe has no butter at all–just loads of bacon goodness.


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4 Ingredient Vanilla Almond Agave Granola from KatiesCucina.com

I love granola. I haven’t made granola my entire pregnancy. I think there are multiple reasons for this.

  1. I hate turning on my oven since it heats up my house like no one’s business and I’m already overheated to begin with.
  2. I haven’t really had the energy.

I actually purchased store-bought granola the other month when it was on sale for buy-one-get-one free. It didn’t make me feel as guilty buying it because it was on sale. Store bought granola can be crazy expensive. Considering I almost always have the ingredients on hand I can’t justify spending the money. But being pregnant has made me justify spending money on things I would never spend money on (and buying lunch out almost daily instead of taking leftovers into the office day-after-day).

I finally finished the store bought granola the other week, and just like that I found myself not even thinking twice.  I was making granola again! It was like old times–except I made the simplest granola I’ve ever made in my life… with just 4 ingredients! That’s it. No dried fruit, no multiple nuts, spices, etc… just 4 simple ingredients that I had on hand.

4 Ingredient Vanilla Almond Agave Granola from KatiesCucina.com

I wasn’t sure if it would turn out great, but I figured it would do its perfect and be added as a filler to my morning yogurt parfaits. It turned out amazing and those who I shared with felt the same way! Best of all, I’ve had homemade 4-ingredient vanilla almond agave granola for the past two weeks now. I’ve simply stored it in a ziplock bag. If you don’t have a sealed baggie a sealed container works just as well. I love being able to put a scoops in my morning granola and know everything that is in it and that I made it. So back to granola making I go… especially since this 4-ingredient variety is tasty and wasn’t difficult to make!

Katie Original Recipe

Vanilla Almond Agave Granola

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 5 cups

Vanilla Almond Agave Granola

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Agave Nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat the agave nectar and vanilla extract on high for one minute, just until its warm (do not let it bubble). Set to the side.
  3. Place the quick cooking oats and sliced almonds in a large bowl. Pour the agave mixture on top of the oats/almonds. Mix well with a spoon until everything is coated with agave. Pour onto a parchment (or SILPAT) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes (mixing half way through).
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Garlic Bacon Croutons

Easy-to-make homemade Garlic Bacon Croutons from KatiesCucina.com

I know what you are thinking… bacon in croutons?

Yes… well sort of.

Because I love bacon so much I save the bacon grease to use for other cooking purposes. The other week, I made grilled sausage and pepper subs. I cut out the middles of the sub rolls and saved them to the side. I decided I would make a few croutons out of them instead of wasting the delicious fresh bread. We have been eating a lot of salads in our home. At least one with dinner every night. I had just pulled bacon out of the oven, when I decided to cube the bread and roll it in the leftover bacon grease. For good measure, I sprinkled a little garlic powder on top and popped them in to the oven.

Easy-to-make homemade Garlic Bacon Croutons from KatiesCucina.com

Later that night when we went to eat our salads I topped each salad with a few homemade croutons. This is a luxury item for our salads. I never have croutons on hand. I love them and eat them when they are presented on a salad, but its the last thing I think about buying at the store. I will tell you that it was love at first bite–the homemade garlic bacon croutons were amazing. They do not have an overwhelming bacon flavor to them, but just enough to make you think about what is on these croutons. Even my non-bacon loving husband loved the croutons. I didn’t tell him what they were seasoned with until after he was done with his salad, and then when I told him he wasn’t surprised at all. I think he loathes the fact that I keep a small jar of bacon grease in the refrigerator at all times. No wasting in our house is my motto (especially when it comes to bacon).

This was definitely a happy accident type of recipe. I wasn’t going to blog about it, but after finishing my cup of croutons in less than a day I decided to make more. I finished the two remaining sub rolls and baked them up into beautiful garlic bacon croutons. Every night for the past 2 weeks we have enjoyed them on our salad, and I think once we are done with them I’ll have to invent another new crouton recipe. Croutons are something that you forget is so good until you have them daily.

Katie Original Recipe

Garlic Bacon Croutons

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Garlic Bacon Croutons

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp bacon fat, melted
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups of cubed bread (French or Italian work fine)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a frying pan, melt bacon fat if need be then spread on to a tinfoil lined baking sheet. Place cubed bread on baking sheet and rub around in the bacon fat until every piece of bread is coated. Then sprinkle on the garlic powder.
  3. Bake for 350 degrees on the middle rack for 10 minutes. Toss the croutons and bake again for an additional 5 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool and then seal in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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