Florida Strawberry Pecan Pizza #foodbloggers4fl


Today, food bloggers are coming together to highlight groups that are helping with Irma relief. And we’re sharing some Florida food – because food is our love language.

I decided to go with something comforting and featuring a Florida staple – strawberries. There are more than 10,000 acres of strawberries growing in Florida! They’re the #2 grower in the country. What a better way to honor Florida than with Strawberries?

This pizza is like a taste of summer. With all fresh ingredients, this is an awesome showcase of Florida’s strawberries.

But, of course, Florida isn’t the only place that felt the effects of Irma. The list of charities below highlights groups helping out with Irma relief in Florida and throughout the Caribbean. If you’re planning to donate, these are all great options.

Volunteer Florida
Miami Diaper Bank
Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida
South Florida Wildlife Center
Heart of Florida United Way
All Faiths Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
Fondos Unidos
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
St. John Community Foundation
Anguilla Beaches


Florida Strawberry Pecan Pizza
(adapted from Fresh from Florida)
Makes 1 12″ pizza

1 cup fresh Florida strawberries, sliced
1/2 lb. pizza dough
2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 Tbsp. chopped pecans
Fresh basil, julienned

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out the dough into a 12″ circle. Spread the glaze evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cheese over the glaze. Spread the sliced strawberries evenly over the top of the pizza. Sprinkle the pecans over.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Sprinkle with julienned basil and serve.


Texas Style Chili #foodbloggers4tx

A note: The #foodbloggers4tx event was organized before Hurricane Irma started marching her destructive path through the Caribbean and Florida. While today’s post reflects on Harvey and helping those still picking up the pieces, my heart is with those in Irma’s wake, too – and I’ll have a post up with ways to help soon.


We, like most of the rest of the country, watched as Hurricane Harvey pummeled Texas. It’s so hard to watch so many people lose everything in these situations – where nature just takes over and nothing you do will help.

When it’s my neighbors or friends that are struggling,  I tend to cook. Food is my love language, so a dinner or try of baked goods always makes be feel like I’m doing something good. But when the trouble is hundreds of miles away, I turn to groups that already on the ground feeding people – in this case, Houston Food Bank.

It’s hard to downplay how much good local organizations like the Houston Food Bank do. If you’re looking for a way to help out, donating to them is a great way.


Texas-Style Chili
(from House of Yum)
Serves 4

1 lb. ground beef
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. onion power
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Fritos, shredded cheddar, and chopped red onion, optional, for serving

Brown the ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking up, until no longer pink. Drain the grease and add the tomato sauce, broth, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Stir in all spices until well combined.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve the chili over Fritos, topped with cheese and onion, if desired.

12 More Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent – which means I’m kicking off my annual Meatless Meals for Lenten Fridays series. As usual, you’ll find a great meatless meal here every Friday until Easter!

To kick things off, I’m sharing a dozen ideas below. You can also check out my previous roundups – 16 Meatless Dinner Ideas for Lent, 16 More Meatless Dinner Ideas for Lent and 9 More Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent.


Mashed Potato Waffles

Honey Lime Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

Guinness Pizza Dough

Jerk Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

Buffalo Chickpea Burgers

Kung Pao Chickpeas

5 Minute Pad Thai Fakeout

Chili Cornbread Waffles

Chickpea Puttanesca

Hatch Chili Mac ‘n Cheese

Caramelized Onion Tart

General Tso’s Cauliflower

Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles

Two days until Thanksgiving! I know you’re probably buried in turkey brine and pie recipes, so I wanted to put something a little different up – something to help you use up your leftovers.

Mashed potatoes are something we always seem to have a ton of and this is a great way to use some of them up.  These waffles are super simple but are different enough that you don’t feel like you’re eating leftover again.


Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles
(from Just a Taste)
Serves 4

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
3 Tbsp. chopped scallions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Sour cream, optional for serving

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk and eggs until well combined. Mix in mashed potatoes until well combined. Stir in the scallions and cheese.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the potato mixture and stir until just combined.

Spoon 2/3 cup of the mixture evenly into a preheated waffle iron sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook until golden brown. Serve topped with sour cream.

Skillet Chicken with Creamy Spinach Artichoke Sauce

I really love spinach and artichoke dip, so I think the idea of turning it into dinner is brilliant. I mean, yes, you can eat spinach and artichoke dip for dinner, but putting it over chicken breasts just seems way more adult.

The warm, cheesy sauce is pretty much begging to be sopped up with a piece of warm, crusty bread. So perfect for fall!



Skillet Chicken with Creamy Spinach Artichoke Sauce
(slightly adapted from Cooking Classy)
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. flour
5 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
14 oz. artichoke quarters, drained and chopped
4 oz. cream cheese, diced
2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup sour cream

Pound the chicken to about 1/2″ thickness and season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil to shimmering. Cook the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning halfway, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

In the same skillet, melt the butter then stir in the garlic and flour. Cook for 30 seconds, then add in spinach and artichokes. Cook for another minute, until the spinach is wilted. Pour in the milk and scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Add in the three cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until melted. Stir in the sour cream and then return the chicken to the skillet.

Sausage and Pierogi Skillet with Creamy Mustard Sauce


I’m sure by now you’ve all guessed what the last month of no posts means – I had the baby! Miss Julie joined us just as the last Improv Challenge was going up. We’re totally smitten, but life with two kids is no joke! I’m super grateful that I stocked the freezer with dinners before she came – I’ve been relying on them heavily since Mark went back to work!

Most of my freezer meals this time around were things I could just pop in the oven. I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to stand over the stove cooking this time – and it’s totally true. Most of my “real” cooking the last month has been on the weekends – when Mark is around to help out with the littles.

This was one of the first dinners I made post-baby that didn’t involve heating up something from the freezer. The ingredients for the Improv Challenge this month were sausage and mustard – perfect flavors for the beginning of fall! This dish uses chicken sausage and covers everything in a creamy mustard sauce. Bonus: it’s a one-pan meal so there’s less to clean up!

You can check out what the other bloggers cooked up here:


Sausage and Pirogi Skillet with Creamy Mustard Sauce
(adapted slightly from Such the Spot)
Serves 4

16 oz. pierogies
4 chicken and apple sausage links, sliced thin
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. butter, divided
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In an oven-safe pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and then the pierogies. Cook until the pierogies are browned lightly on both sides and remove to a plate.

Add remaining butter and olive oil to the pan, then add the sliced sausage. Cook about 5 minutes, until the sausage begins to brown. Add the pepper slices and cook until tender-crisp. Remove to the plate with the pierogies.

Whisk the flour into the pan to create a thick paste and cook until golden brown, about two minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and mustard until smooth. Cook until bubbling and slightly thickened. Stir in the heavy cream.

Return the pierogies, sausage and pepper to the skillet and stir to coat in the mustard sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and then place in the oven for about 15 minutes, until everything is hot and bubbly.

What’s Baking: Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts


Another round of What’s Baking is wrapping up, and I was lucky enough to host this time! I picked doughnuts as the theme because, well, doughnuts are awesome.

Usually, it takes me a bit to get things from the kitchen to the blog, but these lovely things came out of my oven this morning. They were delicious. I felt like I’d walked into a doughnut shop – the smell, the warm goodies. Every Friday should start out like this!

Be sure to stop back Monday and see the roundup of all the lovely doughnuts my fellow bloggers made!


Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
(from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 8

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 large egg
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a doughnut pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the next four ingredients. Whisk the 2 Tbsp. melted butter and vanilla extract into the wet ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, until thoroughly combined.

Transfer the batter to a large zipper-top bag and snip the corner to make a piping bag. Pipe into the doughnut pan to make them 3/4 of the way full. You can spoon it in, too – but piping is neater!

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. Remove to a cooling rack.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, dip in melted butter and then cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Turkey Enchiladas with Sweet Potato-Chipotle Sauce

Every year, we get a free turkey from the supermarket. And every year, I pick the biggest one I can find. We cooked up our turkey for Friendsgiving and since it was a moderate crowd with several vegetarians, we had a fair bit of leftovers. If I haven’t said it recently: I’m not a big fan of traditional thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce? No thanks. But repurposing the leftovers into a brand new dish is something I can totally on board with.

This dish uses up turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed sweet potatoes – and turns them into a great, Tex-Mex inspired dish.


Turkey Enchiladas with Sweet Potato-Chipotle Sauce
(from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table)
Serves 4-6

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
Salt, to taste

For the enchiladas:
2 1/2 cups cooked and shredded turkey
12 corn tortillas
3/4 cup cranberry sauce
8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Pecans, for serving
Sour cream, for serving

In a medium pot over medium heat, heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the onions and garlic to a blender and add the sweet potatoes, broth and spices. Blend until smooth then pour back into the pot and add the cilantro. Bring to a boil then turn to low and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the sour cream, lime juice and salt.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Spread 1 cup of the sweet potato sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ dish.

Spread 1 Tbsp. of cranberry sauce over a tortilla. Top with turkey, roll, and place seam-down in the baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are used up. Pour remaining sweet potato sauce evenly over the enchiladas and top with cheese.

Bake until the cheese is bubbling – about 15 minutes. Serve topped with pecans and sour cream.


Exciting News!

Starting today, I’ll be posting as a contributing writer over at Eat at Home. The site is chock-full of great, family friendly recipes and meal plans. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should! I’ll be periodically sharing original recipes and family recipes we love.

What does this mean for Kate’s Recipe Box? Not much. I’ll still be posting here regularly – I’ll just be linking up my Eat at Home posts as an added bonus.

My first post – an original recipe for Mini Deep Dish Pizzas – is up today. Go check it out!

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

We usually have some sort of pasta with red sauce with our Christmas dinner. When I was flipping through my bookmarked recipes, looking for some inspiration for this year’s pasta dish, I came across this one.  It wasn’t what I was planning on making, but it looked too good not to try anyway.

This was one of the Christmas dinner favorites. It’s perfectly creamy and cheesy and the roasted garlic really makes this something special. I roasted the garlic the day before so I’d have less prep time when I actually made it.

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese
(from Annie’s Eats)
Serves 10-12 as a side

1 head garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
12 oz. dry pasta
3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
3 c. milk
1/4 t. dried parsley
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
8 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. crumbled garlic and herb boursin cheese, divided
Salt and pepper

Cut about 1/2 in. off the top of the garlic. Cut the roots so that the garlic will sit flat. Remove the papery skin for the garlic, but leave enough so that the cloves stay together. Put garlic into a small casserole dish or baking pan, drizzle olive oil over it and cover with a lid or foil. Bake at 325F degrees for 1 hour. Remove garlic and let it cool until you can handle it. Squeeze all of the garlic out of the skins and smash with a fork to make a paste.

Increase the oven temperature to 400F degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta until about 2 minutes shy of al dente according to the package directions. Drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and the roasted garlic paste and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, dried parsley, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes to a low boil and thickens noticeably. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar and about 3 ounces of the boursin. Whisk until the cheese is completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the drained pasta and toss to coat well. Transfer to a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish and top with the remaining boursin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbling. Let cool at least 5-10 minutes before serving.