Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Avocado Bacon 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!

If you’ve been walking around planet Earth the past few years, you probably know that avocados are essentially the mascot of millennials. When is the last time you’ve been to a brunch spot and not seen a young person dining on avocado toast?

Fortunately, avocados are incredibly nutritious. Avocado is primarily fat, but it’s healthy fat that reduces inflammation and prevents the negative effects of aging.

My goal this week was to create a recipe that wasn’t a “health food,” but it also wouldn’t ruin your diet. Say hello to my newest creation: Avocado Bacon Wontons.

Some of you may be fans of The Cheesecake Factory’s avocado egg roll appetizers. That was the inspiration behind my ideas for these wontons. Except I knew I wanted to bake (not fry them), add cream cheese like a crab rangoon, and also include bacon because the saltiness is a good compliment to the avocado.

The most fun part of making these wontons is folding the wonton wrapper. The most basic shape is to fold the wrapper into a triangle. But my favorite shape is make a “flower bud.” I think it looks nice and it’s easier to pop the whole thing in your mouth. To do that, you for a triangle after sticking a teaspoon of filling in the center. Then roll the base (hypotenuse) of the triangle up halfway and bring the 2 sides together so they overlap. Squeeze them together so it sticks.

The trick to baking them so they become crispy like a fried wonton is to put a cooling rack over a baking sheet, spray the wontons with avocado oil (high burn point), and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then take the baking sheet out of the oven, turn the broiler on high, and stick the baking sheet back in for no longer than a minute.

I just so happened to choose a recipe this week that focused on my hands, so I could show off the very special addition to my left ring finger. I am very excited to announce that William proposed to me last week at my favorite place, Mackinac Island. And with that, he has officially sealed the deal as my official taste-tester! It’s a position that lasts ’til death do us part!

Avocado Bacon Wontons
Yield: About 40 wontons
  • 2 large avocados, skin and pit removed
  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • 5 pieces of bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, diced with seeds removed
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • Salt to taste or about 1 teaspoon
  • 40 wonton wrappers
  • Avocado oil spray (or another oil spray)
  • Sweet chili or teriyaki sauce for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine avocados, cream cheese, bacon, cup red onion, cheddar cheese, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt in large bowl
  3. Take 1 wonton wrapper and position it like a diamond with one point facing you. Dampen edges with water using pastry brush.
  4. Put 1 teaspoon (no more!) of avocado filling in center, and fold the wonton wrapper so it’s a triangle. Pinch the edges to seal, making sure to squeeze out any excess air in the process.
  5. Fold hypotenuse of wonton triangle up halfway and bring the two edges on either side together. Pinch to close. It may take some practice, but it should look like a flower bud.
  6. Position baking rack on top of foil-lined baking sheet, and place wontons on rack. Spray generously with avocado oil spray.
  7. Place in oven and bake for about 9 to 10 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown. Turn on broiler and bake for an additional minute.
  8. Remove from oven and serve with sweet chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, or your favorite sauce. They’re best right when they come out of the oven. If you plan to reheat, do so in oven to ensure they retain crispiness.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Two-ingredient ice cream bread

Have you ever thought, “Wow three ingredients, that is just way too much. One less ingredient would make this way better”? No, I’ve never thought that either. But it is fun to experiment with minimal-ingredient recipes! Like the two-ingredient dough I made last month. It sure was tasty, but it was pretty tricky to work with.

This week I’m trying my hand at another new and trendy two-ingredient recipe: ice cream bread!

As you’re reading this right now, you’re skeptical. I get it. I was skeptical at first too. But if you think about it, there are a lot of ingredients that go into ice cream, like milk, eggs, sugar, etc. Add that to self-rising flour, and you have a very basic quick bread recipe. In fact, the texture is very similar to quick bread as well.

Use it to replace regular bread in mostly any recipe you desire. One important note: despite the fact that ice cream is super sweet, the bread doesn’t really have a strong flavor. So I recommend embellishing it with various extracts, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts.

I think part of the appeal of ice cream bread is the flavors are limitless. Birthday cake, cookie dough, strawberry cheesecake, you name it and it can be turned into a loaf of bread! I can see kids having a lot of fun with this!

Here are some tips for making this zany creation…
  1. Use full fat ice cream. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the scientific reasoning for this is, but you need the fat to get the right consistency.
  2. If possible, let the ice cream melt on it’s own. Don’t microwave it.
  3. Make sure the ice cream is completely melted. In all honesty, it should look like ice cream soup. If there are still unthawed chunks, the flour won’t mix evenly, and the texture will be funky.
Ice cream bread
  • 2 cups (270 grams) melted ice cream, any flavor but make sure it’s melted
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (180 grams)
  • Optional ingredients for added flavor: 2 teaspoons extract (vanilla, almond, strawberry… whatever your heart desires), 1/4 cup sugar for added sweetness, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan with parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray
  2. Allow ice cream to melt in large bowl. Once melted, add flour and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour batter into loaf pan and smooth top.
  4. Place in oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes—stick toothpick in center to check, and if it’s clean, it’s done
  5. Let loaf cool before slicing to serve

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Piña Colada Icebox Cake

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!

Do any of you all ever get writer’s block? I’m struggling to write this blog post at the moment, so I’m procrastinating by trying to figure out whether ice box is one word or two words. The internet seems to be split. I like it as one word, so that’s what I’m going with.

This is actually the first time I’m making an icebox cake. For some reason, they kind of confused me. Icebox cakes are made with layers of hard cookies, so I thought it would be awkward trying to stick a fork into a cake with hard layers. But as I was looking up no-bake desserts recently, I watched someone bite into an icebox cake, and it wasn’t hard at all. Apparently, the cookies soften as they soak in the cream layers. Some recipes call for you to soak the cookies in milk first, but that’s not necessary. They’ll soften without the milk.

Coconut is one of the most divisive ingredients I’ve ever encountered. People who don’t like coconut really hate it. So this cake can have a lot of variations depending on your coconut preference.

If you like coconut, amp up the coconut flavor by using coconut Oreos and adding coconut extract to the cream filling. If you want less coconut flavor, use regular Oreos (golden or chocolate) and no coconut extract.

But in all reality, would you be making this cake if you don’t like coconut?

Piña Colada Icebox Cake
  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks of Challenge cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • (Optional: 2 teaspoons coconut extract)
  • 16-ounce container whipped topping
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • About 52 Oreos (golden or chocolate)
  • (Optional: toasted coconut, whipped cream, candied pineapple for topping)
  1. Prepare 8 x 8 pan with aluminum pan or spray sides of springform pan with nonstick spray
  2. Beat together cream cheese until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add coconut cream and optional coconut extract.
  3. Fold in whipped topping, pineapple, and shredded coconut.
  4. Spread small amount of cream mixture on bottom of pan. Layer Oreos on top. 
  5. Add a thick layer of cream mixture on top and add more Oreos on top. Repeat until you reach top of pan.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Serve with toasted coconut, cream cheese, and candied pineapple if desired.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

No-Bake Fourth of July Treats

Do you all have any fun Fourth of July traditions? Every year when I was growing up, my family would have a cookout with all of our neighbors before watching fireworks. And then the real party started and we would set off our own fireworks. It was just the little stuff, no big boomers. But we still loved it! I remember the killer bees fountain firework was one of my personal favorites.

I remember one year this bachelor moved onto our street, and he joined in on the fun. He bought the good stuff—the ones that actually shot up in the sky. It was great!

That tradition went by the wayside a while ago as we all got older and busier and moved away. But I still think back on those times fondly.

This year, the Fourth of July is in the middle of a heat wave in Indiana. Seriously, could it get any hotter?! Actually, I don’t think I want to ask that question because I know it definitely can. Anyway, it’s way too hot to heat the house up by turning on the oven. So instead, I’ve opted for no-bake treats. Of course, very patriotic no-bake treats because you all know me. I live for themed treats.

Marshmallow Bald Eagles
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (not necessary, but helps thin out chocolate so it’s easier to dip)
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • Sweetened shredded coconut
  • 12 Oreos or other small chocolate cookies
  • 12 whole cashews
  • Black decorator's gel
  1. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave for 30 second intervals until completely melted
  2. Add oil to white chocolate and stir until smooth
  3. Dip one marshmallow into the white chocolate and immediately sprinkle shredded coconut on top, making sure to leave the bottom side uncovered
  4. Add a little extra dollop of white chocolate to that end and stick on a sandwich cookie. The white chocolate will act like glue to the cookie.
  5. Once the chocolate sets, use a toothpick to make a little hole for the cashew beak.
  6. Stick the smaller end of one side of the cashew into the hole and press gently until it says in there.
  7. Add black decorators gel to make eyes and let sit for about 20 minutes before freezing.

No-Bake Cheesecake Dip
  • 2 bars (8 ounces each) Challenge cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • Fresh berries for serving, if desired
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, or about 3 minutes.
  2. Add powdered sugar, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth.
  3. Fold in whipped topping and serve

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