Kate's Cuisine

Nov 09 2015

Copycat KD Macaroni and Cheese Spirals

Copycat KD Spirals

The girls ate this up as quickly as they do the boxed version, and they regularly balk at homemade macaroni and cheese. When I started making it, I didn’t intend to create a Copycat KD Macaroni and Cheese Spirals, but as I ate it, I became more convinced that I had. And I bet if you used elbow pasta in place of egg noodles, you’d have a copycat version of the original thing.

1/2 package egg noodles $0.49
2 1/2 cups milk $0.70
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese $2.50
2 tablespoons butter $0.06
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour $0.02
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total cost $3.79
Cost per serving $0.94

1.) Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. When at a rapid boil, add egg noodles and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring regularly. When finished cooking and still al dente, drain.

2.) Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan set over medium heat. When melted and starting to foam, add flour and whisk vigorously to form a roux. Continue cooking for three minutes, whisking continuously, until the roux becomes golden brown.

3.) Slowly add the milk in, starting with small amounts and whisking them into the roux before adding more. Continue whisking as you add the milk to prevent lumps from forming. Once all the milk has been added, turn the heat to low and cook the mixture for about 10 minutes, until it’s thickened.

4.) Remove from heat and slowly add in the Cheddar cheese, whisking the cheese to fully incorporate it before adding more. Continue doing so until all the cheese has been added, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

5.) Place drained egg noodles in a large bowl or back into their pot and pour some cheese sauce over top. Stir to thoroughly combine and coat noodles in the sauce.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Nov 07 2015

Cream of Turkey Soup

Cream of Turkey Soup

I don’t know about anybody else, but when I think of Thanksgiving leftovers, turkey soup is the first thing that pops into my mind. And that soup usually involves a broth thinly covering turkey, potatoes or noodles, and tons of veggies. While good, I just didn’t want to go that route last time I pulled turkey leftovers out of the freezer. Cream soup it was going to be, and I just happened to have a ton of other leftovers in the fridge that were perfect for it.

Mashed potatoes are perfect for thickening a cream soup, but if you don’t have any lying around and you don’t want to make them, you can just chop up potatoes and puree them before adding the turkey. I thought the cheese sauce would  help to thicken it (and it did), but if you don’t have it, just add a bit of cream at the end. And, if you have leftovers of the leftovers, you can always puree the soup, freeze it, and use it for casseroles that call for canned cream of turkey or chicken soup. All around, this one’s a winner.

  • 4 cups cooked turkey, chopped or shredded $6.00
  • 6 cups turkey stock $2.50
  • 2 cups (or more) mashed potatoes $0.19
  • 2 cups fresh spinach $2.22
  • 1 cup cheese sauce $1.50
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine $1.10
  • 1 onion, very finely diced $0.47
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced $0.17
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced $0.13
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, if needed $0.02
  • 2 tablespoons butter $0.06
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped $0.12
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $14.53
Cost per serving $1.80

1.) Heat butter and olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot add onions, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, just until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent.

2.) Add wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan as you do. Cook for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol.

3.) Add turkey stock and mashed potatoes and bring to a boil, breaking up the potatoes as you do. They will eventually break down completely into the stock, thickening the soup as it does. Add the cheese sauce and bring the entire mixture to a simmer.

4.) At this point, you may need to add the all-purpose flour to thicken the soup, especially if you haven’t used mashed potatoes and/or cheese sauce. When adding flour, mix it with an equal amount of water and whisk vigorously with a fork to remove any clumps and end with a smooth mixture. Add it to the soup, whisking as you do. Bring the mixture back up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, keeping the soup at a simmer.

5.) Add the cooked turkey, sage, and spinach. Stir and continue to cook until the turkey is warmed through and the spinach is wilted. Taste, and season adjust seasoning if necessary.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Nov 03 2015

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

I’ve always wanted to make Chicken Marsala at home, but never remember to buy Marsala wine, a key component in the dish that was named after it. On a recent trip to the liquor store, a bottle caught my eye and I started chatting with the clerk about it. Here are some things I learned during that conversation, and after I brought my first bottle of Marsala home:

  • Like Champagne or Burgundy, Marsala is named after the city in Sicily where it’s made.
  • Marsala is either very, very sweet or very, very dry. It’s for this reason the clerk told me that it’s not usually suitable for drinking on its own. I always opt for dry and after bringing it home, I found that  it works just fine when drank on its own. Be careful with it though because….
  • Marsala is a fortified wine. This means that unlike other wines, hard alcohol is added to Marsala. Originally this was done to preserve the wine for long sea voyages. Today this fortification is considered one of the major characteristics of the wine and so it’s remained.
  • Marsala should be stored in the fridge. The alcohol added to the wine helps preserve it even when open and left in your liquor cabinet. However, to ensure you don’t lose any of the flavor profile, it’s best when kept in the fridge. Wherever you store it, Marsala will last for several months, even after you’ve opened the bottle.
  • There are three components you need to make Chicken Marsala – chicken, Marsala wine, and mushrooms. Anything beyond that – butter, cream, vegetables – is up to you, but you must include those three ingredients to have proper Chicken Marsala. You’ll find them in the following recipe.


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour    $0.07
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pounded to an even thickness    $4.90
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil    $0.06
  • 4 tablespoons butter    $0.24
  • 3 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered    $3.00
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine, sweet or dry    $2.75
  • 1 cup chicken stock    $0.50
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped    $0.12
  • Salt    $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper    $0.01

Total cost     $11.66
Cost per serving $2.91

1.) In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour, about a teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the chicken thighs in the flour, remove, and shake to remove excess flour.

2.) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter, wait until it melts and just starts to foam, and then add the chicken thighs. Cook for about four minutes, flip, and cook other side for another four minutes until thighs are golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3.) Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms just begin to carmalize and release their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping with a wooden spoon as you do to release any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue boiling until the mixture has reduced by half.

4.) Add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

5.) Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken thighs to the pan. Continue to cook until the thighs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 10 to 12 more minutes.

6.) Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Off the heat, stir in the chopped parsley.

7.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 18 2015

Parmesan Risotto


Risotto is just one of those things. It’s fussy, it’s finicky, and you probably won’t get it right the first time. But after just a couple attempts at this dish, you’ll become a risotto master and will be churning out this delicious, creamy rice dish.

If you want to get risotto just right, remember that it’s all in the stir. Yes, you do have to stir pretty regularly for the 20 minutes to half an hour this dish will take to cook, but you also don’t want to stir it too much. Doing so will result in gluey, clumpy risotto while not stirring it enough won’t give the rice a chance to slowly shed its starch and create the creamy base for the dish. The trick to getting it just right is to add the liquid, stir fairly rigorously until much of the liquid has evaporated, and then letting the liquid sit for a minute or two to become absorbed by the rice. Then you can add the next addition of liquid and repeat the process.

6 to 8 cups chicken stock $4.00
3 tablespoons olive oil $0.09
2 shallots, finely chopped $0.74
1 cup Arborio rice $0.59
1/2 cup dry white wine $1.29
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter $0.36
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish $1.49
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herb (I used chives as that’s what I had on hand) $1.10
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total cost $9.68
Cost per serving $2.42

1.) Heat chicken stock in a saucepan set over medium heat. Keep at a low simmer.

2.) In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add shallots, stir and cook until shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add rice, stir to coat in the oil, and then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. You’ll know the rice is toasted because it will start to pop and make sounds like glass beads.

3.) Add the wine to the pan, stir, and allow to cook until the wine has been entirely absorbed by the rice.

4.) Add 3/4 of a cup of stock to the pan. Stir for a minute or two and then slow the stirring until the liquid has nearly been absorbed by the rice. Then you can continue to add another 3/4 cup of stock and repeat the process. The risotto will be done, and you can stop adding liquid, once it is mostly translucent, but still opaque in the centre. The rice should still be firm to the bite, but not at all crunchy. As the rice nears finishing time, add smaller amounts of liquid so that you don’t overcook the rice. If you do, the rice will be mushy and the risotto will be watery.

5.) Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herb and season with salt and pepper.

6.) Shave more Parmesan over the entire dish, serve, and enjoy!

Oct 17 2015

Grilled Pork Tenderloin in a Pepsi Barbecue Sauce

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

It snowed today. Not a lot, just enough to remind us that the warm weather is truly over for good. Around here we might not need to batten down the hatches, but we do need to pull our barbecue up so that the snowblower can churn up a nice path for us to walk on. Sadly, that means that around this time of year, we know that our barbecue nights are limited and so we have to make them count. This grilled pork tenderloin is one of my favourite ways to do it, and it’s the sauce that makes it. And by the way, that sauce is also the marinade. And it’s so good, I urge you to use it in place of your regular barbecue sauce from here on out.

1 pork tenderloin, about 3 or 4 pounds $5.89
1 cup ketchup $0.76
1 cup Pepsi $0.15
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, plus 2 tablespoons $0.38
1/4 cup brown sugar $0.05
1/4 cup grape jelly $0.60
1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce $0.30
1 teaspoon garlic powder $0.10
1 teaspoon black pepper $0.01
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce $0.03
Salt $0.01

Total cost $8.29
Cost per serving $2.07

1.) Start by making the barbecue sauce, as you’ll need it for the marinade. Place the ketchup, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, Pepsi, brown sugar and hot sauce in a saucepan. Season it with salt and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2.) Make the marinade. In a large bowl place 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce, grape jelly, Sriracha sauce, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, black pepper and a pinch of salt.

3.) Place the pork tenderloin in a large resealable bag and pour marinade over top. Remove excess air from the bag, seal, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour but up to overnight. Wrap the remaining barbecue sauce and also place in fridge to serve alongside the pork.

4.) Heat both burners of a gas grill to medium-high heat before turning one of the burners off. Place the pork tenderloin over this indirect heat side and close lid. Cook for 20 minutes to half an hour, turning regularly, until the internal temperature in the centre is 145 degrees Fahrenheit for a medium cook.

5.) Remove pork tenderloin from the grill, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 16 2015

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

Slow cooker recipes are my best friend. They allow me to put an entire meal in a pot, turn a button, and leave the house knowing that I’m leaving a great meal for my family to enjoy. I have to admit that while I didn’t actually get to try this Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken, the lack of leftovers was proof enough for me that it was enjoyed by all. And it’s seriously one of the easiest slow cooker recipes I’ve ever made, with no browning or searing required.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $12.00
1/2 cup soy sauce $0.55
1/2 cup ketchup $0.26
1/3 cup honey $0.55
3 cloves garlic, minced $0.03
1 teaspoon dried basil $0.27

Total cost $13.66
Cost per serving $3.42

1.) Whisk together the soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, and basil.

2.) Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour the soy sauce/ketchup mixture over top.

3.) Place the lid back on the slow cooker and turn to low. Cook for 6 hours.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 09 2015

Soy Sauce Substitute

Soy Sauce Substitute

soy sauce substitute can be great if you want to know exactly what’s gone into your food, or if you’re looking for a gluten-free option. The night that I made this though, it wasn’t for any of those reasons. I just ran out of soy sauce. And it turns out, a soy sauce substitute can be great for that, too.

  • 2 cups of beef broth $1.00
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar $0.04
  • 1 teaspoon molasses $0.02
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger $0.01
  • 1 dash of black pepper $0.01
  • 1 dash garlic powder $0.01
  • 1 dash onion powder $0.01

Total cost $1.10

1.) Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk to fully combine. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium. Continue simmering until the sauce has been reduced by half.

2.) Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or, serve and enjoy!

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