Kats’ Kitchen

Cafe Latte Turtle Cake January 20, 2014

Filed under: cake — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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Here is another chocolaty dessert.  It’s pretty much a simple chocolate cake recipe and it has a fudgy-thick frosting which is drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with pecans (pecans are a fav for me!)

Unless it is warm where you live, the frosting hardens pretty thick, like an actual fudge layer.  If you have a piece the day you frost the cake, it might be softer, both ways are good!

(sorry, the picture is not very good quality, but hopefully you get the gist)


Café Latte Turtle Cake

1 egg

2/3 cup oil

1 cup buttermilk (1 T vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup – let sit for 5 min)

2 cups flour

1 ¾ cup sugar

½ cup cocoa

1 tsp salt

1 T baking soda

1 cup hot coffee


1 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

5 T butter

1 ½ cup chocolate chips

½ cup caramel topping

1 cup pecan halves (I chopped)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 2 9-inch roun pans or a 9×13.  Combine egg, oil and buttermilk; mix together.  Add flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.  Mix together.  Slowly add hot coffee.  Pour batter into pans.  Bake 20-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting:  Mix sugar and milk in microwaveable bowl.  Add butter and microwave until melted, stirring occasionally.  Put in chocolate chips and let sit a few minutes.  Mix until smooth.  Frost cake while frosting is still warm.  Drizzle caramel on top and sprinkle with pecans.


Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cake January 13, 2014

Filed under: cake — stacielk @ 10:10 am
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Bird On A Cake posted this recipe a couple years back, I discovered it sometime last year and made it for my birthday at the end of the year.  Delicious, rich, chocolaty and creamy cheesecake in the middle of all that deliciousness!  I will make again for a special occasion.  It is a bit time consuming, but when I make these kind of desserts, I plan ahead.  I usually make the cake part at least a week or so ahead of time and freeze the layers, you could do the same with the cheesecake layer also.

This cake was devoured before I could snap a picture of a piece of it.  This picture is from Bird On A Cake.  If you want to see other wonderful pictures AND for the recipe, head on over to Robin’s website by clicking here.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cake4 logo




Quick Chicken Soup & Jalapeno Popper Dip January 6, 2014

Filed under: Appetizer,Chicken,Main Dishes,soup — stacielk @ 5:34 pm
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So, these two recipes may not go together, but they are delicious and instead of holding you back from making one or another for another month or so, until I post again, I thought I’d be kind and share them both with you!


The Chicken Noodle Soup is a GREAT dinner or lunch for days like these chilly artic days.  It was pretty quick to throw together, although not super quick because you need to do a bit a chopping, etc. But I like my little handy dandy food processor to do most of that for me.  I shared some of this soup for a friend of mine.  Her and her kiddos really enjoyed it!  As does my family :)  But it is always nice to have someone outside the family tell you also….for some extra (re)assurance.

This dip is a recipe I got from a friend.  I made it last month when I was stuck at home from a Christmas party with my sick little guy….yes, you heard me right, but I will repeat, I made it for myself….I felt kind of selfish, but I guess I was unselfish for staying home with my sick kid right?  So it’s all good, plus I only made half the recipe.  And I just made the other half today, for my family, but I was the only one that touched it, NOT because it wasn’t good, just because they just don’t like that kind of stuff, their loss, my gain, more for me (sorry selfish again….)  SO yes, this dip is delicious!  Served warm on crackers.  OR leftovers between some grilled bread (aka grilled cheese, I added a bit more shredded cheese to the sandwich, IF you do have leftovers and want to try it that way.)

Sorry for being so wordy, it’s been a while…or maybe I have cabin fever.  Who knows, but I really recommend both these delicious recipes.  If you give them a go, come back and let me know what you think!

If you would like the Jalapeno Popper Dip, head on over to FAVORITEFAMILYFOODS, and don’t forget to say hi in the comment section!

l_RU199271Quick Chicken Soup with Pasta (my comments are in parenthesis)

serves 4 (so you might wanna double it!)

½ lb mezze penne rigate or other small-cut pasta (I’ve used both small noodles and egg noodles)

2 T evoo

6 cups chicken stock

1 lb skinless, boneless chick breast

1/2 cup dry white wine 

1 large bay leaf (I omitted)

5-6 carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise

1 small onion, chopped (I used food processor to chop)

2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped (put this in food processor with onion)

2 T chopped fresh thyme (dried)

1 rind Parmigiano-Reggiano (opt) (I omitted but bet it would had a nice flavor!)

1 cup frozen peas (ick, one veggie I don’t like….I threw in some chopped celery instead)

½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 small lemon, zested (I omitted)

 Cook pasta to al dente in a soup pot.  Drain and drizzle with EVOO

 In a sm sauce pan, pour in 2 cups chicken stock to cover the chicken.  Add the wine and bay leaf (if using), simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 12 min.

 In the empty soup pot heat 2 T evoo over med-high and stir in carrots, onion, garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper.  Cook until veggies are softened, about 10 min.  Add remaining 4 cups chicken stock and cheese rind (if using); bring to simmer. 

 Remove the chicken from liquid and cut into bite-size pieces (OR throw in your stand mixer and mix just until shredded-so easy!)  Add chicken to soup.  Strain the poaching liquid into the soup.  Stir in the peas (ick….or celery) and parsley; discard the bay leaf (if using).

 Spoon pasta into bowls.  Ladle in the hot soup and top with the lemon zest (if using) and extra grated parmigano-reggiano if desired.

Recipe and picture from Rachael Ray


Mrs. Claus’s Peppermint Wonders – Chocolate-Mint Brownies December 24, 2013

Filed under: Brownies/Bars & Other Sweets — stacielk @ 10:22 am
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I hope everyone has been enjoying the season so far!

Do you need a quick brownie/dessert recipe to bring to your party?  Here is a GREAT one!  Super simple, but so delicious!  So simple you could even just make any type of chocolate brownie recipe (even…from a box), top the brownies with this delicious frosting and you have got yourself some delicious, Christmasy brownies to share!

This brownie recipe is super fudgy, the frosting is pepperminty and delicious….do I need to say more?  Don’t think so beside, try them!


Mrs. Claus’s Peppermint Wonders

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter

5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

7 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons whole milk

6 large candy canes, crushed into pieces (I used 3 b/c that is all I had)

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini and less than 8 oz)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease a 8 or 9-inch square baking pan, line with aluminum foil, allowing extra to hang over the sides.

Optional:  Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes, let cool.

Melt the butter and chocolates together in microwave, stirring often.  When melted, allow to cool 10 minutes.

Stir into the chocolate the granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the flour until well blended.  Stir in the walnuts (if using).

Spread in prepared pan, bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 1 hour.

Lift foil with brownies out of pan and invert onto a plate, carefully remove the foil and turn the cake right-side up.

Frosting: in a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, butter and milk until creamy.  (I added some candy cane pieces into the frosting and I added some on top, I ended up only using 3 candy canes in all but using all 6 I am sure would be just as good if not better :)

Spread the brownies with the frosting, then sprinkle with candy cane pieces and chocolate chips.  Chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cut into 20 small squares.

Recipe from Kids in the Kitchen by Jessica Strand and Tammy Massman-Johnson

KIHK_Peppermint_Wonders_WebPhotography by James Baigrie found on Canadian Family


Homemade Burger Buns November 18, 2013

Filed under: Bread,Main Dishes — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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If I could, I would make these buns once a week and never ever ever buy hamburger buns again.  That is how much I LOVE these buns.  They of course are great for hamburgers, but they also work great with shredded meat or even sandwiches to have or throw in a lunch bag.

I have made these buns a number of times and I’ve only had them mess up on me once.  Keep an eye on the dough while it is in the machine.  If it seems to wet/sticky, add more flour.  I did not add flour once when I thought it seemed to sticky and the buns turned out pretty flat, we still ate them, but they weren’t as good as they should have been.  So I tried a few days later, added a couple tablespoons of flour, and they turned out great.

They freeze wonderfully also!  I try to keep a stash in my freezer for last minute dinners, sandwiches, etc.

Head over to Favoritefamilyfoods for the recipe (http://favoritefamilyfoods.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/homemade-burger-buns/)  (sorry….my linky isn’t working correctly so had to include the actual link) Don’t forget to read the tips above the recipe, they are definitely helpful.


Pizza – Lou Malnati’s Style November 11, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 7:00 am

I need to apalogize…for my readers who are not pizza lovers, hopefully there are not many of you because I seem to post many pizza recipes, but this needs to be added to the bunch.  It is currently one of two recipes I use in my pizza rotation.  The other one is my favorite pan pizza.  This is a deep-dish pizza and tastes almost like Lou Malnati’s (if not better).  For those who are not familiar, Lou Malnati’s is a pizza place in the Chicago area.pizza

This pizza has a thick crust with a layer of cheese right over the crust.  Then it is topped with a chunky pizza sauce.  I have doubled the sauce from the original recipe because we like a bit more tomato mixture on top of our pizza.

Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Pizza


4  cups flour

3 T yellow cornmeal

1 3/4 tsp salt

2 3/4 tsp instant yeast

2 T olive oil

4 T butter, melted

2 T vegetable oil

1  cup + 2 T lukewarm water

Place the above ingredients in a bread machine and set it on the dough cycle.  Make the filling while the pizza crust is mixing/rising.


3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced

1 lb Italian sweet or hot sausage, cooked and sliced; or about 3 cups of the sautéed vegetables of your choice

2-28-oz cans plum tomatoes, lightly crushed; or 2-28-oz cans diced or chopped tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 T sugar, optional

3 tsp pizza seasoning or mixed dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary), to taste

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Combine them with the Pizza Seasoning or herbs, and the garlic and sugar (if you’re using them). Add salt to taste; you probably won’t need any additional salt if you’ve used the Pizza Seasoning.

Grease with non-stick spray a 14” deep-dish pizza pan OR 3 pie dishes or other dish(s) about these sizes.  Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides (adjust amount to the size pan/dishes you use).

When the dough cycle has finished, stretch the dough to make as large a circle as you can. You can do this on a lightly oiled baking mat, if you choose; or simply stretch the dough in your hands.  (If using more than one pan/dish, split in half or thirds before stretching.)

Lay the dough in the pan, and stretch it towards the edges till it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Start preheating the oven to 425 degrees while the dough rests.

Stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, then gently push it up the sides of the pan. The olive oil may ooze over the edge of the crust; that’s OK.  Let the crust rest for 15 minutes or so, as your oven comes up to 425 degrees.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it is set and barely beginning to brown.

Cover the bottom of the crust with the sliced mozzarella, fanning it into the crust. Add the sausage (or sautéed vegetables), then the tomato mixture.

Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.

Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack. A giant spatula is a help here. Allow the pizza to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour


Blueberry Cream Cheese Crisp November 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — stacielk @ 7:00 am

Blueberry-Cream-Cheese-CrisDid you get a chance to freeze some blueberries this summer?  Here is a great recipe to use some of those in, although I’m sure you could use frozen ones from the store and it would be almost as good.

This dessert was very good.  It’s like putting a blueberry crisp on top of a cheese cake.  I loved the combination of the cream cheese and crisp together.  Make it for Thanksgiving dessert or hold on to the recipe until the blueberries are ready to be picked next summer and make it then!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Crisp

Cream Cheese layer

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint blueberries (2 & 1/2 to 3 cups)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the cream cheese layer, preheat oven to 325.  Grease 8×8 inch pan (or one around that size).

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour until well-blended and smooth.  Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.  Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 15 minutes, or until just set.  Set pan aside while you prepare the topping.

For the topping, increase the oven to 375.

Place blueberries in a medium bowl.  Add granulated sugar and lemon juice, and toss to coat.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Add butter and mix with a pastry blender or fork until combined.  Dough will be crumbly.  Add pecans and toss to mix.

Pour blueberry mixture over cream cheese layer.  Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over blueberries.

Bake 22 to 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the blueberries are bubbly.

Recipe from Bake or Break



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