Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Raspberry cheesecake for 2 people

I'm continuing my tradition of baking small(er) desserts for Valentine's Day once again! In years past, I made chocolate and peanut butter lava cakes and a red velvet cookie skillet. This year I'm serving up cheesecake!

Now, I'm not one to deny cheesecake--the more the merrier--but there's something special about sharing a smaller portion with your significant other.

If you prefer, you can always swap out the raspberry jam for another fruit, or go with chocolate or caramel instead!

Raspberry cheesecake for 2 people
For the crust
  • 1 and 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham cracker sheets)
  • 4 Tablespoons Challenge butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the cheesecake
  • 2 (8-ounce blocks) Challenge cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup  powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
For the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Press mixture into bottom of loaf pan so it's packed firmly. Bake for 15 minutes.
For the cheesecake
  1. While crust is baking prepare cheesecake filling. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, egg, and vanilla extract, and beat again until completely smooth.
  2. Remove crust from oven and pour cheesecake filling on top of crust.
  3. Microwave raspberry jam and lemon juice together for about 30 to 45 seconds or until mixture is smooth when stirred together.
  4. Use a teaspoon to dollop sauce onto surface of cheesecake batter. Swirl the sauce on the surface of the cheesecake batter with a toothpick or sharp knife so it looks marbled.
  5. Bake cheesecake for about 40 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. 
  6. Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Spinach & Feta Croissant Strata

A strata is essentially a savory bread pudding that will send your taste buds into the next stratosphere. This particular strata incorporates flavors found in my favorite Greek treat, spanakopita! The croissants work really well in this dish because spanakopita is made of a think, buttery phyllo dough, and croissants, of course, are a lot lighter and more airy than regular bread.

  • 4 croissants, split in half
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (9-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Prepare 8 x 8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Arrange croissants in dish. There will be overlapping. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine eggs, milk, spinach, green onions, salt, garlic powder, dill, and pepper.
  3. Pour mixture over croissants. Top with feta and parmesan. You can cover and refrigerate overnight, or bake immediately.
  4. Remove baking dish from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Hot Sauce Popcorn

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

This recipe is life-changing for hot sauce lovers! Most people who want hot sauce with their popcorn just dump it on after popping the kernels. But then you have soggy popcorn.

That’s not the case with this recipe! A spicy sweet sauce made in the MICROWAVE (yes you read that correctly) bakes on like caramel corn. It’s an addicting combination!

Hot Sauce Popcorn
Makes about 10 servings
  • 10 cups popcorn
  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Challenge butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Combine popcorn and peanuts in large bowl, set aside.
  3. Add brown sugar, butter, salt, and chili powder to large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from microwave, stir 30 seconds. Cover and microwave again for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from microwave and add hot sauce and baking soda. Stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Pour mixture over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
  7. Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  8. Let cool for at least one half hour before breaking apart and serving.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Flu-Fighting Sweet and Spicy Soup

Do you all get flu shots each year? I intended to, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. The things is — it’s never really on my mind. But I feel like every day I come into contact with someone who is sick, and to those people I say stay far away from me!

For those people who are sick, there's nothing better than hot soup, am I right? This soup is even more special because it’s made using ingredients known to fight off flu and colds.
  • Carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which your body uses to ward off respiratory infections.
  • Kale contains high levels of Vitamin C and folate, known immune boosters.
  • Ginger will relieve sore throats and gastrointestinal issues and kill rhinoviruses.
  • Garlic has antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties.
  • Jalapenos can release pain peptides that can help eliminate migraines.
  • Turmeric eases inflammation.

Flu-Fighting Sweet and Spicy Soup
Makes 5 servings
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped
  • 3 sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 cups kale, chopped with stems removed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  1. Heat large soup pot to medium heat with olive oil; add carrots, onion, red pepper, and jalapeños. Sauté until soft, or about 4 minutes.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, garlic, and ginger, and sauté an additional 2 minutes,
  3. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, peanuts, chili powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until sweet potatoes are fork tender, or about 12 minutes.
  4. Add chicken, kale, cilantro, and peanut butter and continue to simmer and stir until peanut butter melts into broth.
  5. Serve with more cilantro and peanuts.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Fun recipes for your Colts Playoff Party!

So here’s the deal — the Colts started the season 1-5.

1 and 5 for crying out loud!

If you would have told me  at the beginning of the season that they would not only make the playoffs but win their first game, I would have said no way Jose. Fat chance.

But here we are!

That being said, there’s plenty of reason to celebrate. Even though it’s not the Super Bowl, you better believe there will be plenty of viewing parties across the state. So I wanted to create some easy recipes that you could quickly whip up before friends come over.

Colts Horseshoe Dip
  • Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Challenge cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dill
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
For the dip
  1. Beat cream cheese with mixer until smooth
  2. Add sour cream and mix again until smooth
  3. Add minced onion, dill, and garlic powder and mix
  4. Serve in your favorite bowl
To create the horseshoe shape
  1. Print this Colts horseshoe stencil (make sure it's not too big for your bowl before printing)
  2. Cut out the horseshoe shape to create a stencil
  3. Lay the stencil on top of your dip
  4. Smash some blue tortilla chips into crumbs and sprinkle over stencil so they fill horseshoe shape completely
  5. Remove stencil

Horseshoe Marshmallow Treats
  • 6 Tablespoons Challenge butter
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
  • 6 cups Cap'n Crunch Oops All Berries cereal
  1. Melt butter over medium low heat in large sauce pan.
  2. Add in marshmallows and stir together until it’s all melted.
  3. Add cereal and stir until it’s completely coated.
  4. Place bowl in center of giant cookie pan (I use one that is 12 inches in diameter)
  5. Dump cereal into pan, molding it around bowl in the center so it becomes the shape of a horseshoe
  6. Allow to set for about 10 minutes before serving

Bleed Blue Candy Popcorn
  • 12 cups popped popcorn (you can buy the already-popped variety at the store or make it yourself)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (any variety)
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Blue food coloring
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt.
  2. Cook mixture over medium heat until it reaches a low boil and the temperature hits 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract and once the bubbles settle down, add in the blue food coloring. The color appears darker in the saucepan than it does on the popcorn, so go a few shades darker to achieve the color you want.
  4. Working quickly, pour the sugar syrup over the bowl of popcorn and use a spatula to fold and stir the syrup over the popcorn gently to coat.
  5. Spread the coated popcorn onto a large piece of wax paper to cool and dry.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Breakfast trees make Christmas morning special

Deck the halls with... bacon and doughnuts?! That's right!!! I used toothpicks, styrofoam cones, and just a few ingredients to create these awesome trees that would be perfect for breakfast. I love recipes that get the whole family involved, and these breakfast trees do just that. And the best part is there's no baking necessary.

Christmas fruit tree
  • Styrofoam cone (find at most craft shops near floral arrangements)
  • Toothpicks
  • 6 cups of fruits like grapes, pineapple, melon, strawberries, kiwi, clementines, etc.
  1. Place styrofoam cone onto plate and insert toothpick halfway at slight upward angle where you want your first piece of fruit to go. I like to start at the base and work my way up. Make sure to put the sturdiest fruits, like grapes and strawberries, at the very bottom.
  2. I like to use small fruits like blueberries or cranberries to cover up any gaps showing in the styrofoam.

Cinnamon cream cheese dip
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Challenge cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (6-ounce) container vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth
  2. Add yogurt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and combine until smooth
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Christmas bacon tree
  • Styrofoam cone
  • Toothpicks
  • About 48 doughnut holes
  • 16 slices of bacon, cut in half
  • 16 pieces of sausage, cut in half
  1. Place styrofoam cone onto plate and insert toothpick halfway at slight upward angle where you want your first doughnut to go. Continue putting doughnuts around the base of the cone until there are no gaps.
  2. Take 1/2 slice bacon and 1/2 piece of sausage. Wrap bacon around sausage, stick toothpick into cone, and put bacon-wrapped sausage on toothpick. Continue alternating doughnuts with bacon-wrapped sausage until entire styrofoam cone is covered.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Painting Plaid Christmas Cookies

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I’ve been wanting to try painting cookies for a while now. Some people are really artistic and paint gallery-worthy pictures on their cookies. Considering I haven’t actually painted anything since elementary school, I set expectations low for myself.

Honestly, I just really wanted to make plaid cookies. I think it’s a really classic print, and it symbolizes the holiday season well.

First thing’s first, start with your favorite sugar cookie recipe. I’ve shared my favorite recipe below. I like my cookies nice and thick. A trick to achieving that is to roll your dough out between two sheets of parchment paper before refrigeration. Refrigeration prevents the dough from spreading, and it makes it a heck of a lot easier when it comes time to cutting out your shapes.

Once your cookies are baked and cooled, it’s time to add the icing. I’ve always been a buttercream girl. I love the way it tastes. But these cookies require a flat surface since we’re going to be painting on them, so royal icing is a must.

Like I said, I don’t love royal icing, so I used a variation of the recipe. Also, I discovered another fun trick: buy a can of white frosting (Duncan Hines ranks the highest on taste tests), melt it in the microwave, and dip the cookies in that. You can add a little almond or vanilla extract to the store-bought frosting to spruce it up a bit.

I’m not usually a proponent of store-bought frosting, but this wasn’t bad! I’ll let my co-workers do a taste test, and I’ll update this later with which frosting they preferred.

Once the frosting is dry, prepare your paint colors. All you need is food coloring and lemon extract.

A lot of food coloring goes a long way! I would say start by mixing 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract with 1/8 teaspoon (about 13 drops) of food coloring.

It’s important to use extract because extract is mainly alcohol which evaporates quicker than water. You can use any extract. I just really like the taste of lemon.

Painting a plaid design on the cookies is really quite easy. I’ve broken down the steps below. Drawing straight lines is the trickiest part, but I think it’s easier if you have a very light hand. Also, I recommend painting the first color on a bunch of cookies before painting the second color on top. The colors are less likely to bleed together that way.

The painting will take anywhere from 10 minutes to a half hour to dry.

Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
For the cookies
  • 3 cups flour (360 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (198 grams)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the icing
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
For the cookies
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter for one minute; ad the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed and add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat until combined.
  4. Add dry mixture to bowl and beat on low until just combined.
  5. Lay a piece of parchment paper on your counter top, place dough on paper, and then put another piece of parchment paper on top of dough.
  6. Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper.
  7. Once dough is about 1/3-inch thickness stick it in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
  8. After cookie dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Use cookie cutter to cut out shapes and transfer to baking sheet.
  10. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges of cookies just barely turn golden.
  11. Repeat with remaining dough; cool completely before frosting.
For the icing
  1. Sift the powdered sugar into bowl.
  2. Add the milk and whisk until it’s smooth.
  3. Add the corn syrup and almond extract and continue whisking until it’s pourable consistency
  4. Using a squeeze bottle or a pastry bag, cover the top surface of the cookie, and let dry before painting.
To paint plaid
  1. Paint a cross
  2. Add a line above and below the cross and to the right and left.
  3. Add one or two little lines in between each of those thick lines.

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