Monday, June 27, 2022

Bald Eagle Cheese Ball Bites

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 following my blog for a while, you know I love themed food, especially for holidays. A few years ago, I made a large bald eagle cheese ball for the Fourth of July. Yes, it's a little goofy-looking, but it's still one of my favorite things I've made. 

I decided to run with the bald eagle theme again this year, but this time I made mini cheese ball bites! I love that they're bite-sized.

I recently discovered that my food processor grates cheese, and it has made my life so much easier. Since I already had my food processor out, I decided to add the cream cheese and the ranch seasoning to it as well, and it made this recipe so incredibly easy. But if you don't have a food processor, you can, of course, mix everything by hand. I used Challenge cream cheese for this recipe because the taste and texture is far superior to anything else I've found on the market. That's because it's made with real milk, cream, and other natural ingredients.

I used a microplane to grate the mozzarella for the feathers because it creates smaller pieces.

You can make the cheese ball mixture and grate the cheese ahead of time, but I do not recommend putting it onto the cracker until right before you plan to serve them because crackers will get soft in the refrigerator,

Bald Eagle Cheese Ball Bites
Yield: Makes about 28 servings

  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix
  • About 28 round crackers
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, finely shredded
  • About 28 cashews
  • About 56 peppercorns
  1. Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing mix. I find it’s easiest to do this in a food processor.
  2. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop cheese ball mixture onto round cracker.
  3. Press pecan pieces in single layer around base of cheese ball.
  4. Press mozzarella onto top of cheese ball.
  5. Insert one cashew halfway into center of cheese ball so it resembles a beak.
  6. Insert one peppercorn on either side of cashew so they resemble eyes.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Blueberry lavender galette

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! 

There are few things more enjoyable than fresh-baked pie with ripe summer produce. But pies can be fickle and time-consuming. Fortunately, we live in a world where galettes exist.

A galette is pie’s more easygoing cousin. No pie plate. No crimping. No fuss. If it looks imperfect, then you did it correctly. It is supposed to be rustic. And that’s why it’s the perfect base for summer fruit.

You can make pie dough for a galette, or you can use store-bought pie dough, puff pastry, phyllo dough… it’s kind of like a “choose your own adventure” book.

Some important tips to remember when making a galette…
If you’re making your own pie crust, you need to make a mealy pie crust. This means the butter pieces in the dough are the size of peas. Mealy pie dough is best for fruit pies because it is good at repelling moisture from liquid fillings.

To prevent a soggy bottom, I recommend adding a little cornstarch to your fruit filling; macerating the fruit and then draining the juices; and creating a barrier between the dough and the filling. The barrier can be anything your heart desires—almond paste, fruit preserves, cookie crumbs, etc. I use goat cheese as the barrier in this recipe.

Another important tip: roll the galette dough out to 1/8-inch thick. If it’s too thick, the crust will be gummy and chewy, not flaky.

It’s important to use good quality butter in your recipe because it makes a tremendous difference in your final product. I use Challenge European Style Butter when I make pie dough. It’s churned slower and longer, in the tradition of fine European butters, to produce a more flavorful butter with less moisture and higher butterfat.

Blueberry lavender galette

Yield: About 6 servings

For the dough
  • 113 grams (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 150 grams (1 1/4) cups all-purpose flour
  • 13 grams (1 Tablespoon) granulated sugar
  • 1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup ice water)
For the filling
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 16 grams (2 Tablespoons) cornstarch
  • Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 6 grams (about 1 Tablespoon) dried lavender, ground (with mortar and pestle or spice grinder)
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 1.5 grams (1/4 teaspoon) kosher salt 
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water)
  • Optional: Turbinado sugar
For the dough
  1. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in freezer for at least 20 minutes or until very cold.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender or food processor until butter is pea-sized.
  4. Make well in flour mixture and add water.
  5. Mix to create shaggy mixture then knead to form dough. If dough is too dry, add up to 2 Tablespoons additional ice water.
  6. Form dough into flat disc and wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  7. Once dough is chilled, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Roll dough out on floured surface to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer pie dough to baking sheet.
For the filling
  1. Mix together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lavender, vanilla extract, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Spread goat cheese over galette, leaving 3-inch border.
  3. Drain any excess juices released by blueberries and spread mixture evenly over goat cheese.
  4. Fold the edge of the pie dough up and over blueberry filling, pleating every 3 inches.
  5. Brush galette crust with egg wash and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.
  6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Surprise, a baby!


You may have noticed I’ve been absent on my blog lately, but it’s been for good reason. I gave birth to my first child, Penelope, a few weeks ago. 

The weeks leading up to and after her birth have been truly chaotic. We bought a new house, sold our old house, had a baby, officially closed on the new house while we were still in the hospital, moved, and officially closed on our old house. Of course, we didn’t plan on making all of these stressful life changes at the same time. But a house in our neighborhood that we already loved went on the market just a few weeks before my due date, and we couldn’t pass it up. 

So after a crazy season of life, I am giving myself the luxury of taking this time to focus on my newborn. I plan to slowly roll out more recipes in the coming weeks, and I’ll resume my segments on FOX59 in July. But right now, my main focus is being a new mom. 

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