Katy's Kitchen

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Pecan Pie Muffins

Posted on | September 1, 2013 | 1 Comment

I LOVE pecan pie. Funny thing is, I only really seem to have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now that it’s September, and fall is upon us (though it doesn’t feel like it at all here in Austin), I thought I’m craving the flavors of fall…pumpkin, pecan, etc. I found this recipe for pecan pie muffins on the Tasty Kitchen blog a while back. They sounded relatively easy to make, and they only have five ingredients, which I had on hand. These were a big hit with my family and they do taste a lot like pecan pie…at least enough to take care of my pecan pie craving. The kiddos had them for breakfast for a couple of days after I made them. Just nuke them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them back up and try to resist the temptation of putting a pat of butter on top of the warm muffin (I could not.) Yum! This recipe makes about 8 muffins, so double it if you want more.

Pecan Pie Muffins

1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 c. chopped pecans
2/3 c. softened butter
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and pecans. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and eggs together until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients just until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the muffins are flat and slightly crusty, and the edges are golden brown. Cool on wire racks when done.

*When you take them out of the oven, place a slice of butter on top and eat warm. You may also use walnuts instead of pecans. I like to toast my pecans in the oven while I am preparing the other ingredients. I find that toasting the pecans before adding them to the recipe brings out their flavor.

Source: Tasty Kitchen

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Posted on | February 5, 2013 | 1 Comment

Okay, how can you go wrong with a pasta that is full of cheese, chicken, bacon, and ranch? You can’t! I made this pasta one night when Andrew had a friend over to spend the night. I figured I should cook something other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I thought all of these flavors would be kid-friendly. The kids loved it! Even my picky-eater youngest son gobbled it up and asked for seconds. What I loved was how simple it was to put together. I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save on time, but you can thinly slice and cook your chicken before you prepare the pasta or use any leftover chicken that you may have in your fridge. You can also use half-and-half instead of milk if you’d like a richer sauce. I used half milk, half cream, because that’s what I had…which, I guess, is exactly the same as half-and-half. :)

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

1 pound penne pasta
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 c. cooked chicken
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 c. whole milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; drain, return to pot, and keep warm. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan. Add the butter to the reserved bacon drippings, then add the diced onion to the same skillet. Cook until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove to the plate with the bacon. Add another tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Sprinkle the flour and ranch dressing mix into the pan and stir to incorporate and brown about one minute. Stir in the milk, and whisk constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted. Add the bacon, onions, and chicken to the sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little bit more milk to reach desired consistency. Add the cheese sauce to the reserved pasta and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Cassie Craves

“Bagoonies” aka Monte Cristo Panini Sandwiches

Posted on | January 23, 2013 | No Comments

These sandwiches started out as Monte Cristo paninis. Essentially, that’s what they are. They have all the flavor of a regular Monte Cristo sandwich, without the heavy, deep-fried quality. This is one of my favorite recipes that I have put together, because I can whip them out in under five minutes, but it feels like a fancy meal. I do not own a panini press, so I use the George Forman grill for these. If you don’t have either, you can also make them in a frying pan and put another heavy pan on top of the sandwich to weigh it down as it cooks. These sandwiches are fantastic by themselves and easily stand alone. However, if you want to add a cup of your favorite soup, such as the broccoli cheese soup I made the other night, the sandwiches are light enough to go well it.

Now, as for the name…the first time I made these, the kids gobbled them up in nothing flat. After the meal, my five year old said, “Mom, when are you going to make those bagoonies again? I think we should have them tomorrow! I really liked them!” And so, the Monte Cristo panini sandwiches became bagoonies. The name stuck, and that’s what the whole family calls them now.

Monte Cristo Panini Sandwiches

4 slices pan frances or sourdough bread (I buy mine from the bakery section at HEB)
12 thin slices deli honey ham lunch meat
12 thin slices deli roasted turkey breast lunch meat
8 slices Muenster cheese
Powdered sugar
Rasberry preserves

Butter 8 slices of bread. On a non-buttered side of  one slice of bread, place 3 slices of ham and one slice of cheese. Top with 3 slices turkey and another slice of cheese. Top with another slice of bread, buttered side facing out. Repeat with remaining bread. Place all sandwiches on a large George Foreman grill that has been preheated, and close the top. Grill the sandwiches for about a minute, or until they are starting to brown. Flip the sandwiches over and continue to grill until the sandwiches are brown and toasted and the cheese is melted throughout. Dust the top of the warm sandwiches with powdered sugar. Serve with raspberry preserves.

*If you have a panini press, you can make the sandwiches according to the manufacturer’s directions. To make the sandwiches in a skillet, place one sandwich buttered side down and top with another heavy skillet, pressing down as the sandwich cooks. When the bottom side is brown, flip the sandwich and repeat until the sandwich is brown and the cheese is melted throughout.

My Favorite Broccoli Cheese Soup

Posted on | January 22, 2013 | 3 Comments

I tried to make broccoli cheese soup a while back, and it did not go well. I used only pre-grated cheddar cheese, and it tasted good when we had it the first time, but it kind of “curdled” when I tried to reheat the leftovers. I know if I wasn’t so lazy and would grate my own cheese, it probably would have worked…oh, well. With the cooler weather that we’ve been having, I’ve been craving broccoli cheese soup. It’s not really practical to go out and buy a cup every time I want one, so I decided to give making it myself another go. This version was a definite win. It will be my go-to recipe from now on. We all really liked it. The flavor and texture were perfect. It’s rich and creamy without being overbearing. We had  ”bagoonies” with it…I will share the recipe and the story behind these tomorrow. :) Quick, easy, and delish. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to go with this post. We were hungry and the soup got gobbled up before I could snap a picture. I will definitely be making this again, so I will try to get a picture then and update this post. Try this soup and let me know what you think!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/3 c. butter
1 c. diced yellow onion (about 1/2 large onion)
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. whole milk
2 c. chicken broth (1 can)
1/2 c. heavy cream
3 c. finely chopped, fresh broccoli pieces
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used the pre-grated, bagged kind and it worked fine)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each, but this will vary depending on the brand of cheeses and your salt/pepper preference

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add in onions and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 3 minutes. Whisk in garlic and flour, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. While whisking, slowly pour in milk, chicken broth then cream. Cook, stirring frequently, just until mixture begins to gently bubble, then reduce heat to medium low, add in broccoli pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. Turn heat off, add in cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste and more milk to thin, if needed. Serve warm.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Classy


Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Posted on | January 11, 2013 | No Comments

The original recipe for these pork chops came from Pinterest but they were breaded and fried. I wanted to make these a little bit healthier, so I decided to just make the sauce and use it as a glaze instead. These pork chops turned out really good. They were moist and tender, but they didn’t soak up the glaze as much as I would have liked. It didn’t matter, though, because I spooned some of the sauce over the pork after I’d cut it up and it soaked it up beautifully. I served these with roasted asparagus and broccoli cheese rice. My youngest son, Matthew is always the last one at the table asking how many more bites he has to take before he can be done. It’s always a struggle to get him to eat anything. He had two helpings of pork chops and three helpings of asparagus. Any time he asks for seconds, I consider the recipe to be a success.

Honey Garlic Pork Chops

5 – 6 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger
dash of cayenne pepper (to your taste)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp.  chopped garlic
2 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Brown in olive oil 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove pork chops to a greased 9×13 baking dish. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and pour over the pork. Bake for 25 minutes. Let meat sit in the dish for about 5 minutes before serving in order to allow the meat to soak up the juices. Pour extra sauce over the pork chops when serving.

Source: Inspired by Sweet Tea and Cornbread

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