Mummy Snacks

Ready for some spooky snacks? These come with a warning: HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! My Nana makes this at Christmastime without the candy corn and calls it Reindeer Fodder. I thought why not add in some Halloween candy and call it Mummy Snacks?! She approved ;)

This is so easy & crowd-pleasing. I brought it to a party last night and people were grabbing more out of the bowl as I was walking out the door! I love that it just involves mixing and stirring. No oven required!

Mummy Snacks
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. almond bark or candi quik
  • 3 Cups Kix
  • 3 Cups Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch
  • 3 Cups Cherrios
  • 3 Cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 Cup shredded coconut
  • 19 oz. mixed nuts
  • 12 oz. candy corn
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the almond bark according to package directions.
  3. Pour melted almond bark over dry ingredients and combine, turning and lifting carefully until everything is coated.
  4. Turn out on wax paper to let cool and harden.
  5. Once cooled, break into chunks and place in serving container.
  6. Enjoy!

French Onion Soup & OXO Giveaway!

I just got back from one of the most wonderful weekends in San Francisco! I was at the Foodbuzz Blogger Conference. It was such so much fun & food & I can’t wait to tell you about it.

For now, I have one of my favorite soups to share with y’all. This is a recipe from my Williams-Sonoma Paris Cookbook. I’ve loved every recipe I’ve made out of it, and the boy who lived in France for 2 years (my husband Matt) has approved of every one. This is the third time I’ve made this soup, so you know it’s a keeper!

First, onions are sliced nice and thin. I use my OXO Mandoline Slicer. I love it because it rests on the bowl and I can slice all of the onions quickly and with little effort. The first two times, I sliced the onions as thin as possible by hand, but they still weren’t as thin as I can get them with the mandoline. Lucky you – OXO has sent me a mandoline to give to one of my lucky readers! Details on how to enter below.

I just love a good French Onion Soup. The onions are meltingly soft & sweet, and the broth is rich and satisfying.

Not to mention the rustic country bread that gets covered with cheese…

Then broiled on top, giving you the perfect marriage of soup, bread, and bubbly Gruyere.

I use bread from Kelly’s Bakery here in Santa Cruz. They have big loaves at Costco sometimes but they run out fast! I bought two last time they actually had them and froze the second loaf. It’s perfect because it holds up in the soup and doesn’t fall apart or get too soggy.

Edit: I choose not to use alcohol in my cooking, so the juice combo is the best alternative to sub in for wine. You may use wine if you so choose.

4.0 from 1 reviews
French Onion Soup
 
Prep time
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adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2½ lb. yellow onions
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup grape juice
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 6 slices country bread, sliced 1½ in. thick
  • 3 cups shredded Comte or Gruyere cheese
Instructions
  1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice the onions lengthwise and set aside.
  2. In a large pot like a French oven, melt the butter and oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the onions and cover, stirring every now and then until they are soft, cooked down, and slightly caramelized. Add in the sugar, salt, and pepper to taste as you stir. This will take 30-40 min.
  4. Add the juices and turn the heat to high. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the juice is reduced by half. Add the beef stock and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the soup simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, until it is dark, flavorful and rich. If it tastes too strong, add a little water and cover to continue cooking.
  5. Just before serving, toast the bread.
  6. Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Top with the toasted bread and cheese. Place the soup bowls under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately & enjoy!

To enter the giveaway, do one or all of the following, then leave a comment letting me know which options you’ve done.

1. Pin this recipe onto Pinterest.

2. Like Kara in the Kitchen on Facebook.

3. Share the Facebook page with your friends.

4. Share a recipe from Kara in the Kitchen on Facebook.

5. Comment on this post with your favorite soup recipe.

6. Subscribe via email or RSS.

7. Put a Kara in the Kitchen badge on your site.

Good luck! :)

Caprese Salad

I could totally go for one of these right now! It’s October 1st and 100 degrees. Welcome to the Central Coast!

Caprese salad is a perfect way to use those gorgeous tomatoes that are growing in your garden (if you’re lucky) or from the market (like me). The basil actually is from my own plant on my balcony. The only reason it’s alive is because Matt and Ada have a ritual to water it together when he comes home from work. Thank goodness for that!

Simple, easy, and makes any meal feel fancy. My sister approves of fancy. 

Quick & satisfying dinner of Costco 7-cheese frozen tortellini with marinara sauce, caprese salad, and bread (hiding under the napkin).


Caprese Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1-2 heirloom tomatoes
  • 6-8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 15-18 leaves fresh basil
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella. Lay on plate in a pattern of tomato, cheese, basil, repeating until you use all of the ingredients. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Zucchini-Feta Pancakes

My grandparents have an abundance of zucchini right now, like most people with gardens do in the summertime. I wanted to use it for something other than bread or cake, so I turned to the Williams-Sonoma cookbook my mom gave me on my birthday. It’s called Cooking From the Farmers’ Market and is filled with recipes for fruits and vegetables in their seasons. I highly recommend it!

These pancakes are light and fluffy thanks to the egg whites, and you bite into perfect little spots of feta here and there. I almost omitted the mint but am so glad I didn’t. Trust me, you want the mint!

Zucchini-Feta Pancakes Recipe

Makes 6-8 servings

4 cups grated zucchini

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

4 large eggs, separated

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

1 Tablespoon  chopped fresh mint

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Sour cream for serving

Put the zucchini in a fine-mesh sieve, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt, and let stand for 15-30 min. Squeeze out any excess liquid. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.

In a large bowl, stir together the zucchini, feta, egg yolks, green onions, parsley, and mint. Stir in the flour mixture.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into the zucchini mixture.

In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Drop 4 spoonfuls of batter into the pan and fry the pancakes until crisp, about 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels, season with salt, and keep warm. Add more oil to the frying pan and fry the remaining batter. Serve topped with sour cream.

My toddler, Ada, was so excited by these because they were PANCAKES! And my 1-year-old (ahhh!), Lola ate a whole one by herself! Well, I fed it to her, but she did all the munching. I ate three, Matt ate more, and I ate them for lunch every day. Just reheat them in a skillet and you’re good to go. Enjoy!

Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes

I received four glorious cookbooks for Christmas and have been having the best time poring over them and making food from them. This twice-baked tater recipe comes from Our Best Bites, a blog I love (see here and here) I was so excited to receive their cookbook from my sister-in-law! Thanks Liss!

I’ve made these twice now, and have adjusted them to my tastes. More cheese, basically!

Look at that piece of bacon falling off the edge…makes you want to grab it and eat it! Which I did, promptly after taking this picture.

The potatoes freeze beautifully and taste so good after just a minute in the microwave. A perfect side dish for weeknight meals, or a meal in and of itself! I won’t tell you how many days in a row I had one for lunch.

Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes Recipe – adapted from Our Best Bites

4 medium russet potatoes

1-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for rubbing on the potatoes

1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup milk or buttermilk

3/4 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

8 pieces bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Shredded gouda cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes clean and dry them, then rub with vegetable oil (this makes the skin nice and crispy). Place potatoes in oven, directly on the rack, and bake for one hour or until fork-tender.

When potatoes are fully cooked, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes (leave oven on). They will still be hot, so using a towel or potholder, cut each potato in half. Hollow out each side, emptying contents into a large bowl. Add butter, sour cream, blue cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Then spoon whipped potato mixture back into the potato skin shells.

Arrange filled potato halves in a 9×13 baking dish and bake in oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove, top with shredded gouda and bacon, then return to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!!

Taquitos & Mango Quinoa Salad

These taquitos are easy to make and so delicious! My mom made them for us while she was here for Lola’s birth, along with the mango quinoa salad. Thanks Mommy!! I found the recipes on Our Best Bites & made them again when we had the missionaries over for dinner this week.


Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ⅓ C (3 oz) cream cheese
  • ¼ C green salsa
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • ½ t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • ½ t onion powder
  • ¼ t granulated garlic
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 2 T sliced green onions
  • 2 C shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 C grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • tortillas (I used whole wheat flour ones)
  • kosher salt
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
  3. You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.
  4. Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about ½ inch from the edges.
  5. Then roll it up as tight as you can.
  6. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
  7. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.
  8. Serve with ranch dressing (my favorite dip of choice), guacamole, or salsa.

Now for the quinoa salad. It’s been floating around the internets for a while and now I see why it’s so popular. It is tasty & beautiful, look at how colorful it is. Bonus –  it’s really good for you!

2 cups cooked quinoa at room temperature, or chilled (cooking it in a saucepan with 4 c. chicken broth is perfect)
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium mango, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 handful chopped cilantro (or two or three…)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl.  Add mango, red pepper, green onion, black beans, and cilantro.  In a small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice.  Whisk until smooth and pour on top of salad.  Toss to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for at least one hour before serving. The longer the flavors meld in the fridge the better; I like it even more for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Black Bean & Sweet Corn Quinoa

This dish smells wonderful while cooking & is so simple. I’ll be making it again, but with MUCH less cumin & cayenne pepper! My mouth was on fire while eating this, but it’s yummy. I’m just a mild girl. Thank goodness I set some beans and quinoa aside for my little one before adding the spices.

Recipe courtesy The Sisters Cafe via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 teaspoon ground cumin (I’m changing this to 1/4 t. next time)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I’ll start with a sprinkle of this & keep adding little by little until it’s good)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup frozen sweet white corn

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the quinoa and cover with broth.  Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until the liquid is absorbed).

Stir in the frozen corn and black beans.  Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in cilantro.  Serve warm or chilled – it is delicious both ways!

Brie & Bacon Quiche

I saw this recipe over on the Tasty Kitchen Blog. Just by reading the title, I knew I would be making it soon! This quiche is simply divine. The melted brie against the salty, crispy bacon is eggy perfection in a pie crust! The three of us ate half of it for dinner, then for breakfast & lunch the next day.

1 package deep dish pie crust, pre-baked if instructed
4 ounces, weight brie cheese (rind removed if preferred – I left some on)
4 ounces, weight swiss cheese, diced
10 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained, & crumbled (I like cooking bacon in the oven on a cooling rack over a pan or jelly roll pan, it makes it nice and crispy without a bubbly mess. I do 350 degrees for about 30 min.)
6 whole large eggs
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 dash each nutmeg, salt, pepper

Lay out the sliced brie in the bottom of the pie crust, then sprinkle the swiss over it. Spread crumbled bacon on top. Mix all remaining ingredients thoroughly and pour into the pie pan.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about 45 minutes, until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.

Just look at that melted brie! Mmm…enjoy!

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

This is such a delicious treat! It’s like dipping a crispy churro into a sweet, fruity salsa. What a great combination! You can make this with any fruit you have, I added an extra kiwi and apple because I didn’t have the raspberries. Another winning recipe from the Worldwide Ward Cookbook! This one comes from Nancy Leavitt in Logandale, NV.

Salsa:

2 kiwis, peeled & diced (I used 3)

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I used 3)

1 lb. fresh strawberries, diced (I subbed frozen)

1 8-oz. pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed

2 T. granulated sugar

1 T. brown sugar

3 T. fruit preserves, any flavor (Nana’s homemade strawberry jam please!)

In a large bowl, mix kiwis, apples, strawberries, raspberries, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and fruit preserves. Cover and chill for at least 20 min.

Cinnamon Chips:

10 10-in. flour tortillas (we used whole wheat and they were perfect)

Vegetable oil for frying

2 C. cinnamon-sugar mixture to taste

Cut tortillas into strips or triangles. Heat oil in trying pan. Drop tortilla strips into hot oil a few at a time. When golden brown, remove and immediately drop into cinnamon sugar. Coat chips, then place on paper towels to cool. (I felt like I was working at a fair while making these, the smell is just like a churro stand) Serve with fruit salsa & enjoy!

Tortellini with Spinach & Pesto

This is a Kara-made creation that is a perfect one bowl meal for busy nights. This could also be chilled and served as a cold pasta salad, adding the spinach later.

It seriously doesn’t get any easier than this! Costco tortellini (they had me at 7-cheese) & pesto…pre-washed, bagged spinach, a chopped tomato & cheese! Serve with some olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette & bread and you’ve got a complete meal that smells and tastes just like Italy.

3 cups tortellini

3 T. pesto

2 large handfulls of spinach

1 roma tomato, chopped

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Place spinach in a bowl. Remove tortellini from water and toss in bowl with pesto and spinach to coat, letting spinach wilt down just a little. (Add a spoonful or two of pasta water if pesto seems too thick). Top with tomato & cheese, season with salt and pepper as desired. Yum!