Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Apple Sundaes with Pie Crust Bowls


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

This time is year is so nostalgic. My mind is flooded with memories of heading back to school, cheering at football games, and picking apples. The sight of leaves changing colors and the feeling of a cool autumn breeze transport me back to my childhood.

One of my favorite annual activities was attending the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Fort Wayne, which is where I grew up. I’m not sure if the rest of the country knows much about John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, but he is a major cultural icon in Fort Wayne. We started learning about the man who planted apple trees throughout Indiana when I was in kindergarten, and every year we visited his gravesite, which is located at Johnny Appleseed Park, of course.

I’ve attended a lot of fall festivals, and none compare to the Johnny Appleseed Festival. There are games, crafts, and a wide variety of apple treats. My favorite food item was always the apple dumpling with a big scoop of ice cream on top. The dumpling is tasty on its own, but a scoop of cool, creamy ice cream makes it even better.

Unfortunately, as with most everything this year, the Johnny Appleseed Festival is canceled for 2020. I was pretty bummed when I heard the news, but I wanted to make the best of the situation. So even though I can’t get my apple fix at the festival this year, I created an apple recipe using my favorite Hudsonville Ice Cream to cheer me up.

The recipe consists of an edible bowl made entirely of pie crust, rich and creamy Hudsonville Ice Cream, and cinnamon apple topping. 

Normally, I pair apple desserts with Hudsonville’s French Vanilla ice cream, but there were two other flavors that caught my eye at my local Fresh Thyme: Seaside Caramel ice cream and Belgian Cookie Butter ice cream.

I knew the Seaside Caramel ice cream, which is a vanilla-based ice cream with a caramel swirl and caramel sea salt truffle pieces, would go well with this apple dessert. Apples and caramel are a match made in heaven!

The Belgian Cookie Butter ice cream also seemed like another great option. It’s blended with Speculoos cookie pieces, which have a deep caramel flavor and notes of ginger and cinnamon.

The first step in preparing the apple sundae is making the edible ice cream bowls. I used this 4-inch fluted circle cookie cutter to cut circles out of pie crust. I then used the backside of a cupcake pan and molded the pie circles around the inverted cupcake cavities to form the bowls. After baking in the oven, they’ll pop right off.

I recommend making your apple topping while the bowls are baking. I know a lot of people like to cook with Granny Smith apples, and that’s great, but I actually prefer the taste of Honeycrisp apples. I like to use minimal ingredients in my topping to allow the apple flavor to really shine. The topping actually comes together quickly—peeling, slicing, and dicing the apples is the most time-consuming part.

Assembling the sundaes is as easy as pie (bad joke)! Fill a pie crust bowl with two scoops of Hudsonville Ice Cream, and add a big spoonful of apple topping. Whipped cream is also always welcome.

The combination of the rich and creamy ice cream with the warm, cinnamon apple topping is the perfect marriage of cold and hot.

Even if your fall activities look a little different this year, you'll surely create sweet moments and memories serving up these apple sundaes with Hudsonville Ice Cream. Use this Scoop Locator tool to find which Hudsonville flavors are available at your local grocery stores, and click here for for a coupon to get $2 off any flavor. 

Apple Sundaes with Pie Crust Bowls

Yield: Makes 8 sundaes

For the pie crust bowls

  • Nonstick spray
  • 1 9-inch pie crust

For the apple topping


For the pie crust bowls

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut circles in pie crust with round cookie cutter
  3. Spray bottom of cupcake pan with nonstick spray
  4. Mold pie crust circles around inverted cupcake pan cavities
  5. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until pie crust turns golden brown
  6. Remove cupcake pan from oven and allow bowls to cool for several minutes before gently removing from pan

For the apple topping

  1. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat
  2. Add apples to skillet and sauté for 5 minutes
  3. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to skillet and stir until sugar dissolves
  4. Add corn starch to small bowl and slowly stir in 1 Tablespoon warm water until it’s combined with no lumps
  5. Pour corn starch slurry into skillet and stir for about 2 minutes until mixture thickens
  6. Pour heavy cream into skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes
  7. Remove skillet from heat
  8. Scoop Hudsonville Ice Cream into pie crust bowls and spoon apples onto ice cream
  9. Top with whipped cream, if desired

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Single serving snacks for safer entertaining

Happy race week! 

If you’re not from Indiana, you may not realize this, but the Indianapolis 500 race is a HUGE deal. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the little town of Speedway to be part of the festivities and watch the race.

But the race experience this year will be very different. No fans are allowed due to the global pandemic. 

Normally, the race is blacked out for central Indiana residents, but because of the current circumstances, the blackout was lifted, which means for just the fourth time in Indy 500 history, locals can watch the race live.

It’s very exciting for a lot of fans, and many are planning watch parties. However, I want to circle back and remind everyone that the reason you can watch the race is because of the global pandemic.

That being said, it isn’t practical to carry on with entertaining in the same way we always have. Sharing popular party foods like chips and dip will also result in sharing germs. It’s even risky for everyone to use the same serving spoon. So I created several recipes which focus on individual-sized portions and will allow guests to enjoy their snacks in a safer way.

Before I share the recipes, I want to make it clear that the best ways to avoid getting the coronavirus are to keep a safe distance from everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands. I also feel the need to say the safest watch party is outside with a small group.

Buffalo chicken wonton bites


  • 4 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buffalo or hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Green onions to garnish, if desired


  1. Combine cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, Greek yogurt, buffalo sauce and blue cheese in saucepan over medium heat
  2. Stir ingredients until cheese is melted, or about 7 to 10 minutes
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and fold in chicken
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  5. Spray muffin tin (mini or regular) with nonstick spray
  6. Place one wonton wrapper in each muffin tin cavity, pressing down gently 
  7. Bake in oven for about 8 minutes, or until wonton wrappers start to brown
  8. Remove from oven and spoon buffalo chicken dip into each wonton cup
  9. Return to oven and bake another 5 to 8 minutes, or until wontons are golden brown
  10. Top with sliced green onions and additional blue cheese if desired

Baked Asian Pork Meatballs


  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Hoisin sauce
  • 1 head butter lettuce


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line baking sheet that has raised edges with aluminum foil and set aside
  3. Combine egg, almond flour, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, pepper, and salt in bowl
  4. Add ground pork to bowl and use hands to mix ingredients together until just combined
  5. Use hands to form 1-inch meatballs and place them onto baking sheet
  6. Bake for 10 minutes; switch oven to broil and broil meatballs until browned, or about 3 minutes
  7. Remove meatballs from oven and drizzle hoisin sauce on top
  8. Separate lettuce leaves from head of butter lettuce and place 1 meatball into each lettuce leaf before serving

Hummus phyllo cups


  • 1 box mini phyllo shells (found in freezer section at grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, finely diced 
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, mined


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place phyllo shells onto baking sheet and bake 5 minutes
  3. Remove from oven and let cool several minutes
  4. Fill shells with 1 teaspoon hummus
  5. Divide cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, and parsley evenly between the shells

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Peanut butter and jelly grilled cheese with bacon

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 wanted to create a few state fair-themed recipes in honor of the Indiana State Fair that was supposed to start on Friday but unfortunately isn’t happening this year.

One of my favorite things to do at the state fair is visit the Indiana Dairy Association’s Dairy Bar. They serve a variety of grilled cheeses, milkshakes, and ice cream. It’s always delicious!

Each year the Dairy Bar features a unique specialty grilled cheese. So in honor of the Dairy Bar, I created my own unique grilled cheese sandwich: Peanut Butter and Jelly Grilled Cheese with Bacon!

Before I explain my grilled cheese creation, I want to preface it by saying I don’t add ingredients to a recipe without first having a clear vision for their purpose in the dish.

That being said, I’m going to tell you why this sandwich works so well and what role each of the key ingredients plays.

Here is the list of key ingredients: peanut butter, raspberry jelly, cream cheese, white cheddar cheese, and bacon.

I’m going to start by explaining the role peanut butter plays because its role in the grilled cheese sandwich probably raises the most eyebrows. First, let me bring up the fact that nuts are commonly found on cheese plates. That being said, pairing a nut spread with cheese isn’t that much different. Peanut butter adds a level of decadence and savory sweetness that is nonexistent on grilled cheese sandwiches without it. I recommend using a “natural” or no-sugar added peanut butter. My favorite peanut butter is the peanut butter from Trader Joe’s that is made with just peanuts.

Raspberry jelly also plays into the sweet and savory flavor combination. Really, you could use any flavor of jelly, but I like raspberry because it has a strong flavor that doesn’t get dominated by the other ingredients.

Now I want to talk about the chase combination: cream cheese and white cheddar cheese. There are two types of cheese you want when making grilled cheese: creamy and stringy. Cream cheese is smooth and rich; white cheddar cheese has really good “cheese pull,” it’s sharp, and it packs a punch. Also, the sharpness of the cheddar complements the sweet raspberry jelly. I used Challenge cream cheese for this recipe because I know they use hormone-free milk from local dairies, resulting in all-natural and high-quality products. 

And last but not least—bacon! It adds a salty crunch and plays into the combination of textures and flavors.

Peanut butter and jelly grilled cheese with bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons Challenge butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 Tablespoons natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons seedless raspberry jelly
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked
  • 2 slices white cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  1. Preheat skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Butter one side of one slice of bread with 1 Tablespoon butter. Place bread butter side down in skillet.
  3. Spread peanut butter on bread while it’s in skillet. 
  4. Spread jelly on top of peanut butter.
  5. Top with bacon and cheese slice.
  6. Take second piece of bread and spread cream cheese on it. Place bread on top of cheese with cream cheese side down to close up sandwich.
  7. Spread the other 1 Tablespoon butter on top of the bread.
  8. Cook until the bread on the bottom is golden brown, or about 3 minutes, and then flip over.
  9. Continue cooking until cheese is melted. 
  10. Serve immediately.

Fried baklava wontons

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!

My favorite thing about the state fair is probably the sheer novelty of the wacky snacks people actually want to try. For example, I probably wouldn’t order a beef sundae or a pork parfait at a restaurant, but if it’s served at the state fair, count me in! I truly love over-the-top fair foods!

So as I was reflecting on state fairs from years past, I started thinking about which of my favorite foods would benefit from a “state fair makeover.” I decided to go with baklava—fried, covered in honey syrup, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

To do this, I filled wonton wrappers with a mixture of cream cheese, walnuts, sugar, honey, and a little cinnamon.

I used rich and creamy Challenge cream cheese because it's the only company I know that uses hormone free milk from local dairies.

Obviously, none of this is authentic, but the filling really encompasses the flavors of baklava.

I fried the baklava wontons in canola oil, and after they finished cooking, I drizzled them with a traditional baklava syrup made of honey, water, sugar, and cinnamon. And of course, a little sprinkle of powdered sugar on top makes everything better.

If you have issues with the wontons puffing up like pillows when you fry them, stick them in the freezer first—it doesn’t have to be for long, maybe a few minutes—and that should solve the issue.

Fried baklava wontons
Ingredients for the wontons
  • 4 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 ounces walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • About 4 cups canola oil for deep frying
Ingredients for the syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
Directions for the wontons
  1. Combine walnuts, softened cream cheese, sugar, honey, and cinnamon.
  2. Lay out wonton wrapper and moisten edges with water. 
  3. Place 1 teaspoon filling into center of wonton wrapper,
  4. Bring two opposite corners of wonton wrapper up to meet over filling and pinch seams together in a triangular shape, making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible while doing so.
  5. Preheat 1 inch of oil in frying pan over medium heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Drop wontons into hot oil, turning occasionally for 2-3 minutes or until they’re golden brown and crispy. Make sure to not overcrowd pan.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
Directions for syrup
  1. Combine all syrup ingredients in saucepan and cook on medium heat.
  2. Let syrup come to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Drizzle syrup on top of wontons, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, and serve.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Lime and Coconut Avocado Tart

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!

One of the best things about avocados is they take on whatever flavors your pair with them, and they add a lot of creaminess to the dish while doing so.

So when I had the idea to make a lime and coconut tart with avocados, my husband was a little skeptical, but after trying it, he said it tasted like a very creamy key lime pie.

A couple of notes about this recipe.
  1. The proportions in this recipe work best for one 9-inch springform pan. You’ll notice in the pictures I used a long tart pan, but that’s just because I wanted to try something new. If you make the recipe as is, it’s enough for about 1.5 long tart pans.
  2. You can use frozen avocados, but make sure you unthaw them first. I used 3 avocados which weighed about 275 grams. It’s best to go by weight as opposed to number of avocados.
  3. I haven’t had issues with the tart turning brown due to the avocados oxidizing, but make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Fortunately, the lime juice also helps to stop it from turning brown.
  4. Make sure you use coconut cream and not coconut milk. Coconut milk is a lot thiner than the cream and can prevent your filling from setting.
  5. You can make this recipe by gluten-free by using gluten-free graham crackers.
I used Challenge cream cheese and butter for this recipe. Challenge products are my favorite because they use fresh milk and cream from local dairies, and they're put in the dairy case in just 24 hours, as opposed to 5-7 days, which is the case for most other brands.

Lime and Coconut Avocado Tart
Ingredients for the crust
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) coconut flakes
  • 1 cup (100 grams) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted Challenge butter, melted
Ingredients for the filling
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
  • Zest of 2 limes ( about 4 teaspoons)
  • 12 ounces Challenge cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 avocados (about 275 grams), peeled and pitted
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 4 Tablespoons)
  • 6 ounces coconut cream
Directions for the crust
  1. Spray 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Toast coconut in frying pan (don’t add oil!) on low heat, stirring frequently until it starts to turn golden brown, or about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Add graham crackers, toasted coconut flakes, and sugar to food processor. Pulse to fine crumbs. 
  5. Drizzle in butter and pulse until crumbs are coated and moist. 
  6. Press crumb mixture into bottom of pan. 
  7. Refrigerate while you make filling.
Directions for the filling
  1. Place sugar and lime zest in food processor and pulse.
  2. Add cream cheese and process until smooth.
  3. Add avocados and lime juice and process until smooth.
  4. Add coconut cream and process until smooth.
  5. Pour filling over crust and smooth top.
  6. Spray piece of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray and gently place it on top of filling.
  7. Refrigerate until set, or about 6 hours.
  8. Remove plastic wrap and garnish with more toasted coconut, limes, and whipped cream if desired.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Avocado pasta

A delicious pasta sauce that’s gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and vegan!

Avocado pasta sauce can best be described as creamy pesto. The avocados create an incredibly creamy and mild base without the heavy cream and butter in traditional cream sauces. 

The biggest key to creating a flavorful sauce is to use plenty of fresh herbs and garlic. Use whichever herbs you like best. I recommend a combination of basil and parsley, but you can also use cilantro. What’s most important is that you use fresh herbs because they pack more of a flavor punch than dry herbs.

The sauce will be thick, so I recommend using noodles that are strong enough to carry the sauce. For example, I would choose spaghetti or fettuccini over a thin pasta like angel hair pasta. Also, I don’t recommend using penne because the sauce is too thick for it to get in the inside of the noodle.

Avocados are known to oxidize and turn brown, so you may be wondering if the same thing will happen to the sauce. Fortunately, the lemon juice helps to keep it from turning brown, but it definitely tastes best on the first day when it’s fresh.

Another tip: Add the sauce to the pasta while it’s still warm so it absorbs more of the sauce and flavor. That’s why I recommend making the sauce before cooking the pasta.

My favorite way to eat the pasta is with grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts, but you can serve it any way you like.

Avocado pasta sauce
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 ounces spaghetti or pasta of your choice
  1. In a food processor, add flesh from avocados, garlic, basil, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until creamy. If sauce is too thick, add another Tablespoon of lemon juice.
  2. Cook pasta per package directions
  3. Gently toss pasta in pan with sauce. Add protein, veggies, cheese, or whatever other mix-ins you want.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Savory tomato and goat cheese corn cobbler

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 craving a savory cobbler ever since I made Blueberry Sweet Corn Cobbler for my family on the Fourth of July. I wanted to place an emphasis on using seasonal Indiana produce. Late summer is the peak of tomato season, so I thought tomatoes would be the perfect base for the filling of this cobbler. I added balsamic caramelized onions and goat cheese to the filling, which provided I really delightful contrast of flavors.

The emphasis of the role corn plays in this recipe is what makes it unique. The biscuits are comparable to cornbread; however, instead of using cornmeal to achieve the corn taste, I used the juiced from the fresh sweet corn.

I collected these juices by grating the uncooked corn with a box grater. It’s a messy process, but the milky, starchy pulp from the kernels is worth it.

Depending on the size and juiciness of your corn, you’ll need 3 to 4 ears to collect the 1 cup necessary for this recipe.

I used Challenge butter for the corn cobbler. What I like most about Challenge products is they use fresh, hormone-free milk, and they don't add any unnatural additives.

Tomato and goat cheese corn cobbler
Ingredients for the tomato filling
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup flour (30 grams)
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Ingredients for the corn cobbler
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (150 grams)
  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) medium or coarse-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold Challenge unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 ears sweet yellow corn, uncooked (about 1 cup liquid)
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
Directions for the filling
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease inside of 8-by-8-inch square casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over low heat.
  3. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent and it starts to brown (but not burn), about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in balsamic vinegar and cook until it’s mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in flour so it forms a paste. 
  6. Stir in tomatoes, goat cheese, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  7. Transfer mixture to baking dish, spread in even layer, and set aside.
Directions for the corn cobbler
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cut in butter using pastry blender or hands until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Using a box grater, grate corn in large bowl to collect its milky juices; discard corn cobs. Make sure your corn juice measures 1 cup. If not, grate another ear of corn.
  4. Add corn juices to flour mixture and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Add honey and mix until you have a cohesive dough.
  6. Use ice cream scoop to add cobbler on top of tomato filling.
  7. Place casserole dish in oven and bake until cobbler biscuits are golden, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

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