Kats’ Kitchen

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins November 29, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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I’ve made many pumpkin recipes this year.  My next post will give you two more of the pumpkin recipes I’ve made, but this muffin was so tasty and delicious I thought it needed it’s own post.  I really enjoy muffins, especially those with crumb toppings.  This recipe gives you that PLUS a cream cheese filling!  They are a bit time consuming due to the cream cheese filling, but definitely worth it!  I shared these with some family and friends and got some great comments!  Thanks to Annie’s Eats for this recipe.  I will be making them every fall, if not more often!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins (I made 24 regular muffin size and than about 6 mini-muffins)


For the filling:  (this is a lot of filling.  I used maybe a little more than 3/4ths the log, but loved the cream cheese center so would probably use the entire thing next time)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the muffins:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:

½ cup sugar

5 tbsp. flour

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  (I filled the muffins 3/4 full and then put the cream cheese slice on top and pushed it down just until it was covered so it ended up more toward the top of the muffin)  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.  (It may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!) These keep well in the fridge for at least a 7-10 days. 

Recipe from Annie’s Eats


Homemade Dinner Rolls November 23, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Miscellaneous — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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I have made these dinner rolls a few times now and LOVE them!  I can’t believe I haven’t posted about them yet.  They turn out super tender, light and almost melt-in-your  mouth, if a dinner roll can do that.  I’ve made them quite often on Sunday mornings.  Throw all the ingredients in the bread machine before church then form them by hand after church, let them rise and bake them in the oven.  I need to thank Paula from Salad in a Jar for this recipe.  Go check out her blog, she has some more great recipes on it, including one for cinnamon rolls that I cannot wait to try, using this exact dough recipe!

I wish I snapped a picture of these the last time I made them, but for one reason or another, I didn’t.  Go to Paula’s site to see a picture.

Homemade Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm milk (if using skim milk, replace 2 Tablespoons of milk with heavy cream)
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons sugar
3  cups unbleached  flour
2 1/4 teaspoons bread or instant yeast

Place ingredients into bread machine in order listed. Select dough cycle.  After about 5 minutes, check dough. It should barely stick to sides and then pull away.  If too wet, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time.  If too dry, add water or milk one tablespoon at a time. When finished, dough should be doubled in size and light. If not, allow to stay in bread machine a few more minutes till risen.

Punch down gently. Place on floured surface and form into two large balls. Divide each ball into 8 pieces.

Make balls from each piece by pulling dough toward the bottom while turning the dough.

Arrange balls in 8 or 9-inch round or square pan and cover with towel or loose plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled.  (Side note:  I believe I might have brushed them with butter before baking, b/c the last time I made them, they did not brown as I thought they did before.  The directions don’t say to, but if you want a nice browned top, brush with melted butter.)

Bake in 350-degree preheated oven until golden brown, usually about 10-12 minutes. Within 5 minutes, dump baked rolls out of pan and let cool on rack or paper plate so they won’t get soggy from the steam they produce.

Recipe from Salad in a Jar

I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you get to eat a lot of delicious food and would love to hear about it!


Fluffernutter Cookies November 21, 2011

Filed under: cookies,Uncategorized — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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If you have never been to Sing For Your Supper, you should stop by some time.  Amy, from Sing For Your Supper, has some great recipes on her blog, including this cookie which she made up on her own.  As many of you know, the chocolate and peanut butter combo is a favorite of mine.  Add a bit of marshmallow in there and you’ve got yourself a Fluffernutter Cookie.  Unless you have some great self control, you won’t be able to just eat one of them.  They are wonderful cookies.  The base is a Soft and Crumbly Peanut Butter Cookie from allrecipes.com.  She added the marshmallow and chocolate glaze to make it her own.  be sure to use wax paper when laying these on top of each other to store, my glaze didn’t set totally solid.  Knowing there are some of these cookies currently sitting in my freezer, it’s a huge temptation not digging them out, I wonder how they are frozen…

Fluffernutter Chocolate Gobs

Peanut Butter Cookie
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla.
Gradually add in the flour mixture on low speed. Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator.  (Dough will be very crumbly)
Place by rounded spoonfuls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes, until edges are very lightly browned (cookies will not spread much at all). Do not overbake.
*Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Marshmallows – use store bought

Chocolate Glaze (I needed about 1 1/2 this recipe to cover them all)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk, depending on how thick you want it

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla.
Slowly stir in the powdered sugar, gradually adding the milk as needed to get it to the desired consistency (you want it thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough that it won’t run all over- a little thicker than molasses).

To assemble the cookies:
As soon as the peanut butter cookies come out of the oven, place 3-4 mini marshmallows on the top of each cookie (you may need to flatten the cookies slightly with a spatula first). Place them back in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until the marshmallows are melted. Let cool completely.

When completely cooled, spoon a small amount of chocolate glaze over the top of each cookie. Glaze will set slightly upon cooling.

Recipe from Sing For Your Supper


Apple Cider Syrup November 18, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Miscellaneous — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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This syrup is so good!  It would work on french toast, pancakes or waffles!  It has a really great apple flavor.  The Apple Cider Syrup reheats very well also.  Keep the leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until warmed and smooth.  The recipe is from The Chew.

Apple Cider Syrup

1/4 Cup Sugar
2 tablespoon Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 cup Apple Cider or Apple Juice
2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Butter

Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in saucepan. Pour in apple and lemon juices. Cook and stir constantly until thickened and it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minutes and continue to stir. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Serve warm over French toast.

Recipe from The Chew


Ginger Coconut Chicken Strips November 14, 2011

Filed under: Main Dishes,Uncategorized — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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Please bear with my pictures…my camera lens is broke-need to get that fixed, although I’m sure I could work on my photography skills also!

I made this for dinner a couple weeks ago.  This is the first time I used fresh ginger in a recipe.  I was a bit concerned because the fragrance coming from the ginger was pretty strong, but it actually ended up to be very tasty.  The sweet coconut and ginger adds a unique flavor to the chicken.  I wouldn’t make this all the time, but it is a good recipe to go to when I want to change up my normal chicken dinners. I got the original recipe from The Chew.  They tell you to skewer them up and fry them if you want.  Thought the skewers weren’t necessary and baking is a bit healthier than frying.

I made sweet potato wedges for a side to these chicken strips.  I LOVE sweet potato wedges!  That one is not really a recipe so I’ll quick tell you how I make ’em:  peel and cut sweet potato in wedges (they are pretty hard to cut up, but I manage.  I think you can nuke them in the micro to soften up a little before cutting).  Toss with oil salt and pepper and parsley if desired.  Bake at 450 for 20-30 minutes until crispy on the outside.

Ginger Coconut Chicken Strips – serves 4

4 8-ounce boneless and skinless chicken breasts cut lengthwise into 4 strips

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs-what I had in the house)

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

3 tbsp fresh ginger shredded

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream drained (I used plain yogurt-no sour cream in the house)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used a tiny pinch-if you like heat, add it all!)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix flour salt and pepper in one bowl.  Bread crumbs, coconut and ginger in another (mix this with hands to make sure ginger is distributed evenly and there are no chunks).  In a third bowl whisk the eggs.  Dip the chicken strips into the flour mixtures, then egg and then bread crumb mixture.  Place on a greased pan until all chicken strips are coated.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

To make the Honey-Scallion Sauce, mix the sour cream, honey, scallions and cayenne pepper in a bowl.  Chill for at least an hour.  Stir and serve.

Recipe adopted from The Chew


Bacon-Cheese Topped Chicken November 10, 2011

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 7:01 am
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I really love mushrooms.  Especially on my pizza, in eggs, stir fry or really in any dishes.  When a friend brought this recipe to my attention, I knew I was going to love it.  Marinated chicken topped with mushrooms, cheese and bacon!  Not sure what other combo could be better…except of course peanut butter and chocolate, but that’s dessert, I’m talking about supper right now.  I was a bit unsure about the marinade, since I’m not a huge mustard fan, but I adjusted the instructions a little (see below) and it turned out to be great!  I will be making this dish often!

Bacon-Cheese Topped Chicken – 4 servings

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup honey

4-1/2 teaspoons canola oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Dash paprika

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used mozzarella b/c didn’t have this kind in my house at the time)

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

8 bacon strips, partially cooked

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley (you can omit this, I had some in my fridge so I went ahead and used it)

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, 1-1/2 teaspoons oil and lemon juice. Pour 1/2 cup into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal the bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2 hours or longer. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.  (I ended up discarding the remaining marinade.  It still had a nice flavor with a hint of the mustard, but it wasn’t overwhelming by any means.  If you don’t like mustard, I would go this route.  If you love mustard, slather the rest of the marinade on the chicken as instructed below :)

Drain and discard marinade from chicken. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in remaining oil on all sides. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Transfer to a  baking dish.

In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Spoon reserved marinade over chicken (if using). Top with cheeses and mushrooms. Place bacon strips in a crisscross pattern over chicken or just crumbled on top.

Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe from  Taste of Home


Famous Pork Chops November 7, 2011

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 2:00 am
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Looks like I had a blog malfunction…something happened to my post, probably my fault, looks like I’ll have to re-create, here goes!

I really thought I had a picture of the chops I made…but have had no luck finding it, so I am cheating again, thanks to Tricia from WI for this picture.

I really enjoyed these porks chops!  One thing I would suggest would to bake them in a pan where you can broil the last few minutes.  I used a corelle dish, which recommends not broiling, so I followed instructions and didn’t broil them.  I think broiling would add a nice crunchy top to the pork chop.  This is a SUPER easy recipe to make, no special techniques or equipment needed!  If you’re just started to learn your way around the kitchen and want an simple recipe, try this one.  You won’t be disappointed!

Famous Pork Chops

1 cup crushed butter crackers

garlic salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

3 eggs, beaten

4 pork chops

1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a shallow bowl combine crushed crackers, garlic salt and pepper; mix well. In a separate bowl beat eggs.

Dip your pork chops in the egg batter and then in the cracker mixture. Place the pork chops in a casserole dish. Place chunks of the butter around the pork chops. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Broil last 5-10 minutes, watching careful not to burn, if your baking in a broil-proof dish.

Serve your choice of sides and enjoy!

Recipe from allrecipes.com