Author Archives: katie o.

About katie o.

Always looking to take the next step. Always learning. Always loving. Always living.

Blondies

It’s so rare that I sit behind my home computer anymore.  Honestly, these days with work the way it is (insane), the thought of getting back onto a computer sounds about as appealing as having my head shaved. Thus the reason I stay away. Kind of sad actually, because I was given this recipe almost exactly a month ago. I know, I’m pathetic.

I finally give you….

Blondies.

1 ½ c. (7 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
12 T (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ c. packed dark brown sugar
½ c. white sugar (a little shy of ½ c.)
2 large eggs
1 ½ t. vanilla extract
¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips
¾ c. white chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
Pan prep/trick for easy removal:
Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 16-inch pieces of parchment paper or foil lengthwise so that one piece measures 9 inches wide and the other measures 13 inches wide.
Lay one piece along the length of the pan then the other one across the width of the pan. Make sure to press the paper or foil down into the corners so they lie flat. What you are going for is to have the pieces criss-crossed with rather clean corners in the pan . . . but with extra length hanging over each side. The extra length makes “handles” to remove the blondies after cooking and cooling. Spray the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the melted butter and sugars together in a medium bowl until combined. Add the eggs (beat first) and vanilla and mix well.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold in the semisweet and white chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Use the spatula to gently pull the batter into the corners and try to get a uniform thickness.

Bake until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool the pan completely on a wire rack. Remove the blondies from the pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board.

Use a large bread or serrated knife to cut into 20 or 24 bars and serve. Hint: To have clean edges, you can use the knife to trim all the way around the bars before cutting into squares.

*Okay, I have to admit, I didn’t follow this recipe exactly. I used bleached flour and light brown sugar because well, I had them on hand. However, even though they tasted fantastic, they weren’t as great as my friend Mark’s version.  So yeah, you might want to actually use the ingredients that the recipe calls for. 

*Ps. I wish I could say I didn’t eat one of those blondies in the photo. Well, actually, technically, I didn’t eat one.  Nope. I ate them all.

Happy Saturday everybody!

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Chicken Toscana Soup

A few weekends ago, I was invited to participate in a “soup swap”. Living in the ‘burbs, I’m learning that there are far more domestic things going on out here…including “soup swaps”. So I took to twitter and asked for soup recipes because come on, I certainly don’t have any. Within minutes I had 3 ready to go. With the urging of my sister, I chose to go with Chicken Toscana Soup.

toscana chicken soup

Ingredients
Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion
2-5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
3-4 cups cooked chicken (I recommend a store bought rotisserie chicken)
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 mini gnocchi packages
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
2-3 cups skim milk
2-3 cups spinach leaves (torn)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
fresh basil

Directions:
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the gnocchi, cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and tomatoes, simmer. Sprinkle in cheese, simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add cream and milk. Add spinach. Stir together.  Top with basil.

Remove from heat.

From my one attempt, I thought that leaving this soup on a low heat for a while afterwards really thickened this bad boy up. And the flavors just blended incredibly well together.

I hope you enjoy this soup half as much as I did.
Happy Friday!

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Two New Recipes

As you know, things have been a little quiet on the blogging front for me over the past few months.   Work and life have been hectic and so I haven’t had as much time to spend in the kitchen baking fun, tasty things. The past three weekends I’ve actually been baking.  Now, they were nothing but whoopie pies, which I’ve made before, but hey, at least I’m back in the kitchen.  See, being in the kitchen does actually make me happy.

Exhibit A:

So that’s why I’m working on two new recipes.  I have to see which one suits me best, but it could be a few weeks before I know for sure.

In the meantime, here are the ingredients for both recipes:

Recipe #1:
sugar
spice
everything nice

Recipe #2:
frogs
snails
puppy dog tails

 

ps. yeap, that’s me.
at 17 weeks. but hey, how cool is my cooktop?
pps. ignore the ugly cabinets.

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Huevos Rancheros

huevos rancheros

I know, I know. Hell apparently has frozen over. I’m blogging! Crazy, right? Just know that I’m going to start making more of an effort. I promise.

Now, let’s get back to the food. If you’ve ever had huevos rancheros at more than one restaurant, you’ll know they never taste the same twice. They can include a multitude of ingredients. And be served many different ways. Since I’m too lazy to find out how you’re really supposed to make them, I went with a pretty fool proof recipe. I’m pretty sure this recipe isn’t exactly authentic, but you know what? When it tastes this good, I’m not too concerned about how authentic it is.

Huevos Rancheros
(serves 2)
Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
12 oz ground chorizo (since I didn’t go hunting for chorizo, I used spicy Italian sausage, out of the case, diced into small chunks)
1/2 can refried beans
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes (which you can find at any grocery store on the canned tomato aisle)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 corn tortillas
1 tbsp butter
5 eggs
1 tbsp milk

Additional:
sour cream
mexican cheese blend
(3 skillets)

The original recipe can be found here, on Life’s Ambrosia, but again, I switched a few things up.

To make:
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the diced onions and cook until softened. Stir in sausage/chorizo. Cook 5-7 minutes until sausage is cooked through. Stir in refried beans. Cook an additional 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

In another skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add in remaining onions and cook until softened. Stir in fire roasted tomatoes and add salt. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low.

Heat last remaining tbsp of oil in yet another skillet. Cook tortillas for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Once tortillas are cooked, drain oil from skillet. Melt butter over low to medium heat. Meanwhile, scramble up eggs using the tbsp of milk. Add to the skillet and scramble until eggs are done. Top with cheese and melt through. Remove from heat.

To assemble:
Place one tortilla on a plate, top with sausage/refried beans. Top with second tortilla. Add scrambled eggs. Spoon tomatoes over top. Add cheese and sour cream.

Enjoy!

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Guest post: Anamaris from Chef It Yourself

Hi guys!  I’ve been lucky enough to have some of my favorite food bloogers (and non food bloggers) contribute to this here little blog.  Today’s guest post is courtesy of Anamaris, one of the most delightful food bloggers I know.   If you want a little spice in your food, click here.  Anamaris knows how to do food right.
 
Hello YAWYEOR friends!
When Little Ms. Katie asked me if I would come hang out with her and her friends, I couldn’t say no. Katie was the first bloggy friend I made, I read one of her posts when we were both participating in NaBloPomajig and I never left. I even became her official e-stalker, a relationship made in blogging heaven.
 
She asked for a dish I grew up eating or something that spoke to my Panamanian heritage. After weeks of deliberation, I settled on this glazed ham done the way my dad did it when I was growing up. Funny thing, when I told him I had posted and given him credit for the recipe, he told me he didn’t remember how he made this anymore. He was glad I paid attention and you will too.
 
I have to be honest, there isn’t anything inherently Latin about this one, unless you apply some sort of 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon theory: Pineapples are tropical fruits, Panama is definitely a country in the tropics, my dad is 100% Panamanian and I was in Panama the first time I ate this. Does that work? Anyway, with all the holiday eating that’s going on now, this is a good way to dress up your ham. The best part? Very little fuss. I hope you like it. Katiegirl, thanks for the invite, I’ll hang out with you anytime.
 
Cookingly yours,
Anamaris
http://chefyourself.wordpress.com/
 
 
Dad’s Baked Ham

1 6-8 lb cured, bone-in ham (not sliced)
4 garlic cloves, whole
1/4 cp ginger, sliced
Cloves

It is a good idea to cook the ham for a bit to get some of the excess salt/brine out. Add the whole, unpeeled garlic and ginger to a stockpot, place the ham in it and top it with water. Just before it begins to boil, lower the temperature, there’s no need to make it boil, you want to keep it at a very slow simmer. Allow it to cook for about 45 minutes. If it’s not completely submerged, simmer it for 20 minutes on one side, then flip and simmer it for another 20 minutes. Remove it from the water and allow it to drain and cool.For the glaze, mix together:
1/2 cp brown sugar
1 14 oz can pineapple, crushed
1-1/2 tsp crushed chili pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 tsp Herbs d’Provence

Preheat oven to 325°. Make a foil tent by folding 2 pieces of foil together, make sure they’re large enough to wrap the whole ham. Once the ham is cool enough to handle, score ham into diamonds and stud with the cloves.

Place the foil tent over a baking sheet and put the ham, fat side up, on the foil. Spread 1/2 of the glaze mixture all over the ham, taking care to make sure in seeps into the scores. Don’t worry if there’s liquid pooling at the bottom. Actually, that’s perfect as it will perfume the ham as it builds steam.

Tightly fold the foil around the ham, try not to squish it onto the ham or all the pineapple goodness will end up stuck to it. In the oven it goes, allow it to bake for 40 minutes. No need to check on it.

After the initial baking, remove the ham from the oven and raise the temperature to 400°. Spread the rest of the glaze over the top and sides of the ham, and place it back in the oven, only this time leave the foil open. Bake it for another 15 minutes or until it is nicely browned.

Remove from the oven and transfer the ham to a cutting board or serving platter to slice. I like to save the juices and fruit at the bottom to put over the ham when I plate it.

 *******************************

thanks again to anamaris!

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Christmas Gift Ideas…part 2

I still haven’t done a great job with the Christmas gifts, but because I’m a freak and do things backwards, I’ve got a few kitcheny type gift ideas to share with you.

This first one falls under the “you’ve probably seen it on TV” categories. I’m gonna admit it. I am always dying to own those silly informecial type kitchen gadgets. It’s true. I can’t help it.  And there is one little gadget out there that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while.  (Don’t judge me.)

It’s the “Slice Solutions Brownie Pan” and it looks awesome.  A local tv station did one of their “Try it before you buy it” segments and featured this bad boy.  It got two thumbs up.  Oh yeah.

And this next one is just plain adorable. They are cupcake plates. And as hard as it is to believe, they make cupcakes cuter than they already are.

Visit CakeSpy Shop to buy these little cuties.

Now… go forth and shop.

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Christmas gift ideas!

Christmas will be fast upon us and if you’re anything like me, you’ve waited until now to start thinking about gift ideas.  So as I’m browsing sites, I’m going to toss some preciously adorable ideas at you.


Yes, they are dishwashing gloves, but they’re cute!
And don’t you want to look cute even when cleaning dirty dishes?
*can be found on etsy courtesy of fresh studio.

How about this “table for one dish”?


Head over to anthropologie for this one.

How about a beautiful cake stand?
I must warn you…yes,it is pretty, but it definitely isn’t cheap…just sayin’.

A few ideas to get you going. Come back soon for more holiday gift ideas.
I might even throw in a a few eclectic and silly ones.
After all, Christmas should be fun, right?

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