Tag Archives: foodporn

Halloween in Doughnut Form

I am as basic as they come when it comes for my love for all things pumpkin, and I’m okay with that!

When I think of pumpkin+a sugary exterior, I always think of the Halloween parties we had at school when I was younger….you know the ones with apple cider and those pumpkin sugary doughnuts???? I loved them! And where I am from, the doughnuts usually came from the greatest fall doughnut place ever, Whitehouse Fruit Farm. Seriously, if you have some time, make the drive there and grab some doughnuts and fruit from the orchard. It’s worth it, I promise.

Recently my kickboxing studio had a Halloween themed dj night for two of our classes, so the instructors made Halloween themed treats for the class. I kept thinking of those doughnuts from when I was little, and since I was going as a giant doughnut, I figured I needed to make a doughnut of some sort. I ended up making my delicious and always popular pumpkin spice doughnut muffins. Everyone loved them and asked for the recipe….here it is!

INGREDIENTS:

-2 tsp baking powder
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-6 oz pumpkin puree
-1 egg
-1/2 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
-1 cup sugar
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp pumpkin spice
-1/2 stick of butter, melted

Grease mini muffin pans and preheat oven to 350. Combine baking power, salt, flour, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, and milk until well combined. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and blend until smooth. I use a Pampered Chef baking scoop (medium) to scoop mixture into muffin tins. Bake between 10-12 minutes.

As muffins bake, melt butter, then mix in a separate bowl the remaining topping ingredients. Once muffins have completed baked and have cooled for a few minutes, dip in butter then spoon the sugar topping mixture over the doughnut muffin.

I love to keep these chilled, but you don’t have to. Be careful though….you’ll want to eat the whole batch! Enjoy!

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Hello, Hello Fresh!

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen that for the past few weeks I have been taking advantage of a weekly food delivery service called Hello Fresh. Chances are you have heard of this company….they market like crazy on pretty much every social media avenue known to man.

I was skeptical to try this food delivery service because I had previously tried Blue Apron, one of Hello Fresh’s competitors, and I was extremely disappointed. I felt the quality and selection of food items was poor, and for the cost involved it was not worth it (at least to me). But….I had a lot of things coming up and really wanted to try the Hello Fresh for the sake of convenience. I had a lot of people I know tell me it was fabulous, so I gave it a shot and used a $40 off coupon on my first box (Click HERE to get your own $40 coupon).

Since you may be a little skeptical, I’m going to cover the things everyone has been asking me about: the process, the quality, the cost, the portion size, and my overall opinion.

THE PROCESS

Hello Fresh’s ordering process is very simple, especially from their app. Once you create an account (you’ll have to do this), you select what plan you want. There is a vegetarian plan, classic plan, and family plan, and you have the option to easily modify if you want to down the road. I signed up for the classic plan because I knew I would be the only person eating the food and was curious how portions would break down for me since I follow a pretty regimented meal plan when it comes to portion size.

Once your account is set up and you have determined your plan, you get to pick your meals and the day of the week you want them delivered! On the classic plan, there are 8 dinner selections, and you pick 3. If you would select the veggie plan, you unfortunately don’t get to choose; there are 3 selections, and those are the 3 you get. I have had mine set up to arrive on Tuesday, but I have decided I am going to change the date so I have them delivered on Friday, giving me the weekend to prep.

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A look at my choices in the app

 

On delivery day, everything arrives in once giant box. When I say EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING. The only thing I have had to contribute to the meals is olive oil for when I need to cook meat or sauté veggies. You get recipe cards, nutritional information, and each meal in its own bag with the ingredients for that recipe. In the bottom of the box, packed under the largest ice packs I’ve ever seen, you will find the meat you need for your recipe.

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THE QUALITY

I have been incredibly impressed with the quality of the food I’ve had thus far. Every week I choose at least one steak option, and the steak I have gotten has been thick cut with very little fat. This week I had a salmon that was as good as the salmon dishes on the coast. Most of the ingredients that accompany the meat selections are organic. There has not been any item I have received that wasn’t excellent quality.

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Everything I need to make Cherry Drizzled Pork Chops!

THE PORTION SIZE

My biggest complaint about Blue Apron was that I felt like their meal sizes were more like snack sizes, and I was worried it would be mine with Hello Fresh, too. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the meals I have gotten have easily served as three portions for me instead of the two they claimed to be. I liked that….I liked that a lot!

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Chicken Parm Salad…this is ONE of the three servings I had!

THE COST

I started this experience with a $40 coupon which made my first box $19. Was it worth it? Absolutely! The quality of meals was well worth that and much more, so I didn’t have a problem with it. Full price for 6 meals is $59, so it equates to a little over $9 a meal (shipping is free), and that is before any additional coupon codes. Initially I thought this was a little high, but when I sat down to think about it I spent more when I ran to Panera to grab dinner and spent about the same when I meal prepped at home. Since getting Hello Fresh, my grocery list is minimal, as I don’t need to get much other than breakfast and some items for lunch, so really I am at about the same for my grocery tab for the month.

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One of my fave recipes thus far!

MY OVERALL OPINION

Super worth it! The recipes have all been delicious and most are all things I will make again. Did I mention you get the recipe to recreate them whenever you want? That makes it really easy to expand your recipe collection with healthy options down the road. Only one recipe I didn’t care for much, but that was only because I burnt the fish a bit….oops!

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This was the only recipe I didn’t love. 

I love the convenience of getting everything sent to my house, and I love getting to try some foods I don’t normally try. That’s the other nice thing about this program….you can pick those normal “safe” meals (like salmon and jasmine rice) or try something a little outside of your food comfort zone (like bibimbap). Sometimes we need a little push like this to try new things!


Guys, I 100% recommend you give Hello Fresh a try. Even if you just try one box, I guarantee you will be happy you gave it a shot! You may love it and stick with it…..you may learn more about eating healthy and portion sizes….you may just fall in love with cooking. Regardless, your taste buds will be happy!

 

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Me gusta Mexicano!

Food, food, food…..I love you! I know it is pretty clear if you follow me on social media, but I really love Mexican food, especially tacos. There’s just something about the flavors in Mexican dishes that make me happy!!!!

Several years back I experimented with a dish that has become one of my favorites to make when entertaining because it is a) simple to make b) something that puts a spin on your regular stuffed shell recipe and c) absolutely delicious.

Mexican Stuffed Shells! Yes, you heard right!

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I made these last week and posted some snaps on my snapchat and IG story, and so many of you messaged me or snapped me back asking for the recipe. Here it is, friends!

                                                Katie’s Mexican Stuffed Shell Recipe
Ingredients:

-1 lb ground beef
-1 package taco seasoning
-4 oz cream cheese
-1 box of jumbo pasta shells
-1 1/2 cups salsa (you can use any kind you prefer or make your own)
-1 cup taco sauce
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-Black Beans, rinsed (optional)
-Corn (optional)
-Green onions, chopped
-Sour cream OR plain greek yogurt

Directions:

Cook the ground beef as oven preheats at 350. Once beef is cooked, mix in cream cheese, taco seasoning, corn, and black beans if you are using. I have made this recipe both with corn and black beans and without, and I definitely prefer with!

As you cook the ground beef mixture, bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the shells. It’s all about multitasking, friends!

Use a 9 x 13 baking dish (I use a stoneware baker from Pampered Chef because I love how it cooks them),  and pour salsa on the bottom of the pan to coat. Spoon meat mixture into shells and place in pan. Drizzle taco sauce on top of shells, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

After your timer goes off, remove foil from shells and add shredded cheese, baking for another 15 minutes. Once completed, remove and top with sour cream and green onions.

***I provided the option of Greek Yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. This IS a recipe you can make healthier, and this is one of those healthier swaps.

These are so tasty and are different….prepare to share this recipe because once you make them for friends, they are going to ask you for the recipe!

I often get asked what I pair with these since your traditional garlic bread and salad may not go as well. I typically make homemade guacamole and chips!

ENJOY!

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Life is Short…Eat Dessert First.

Pinterest has it out for me.

Honestly…..If I cooked five meals a day for the rest of my life I STILL would have recipes left over to try! Please tell me I’m not the only one!

This week I made dinner for Kyle and my mother in law and thought it was finally time to try out one of the recipes I had pinned way back when…..lemon soufflés. These weren’t just any soufflés though….they were made in an actual lemon.

You know me, I am all about presentation with food, so off to the store I went for some lemons and ingredients! I was surprised how easy these little guys were to make!

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Look at these cute little beauties!

Katie’s Little Lemon Soufflés 

Ingredients:

-8 lemons ( go for the larger ones, trust me. Size matter here!)
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup sugar
-Confectioner’s sugar
-2 Tablespoons Flour (I used Cake Flour)

Instructions:

1. Line a pan with parchment paper and preheat over to 350 degrees.

2. Slice just enough off of the bottom of the lemon (stem end) so that it can sit level. Don’t slice it to where you can see the inside of the lemon!

3. Cut off the tip (that’s NOT what she said….sorry, I had to) approximately 1/3 of the way down from the top. You can choose to keep the lemon tops if you want….they can be your soufflé hats!

4. Using a knife, spoon, or some form of wizardry scoop the pulpy inside of the lemon out and place in a bowl. You will need the juice for later, so don’t get rid of that! For me, this was the hardest part, so if someone comes up with a really easy way, please let me know. Next time I may try a melon baller.

5. You will need 1/4 cup of the lemon juice, so extract it at this time.

6. Mix egg yolks (save the egg whites for later) in a heat proof bowl with the lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and the flour. I used a simple whisk for this task.

7. Place a large pot on the stove with water and bring to a bowl, then place the heatproof bowl inside of it, whisking for about 7-8 minutes.

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I used a Pampered Chef mixing bowl. It worked great!

8. Once thick, remove and beat with an electric mixer for about 8 more minutes, then move to a different bowl and set to the side.

9. In a bowl combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the egg whites and beat until frothy. I used my KitchenAid mixer and started on the lowest speed for about 2 minutes, then slowly increased the speed until the meringue had soft peaks.

10. Mix about 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. Once combined, fold in the rest of the meringue, then fill each lemon, stopping just a bit shy of the top so it doesn’t overflow.

11. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown. The mixture should have risen about an inch above the lemon.

12. Garnish with confectioner’s sugar and top with a lemon hat if you want. Serve immediately!

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Lessons learned while making these:

-They were tasty, but very, very light.
-I should’ve cooked them a smidge longer.
-I need to buy mutant sized lemons next time.

Everyone seemed to enjoy them, so I was a happy camper.

And so was my kitchen help for the night, Murphy.

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