Double Chocolate-Orange Scones

Double Chocolate-Orange Scones - so festive for the holidays! | Kristine's Kitchen

Chocolate and orange.  They're an irresistible pair, especially in the form of a sweet breakfast pastry.  A sprinkling of orange-sugar is a festive finishing touch that really brings out the flavor of these Double-Chocolate Orange Scones. I don't know about you, but I am ready for some holiday baking! The past few days I've had all sorts of ideas swirling around in my head. The flavors that are highlighted this time of year are some of my very favorites. Gingerbread, peppermint, cranberry, cinnamon... so many possibilities.  And there is always chocolate.  Chocolate is a favorite any time of year! The pairing of chocolate and orange is especially festive during the holiday season. ... [Continue Reading]

Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken

Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken - Mac and cheese with a nutrition boost! | Kristine's Kitchen

A steaming bowl of macaroni and cheese is pure comfort food. Mix in some cooked chicken and broccoli, and you have a complete meal. These Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken are creamy, cheesy pasta at its best. Macaroni and Cheese. The ultimate comfort food. When it's cold outside, there's nothing better than sitting down to a bowl full of warm, cheesy pasta. The only problem is that on it's own, mac and cheese doesn't make much of a balanced meal. Sure, you can roast some broccoli or make a salad to go alongside, but how about instead boosting the nutrition of the mac and cheese itself? Enter these Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken. Here we have four food groups all ... [Continue Reading]

Artichoke, Leek, and Goat Cheese Dip with Garlic Pita Chips

Artichoke, Leek, and Goat Cheese Dip with Garlic Pita Chips | Kristine's Kitchen

This creamy dip is a fresh twist on artichoke dip. Made with Greek yogurt and goat cheese, it's a lightened up dip that you won't be able to resist. Especially when there are homemade garlic pita chips to dip! When I entertain, the hardest part of the meal to plan is the appetizers. If I'm able to, I'll pass along the appetizer responsibility to one of the guests. (Thank you to my two sisters who will be bringing appetizers this Thanksgiving!) I'm not sure why I get so stuck when it comes to ideas for pre-meal snacks. Perhaps it's because I put so much energy into the main course, sides, and (my favorite) dessert, that anything more seems overwhelming to think about? If you've ... [Continue Reading]

Broccoli Casserole From Scratch

This cheesy broccoli casserole is made completely from scratch.  Perfect for all of your holiday meals. | Kristine's Kitchen

Made completely from scratch, this broccoli casserole is filled with fresh broccoli, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and a homemade cream sauce. A buttery, cheesy breadcrumb topping adds a crispy finishing touch to this classic dish. Besides the sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and roast turkey, one dish that always graces my family's Thanksgiving table is broccoli casserole. The recipe that we've made forever includes cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise, and a Ritz cracker topping. It's undeniably delicious, so for years I ignored the fact that the casserole was made with not-so-healthy ingredients that I usually avoid (or don't even like: mayo = ick). Recently I got ... [Continue Reading]

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is filled with warm spices and lightly sweetened with honey | Kristine's Kitchen

Steamed sweet potatoes are whipped together with honey, egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg in this healthy casserole. This sweet potato casserole is unbelievably light and addicting; you won't be able to resist a second helping! Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Have you started planning your menu? Or do you already have the menu all set? I'll be hosting this year, but I will have lots of help from family who will be bringing appetizers, side dishes, and even dessert. While we like to try a new Thanksgiving dish now and then, my family pretty much has a set menu that we make from year to year. One dish that I always make is the sweet potato casserole. I used to follow a recipe that ... [Continue Reading]

Easy Cheesy Beef and Pasta Skillet

Easy Cheesy Beef and Pasta Skillet:  a one-pot meal the whole family will love | Kristine's Kitchen

This pasta skillet is a one-pot meal that the whole family will love.  The pasta cooks right in the tomato meat sauce, soaking up tons of flavor! Hey there. How was your weekend? We've had gorgeous weather here, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 70's. It's so beautiful outside this time of year with all of the fall colors. Brad took the kids to the park on Saturday while I got my hair done (I was way overdue!), and then Julia and I went out for a walk and some fresh air on Sunday. Saturday night about 12:30 we woke up to the sound of the signature barky cough of croup. William apparently is prone to getting croup, as this was the third time he's had it. The past two ... [Continue Reading]

Chicken and Rice Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing

Chicken and Rice Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing | Kristine's Kitchen

With a ginger, sesame, and lime dressing, this colorful salad is packed with flavor! Enjoy it for an easy dinner or lunch. As I type this, it's Thursday night, and can I just say how glad I am that tomorrow's Friday?  As you read this, it will be Friday, so happy almost weekend to you!  I don't know about you, but I am t.i.r.e.d. by the end of the week.  My Friday night routine these days consists of (1) an easy dinner, (2) bathe the kids, read stories, and put them to bed, and (3) relax on the couch with the latest episode of Parenthood and a bowl of ice cream.  (If I wasn't pregnant, there would be wine.  Ice cream works for now, though!)  Then I'm off to bed by about 9:30, which ... [Continue Reading]

Cranberry Orange Pecan Quick Bread

Cranberry Orange Pecan Quick Bread - a little tart, a little sweet, whole-wheat and no refined sugar! - Kristine's Kitchen

This Cranberry Orange Pecan Quick Bread is made with whole-wheat flour, honey, and Greek yogurt. A little bit tart, a little bit sweet, it's the perfect way to kick off cranberry season! I feel like my mind should be on all things Thanksgiving, like new side dishes and desserts that I want to try out for the big meal. I'm just not quite there yet. Anyone else with me? We are still eating Halloween candy, after all. (Or at least my kids are. One piece a day.  How long until I can disappear it all?) I promise I'll try to think up some inventive Thanksgiving dishes soon, but in the meantime I'd rather focus on some healthy-ish baking. Last week I spotted fresh cranberries in my ... [Continue Reading]