Kats’ Kitchen

Bomb Diggity Carrot Soup April 12, 2017

Filed under: soup,Uncategorized — stacielk @ 2:32 pm
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Carrot Soup.jpgThis soup is delicious.  Not too sweet, a touch of spice and full of flavor.  SO easy to make.  Took me 10 minutes to throw the ingredients in the pot.  I walked away for a while and then emptied the pot in my blender, blended away and it was ready!

Spicy Carrot Soup

8-10 large carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon red curry paste

salt to taste

cilantro and peanuts for topping

Stovetop Instructions: Saute onions and garlic with a bit of oil until soft. Add carrots, coconut milk, broth, and curry paste. Simmer until carrots are soft. Add peanut butter and stir until melted. Run through the blender until smooth; season generously with salt, top with peanuts and cilantro.

Instant Pot Instructions:  Place all ingredients in Instant Pot and set for 15 minutes. When done, let everything cool for a few minutes, then run the mixture through the blender until smooth; season generously with salt, top with peanuts and cilantro.

Recipe from:  Pinch of Yum


Triple Coconut Cream Pie August 21, 2014

Filed under: Pie — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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This is one of those moments in my life where I think I should follow my dream and start my own out-of-home bakery.  I made something that looked a bit overwhelming going into it (the recipe that is), but the end product was wonderful!  AND it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Plus, I enjoyed myself.

Will I ever follow my dream?  I don’t know myself, but in the meantime, I will continue on the blogging and sharing my foodie adventures.

Yes, I will admit, I am a foodie.  I remember food, restaurants, what I order, etc.  like my husband remembers each round of golf, fairway and putting green that he has played in his life.  I think about food from the time I get up till the time I fall asleep.  I page through cookbooks and food blogs daily.  I LOVE to talk to people about food.  I like feedback about what I made and am NOT offended if someone doesn’t like something (God has given us all different taste-buds as he has given us all different personalities, gifts, talents, etc.)

Anyway, I have not spent a ton of time in the kitchen lately.  It’s summertime.  I like to be outside with my kiddos.  It’s easy to throw some meat and some sort of veggie on the grill and call it a meal, but the other day it finally got to me.  I was ready to cook and bake.  I had about 8 cookbooks out and made a grocery list.  I made a delicious Pork Tenderloin with a Merlot Raspberry Sauce (Thanks to PR cookbook #2) and some of PW’s Mashed Potatoes for a nice Sunday dinner.  Then I went ahead and started up this Triple Coconut Cream Pie before dinner.  Yes I had 3 different recipes going at once….before dinner.  After dinner I enjoyed my time finishing up this pie by itself.  The dishwasher was full and my sinks were piled high…so I started the dishwasher and decided to be old fashioned and wash some dishes by hand.  Then I laid down and listened to a Relevent podcast with Shauna Niquest. (she isn’t on until halfway through the podcast if you were interested in listening)  She was eating at an Italian restaurant in Chicago which I would love to go to sometime.  It was a table talk thing and they ordered and ate as they talked.  It was like I was sitting at the table with them, salivating as they were forking food into their mouths….where were my kids during this time.  Hmmm, that’s a good question, hopefully my husband had them under control.  No, kidding.  Hunt was asleep like a baby (I even peaked in, I can’t get over how adorable he is when he is sweet, quiet and sleeping!) and the energetic Ree was hanging with dad probably doin’ who knows what.  And when all that was over, I enjoyed some good quality family time.  It was a good day.

As for the pie…I can’t take credit for the recipe myself.  It’s from a bakery in Seattle, it has been on many ‘one of the best pies in America’ lists.  It’s silky and coconuty.  The crust makes this pie even better. It’s called  Triple Coconut Cream Pie but is also known as “Coco Pie”.  If you’re interested in a slice or a whole pie, let me know!  (I’m going to have to save this recipe under my belt in case I do follow my dream.  :)



Morning Glory Muffins February 28, 2012

Filed under: Breakfast — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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These muffins are delicious.  The mixture of the shredded carrots and apple along with the coconut, walnuts and raisins adds great flavor and keeps them very moist.  They may take a few more minutes than other muffins to whip together because of the shredding but worth the work!

This recipe came from, once again, King Arthur Flour!  I hope sometime during my life I will have a chance to head to Vermont to visit their bakery store and school and THANK them for all the great recipes they provide!

(Picture from King Arthur Flour)

Morning Glory Muffins

1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) raisins

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat  (I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)

1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups (7 ounces) carrots, peeled and grated

1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and grated

1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped walnuts

1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) sunflower seeds or wheat germ, optional

3 large eggs

2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil (I omitted the oil and used 2/3 cup applesauce instead to make them healthier)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup (2 ounces) orange juice

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line it with papers and spray the insides of the papers.

In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water, and set them aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, and sunflower seeds or wheat germ, if using. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and orange juice. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened. Drain the raisins and stir them in. Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan (they’ll be full almost to the top; that’s OK).
Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour


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


Carrot Apple Coconut Muffins April 30, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast — stacielk @ 1:05 am
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Thanks to Weelicious for this recipe.  My daughter LOVED these muffins!  I made them on Wednesday at the same time as I was cooking my soup and she gobbled 2 up that day and would have probably had more if I let her.  As a baker I have a real hard time buying processed foods, muffins, cookies, etc. from the grocery store, so whenever I find recipes like this I like to give them a try because I know exactly what is going into the baked good. Don’t get me wrong, I do buy snacks, gold fish, cheerios, etc. for her, I am not against buying stuff like that but I figured if I can make them at home for half the price and know what is going into her mouth, why not!

I’ve had one myself and my daughter is not the only one who thinks they are good.  They are not too sweet and super moist and tender.  I threw some in a freezer bag for another week and am keeping the rest in my fridge to snack on for the remainder of the week.

Carrot, Apple & Coconut Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 carrots, peeled & grated, about 1 cup

1 apple, peeled & grated, about 1/2 cup

2 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine.  Place 1 T of batter into greased mini muffin tins.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Recipe from Weelicious


Trinidads January 4, 2011

Filed under: Brownies/Bars & Other Sweets — stacielk @ 11:15 am
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I promised recipes for you of the pictures in my previous post and haven’t gotten around to posting them.  I got one comment about the Trinidads so I’ll start with that one.  They were scrumptious!  I haven’t had a Fannie May Trinidad in a long time (although something very similar to these at a wedding which gave me the idea to make them myself) but what I can remember they taste pretty stickin’ similar.  Hope you think so to if you give this recipe a try.  If so, let me know what you think!

A few notes on the recipe:

-The brands of ingredients I used are in paranthesis

-The ingredients aren’t cheap — I made 1/4 of the original batch- it made about 12-15 small-medium trinidads

-Rolling the chocolate into balls is a bit messy.  I had to wash my hands a few times b/c they got too warm and melted the chocolate too quickly.

-Rolling the balls in the white chocolate isn’t the easiest.  You may have to remelt the white chocolate half-way through the process.


1 lb good dark chocolate, chopped (Nestle Chocolatier Dark Chocolate)

1 cup whipping cream

1 lb good white chocolate, chopped (Nestle Premier White Baking Bar)

1/2 cup small flake unsweetened coconut (Bob’s Red Mill medium shredded unsweetened)

1 T canola oil

Toast coconut in small skillet over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden-brown, 3-5 minutes.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring cream just to a boil.  Remove from heat and add chopped dark chocolate.  Let sit until chocolate melts, about 5 minutes.  Using a wire whisk, stir cream and chocolate mixture until it is smooth.  Place in fridge until completely cool — at least 2 hours or overnight.

Oncde chocolate is cool, drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper-lined baking sheet.  Freeze for 15 minutes.  Roll teaspoonsfuls into balls between your hands.  Return balls to freezer.

Meanwhile, melt white chocolate in a bowl placed on top of a pan of boiling water.  Once white chocolate is melted, remove bowl from pan.  Stir toasted coconut and oil into white chocoalte.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes.

Remove chocolate balls from freezer.  Dip balls into white chocolate with a fork and spoon or two forks and set back on wax paper.  Return to freezer until hardened.  Serve at room temperature.

Recipe from www.food.com


Graham Crackers & Nanamio Bars — January’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge January 27, 2010

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

“Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in none other than Nanaimo, British Colombia.  It’s pronounced Nah-nye-Moh.  These bars have 3 layers: a base containing graham crackers, cocoa, coconut and nuts, a middle custard layer, and a topping of chocolate.  They are extremely rich and available almost everywhere across the country.”

Lauren picked the Nanamio Bar in honor of the 2010 Olympics being held in Canada.  I can’t wait for the hours and hours of Olympic watching in February!  So much better than all the junk on tv these days, besides, of course, Blackhawks games!  

We had the option this month of completing one or both of these challenges (graham crackers & nanamio bars).  I decided to go for it and complete both, and successfully I did!  I think I left my graham crackers in the oven too long…I didn’t make gluten free because of the number of flours I would need, so I stuck with all-purpose.  The baking time asked for 25 minutes–which I think I stuck to, but when I make graham crackers again, I would take them out earlier, 20-maybe 18 minutes, even though my eyes and finger pricking may urge me to keep them in longer.  No matter what, the graham crackers were tasty–a bit too crunchy, but still good; the Nanamio Bars were rich and satisfying!  A small bar is all you need to fill a sweet tooth! 

If it isn’t understood yet, the point in making our own graham crackers were for the graham cracker crumbs that were called for in the bottom layer of the Nanamio Bar.

Graham Cracker

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more flour and roll out the dough to get about two or three more crackers.

Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.

Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the tough, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

Yield: 10 large crackers

Nanaimo BarsFor Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup Almonds/Walnuts (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.  I substituted equal amount of Corn Starch + 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract)
2 cups Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer

4 ounces Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.