Julia’s Colorful Art Birthday Party

Colorful Art Birthday Party - Kristine's Kitchen-1613

We recently celebrated Julia's 5th birthday.  5!  I'm not sure how it can be that my girl is 5 and only a few months away from starting Kindergarten.  She still loves hugs and snuggles with Mom, reading books, and pretend play.  Her favorite activities right now are painting, drawing, cutting, pasting... pretty much anything involving arts and crafts.  An art party was the obvious choice for her birthday this year, and the party was so much fun. The invitations set the theme for the party.  I loved how colorful they were, and it was fun to give an invitation that the guests could use and enjoy.  The best price I found on the watercolor sets was a sale price at Kmart, but unfortunately ... [Continue Reading]

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole- perfect for busy weeknights | Kristine's Kitchen

This Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole is a perfect dinner to make on a busy weeknight. Most nights when I come home from work, cooking anything but the simplest dinner is hard to manage. Please don't let the fact that I write a food blog lead you to believe that I make a gourmet meal every night. Just like everyone else, I'm doing my best to balance my kids and family, work, household chores, and taking care of myself (by exercising or reading, for example). On my days off from teaching I have a little more time to devote to the kitchen, but the days I work it's go, go, go from the minute I wake up until bedtime. I'm lucky in that I only teach part time right now, so there are ... [Continue Reading]

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies | Kristine's Kitchen

The best soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies.  This is the recipe I turn to whenever I want to bake classic chocolate chip cookies. I'm often asked which of the chocolate chip cookie recipes on my site is my favorite. Well, these are it. I posted these a while ago and today I'm updating the recipe and photos because these cookies are my go-to recipe whenever I need to make a quick batch of cookies. Most often, those times are when a sudden craving for a chocolate chip cookie hits and I just can't resist! I've made these cookies dozens of times and they always turn out perfectly. These chocolate chip cookies have a secret ingredient that gives them their soft, chewy texture. ... [Continue Reading]

Skillet Baked Penne

Skillet Baked Penne- cheesy baked pasta made in one dish - Kristine's Kitchen

Perfect for weeknight suppers, this Skillet Baked Penne has all of the comfort of baked pasta without all of the fuss. Baked Penne is comfort food at it's best. Pasta, sausage, a tomato cream sauce, and gooey cheese all combine into one satisfying dish. The only problem? Typical baked pasta recipes are hardly practical on a weeknight. This Skillet Baked Penne recipe, however, can be made from start to finish in less than an hour. Plus, you will only have one pan to clean at the end. And, it makes a generous amount of food, so you will likely have leftovers (in other words, a night off from cooking!). Triple win! To make this, you start by browning some Italian sausage in an oven-safe ... [Continue Reading]

Whole Grain Fruit Bars

Whole Grain Fruit Bars- a healthy treat for your lunchbox - Kristine's Kitchen-1486

Homemade Whole Grain Fruit Bars are the perfect treat to add to your lunchbox. Made with real ingredients, kids and adults alike will love these bars! These Whole Grain Fruit Bars are my latest addiction. I love how easy they are to make. I love that they are whole grain and contain only recognizable ingredients. I love that these fruit bars can pass for both a snack or healthy dessert. In my efforts to pack nutritious lunches made from real foods for both myself and my kids, I've been making up a batch of these every few weeks. They make a great lunchbox addition or after-school snack, paired with a cold glass of milk of course. You know those fruit-filled cereal bars that you can buy ... [Continue Reading]

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels | Kristine's Kitchen

Lightly sweet, with a touch of salt and plenty of chocolate, these Chocolate Chip Brioche pretzels are sure to put a smile on your face. You can consider these Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, or snack time, as we did. For a very long time now, I have wanted to make chocolate croissants. I think it started when I was craving them while pregnant with William. Somehow, since then I've never found the time needed to make homemade croissants. I know, how can that be? But don't worry, these Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels are the next best thing. These pretzels are made of a very lightly sweetened brioche dough. Chopped chocolate chips- I used ... [Continue Reading]

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | Kristine's Kitchen

A delicious way to eat your vegetables, this Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette makes a great healthy lunch. Or, enjoy it as a side dish with grilled chicken. I am always trying to work more vegetables into my diet. I tend to eat plenty of fresh fruits, but I know that I can do better with the vegetables. Green salads and carrot sticks can get boring quickly, but roasted vegetables? I can eat roasted vegetables day after day and never tire of them. In this roasted vegetable quinoa salad, I've taken a sweet onion, red bell peppers, and an eggplant and roasted them until they are soft and caramelized. I combined the vegetables with some quinoa and a sprinkling ... [Continue Reading]

Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting | Kristine's Kitchen

Soft, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies dressed up for Valentine's Day. These sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting are easily customizable to any holiday. This weekend Julia and I did some Valentine's Day baking! We stayed in our pj's, listened to the rain falling outside, and laughed together in the kitchen. My little baker was a great help in cutting out these heart-shaped cookies, frosting them, and sprinkling them with cute and colorful heart sprinkles. Me?  I soaked up every minute of our kitchen time together. I gave Julia her own sheet of cookies to frost and sprinkle, and I especially loved how she divvied up the rest of the cookies between the two of us: “Next I'll do ... [Continue Reading]