Monday, February 29, 2016

Candied bacon

Candied bacon
  • 1 pound of thick cut bacon (about 11 slices per pound)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray and place cooling rack on top of baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Combine brown sugar and maple syrup in bowl. Dredge one piece of bacon in sugar mixture and lay flat on cooling rack. Repeat process, laying bacon side by side, until there is no room on cooling rack. Do not overlap the pieces of bacon. Sprinkle a little more brown sugar on top of each piece of bacon.
  3. Bake bacon for about 15 – 20 minutes. You will want to start checking on bacon to make sure it isn’t burning at the 15-minute mark. Finished bacon will be dark around the edges. Transfer bacon to plate and let cool.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pepperoni pizza dip

If chips and dip and pizza had a baby, this would be the wonderfully fabulous result! I love pizza and chips and dip so much – what could be better than combining the two?! It’s like diving into an extra cheesy crustless pizza. But you don’t miss the crust because tortilla chips, duh. Also, no crust means it’s gluten-free! So all those poor souls that have gluten allergies can finally indulge in Italy’s greatest gift to the rest of the world.

Pepperoni pizza dip

  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup mini pepperonis
  • 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, and basil in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. 
  3. Spread into the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish, cake pan, or similar size casserole dish.
  4. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the cream cheese layer. 
  5. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperonis, then sprinkle with parmesan, basil and oregano. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve hot. Cover any leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Crispy baked sweet potato fries

“Hey Kylee, do you want sweet potato fries?” “Yes, yes I do. Thank you for asking.” ß My response to anyone ever who asks me if I want sweet potato fries. I love sweet potato fries so much. So so so much. It really is hard to fully express my love for them. They’re salty and a little bit sweet.

Most sweet potato fries are fried (hence the name). But these particular fries are baked because 1) I don’t own a fryer and 2) If I ate them fried I would weigh 300 pounds because I eat a lot of them and I can’t stop. But don’t worry, I promise you will not miss out on the fried part! In fact, I’m going to go as far to say I doubt you would notice the difference! That’s because I have found a way to make these un-fried fries crispy!

Three tips to crispy un-fried fries
  1. Toss in cornstarch beforehand! Just a little teeny bit of cornstarch gives the heat something to grab onto and crisp up!
  2. Do not overcrowd baking sheet; if you overcrowd that baking sheet the fries will not get the same amount of direct heat and will steam instead of getting crispy.
  3. After baking, turn off the oven, open the oven door halfway, and let them cool until you’re ready to serve or up to 30 minutes. Sweet potatoes are naturally moist, so this extra step helps take out the last bit of moisture! Obviously, be careful with this step if you have small children or dogs.
Now that you know those top-secret extra-special tips, here’s a list of why you should eat sweet potato un-fried fries! It is in list for because I am getting tired of writing paragraphs.

Why you should eat sweet potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes provide more than 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A
  • Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber which slows digestion and helps manage weight
  • Sweet potatoes contain a lot of calcium and magnesium which is great for bone health
  • Beta carotene! It’s a powerful antioxidant that decreases risk of cardio-vascular disease as well as oral cavity, and lung cancers.
(Info from Cleveland Clinic)

Baked sweet potato fries
  • One sweet potato per person
  • One teaspoon cornstarch per sweet potato
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt per sweet potato
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder per sweet potato
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne per sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil per sweet potato
*Make this recipe with as many sweet potatoes as you want, multiply ingredient by how many sweet potatoes you use.

  1. Wash and peel the sweet potato. Cut into 1/4 inch strips.
  2. Soak the sweet potato pieces in a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes. This removes the starchy surface coating from the potato and allows it to get more crispy when baking.
  3. Once you finish soaking the potato, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Thoroughly dry the sweet potato pieces and toss in bowl with olive oil before transferring to Ziploc bag with cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne.
  5. Once sweet potato pieces are coated in seasoning, line them on baking sheet, making sure to not overlap. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven, turn baking sheet around, flip fries to other side, and place back in oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door halfway open, and and keep the fries inside until you’re ready to serve or up to 30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Friday, February 12, 2016

Low-Fat White Chicken Chili

Nothing says comfort food like a big bowl of chili and cornbread muffins! This white chili recipe is great for several reasons. First of all, the fat and calorie content are significantly lower than your average red meat chili. There are only 4 grams of fat and 160 calories per cup. And second of all, it can either be made on the stove or in the crock pot! I love recipes that are versatile and give people options depending on time constraints.

This chili also freezes well. Personally, I could make a big old pot, and eat it every day for a week! But if that's not your style, divide it into small, single-serving containers and stick them in the freezer. It will last for about three months in the freezer.

I like to serve my chili with cornbread muffins and cilantro. But you can add whatever toppings you want: sour cream, tortilla chips, cheese, green onions, avocado, etc.

Low-Fat White Chicken Chili
Yield: 15 cups of chili
Calories: 160 calories per cup

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 48 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 (48 ounce) jar Great Northern Beans
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar medium salsa
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
If making chili on the stove top...
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray ad place chicken in pan
  3. Bake chicken breasts for 25 minutes or until they're no longer pink inside
  4. Remove chicken breasts from oven and let them cool off for about 10 minutes
  5. Once chicken is cool enough to touch, chop the chicken up into small chunks and set aside
  6. Add chicken broth to 6-quart pot and set stove temperature to medium heat
  7. Once the broth starts to boil, drain Great Northern Beans in colander and add beans to broth
  8. Then add chicken, salsa, cumin, and garlic powder
  9. Turn stovetop temperature to low heat and simmer for 1/2 hour
  10. Add pepper jack cheese
  11. Stir until cheese has melted and serve
If making chili in the crock pot...
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray ad place chicken in pan
  3. Bake chicken breasts for 25 minutes or until they're no longer pink inside
  4. Remove chicken breasts from oven and let them cool off for about 10 minutes
  5. Once chicken is cool enough to touch, chop the chicken up into small chunks and set aside
  6. Add chicken broth to 6-quart crock pot and set crockpot temperature to high heat
  7. Once the broth starts to boil (it will take about 1 hour), drain Great Northern Beans in colander and add beans to broth
  8. Then add chicken, salsa, cumin, and garlic powder
  9. Turn crock pot temperature to low heat and let simmer for at least 1 hour (up to 4 hours)
  10. Add pepper jack cheese
  11. Stir until cheese has melted and serve

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Brownies

Can't decide between brownies or cheesecake? Have them both! Cream cheese brownies are the best of both worlds. The two layers complement each other perfectly. The brownie layer is rich and sweet, and the cream cheese layer is light and tangy. And the best part is, you can customize these brownies any which way you want.

I had a serious peanut butter/ chocolate craving the other day, so I decided to combine peanut butter with the cream cheese layer. It's important to note that I didn't mix the peanut butter into the cream cheese; instead I drizzled melted peanut butter on top of the cream cheese and swirled it in.

I did that because it’s impossible to evenly spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter layer. So in order to make it look good, you need to swirl the top layer with the tip of a knife. By drizzling the peanut butter on top and swirling it with the cream cheese it looks really cool.

It’s important to note that you should only swirl the very top layer; you still want distinctive cream cheese and brownie layers.

As you’ll see in the recipe below, I used boxed brownie mix. I used boxed mix because in a recipe like this when there are several different parts it’s a heck of a lot easier. And in my opinion, it tastes just as good as a “made from scratch” brownies that would have taken me three times as long to make. When you take a shortcut like this, it’s important to use high quality ingredients. I used Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownie mix, and I used Challenge cream cheese because it’s made from incredibly fresh 100% cream and there are no additives or fillers.

Here are a few other tips for perfect cream cheese brownies:
  1. Line a pan with aluminum foil for easy removal and cutting
  2. Set brownies on middle rack in oven, no higher; this is because the cream cheese layer on top bakes quicker than the brownie batter
  3. Cool pan completely before cutting; you need to allow the cream cheese a chance to set

 Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Brownies
Yield: Makes about 16 servings

For the brownies
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 package brownie mix

(These are the ingredients necessary for the Ghirardelli brownie mix, but you should use whatever ingredients are listed on your brownie mix)

For the cream cheese layer
  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 5 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups chopped into small pieces
Directions for the brownie layer
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil
  3. Thoroughly mix egg, water and oil in large bowl
  4. Add brownie mix to bowl and stir until fully combined; set aside
Directions for the cream cheese layer
  1. Add cream cheese, egg, and sugar to medium bowl and beat until smooth
  2. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter
  3. Melt peanut butter; drizzle peanut butter on top of cream cheese mixture
  4. Using the tip of a knife, swirl the very top of the cream cheese layer, and in the process attempt to spread it out over the brownie batter as evenly as possible
  5. Sprinkle Reese’s Peanut Butter cup pieces on top
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes; my brownies were perfect after 40 minutes.
  7. Brownies are done when you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean
  8. Let pan cool for several hours or overnight before cutting – you need to give the cream cheese layer time to set
  9. Brownies will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about five days

Friday, February 5, 2016

Broncos Buffalo Chicken Dip

Everyone seems to have his or her own favorite buffalo chicken dip recipe. And I respect that. In a world full of choices and tough decisions, it’s important to have something familiar – an old standby!

Buffalo chicken dip is obviously delicious, but did you know that it’s also incredibly EASY to make? Buy the few required ingredients, combine them in a bowl, and heat it up in the oven, on the stove, or in a slow cooker. Serve with chips and celery sticks and call it a day!

The past two years I’ve made “skinny” buffalo chicken dip, which means I used low-fat versions for each of the ingredients. Some people may think my reason is because I’m trying to lose weight. Puhleasseee. It’s so I can eat more. Because like with most things more is better. And low-fat ingredients cost the exact same so why not.

You may have noticed that the title of this recipe is “Broncos Buffalo Chicken Dip.” That’s because I’m most definitely supporting the Broncos in this year’s Super Bowl. As an Indiana girl, I’m obviously rooting for Peyton. And Yia Yia loves him so much; it would make her so happy if they won! (How adorable does she look?)

I paired the buffalo chicken dip with blue tortilla chips – perfect Broncos colors!

Broncos Buffalo Chicken Dip
Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups
  • 4 ounces fat free cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded, fat free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (or about 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; prepare baking dish with nonstick baking spray, set aside
  2. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a medium-sized bowl; fold in shredded chicken
  3. Transfer mixture into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges turn slightly brown
  4. Remove and serve with chips and celery sticks
Also, be sure to check out these other recipes from Kylee’s Kitchen that are perfect for the Super Bowl!

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