Thursday, June 10, 2021

Lemon Blueberry Ice Cream Bars

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


Fresh blueberries are one of my favorite parts of summer. I went blueberry picking with my mom every year growing up. I loved finding the biggest, plumpest blueberries and popping them in my mouth.


My mom and I would return home with buckets of blueberries, and we sprinkled them on everything—oatmeal, yogurt, salads, etc. But my favorite way to eat them was with ice cream. We would make a quick blueberry sauce with a little sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. I spooned an extra generous portion atop my ice cream for the ultimate blueberry sundae. 


Hudsonville’s Limited Edition Blueberry Graham Delight ice cream reminds me of those sweet summer memories. Their rich vanilla ice cream is mixed with blueberry sauce and ribbons of graham cracker. Every bite is filled with fresh blueberry taste.


I wanted to create an easy dessert with this ice cream—something I could keep in my freezer and pull out to serve others (and myself) for an extra special treat. 


Blueberry with lemon is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so I made blueberry ice cream bars using crushed lemon sandwich cookies mixed with butter as the base. I tested the ratio of cookies to butter many times to make sure it was the right consistency and not too hard to cut into.


Of course, the ice cream bars wouldn’t be complete without my favorite blueberry sauce on top. Keep the sauce chilled in your refrigerator and spoon it over your ice cream bars when ready to serve.


I promise you’ll want this tasty time treat stocked in your freezer all summer long! Use this Scoop Locator tool to find Blueberry Graham Delight ice cream at a store near you.



Lemon Blueberry Ice Cream Bars 

Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients

For the topping

For the lemon cookie crust

  • 16 ounces lemon sandwich cookies (about 24 cookies)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter (1/2 stick), melted 

Directions

For the topping
  1. Remove ice cream from freezer and place in refrigerator to soften.
  2. Place blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch into medium sauce pot. Set over medium heat and bring to simmer.
  3. Simmer about 5 minutes, or until some berries burst and sauce thickens. Remove from heat and cool.

For the lemon cookie crust

  1. Line 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving 2-inch overhang on two sides. 
  2. Crush lemon cookies to fine crumbs in food processor or in resealable plastic bag with rolling pin. 
  3. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl. Add butter to bowl and stir until evenly moistened. 
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press down into even layer on bottom.
  5. Spread ice cream in even layer on top of cookie crust and place in freezer until ice cream hardens, at least 1 hour.
  6. When ready to serve, use parchment overhang to to transfer bar to cutting board. Cut into 9 squares.
  7. Spoon generous amount of blueberry sauce over bar and serve.


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Celebrate National Cheese Day


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!

Your summer entertaining plans shouldn’t include a boring cheese and cracker plate. Surprisingly, I’m firing up the grill for National Cheese Day on June 4! The dishes I’m sharing today don’t necessarily require recipes. Instead, use my ideas as a guide!



Grilled pound cake and peaches with mascarpone

Describe mascarpone: Mascarpone is a light, silky cheese with a mildly sweet flavor that makes it the perfect cheese to pair with summer desserts.

How to prepare the dessert: Cut your peaches in half and remove the pits, and cut your pound cake into 1-inch slices. Brush the cut side of the peaches and one side of each pound cake slice with melted butter. I use Challenge butter because it's churned from the freshest, purest cream without the use of synthetic ingredients.

Place the pound cake and the peaches on the grill, buttered side down. Grill until the peaches and the pound cake are lightly marked, about 4 minutes for the peaches and 2 minutes for the pound cake. Mix the mascarpone with a few tablespoons of heavy cream, a little vanilla extract, a few teaspoons of lemon juice, and /or lemon zest, if desired.

How to serve it: Plate one slice of pound cake while it’s still warm with a large scoop of mascarpone, and place one peach half on top. 


Grilled halloumi salad 

Describe halloumi: Did you know you can actually grill certain cheeses? One of my favorite cheeses is halloumi. The cheese, which is native to Cyprus, transforms from a chewy, squeaky cheese into a golden-crusted cheese with a gooey center when it’s cooked on the grill. 

How to prepare the salad: Just cut it into 1-centimeter thick slices, brush the slices with a little olive oil, and place them right on the grill grates. Cook for about 1 minute per side.

How to serve it: I like to place the cheese on a simple Greek-style salad with green pepper, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and kalamata olives. Make sure to have the salad ready so you can eat it while the cheese is still warm!


Grilled vegetables and burrata platter

Describe burrata: Burrata is a round, plump cheese that looks and tastes very similar to mozzarella, but when you cut into it, a cream oozes from the center.

How to prepare the platter: Brush your favorite sturdy vegetables (I like to use bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and asparagus) with olive oil and place them directly on the grill grates. Flip the vegetables over after about 2 minutes and grill for another minute

How to serve it: Arrange the vegetables on a platter with some crostini. Place the burrata right on top of the vegetables, drizzle everything with olive oil and balsamic glaze, season with salt and pepper, and cut into the burrata. Use the crostini and the vegetables to scoop up the creamy burrata center.


Grilled apricot and sweet cream cheese bruschetta

Describe cream cheese: Cream cheese is a smooth, mild cheese that is incredibly versatile, making it the perfect spread for just about anything—sweet or savory. I only use Challenge cream cheese because its silky texture spreads evenly, and its softer consistency makes recipes come to life. 

How to prepare the bruschetta: Cut a baguette into 1-centimeter slices. Cut apricots in half and remove the pits. Brush the cut side of the apricots and one side of each baguette slice with olive oil. Place the bread and the apricots on the grill, oil side down. Grill until they are lightly marked, about 2 minutes for the apricots and 1 minute for the baguette. Cut the apricots in half. Mix the cream cheese with a little almond extract and a few teaspoons of sugar, if desired.

How to serve it: Spread a generous amount of cream cheese onto each baguette slice. Top with two slices of apricots, a little mint or basil, and drizzle with honey.


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Red Velvet Cobbler Sundaes

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


My favorite summer desserts are a celebration of seasonal produce! Of course, everyone loves fruit pies, but the dough can be a time-consuming process, and pies require a long cooling time. In the summer, I gravitate toward no-fuss desserts, which is why I love fruit cobbler. Cobblers are very versatile, and you can easily adapt the flavors to incorporate what is currently in season.


Many people have strong opinions about what makes a good cobbler topping. I prefer cobblers with thick biscuit-dough topping as opposed to a cake-like topping. I love the combination of textures—the biscuits are tender on the inside with a crisp crust so they absorb some of the warm fruit juices without getting soggy. All its missing is a scoop of cold, creamy ice cream on top. 


Ice cream and summer go hand-in-hand, and there isn’t a more festive flavor to celebrate the season than Hudsonville’s Limited Edition American Fireworks ice cream. The sweet and sour ice cream has ribbons of sour cherry swirl and is mixed with blue popping candy. It’s a celebration in every scoop. It inspired me to create patriotic red velvet cobbler sundaes.



I want to emphasize that red velvet isn’t chocolate dyed red. There are only 3 tablespoons of cocoa in this recipe, so the red velvet biscuit topping has just the slightest hint of chocolate. Instead, I would describe the flavor as rich and wonderfully buttery with some tanginess from the buttermilk. I highly recommend using red gel food coloring over liquid food coloring because gel food coloring is more concentrated so you need less.


Use any combination of fresh or frozen berries for the filling. If you’re using frozen berries, there’s no need to thaw them first. You want enough fruit to fill your baking dish between halfway and three-quarters full. If you’re using an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan, you’ll need around 6 to 8 cups of fruit.


One of the most important steps when making a delicious cobbler is to allow your berries to macerate before baking. Macerating softens the fruit and draws out its juices, creating a thick and delicious berry syrup when it bakes. To achieve this, combine the fruit with the sugar and cornstarch and let it sit for about 20 minutes, mixing periodically, before topping it with the cobbler dough.


Once the cobbler finishes baking and cools slightly, it’s time to prepare the ultimate patriotic sundae with Hudsonville’s Limited Edition American Fireworks ice cream. You can use a sundae glass, a mason jar, or even a tall cup for this. Layer one large spoonful of red velvet cobbler with one scoop of American Fireworks ice cream and repeat until you have at least two layers of each.


This easy and festive dessert is bursting with flavor in every bite. Use this Scoop Locator tool to find American Fireworks ice cream near you—it’s at Meijer in Indy-area stores! 



Red Velvet Cobbler Sundaes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

For the fruit filling

  • 8 cups berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoons (10 grams) cornstarch

For the red velvet biscuit topping

  • 1 3/4 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red gel food coloring

For the sundaes

Directions

For the fruit filling
  1. Mix together berries, sugar, and cornstarch. 
  2. Transfer mixture to 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish, spread in an even layer, and set aside.

For the red velvet biscuit topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Use pastry cutter or fingers to cut butter into dry ingredients until you have pea-sized crumbs.
  4. Mix together buttermilk, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and food coloring. 
  5. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until mixture becomes cohesive dough.
  6. Form dough balls with your hands and place over berries.
  7. Place in oven and bake 50 minutes to 1 hour. You can double-check that the biscuits are done by using a thermometer. The temperature should read 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Cool at least 20 minutes before preparing sundaes.

For the sundaes

  1. Layer cobbler in sundae or parfait glasses with American Fireworks ice cream.





Sunday, May 23, 2021

Checkered flag dip

 


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'm not sure non-Hoosiers fully grasp how big a deal the Indianapolis 500 is to locals. I didn't fully understand until I moved to Indianapolis. Many families display checkered flags outside their homes and neighbors host porch parties. There are parades, concerts, and festivals in the weeks leading up to the race. It's truly a month-long celebration! And it all culminates with the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indy 500. Many fans are eager to head to the track this year after the 2020 race ran without fans due to COVID-19 concerns. 



As you can imagine, tailgating is a big part of race day, and I love making Indy 500-themed snacks. This year I'm really excited to debut my checkered flag dip. It looks tricky to make because of the checkerboard design, but it's actually quite simple! I started by making a whipped feta dip, which consists of feta, cream cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings. Feta and cream cheese are the primary ingredients in this recipe, so it's important to use good-quality products. I don't recommend using low-fat or fat-free feta cheese because it can be quite dry and the dip won't be as creamy. For cream cheese, Challenge Dairy is the only brand I use. It's made from the freshest milk and cream from happy cows at family-owned dairies. You can really taste the difference.

After making the dip, create a checkerboard pattern with a few pieces of paper cut into squares and black sesame seeds. Lightly lay the pieces of paper on the dip so it resembles a checkerboard and fill in the empty spaces with the black sesame seeds. When you finish, carefully lift up the pieces of paper. And that's it!

You can serve the checkered flag dip with pita chips, regular chips, or vegetables. I actually found really fun green, yellow, and red tortilla chips at Trader Joe's that I think resemble the IndyCar start, caution, and stop flags.

 

Checkered flag dip

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces feta cheese
  • 4 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 Tablespoons black sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the black sesame seeds in a food processor or with a mixer until smooth and airy. Taste and adjust pepper if necessary.
  2. Transfer dip to platter or serving dish (preferably square, but it's okay to use round dish) and smooth the top in an even layer. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  3. Cut blank sheet of paper into 1-inch squares. Lay squares across dip in checkerboard pattern.
  4. Fill in empty spaces with black sesame seeds. Carefully remove paper squares. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Strawberry orange shortcake with rose whipped cream


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!

Strawberry orange shortcake with rose whipped cream

Yield: Makes 8 shortcakes

Ingredients

For the fruit

  • 1/2 pound strawberries, sliced
  • 4 blood oranges (or 2 regular oranges), segmented and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon rose water

For the shortcake biscuits

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Challenge butter, cold and cubed
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 
  • 3 Tablespoons (38 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose water

Directions

For the fruit

  1. Combine strawberries, oranges, sugar, and rose water. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the shortcake.

For the shortcake biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick mat.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and baking soda in large bowl.
  3. Use pastry cutter or fingers to cut butter into dry ingredients until you have pea-sized crumbs.
  4. Pour buttermilk into bowl and mix until it becomes cohesive dough.
  5. Form dough into 8 mounds using ice cream scoop or 3-Tablespoon cookie scoop and place on baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle tops of biscuits with sparkling sugar if desired and place in oven.
  7. Bake biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are browned and the tops are golden, and set aside to cool.
  8. Once biscuits are cool, use serrated knife to cut biscuits in half horizontally.

For the whipped cream

  1. Whisk heavy cream (by hand or in a stand mixer) in chilled bowl until soft peaks form. 
  2. Add sour cream, sugar, and rose water and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.

Assembly

  1. Plate bottom half of 1 shortcake biscuit.
  2. Spoon macerated fruit over biscuit bottom. 
  3. Top with generous dollop of whipped cream
  4. Close with top half of biscuit.
  5. Spoon more cream over shortcake if desired and serve immediately.










Saturday, May 8, 2021

Simple orange, fennel, and beet salad

I love making big salads for dinner, and this super simple orange, fennel, and beet salad is one of my favorites for spring. I make it at least once a week—I can't stop eating it! All the flavors work really well together,  and the variety of textures and colors is really delightful. I've experimented and had great success with several variations of this salad, so you can customize it however you see fit. The version pictured here has goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts on top with diced shallot mixed in the dressing.

It lasts for several days in the refrigerator, but if you're planning to serve it for a special event, I recommend waiting to mix the beets into the salad until that day because the colors will bleed onto the other ingredients.


Simple orange, fennel, and beet salad

Yield: About 6 servings

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 4 small red beets, roasted or steamed, peeled and cut into rounds, wedges, or half moons
  • 3 medium oranges, peeled, pith cut away and segmented
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced against grain on mandoline
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Optional ingredients: 1/4 cup goat cheese, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts (chopped small), 1 cup arugula or watercress

For the dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional ingredient: 1 shallot (small dice)

Directions

  1. Mix the salad ingredients together.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together.
  3. Toss lightly with salad and serve.



Friday, April 23, 2021

Pack the perfect picnic with sandwiches that don’t get soggy and “jarcuterie"


Dining al fresco is one of my favorite things about warm weather. Food tastes so much better outdoors. I love relaxing on a big blanket with a tasty sandwich as the sun warms my skin.

Packing the perfect picnic involves some strategy and planning, but I promise it’s worth it in the long run.

One of the greatest picnic problems is soggy sandwich syndrome, so I’m sharing several tips to prevent this.

Tip 1: Use dense, crusty bread.

Regular store-bought white sandwich bread won’t hold up over long periods of time. Breads like sourdough, rye, ciabatta, and baguettes will actually soak up all the flavors of your sandwich fillings without turning into a mushy mess.

Tip 2: Slather on a fat-based spread.

Fat-based spreads like mayonnaise, pesto, olive tapenade, cheese spread, butter, and olive oil create a moisture barrier and actually repel liquids from soaking into the bread. Mustard is not a good condiment to use because its main ingredients are vinegar and water.

Tip 3: Avoid juicy ingredients.

It’s best to avoid tomatoes and wet fillings like chicken salad and egg salad, and make sure you pat dry any of your other ingredients.

Now that you know how to avoid a soggy sandwich, you can use that knowledge when preparing my favorite packable sandwich recipe, a Grilled Vegetable Picnic Loaf.

A picnic loaf is a partially hollowed out loaf of bread, stuffed with your favorite fillings, and then chilled and pressed. Transport the entire loaf with you to your destination, and slice it when you’re ready to eat. Also, you can make the sandwich ahead of time. I actually like it better when I make it the night before because the flavors have time to mingle together.

Also, if you don’t want to grill your own vegetables for this recipe, Trader Joe’s sells Misto alla Griglia in the frozen department, and it works really well. Just make sure to pat the ingredients dry!

Grilled Vegetable Picnic Loaf 

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, round or oval
  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4” thick, grilled or roasted
  • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4” thick, grilled or roasted
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips, grilled or roasted
  • 1/2 red onion, julienned
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into slices
  • Other options: Italian meats, artichokes, grilled portobello mushrooms, goat cheese

Directions

  1. Cut off top of loaf of bread (about 2 inches down) and set aside. Scoop out most of the inside. You can save breadcrumbs to use for cooking later, if desired.
  2. Spread inside of bread shell and underneath lid with layer of olive tapenade and layer of pesto.
  3. Place layer of arugula in bottom of bread shell. Then layer eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and top with more arugula.
  4. Place top layer of bread on top.
  5. Wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap, move to refrigerator, and place something heavy on top for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Transport whole loaf to picnic and slice when ready to serve.


Many people prefer to graze on snacks than have a sandwich, but elaborate picnic charcuterie spreads look like a pain to transport, lay out, and clean up. “Jarcuterie” is a much better option. Jarcuterie is just charcuterie in a jar. To assemble, I recommend sticking several tall crackers in first (crispy breadsticks and cheese sticks work best). Then fill in the bottom with dense ingredients like nuts and dried fruit. Then use skewers to layer meats, cheese, and olives, and fill any gaps in the center with berries and grapes.

Jarcuterie

Ingredients

  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Cured meats
  • Cheese
  • Olives
  • Crackers
  • Grapes or berries

Directions

  1. Layer durable ingredients like nuts and dried fruit in bottom of mason jar
  2. Layer meats, cheese, and olives on 2 skewers and stick in jar
  3. Fill in space on outside edge with crackers
  4. Use grapes and berries to fill in gaps in center


 




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