Learn how easy it is to make my recipe for Homemade Sweet Potato Casserole using fresh sweet potatoes, spices, pecans, and mini marshmallows!

Homemade Sweet Potato Casserole

 

 

Sweet potatoes. You either love them or hate them. My family is a bit divided so I still tend to make a small batch of sweet potato casserole  at Thanksgiving for those that love it. I love it and the more marshmallows on top the better. Because let’s face it–why else would you eat a homemade sweet potato casserole? As a kid that’s how I was lured to try sweet potato casserole. I’m pretty sure the first few times I had it all I did was eat the crispy marshmallow topping. I’m pretty sure Ryder will do the same thing. Then again, he’s already tried sweet potatoes and loves them. So maybe I won’t need to lure him with the mini marshmallows? Homemade Sweet Potato Casserole

Let’s talk about how easy it is to make my recipe for Homemade Sweet Potato Casserole. First, you peal, cut and boil the sweet potatoes. Once they are fork tender combine them with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mash them until they are smooth. Top them with chopped pecans (if you like nuts–I do, my husband doesn’t so maybe only top one side?) and then sprinkle on the mini marshmallows. I contained myself and only used 2 cups. But if you want this casserole to be more marshmallow than sweet potatoes… go right ahead. It is your casserole after all. Just make sure others will be on the same mind-set and love for mini-marshmallows like you are! Going back to the recipe… broil this casserole like you’ve never broiled before… make sure to not burn the mini marshmallows but just lightly toast them until golden brown. Then it’s time to dig in and enjoy.

Katie Original Recipe

Homemade Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 10

Homemade Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 extra large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

Directions

  1. Boil sweet potatoes (peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes) until fork tender (about 20 minutes).
  2. Preheat the broiler.
  3. Drain the sweet potatoes and add in the unsalted butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a hand mixer, mix the potatoes until smooth.
  4. Spray non-stick cooking spray into an oven-safe dish. Pour the potatoes into the dish. Top with chopped pecans and mini marshmallows. Broil on high for 30 seconds until marshmallows are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes

Prep this side dish the day before dinner. Bring out of refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving dinner. Bake for 10-15 minutes and then add the marshmallow topping and broil for 30 seconds.

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Enjoy the classic green bean casserole from scratch with fresh ingredients and without any cans and best of all this recipe is gluten free!Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

We love green bean casserole in our house. We only ever have it on holidays because it can be so fattening. It’s a holiday indulgence for sure. I’ve grown up on the canned variety. I will be the first to tell you that I do not knock the canned version. I love the canned version. I have a cousin who has a gluten-allergy and every year I feel bad that she can’t indulge in the same green bean casserole that we are all enjoying. Years ago, she use to be able to enjoy that same canned casserole. But over the years she has developed a pretty severe gluten allergy. So I made a note to myself that this year I would be making a from-scratch gluten free green bean casserole. 

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Oh my gosh you guys, did I hit this one out of the park. Even my husband who has been a converted canned casserole guy was in love with this casserole. He felt that I hit this one perfectly and so I will be making our canned casserole and this gluten free green bean casserole for my cousin. But to be honest, my husband and I might be enjoying this homemade version right alongside with her. I subbed out the tasty friend onions (loaded with gluten) for crispy pan fried shallots. Just a little butter and shallots–I let them crisp up and the sub works perfect. Freshly chopped white mushrooms are added to the fresh haricot vert and they steam/boil together. Take the green beans off the stove top and stir in the heavy cream/cornstarch mixture and you’ve got a creamy-decadent homemade from-scratch gluten free green bean casserole.
Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

On a side note, I’ve recently been taking note of all the meals I make from scratch… 100% with no cans or boxed foods. Even though this is a little on the rich side with the heavy cream it’s from scratch and I feel better about eating it. I know kind of silly, but I do. I don’t write about my weight-loss journey on here at all (and funny that I put weight-loss and green bean casserole together in the same post), but I’ve continued to eat the same way just up my exercise. And be a little more conscious of what I’m eating. Smaller portions of the same decadent food. That’s where I’m going with this. Don’t feel guilty about indulging this holiday season, just have a smaller portion (and take a family walk after the big meal vs taking a nap). Trust me, your waistline will probably thank me for that advice.

Katie Original Recipe

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 shallots thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lb. Haricot Vert
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Directions

  1. In a saute pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and heat on high. Then add in the shallots. Reduce to medium heat with lid on and cook for 10 minutes, mixing often so that the shallots don't burn. Half way through cooking add the water and mix well. Cook until golden brown and mostly crispy. Remove the crispy shallots from the pan and set to the side.
  2. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the sauté pan, melt, and add the haricot vert and diced mushrooms in the pan with 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 8 minutes until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. In a measuring cup (or bowl) mix together the heavy cream and corn starch.
  3. Pour the heavy cream/corn starch mixture into the pan. Turn the heat off and stir. Cover and let sit for 2 additional minutes.
  4. Place the green bean casserole in a serving dish, and top with crispy shallots. Enjoy.

Notes

-if the sauce seems to thick feel free to add additional water to thin it out. -if you like the green beans cooked more cook additional time and add in the heavy cream at the end of the cooking time. *do not cook the heavy cream--it will curdle. You must remove the pan from the stove top and mix to avoid curdling.

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Looking for a flavorful new grilled vegetable side dish? Try my recipe for Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers!

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

If you are a regular reader of Katie’s Cucina you know I love to grill. I’m not intimidated of grilling I’ve learned to embrace it. Living in Florida we grill a lot. Especially when its still 90 degrees out as the rest of the country is finally starting to cool off. I’ve been making these Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers all summer long. I’ve refined the recipe over the summer and finally took the time to photograph this delectable grilled side dish. I prepped all the veggies, placed them in a gallon-size ziplock baggie and poured in all my seasonings. Sealed it up, mixed the veggies using my hands on the outside of the bag and let it sit until I was ready to grill dinner. You can even prep this in the morning, place it in the refrigerator and when you get home from work your side dish is already ready for you.

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

I love my STOK® grill. I love that my grill has interchangeable grill inserts. I typically grill chicken on the traditional grill grate and then throw in some veggies into the vegetable basket at least once a week.  This is what the green beans, red bell peppers and red onion looked like as I poured my zip lock baggie full of veggies into my vegetable basket.

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell PeppersJust 10-15 minutes later this is how my veggies looked. Nicely cooked with little grill bits. The green beans were still al dente and crisp. The bell peppers and red onions were sweet in taste. I now love grilling green beans! Who would have thought to grill green beans?

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

Katie Original Recipe

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Green Beans, trimmed
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic in Water

Directions

  1. In a large gallon bag, place green beans, red bell pepper, and red onion in the bag. Then add in the sesame oil, salt, black pepper, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Seal bag and mix with hands in the outside of the bag.
  2. Heat the grill to medium-low heat (should be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Pour the vegetables into a vegetable grill basket and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
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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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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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Cream of Asparagus Soup

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

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

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

Katie Original Recipe

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4

8 oz.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

Katie Original Recipe

Smoked Paprika and Shallot Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. Trim and remove stems from brussels sprouts. Place in a large pot and boil for 10 minutes until tender.
  2. In a skillet, add two tablespoons olive oil and one shallot (thinly sliced). Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat then add the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to the pan. Stir well and then add brussels sprouts: stirring so that the shallots and seasoning cover the sprouts. Cook for 5 additional minutes. Once the Brussels sprouts are done sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve!
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Use up your leftover mashed potatoes and make this decadent and creamy mashed potato soup!

So the leftovers are dwindling? You have random bits and pieces of your holiday dinner scattered throughout your refrigerator? Did you make one, too many potatoes this year? All you need is 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes to make the most decadent mashed potato soup I’ve ever tasted. I mean this soup is rich, creamy, and full of flavor with only a few ingredients!

My goal after the holidays is to use up and re-purpose all my leftovers. I love to transform them into brand new meals so that everyone isn’t tired of eating a ham dinner for the 15th time in just 3 days. I made over 10 lbs of potatoes for Thanksgiving for just 8 people. That meant that everyone had to eat over a pound of mashed potatoes and we would still have leftovers. The day after any holiday (when I have leftover mashed potatoes) I always make my easy potato pancakes. But then after that if I have any leftover I’m always confused as to what else to make. I did try my friend Joanne’s recipe for Crispy Mashed Potato Mounds which were out of this world delicious. But even after that I still had about 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes. That is when the thoughts of baked potato soup crossed my mind. Well I should say, Mashed Potato Soup. All I needed were some green onions and bacon to top off the soup and I think I would have been in heaven! With or without the bacon this recipe for Mashed Potato Soup was out of this world delicious! Go ahead, give it a try and use up the last of your leftover mashed potatoes!

Katie Original Recipe

Mashed Potato Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Mashed Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried parsley and shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

Directions

  1. In a soup pot melt butter on medium heat, then add in onion. Cook until golden brown (almost caramelized for 10 minutes).
  2. Once the onions are golden in color add the all-purpose flour and mix well until the onions have been coated with the flour mixture. Add the whole milk and stir for one minute.
  3. Then add in the mashed potatoes. Mixing until all the potatoes have broken up. Cook on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are smooth. Taste the soup and add salt and black pepper if desired.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with dried parsley, shredded cheddar cheese, and cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
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