Kate's Cuisine

Apr 16 2017

Salty and Sweet Easter Treats

Salty and Sweet Easter Treats

For the past couple of years, I’ve made super simple, super easy Easter treats. I don’t know what it is – maybe because Easter falls on a Sunday and in this house ‘Sunday’ equals kinda lazy – but while I enjoy making treats just for the holiday, I don’t like knocking myself out making them. Maybe it’s just that I like the challenge of finding something that can be whipped up in just a couple of minutes. This year, I made the ultimate easy Easter snack.

It’s so easy in fact, that all you need is three ingredients and about 15 minutes of time. And if you’ve got some eager little hands hanging around wanting to help, they can even do it all on their own. The little hands at my house still aren’t totally comfortable around the stove just yet, so I did that part. But I promise you, the rest of these treats were made completely by a 9 and 11 year old. Now you can’t get any easier than that.

Ingredients:

(You’ll notice I haven’t given any amounts. You’ll need 1 each for every treat you make, but how many that is in total is completely up to you.)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet (or two or three) with parchment paper.

2.) Lay the pretzels out on the baking sheet and place a Hershey hug in the centre of each.

3.) Place the pretzels in the oven for about 5 minutes, just until the chocolate has melted. If some of them still have their points after this time, don’t worry about it. They’re about to get squished down.

4.) Remove the pretzels from the oven and place a mini egg on top of each, pressing down on any of those points some of the chocolate may still have.

5.) Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes so the chocolate can set.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Apr 10 2017

Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken Quesadillas

I love quesadillas. They’re quick, they’re easy, and they’re so tasty! Which is why when I made them for Girls’ Night a little while ago, I was appalled to find that I didn’t have one quesadilla recipe on the site. Not one! Well, that was something that had to be corrected right away, so I give you a great chicken quesadilla recipe!

I used to eat my quesadillas the way you’ll find them in most restaurants – tons of goodness stuffed inside, with salsa and sour cream on the side. Let me tell you, this is not the best way to do it. It wasn’t until I was working in a restaurant that I saw a better way. Instead of piling salsa into a little cup on the side, put it right into the quesadilla. You won’t have to dip it in, inevitably causing all the goodness inside to spill out, and I promise you, the tortilla will not get soggy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.11
  • 4 10-inch tortillas $1.64
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed $4.84
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded $1.35
  • 1 cup salsa $1.11
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped $0.75

Total cost $9.80
Cost per serving $2.45

Directions:

1.) Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, add olive oil and allow it to also heat.

2.) Place one tortilla inside the pan. On one side of the tortilla, sprinkle about 1/2 cup cooked chicken, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/4 cup of salsa, and 1 tablespoon of cilantro.

3.) Flip the empty half of the tortilla over the chicken mixture and allow to cook for about 3 minutes, until the bottom half is golden brown. Flip the quesadilla over and fry for another 3 minutes, until that side is also golden brown.

4.) Remove quesadilla from the pan and allow it to sit while you prepare the others. (This will not only help keep the heat inside, but will also prevent the cheese from spilling out while it’s lava hot.) Repeat entire process with the remaining quesadillas, even adding more oil to the pan if it runs dry.

5.) Once all the quesadillas have been cooked, slice them into wedges.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Apr 03 2017

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce

Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce

I love lamb. Like, I really love lamb. I try to buy it whenever I can when the husband isn’t here for dinner (he does not share my love of the lamb), but I always end up making it the same way. Lemon, garlic, rosemary – same way, every time. I’m just so scared of screwing it up! But this time, I wanted to do something a little different.

So I went with a leg instead of the lamb chops I usually go for; but I couldn’t bring myself to slather it in a curry rub or do something else that could possibly ruin the perfect piece of meat I’d just bought. I love it so much – what if I wrecked it? But, I still also really wanted to do something I hadn’t done before.

Then I thought, mint sauce. Why don’t I roast my leg of lamb with the same seasonings I usually do, but add a mint sauce that I already know goes so classically well with lamb? It was a good thought, but I can’t bring myself to add dollops of jelly to my dinner, either. So I grabbed a handful of mint, and turned it into a mint sauce reminiscent of chimichurri.

It gave me and the girls a different way to enjoy our lamb, it was one we all loved, and now I can say with confidence that mint really is a great accompaniment to lamb!

Ingredients:

  • 1 leg of lamb, between 4 and 5 pounds $15.45
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.03
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped $0.75
  • Zest of 1 lemon $0.35
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil $0.22
  • Salt, to taste $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste $0.01

For the mint sauce:

  • 1 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped $1.99
  • 1 teaspoon sugar $0.01
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar $0.24
  • Pinch of salt $0.01
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper $0.01

Total cost $19.08
Cost per serving $3.18

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) Combine the garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest and rub all over the lamb. Drizzle generously with olive oil, transfer to a roasting rack and place in the hot oven.

3.) Roast the leg of lamb for 15 minutes then, without opening the oven door, turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Roast for another hour for medium to medium-rare, or another hour and 30 minutes for well done.

4.) Remove the lamb from the oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

5.) While the lamb is resting, making the mint sauce by combining all of the ingredients and mixing very well.

6.) Carve the roast into slices and arrange on a platter. Drizzle the mint sauce over top.

7.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 24 2017

Chicken and Potatoes One-Pot Dish

Chicken, spinach and potatoes

The girls and I spent a little over a week with my family this past March Break and I did the cooking! Cooking at my childhood home is really no different than cooking at my current home – I still play around with different recipes and try new things. I knew this one-pot chicken and potatoes dish was going to be a hit around the table, full of Parmesan, garlic and a cream sauce that made us want to lick our plates (or maybe that was just me). I wish I was still there to partake of the leftovers!

Ingredients:

4 bone-in chicken breasts, cut into pieces if they’re very large $7.35
2 tablespoons butter $0.26
1 tablespoon olive oil $0.11
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped $3.99
1 pound potatoes, quartered $0.79
Salt, to taste $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper $0.01

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter $0.54
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.04
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.50
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped $0.25
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped $0.30
  • 1/2 cup half and half $0.62
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese $1.49
  • Salt, to taste $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste $0.01

Total cost $16.30
Cost per serving $4.07

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.

2.) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown. Turn chicken and brown the other side for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

3.) Place the spinach into the pan, stir to coat in the fat, and cook for just about 2 minutes, until the spinach is slightly wilted. Remove from pan, toss with the potatoes and set aside.

4.) To make the sauce, melt 1/4 cup of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes. Whisk in flour until it’s fully incorporated into the fat and cook for 1 minute.

5.) Gradually whisk in chicken broth, fresh thyme and basil. Cook, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until cheese and cream are fully incorporated.

6.) Place the potatoes and spinach in the bottom of the casserole dish and pour the garlic Parmesan over top. Place the chicken breasts over top of the potatoes.

7.) Place into the oven and cook for 40 – 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are soft.

8.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 18 2017

Ree’s Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe

My past couple of recipes prove that you never stop learning in the kitchen. First there were the deep-fried kale chips that are a massive improvement on the old roasted ones I had on the site; and today it’s a new and improved Sloppy Joe recipe. Well, it’s new for our house anyway. Probably not for Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, who’s probably been making them for years. Now I will too.

And, today is National Sloppy Joe day, so there’s no reason not to make them (and if you imbibed a bit too much for St. Patty’s Day yesterday, they’re super simple and the perfect greasy comfort food to settle a stomach!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter $0.26
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef $12.92
  • 1 large onion, diced $0.47
  • 1 green pepper, diced $0.71
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded    $0.11
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced $0.05
  • 1 1/2 cup ketchup $2.23
  • 1 cup water Free, with your water bill!
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar $0.02
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder $0.14
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard $0.05
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes $0.11
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste $0.18
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional) $0.50
  • Salt, to taste $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste $0.01

Total cost $17.77
Cost per serving $2.22

Directions:

1.) Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

2.) Add onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

3.) Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, if using. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

4.) Pile sloppy joe mixture onto kaiser rolls, serve and enjoy!

Mar 14 2017

Kale Chips II

Kale chips

I’ve made kale chips before and to be honest, I wasn’t too thrilled with them. I put them in the oven, toasted and salted them, and out came these little wisps that were no longer green. And they didn’t taste very good either.

But, I come armed today with a new recipe for kale chips – the ultimate veggie chip that’s supposed to be both delicious and crazy good for you. I may have lowered the “crazy good for you factor” just a wee bit, when I decided to dunk them in oil this time, rather than dry them out in the oven. The difference is astounding. Now I know why people actually like and eat kale chips!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale $1.99
  • Kosher salt $0.01
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying

Total cost $2.00
Cost per serving $0.50

Directions:

1.) In a large heavy pot (or a deep fryer) heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees (you will need more if you’re using a deep fryer.)

2.) Thoroughly wash all the kale leaves and dry them very well. There’s already quite a bit of moisture in kale and if the leaves are not dry when they go into the hot oil, they can sputter and cause the oil to bubble over, which can be very dangerous. Dry your kale very well!

3.) Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Drop 5 to 7 pieces of kale in at a time. Let the kale fry for 30 – 60 seconds only and then remove with a spider or slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels and season generously with salt. Repeat with remaining leaves.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 06 2017

Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

I love sauerkraut. I was practically raised on it, with heaps of the stuff accompanying many meals at my grandma’s. And while I admit, as a child I turned my nose up to it more often than not, I’m always finding new ways to enjoy it as an adult. This method of tossing it into a slow cooker to become even softer and more delicious as it acts like a blanket to the pork chops has got to be my new favourite. That is, until I find another great sauerkraut recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork chops (the thicker the better!) $8.39
  • 2 tablespoons butter $0.26
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.11
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel $0.19
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper $0.01
  • 2 cups sauerkraut $1.74
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped $0.12

Total cost $10.99
Cost per serving $2.75

Directions:

1.) In a small bowl combine the coriander, fennel, salt and pepper. Mix well and then rub the seasoning onto both sides of each pork chop.

2.) Lightly rinse the sauerkraut. You don’t want to rinse it completely, but if you place it in the slow cooker with the brine, the entire dish will be too salty to eat. When done rinsing, squeeze the sauerkraut of much of its moisture. Place sauerkraut in a large bowl and add dill. Combine well and then place half of the sauerkraut into the bottom of a slow cooker.

3.) Melt butter and olive oil together in a skillet set over medium-high heat. When hot, add pork chops and sear for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. As each pork chop is browned, place it on top of the sauerkraut in the slow cooker. When all chops have been browned, spread the remaining sauerkraut over top of them.

4.) Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

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