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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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, 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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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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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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Spicy Baked Corn Chips from KatiesCucina.com

Have you ever made your own baked corn chips? They are super easy to make and best of all you get to control the seasoning on them! This go-around I made a blend of Mexican spices to spice up these chips. The day I made these baked corned chips was the same day that my husband had his “brew crew” over to brew up a few batch of home brew (beer). I made them a huge Mexican spread. I served them these chips and they all thought they were fried chips. I ensured them that they were baked in the oven for just 10 minutes. I think I impressed them two-fold. One, I made my own chips. Two, they were baked chips that tasted fried! Making baked corned chips is the best way to use up excess corn tortillas. Later this week, you’ll see a super simple and yet authentic enchilada recipe using corn tortillas. After I made the guys the enchiladas I knew I didn’t want to have extra corn tortillas laying around so I decided to use up the rest of the tortillas to make my own chips. This is such a simple thing to make and yet everyone forgets to make their own!

Spicy Baked Corn Chips from KatiesCucina.com

I also love that these are a gluten free snack.  I have a few friends and family members that have a gluten allergy and I’m always looking for new things to make them… these spicy baked corn chips, my friend, are it! Whether you just want a snack for yourself or entertaining a crowd these spicy baked corned chips are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Check out these dips to complete the Spicy Baked Corn Chips: Classic Roasted Tomato Salsa, Classic Guacamole (pictured above), Homemade Salsa, and  Avocado & Feta Dip.

Katie Original Recipe

Spicy Baked Corn Chips

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 chips

Ingredients

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne peper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the corn tortillas in quarters. Lay them out flat on a baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl mix the chili powder, cumin powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt together. Using a brush lightly coat the corn wedges. Then sprinkle the seasoning on to the corn tortilla wedges.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
  5. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite salsa or guacamole.
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White Chocolate Pumpkin Popcorn

I love popcorn. I enjoy a 100 calorie bag of popcorn at least three times a week during the work week. Every so often my husband and I indulge on a bag of popcorn. I’ve never been one to pop my own popcorn on the stovetop or in an air pop machine. Although, I do have vague memories of both the air pop machine and a tinfoil stove top package of popcorn from my childhood. That has just never been my thing. I’m all for quick and easy when it comes to popcorn and I’ve perfected the perfect pop ensuring that no kernel is burnt (an important skill set to learn).

White Chocolate Pumpkin Popcorn

I typically like to stick with traditional popcorn. Although recently, I had a hankering for sweet pumpkin flavored popcorn. I whipped up this satisfyingly sweet treat in less than 10 minutes! You do not have to be a skilled home cook to make this popcorn. I know I’ll definitely be making a batch on Halloween night and giving it to my immediate neighbors as a sweet treat they can snack on as they take their children trick or treating.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Popcorn

Source: Katie Original Recipe

White Chocolate Pumpkin Popcorn

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 9 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 6 cups butter popcorn
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate, melted

Directions

  1. Place 6 cups popped popcorn in a large bowl. Add half the pumpkin pie spice, then mix popcorn, and add the remaining pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave then pour over popcorn: tossing occasionally. Store in container for up to 2 days.

Notes

Katie Original Recipe

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Homemade granola bars have been all the rage on Pinterest lately. Since being on a granola kick I wanted to try my hand at the bars. I saw that my friend Lauren posted a recipe that had been adapted from Rachael Ray and I knew I wanted to give her version of the recipe a try! Plus, I had all the ingredients sitting in my pantry, so what was I too loose?

These are super easy to make–the tricky part is packing them tightly, so that they don’t fall apart. That’s where I didn’t do so well–they tasted great but at times would fall apart. When I made them a second time (not pictured) and packed them in tightly they were perfect. The first time I attempted to fill a square 8 x8 pan–don’t attempt that. The second go around I used the jelly roll pan and they turned out much better! Pack these babies in as tight as you possibly can and they will turn out perfect.

Adapted from Lauren’s Latest

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 10-12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup rice krispy cereal
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tbsp mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Using a large bowl, stir oats and rice krispy cereal together. Set aside.
  2. Next, in a pot you'll want to melt the butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium-high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir, and then pour over dry ingredients. Mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan (12x8x1) and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. Top the granola bars with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly *remember your granola mixture is going to be warm so your chocolate chips might start to melt on top. Let the granola bars cool on a countertop to room temperature for about two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
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