Cooking with Katie


Steak with Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce

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I can’t believe the holidays are already over, they flew by! I really enjoyed spending time with my family and eating lots of good food, and I hope that you all enjoyed the holiday season as well. If you’re like me, though, and you’re a little disappointed that it’s all over, then this is the perfect dish to make! Steak always keeps me in a festive mood, and when it’s smothered in a luxurious, sinfully-delicious mushroom gorgonzola sauce, it’s just like Christmas dinner. Make it tonight, so that you don’t have to choke down more left over ham and turkey. I promise, you won’t be able to resist this tangy, creamy dinner!

Meat:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 beef tenderloin, or any other steaks you like
  • salt and pepper
  • thyme
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • 1 c red wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine oil with garlic. Rub the surface of the beef with this mixture and then season with salt and pepper. Chop up the herbs, using different amounts depending on your taste, and sprinkle them on the meat. Place in a roasting pan and pour in half of the wine. Roast for 40-60 minutes, pouring the remaining wine over the meat halfway through the cooking process.

Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce:

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce

In a medium skillet, melt the butter and then add the mushrooms and green onions. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, and then add the gorgonzola cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Serve over the beef. Enjoy!

Sauce serves 8-10 portions


Christmas Pretzels

I promise, these are the easiest, fastest, most delicious Christmas cookies ever! They’re great to set out for your dinner guests tomorrow, and even better for a post-Christmas snack the rest of the week! Really all you have to do is melt some white chocolate almond bark (it doesn’t really have almonds in it!), drizzle it on some flat pretzel chips, and then sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. How hard was that?

You could also modify these to fit any season by using food coloring to color the white chocolate different colors for Valentine’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, or even Halloween. You could also add different colored sprinkles or candies to them to give them some pizzazz! Get creative and have fun with them! 🙂 Happy Holidays everybody!


Peanut Blossoms

We love to give these cookies away as presents because they’re so easy to make and get ready, and they have a really long shelf life. And who wouldn’t want to get a good, home-made peanut butter and chocolate cookie?!?! Well, I guess if you’re allergic to peanuts, you wouldn’t like them…..Ooo….

Anyway, all of you who aren’t allergic to peanuts can enjoy these delicious cookies; and all of you who are can enjoy the peanut-free cookies I’ll post tomorrow! 🙂 Make these with someone you love and then give them to someone you love even more! Happy Holidays!

Peanut Blossoms (Pillsbury)

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • sugar
  • Hershey kisses

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, shortening, peanut butter, milk, vanilla and egg; mix with electric mixer on low speed until stiff dough forms. 2 Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 3 Bake at 375°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately top each cookie with 1 milk chocolate candy, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge; remove from cookie sheets.

Makes 36-48 cookies.


Black Bottom Cupcakes

These cupcakes are like little, choclate-y bundles of happiness! They’re so comforting and make you feel like you’re back in your grandma’s kitchen. Plus, who can resist that combination of chocolate and cream cheese? It’s so tangy and sweet at the same time and satisfies all of your holiday cravings. Happy holidays everybody! (P.S. For those of you keeping track, there’s only 5 days until Christmas. ;))

Black Bottoms

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c water
  • 1/3 c oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. vinegar

Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips

Start by combining the dry ingredients for the cake.

Then add in the oil..

..and the water. The cocoa powder made the water turn brown…I don’t have dirty water. 🙂 Stir all the ingredients together.

After the ingredients are combined, add the vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar.  The baking soda and vinegar make a cool little science experiment in your cupcakes. Mix that in as well.

Then, grab some cute Christmas cupcake liners with penguins on the bottom and line a mini muffin tin.

Fill the cupcakes up about 3/4 of the way full. Make sure to spill a little on the pan, just for good measure.

Then combine all the filling ingredients and put a little dollop on each cupcake. Bake them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Makes 36 cupcakes.


Auntie’s Lace Cookies

I like this picture because it gives you an idea of just how big these cookies are! They’re super thin and crunchy, and spread out so much when you bake them that they end up 3x bigger than what they started as. I’m not really sure which “auntie” of mine invented these, but they’re irresistible. They’re full of brown sugar, butter, and oatmeal….which if you think about it, is good for you. So it doesn’t make you feel too bad for eating them around the holidays! Enjoy!

Auntie’s Lace Cookies

  • 2 1/4 c quick oatmeal
  • 2 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Stir the ingredients together and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Only put 5 or 6 on a cookie sheet because they SPREAD out! Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until desired crispness. Let cool on pan for 5-8 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Store at room temperature.


Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much these past few weeks, but school has gotten pretty over-whelming these days and I haven’t had time to do much cooking! I also didn’t have time to do much recipe testing for Thanksgiving. 😩 But don’t worry…I’m going to make up for it with a TON of christmas cookie recipes! We always go all out with the christmas cookies every year, so you’ll be finding a lot of recipes here! The first cookie….Peppermint Chocolate Meringues! The peppermint in these cookies gets everybody ready for Christmas, and the chocolate doesn’t hurt either! Plus, who can resist that crunchy, airy, meringue-y texture?!?!?!?!?! Enjoy these and keep a look out for more cookie recipes to come!

Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips
  • 3-4 tbsp. crushed candy cane

Beat the egg whites until they’re foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat them until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly, about 1 tbsp. at a time, until they’re very stiff and shiny.

Like this!

Fold in the candy canes,

the vanilla, and the chocolate chips.

Mix it until it’s just combined, and try not to deflate the meringue.

Using a mini ice cream scoop, but them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Put as many on a cookie sheet as possible because they don’t spread.

Bake them at 250 degrees for 40 minutes and then let them cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 36 cookies.


The Ultimate Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without the cranberry sauce! It’s one of my favorite dishes on the table, but I decided it was time for something different from the ordinary stuff out of a can. That kind just get a little boring after a while. Anyway, there are lots of advantages to making your own cranberry sauce. You can control the tartness and sweetness of the dish, you can control the texture, and you can make it way in advance, like I did, and then serve it whenever you’re ready! Is there any reason not to make your own?!?!?!?!

The Ultimate Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 12 oz. bag of cranberries
  • orange peel
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c cranberry juice
  • 1 c sugar

Start by putting the cranberries in a saucepan. They’re always in season around the holidays so they should be easy to find, but you could always use frozen ones, too.

Then, add the water and cranberry juice….

..the sugar…

…and the orange peel. Just use a vegetable peeler to peel off the orange zest of the orange. I only used about 2 or 3 strips because the flavor really does concentrate when it’s cooked and you don’t want it to overpower the cranberry’s flavor.

Then, just turn the burner on high and bring the mixture to a boil.

You’ll start to see the cranberries pop!

Yummm….looks like the holidays in a pot! 🙂

When the cranberries come to a boil, turn down the heat and let them simmer for 15 minutes.

They should start to get thick and syrupy. Just transfer them to a Tupperware container and let them set up in the fridge until dinnertime. That’s one thing less to do on the big day!


St. Patty’s Day Cookies

Sous Chef: My sister, Elly

Since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to break the normal “just wear green and eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s Day” tradition and make these cute little shortbread shamrocks!

P.S. Yes, we did wear green, and yes we did eat corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I didn’t say we totally ditched those traditions!:)

To make the cookies look like 4-leafed clovers, I used this cloud cookie-cutter and the stem of the Christmas tree.  Then, I just pressed the stem cut-out onto the cloud and wah-la…I had a St. Patty’s Day shamrock! You can make these anytime of year, though, with any cookie cutter you’d like.

Shortbread Shamrocks (Ina Garten)

  • 3 sticks butter, softened (Yes, I know that’s a lot, but the recipe makes between 36-48 shamrocks, so you get a lot from it!)
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Start by creaming together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Just mix it until it comes together. Then, add the vanilla.

Sift together the flour and salt, and add to the to butter mixture. Dump it onto a clean, lightly floured work surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

When it’s finished chilling, roll it out to about a 1/2 in thickness.

Stamp out the cookies with your cookie cutter. (You can see where I stamped out the Christmas tree stems around the edges!)

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with green sprinkles. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-18 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Cool on a rack, then snack on them as you chase down the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!


Game-day Feast

We are a football-loving family, so the Super Bowl was a big event in our house! We didn’t have a party or anything, but we did have some awesome food! Our Super Bowl spread included Italian Cheese Pizza, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Taco Dip, Deviled Eggs, and Brownies! My dish was the shrimp, but I’ll give the recipe for them all!

This is a recipe that my family makes for just about every party/special event that comes our way! It’s something that everyone will love (even the kids!) because it’s so simple. Believe me, you’ll be making this dip for every reason imaginable!

Taco Dip

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  salsa, more as needed
  • cheddar cheese
  • lettuce
  • grape tomatoes
  • black olives

Blend together the cream cheese and salsa, adding more salsa if needed. Place in a decorative dish and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes. Top with the cheese, sliced lettuce, quartered tomatoes, and sliced olives. Serve with tortilla chips and dig in!