Super Simple- Simple Syrup!

Are you still on the New Year’s Resolution train? Me neither…to be honest we are not big on “resolutions” in our house, but we do set “goals” for the year. This year one of our goals was to reduce the amount of refined sugar (as I talked about previously). I’m proud to say we have been doing a pretty dang good job at it too! I know my body doesn’t perform well when I have an overabundance of straight sugar poured into my mouth :l One thing that we enjoy that is always loaded with excessive amount of sugar is a yummy cocktail. So, I decided to make a skinny infused simple syrup to help flavor our cocktails without all the sugar. I used @nutrasweetnatual to create my skinny syrup and I’m super excited to share it with you now! If you haven’t used Nutrasweet before, now is the time! It uses a specific part of the stevia plant leaving you with that “just-like-sugar” taste that we all love. 

Let’s get started!

First and most importantly- let’s make a skinny simple syrup with @nutrasweetnatural !

Start by boiling 2 cups of water with 9 packets of @nutrasweetnatural. Next muddle ½ tangerine + 5 raspberries and add to the boiling water with 1 rosemary stem. Boil on medium-high for 5-10 minutes. Store in a glass jar in the Fridge for up to a week.

You can use this to sweeten cocktails or even coffee or tea!

Now let’s make a cocktail (or mocktail) using our skinny syrup!

Tangerine & Raspberry Skinny Cocktail/Mocktail- this cocktail is giving me all the spring vibes- hello sunshine!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ tangerine 
  • 3 raspberries
  • 1 shot vodka 
  • 1 cup ice
  • Favorite Alcoholic Seltzer (I used Tangerine flavored)
  • 1 oz Skinny Simple Syrup

If you are making a mocktail skip the vodka and use a sparkling water or alcohol-free seltzer instead.

Start by muddling your fruit in the bottom of the glass. Next add in the ice, vodka and simple syrup. Top off the glass with the seltzer and stir to combine ingredients.  Garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy!

As always, tag #katiescardiokitchen on Instagram if you make any of my recipes- I cant wait to see them! 

Cheers!

Margarita Cheesecake Cocktails

I don’t know about you, but my life has been a bit chaotic recently. Cross country move, covid, living out of hotels- a girl just needs a cocktail, am I right?! I’m a sucker for a good Margarita, but I’ll be honest, my body hates them. 😩 So, I was thinking, what is refreshing like a margarita, but isn’t a margarita?! A dessert cocktail!

Think Margarita- but in dessert form! Layers of crunchy graham cracker crust, fluffy tart cheesecake  dollops and delicious creamy strawberries soaked in Tequila Rose Strawberries and Cream Liqueur.

For the Crust-🧈

  • Ingredients:
    • 8 graham crackers crumbled
    • 3 tbs melted butter
    • Fresh lime juice (1/2 lime)
    • 1 tbs condensed milk
  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl

For the Cheesecake-🍰

  • Ingredients:
    • 12 oz room temperature whipped cream cheese
    • 2 oz condensed milk
    • 1 oz Tequila Rose Strawberries and Cream Liqueur
    • fresh squeezed juice from 1 lime + zest
  • Combine ingredients in large bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy.

For the Strawberries & Cream-🍓

  • Ingredients-
    • 8-10 strawberries
    • 1 tbs sugar
    • Fresh lime juice
  • Chop strawberries and smash with a fork. Soak in Liqueur for 1 hour.

Now it’s time to put it all together!

Layer a tall cocktail glass starting with the crust at the bottom. I’m a sucker for the crust on cheesecake so I made my layers of crust extra thickkk. Garnish with fresh lemon and strawberries. Best served chilled. Makes two 14 oz dessert cocktails. These would also be perfect for shooter sized glasses for a group!

As always- tag me on Instagram @katiescardiokitchen if you make one of my recipes so I can see!

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Cheers!

Cheers to the Holidays!

What do you get if you mix 360 Double Chocolate Vodka and Five Farms Irish Cream!? If you guessed a Holiday Cookie Martini you would be right! Something about a fun holiday cocktail puts me in the holiday spirit. I also recently learned that 360 Vodka was created to be the first eco-friendly distilled spirit. When you have finished your bottle you can actually request a prepaid envelope to send back the swing-top closure before recycling your bottle. So we are talking about an adult sweet treat that tastes delicious and is good for the environment. Sign me uppppp! These recipes are easy and just in time for the holidays. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Holiday Cookie Martini

Ingredients (makes 2)

  • 3 oz 360 Double Chocolate Vodka
  • 3 oz Five Farms Irish Cream
  • 4 oz half and half
  • 1 oz whole milk
  • pinch of powdered sugar
  • Five Farms Irish Cream Frosting (recipe below) and sprinkles for the rim
  • Ice (to chill)

With a knife line your martini glasses with the Irish Cream frosting. Twirl your glasses in a shallow dish of sprinkles. Now, combine all other ingredients in a cocktail mixer. Shake for 20 seconds and pour (straining the ice) into your prepared glasses. 

Cheers!

These sugar cookies are batter than you think. Alright, I know I’m not that punny, but a girl can dream right?! But really- this batch of cookies will bake your day. They would actually pair well with my spiked Five Farms hot cocoa recipe that you can find a couple of recipes back too!

Irish Cream Whoopie Pie

Ingredients (makes 6 whoopie pies)

  • 1 package of sugar cookie mix (the frosting is the MVP but you can also make your cookies from scratch if you prefer!)
  • 1 stick of room temperature butter 
  • 1 oz of Five Farms Irish Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2-3 cups of powdered sugar
  • Whipped Cream
  • Holiday Sprinkles

First prepare your cookie mix per the instructions on the package. I used a cookie scoop to make them all round and symmetrical. Now to prepare the frosting. In a countertop mixer combine the butter, vanilla, irish cream and two big squirts of whipped cream. Slowly add in the powdered sugar starting with 1 cup at a time. The amount you need will depend on the consistency. I used a little over two cups in this recipe but have had to use more. If the frosting isn’t thick enough or is not setting up, add more. If it’s soo thick add more whipped cream.

Now, place the icing in a zip-lock bag and cut the corner off the end. Ice your cookies in a circular motion (on the bottom of one cookie) and then place another cookie on top! Carefully sprinkle the outside of your whoopies pies with sprinkles being careful not to press too hard and force out the frosting. Freeze for 5 minutes to help the frosting harden up. 

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Football Sunday Appetizers

Tackling this game one snack at a time 

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 Football Sunday isn’t the same without all the fun treats- who is with me? Let’s be honest- if it weren’t for the treats I probably wouldn’t go (shh don’t tell Ted!)


Orrington Farms made Football Sunday in our house come together so easily. We like to invite our friends over to watch the games, eat snacks and hang out. This week we decided to try a couple of new appetizers and and they were a home run … oh wait, wrong sport 🤦🏻‍♀️
Anyway- this is what we made!

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Ring 

Ingredients

In your slow cooker mix the Orrington Farms packet with 1 cup of water. Add in your chicken and cook for 5 hours. Preheat your oven based to 375 degrees F.   Shred the chicken and add in the Greek yogurt. Place crescents overlapping to form a circle with the larger side on the inside. Leave a little room in the middle for your dip! Add a large scoop of the Buffalo Chicken to each crescent and fold each one over towards the middle. Bake until golden brown about 15 minutes. Drizzle with a ranch and a little of the leftover Buffalo sauce and add your favorite dip in the middle!

Teriyaki Wonton Cups

Ingredients


Mix half of the teriyaki packet with 1 cup of water in a slow cooker. Add the chicken and cook for 5 hours. Stir the chicken so that it falls apart into pieces (don’t shred this one!)
Place 2 wonton cups over lapping in each muffin tin. Add in the chicken and bake for 8 minutes at 375F or until the wonton cups get a golden crisp on the edges. Garnish with chives, chopped tomato, sesame seeds and a drizzle of red chili sauce. If you want a little heat you can also add a sriracha drizzle. 


I precooked the meat the day before in the slow cooker so that on game day I could toss both of these together and be ready in under an hour!


Let me know if you make them! #katiescardiokitchen

Quick & Easy Irish Cream Recipes

‘Tis the season for baking and warms beverages, right?! Five Farms Irish Cream is the perfect addition for both of these. It’s made with the richest dairy cream, adding a smooth rich flavor to baking and drinks. Five Farms is a true-farm-to-table product and is crafted with fresh cream and Irish Whiskey within 48 hours of collection from the farm. And I mean- how cute is the bottle too!?

Here are a couple easy recipes that feature the rich creaminess of Five Farms Irish Cream. These would be the perfect addition to a family gathering or party this holiday season! I always hate having leftovers from recipes so both recipes also utilize a lot of the same ingredients so you don’t waste anything!


Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting

Here’s what you’ll need:

·         1 box of your favorite boxed brownie mix

·         Five Farms Irish Cream

·         3-4 cups of powdered sugar

·         2 sticks of room temperature butter

·         Chopped walnuts

·         Whipped Cream

·         Caramel sauce

·         1 TBS vanilla extract

Start by preparing the brownies per the instruction on the box ( I added a splash of Irish Cream in the brownie mixture- but not too much or you will throw off the consistency). I made mine in a 9×9 size pan lined with parchment paper. Once the brownies have completely cooled remove them from the pan and start preparing the frosting.

Whip the room temperature butter for 30 seconds in a mixer. Add in the vanilla and 3 TBS of Five Farms Irish Cream. Slowly add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. After the first cup add in 3 squirts of canned whipped cream (trust me on this part- it helps make the frosting fluffy and takes it to an all-new level!) Keep adding the powdered sugar until the frosting is light and fluffy. I ended up using about 3.5 cups but depending on the consistency of your butter it can require more or less. If you add too much and need to loosen it, you can always add another splash of Irish Cream.

Apply a thick layer of frosting to the brownies, drizzle with caramel sauce and top with chopped walnuts.

Brownies are the truest form of comfort. Happy Baking!

Irish Cream Hot Cocoa

4 simple Ingredients!

·         Your favorite Hot Cocoa mix

·         Five Farms Irish Cream

·         Whipped Cream

·         Caramel Sauce

I made a batch of hot cocoa on the stove top, but you could also just make one glass in the microwave.  Start by heating the hot cocoa mixture in a saucepan on the stove (I made 3 packets and added a little extra water.) Once the cocoa is hot- add in 1 shot of Irish Cream per cup (so I added 3). Pour the hot cocoa into your mug, top with plenty of whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

I mean- what’s better than adult hot cocoa anyway?!

As Always tag me on Instagram if you make one of my recipes- I love to see what you all come up with! @katiescardiokitchen #katiescardiokitchen

Meals made easy with Orrginton Farms

If there’s one thing I love- it’s an easy meal that doesn’t have to sacrifice flavor for simplicity. Orrington Farms helps make that possible with their variety of meal creations, broth bases, and seasoning packets.

Here are some of my favorites that I keep stocked in my pantry for easy meal preps for the week!

I’m a sucker for a good taco recipe- and what’s better than a grilled taco?!? The right answer is… NOTHING.

Here’s how!

Grilled Pork Carnitas Tacos

1 package of Orrington Farms carnitas meal creations

2 lb. pork butt/shoulder

1 cup water

1 package of Tortillas

1 package of Panela Mexican cheese

Taco sauce/hot sauce/ sriracha to drizzle

Mix the Orrington Farms seasoning packet with the water and let dissolve. (I slow cooked my pork, but the packet also includes instructions for baking or pressure cooking.) Put the meat in the slow cooker and pour the sauce over the top. Cook on med/low for 9 hours or until tender. Shred the pork and allow it to sit in the remaining sauce while you fry the panela cheese in a skillet. If you haven’t had panela cheese trust me- it’s a game changer here! Heat your grill to high, lay your tortillas on the grill and fill them with the pork carnitas and panela then fold over. Flip when grill lines appear. Drizzle with the sauce of your choice and enjoy!

Sauce- Even parts Sour cream & avocado with a squirt of lemon juice, garlic powder and salt

Do you ever have a package of chicken, and you can’t decide what to make with it? I know I get tired of cooking the same thing with my chicken and I am always looking for new recipes to make. Try this one for your family dinner next week!

Slow Cooked Southwest Chicken Taquitos

1 Orrington Farms southwest style chicken slow cooker packet

1 can tomato paste

1 cup water

2 pounds chicken breast

Queso (I make mine homemade with butter, flour, milk, and Mexican blend cheese)

1 pack mini street taco tortillas (I like the flour ones better)

In your Instant Pot or clow cooker mix the water, tomato paste, and southwest packet. Add in the chicken and combine so that the sauce covers the chicken. Cook on medium for 8-9 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F. Shred chicken. Spread a TBS of queso on each tortilla and add a couple of TBS of the shredded chicken (be sure not to over fill). Roll the tortillas, I use a little queso on the edge of the shells to hold them together. Spray with olive oil. Bake for 15ish minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

These are also perfect to freeze and reheat in the air fryer later!

I used to hate to meal prep, but I realized it was because I got tired of eating the same thing all week and it’s hard to come up with healthy balanced meals to prep that will last for a few days. Chicken orzo bowls have been added to our meal prep rotation and let me tell you- they do not disappoint!

Grilled Chicken Orzo Bowls

1.5 Pounds chicken breast (I slice them down the middle if they are too thick, so they cook more evenly)

Orrington Farms chicken broth base & seasoning

8 oz of orzo

veggies (I used green beans, onions, carrots, roasted corn, and tomatoes)

fresh herbs (I used parsley, basil, chives and garlic)

salt, pepper, lemon juice

balsamic honey dressing

Marinade chicken in a balsamic honey dressing (I tossed mine in a container and made sure the chicken was covered and let sit overnight in the refrigerator). Follow the instructions on the package to make the chicken broth (water + @orrington farms). Bring the broth to a boil and add the orzo. While the orzo is boiling sauté veggies in a cast iron skillet. Then cook the chicken in the skillet on high. Let the chicken rest while you season the orzo with the fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and a splash of lemon juice. Slice the chicken breast and place on top of orzo with the sauteed veggies.

My favorite product line from Orrington Farms is their broth bases. Who has room for gallons of broth in their pantry and most recipes need some sort of broth (slow cooker recipes, braising, pastas- you name it!) I also like that I don’t have to waste half a can of broth if I don’t need it. Instead, I can make the exact amount of broth that I need for my recipes without sacrificing any of the taste.

Let me know if you make anything using Orrington Farms products and tag me on Instagram with your recipe! @katiescardiokitchen

Easy breakfast pizzas (3 ways!)

Is it just me or does it feel like every time you ask someone what their favorite food is they say pizza? But what’s better than pizza? BREAKFAST PIZZA… the correct answer is breakfast pizza 😉

Here are 3 simple ways to make breakfast pizza in the comfort of your own home! Or you can do it like me and make mini pizzas so there is something for everyone!

  • The healthy (ish) breakfast pizza
  • The original breakfast pizza
  • The southwest breakfast pizza

I bought a large square pizza dough in the deli section of my grocery store and cut it into 6 equal (ish) squares, drizzled them in olive oil and garlic salt and baked them per the package instructions or until they were just turning golden brown. While the crusts were baking, I cooked each meat- you only need a little bit of each if you are making the smaller pizzas, so I separated them in a large skillet. I also sautéed my onions and sweet peppers.

The healthy (ish) breakfast pizza

Garnish-green onions, olive oil drizzle or hot sauce

The original breakfast pizza

  • Scrambled farm fresh eggs
  • Cheddar cheese sauce (I made the sauce homemade by making a roux with 1 tsp butter, a pinch of flour, and a splash of milk then add a handful of cheddar cheese) but you could also sprinkle shredded cheese or use a store-bought spread.
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Sauteed onions
  • Original Yep seasoning

Garnish- green onions, hot honey

The southwest breakfast pizza

  • Scrambled farm fresh eggs
  • Sauteed sweet peppers
  • Mexican cheese sauce (I made the sauce homemade by making a roux with 1 tsp butter, a pinch of flour, and a splash of milk then add a handful of Mexican cheese) or you can use queso!
  • Sauteed onions
  • Fresh corn
  • Cooked chorizo- crumbled
  • Southwest Yep seasoning

Garnish- avocado slices, Mexican crema, or sour cream

Once the crusts have baked, pull them out of the oven and assemble your pizzas. Bake for another 5-8 minutes at 350 (or until everything is melted and hot!) Garnish and enjoy! To reheat leftovers- toss them in your air fryer for 6 minutes and the crust will be crispy again!

As always, tag me on instagram @katiescardiokitchen if you make them!

Life is about balanceee (how we are balancing our budget- and diets while living in DC)

Hey guys! Long time no see, right?! Life has been crazy with my new job- oh and packing up my life to move to Washington DC with Ted! Things are finally settling down and I can get back to doing some of the things I love that I have been neglecting- like blogging and recipe development!

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Moving to DC has been quite the life change, that’s for sure! Both Ted and I have been living alone for so long that we had to learn to adapt to one another on a different level- but also financially. So with that change came a revamp of our budget. A big part of our budget is around food, because grocery shopping and cooking for two is a totally different ball game than when it’s just you all by yourself. This took us a little bit of trial an error and compromise to come up with a good budget that allows us to eat healthy while also enjoying ourselves and getting the full DC foodie experience.

 

Ted and I both have a focus on eating healthy- but we agreed that we do not want to miss out on the restaurant experiences that DC has to offer so we decided that during the week we cook at home and meal prep our meals for breakfast and lunch. Ted cooks on the days I work and I cook on the days I am off. It creates a pretty balanced schedule for us and doesn’t leave either one of us feeling overwhelmed with cooking- but also prevents us from getting burnt out and ordering take out or eating out too often. This allows us to enjoy ourselves on the weekend without feeling the financial burden of eating out or the guilt of eating unhealthy all week.

Did I mention that we typically split meals too? Haha, at first Ted was not really on board with sharing meals with me… but he quickly realized how little I can actually eat at once and I convinced him we could save money as well as get to try more things this way. So we usually get one entrée and an appetizer and that’s plenty of food for the two of us without breaking the bank- because lets be honest, eating out in DC cost a pretty penny.

For breakfasts I usually make us some sort of eggs whether it be a big ole omelet that I can divide up, scrambled eggs, instant pot  egg bites,  or baked egg cups.

Lunches typically consist of salads or leftovers from the dinner the night before.

Dinners we try to plan together- at least the meat portion so we can be prepared the night before.

By the weekend we are ready to explore the food that DC has to offer!

One of our favorite spots is Liberty Tavern where we have had the best breakfast pizza that either of us has ever had. I mean- it’s THAT good.

Witlows on Wilson has quickly become our go to spot when we are out with friends and want a decadent mac and cheese ball- because who doesn’t love mac n cheese rolled into a ball and deep fried? #drooling

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Last week we went to The Pig for date night and their pork shoulder mac with their Burnt End sliders hit the spottttt- you know what spot I’m talking about, right? The one where you both take a bite and just sit there in awe of how good it tastes. Yep- that one.

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This is what has been working for us! What works for you? How do you eat healthy but also allow yourself to experience life without the guilt and without breaking the bank!? I wanna know!

 

As always you can find more about my meal preps and date nights on my Instagram Kburg21 

Zucchini Taco Boats!

Who doesn’t love a good taco?! I mean.. if you answered “me!” – are you even human?!

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But for real… tacos are life… and these Zucchini taco boats sure hit the spottt, you know what spot I’m talkin’ about right!? The one that makes you close your eyes, sit back and just say “mmmmm” that was good.

The best part- they are low carb and SUPER easy to make!

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Here’s me perfect low carb recipe- just in time for Cinco de Mayo!

What you’ll need…

  1. 2 zucchini
  2. Beef
  3. Taco seasoning (I used Twang chile lime and Daks sodium free taco blend)
  4. Corn bean salsa
  5. Avocado
  6. Mexican cheese
  7. Tomatoes

Slice the 2 zucchini’s in half and scoop out some of the zucchini forming little boats. Drizzle them with olive oil and a sprinkle of Twang chili lime seasoning then toss them in the toaster oven at 350 for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile cook your beef and season it up with some taco seasoning! Now mix in the salsa.

When your zucchini is semi-soft layer them with a little Mexican cheese blend and load the boats with the meat and salsa mixture! Now- back in the toaster oven for about 5-6 minutes.

Garnish with diced avocado, a drizzle of Ole white queso, and a sprinkle of Chile lime seasoning and BOOM! Dinner is served!

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Great paired with some blue corn LateJuly tortilla chips and guacamole!

Tag me on Instagram if you make ‘enough! Can’t wait to see! @kburg21

Baked Delicata Squash!

I have been waiting all dang summer for it to be fall so that I could get my hands on a delicata squash again. If you haven’t experienced the goodness of this squash- trust me, you have been missing out! Delicata squash is the king of all squash, its time to up your squash game! I’m all about seasonal eating. Why would I eat strawberries in the middle of the winter when I know they won’t be at the top of their game? Well with fall comes pumpkin, apple, and squash season!

Delicata squash is suppppperr easy to cook, and has a sweet flavor that leaves me swooning every single time I make it! Unfortunately they are not the easiest produce to find. However, Trader Joes never disappoints with my fall time favorites and I even spotted them at Whole Foods last week too!

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First, throw that sucker in the microwave for about 2 minutes so that it’s soft enough that you can cut it in half without also cutting off one of your limbs…trust me- this is necessary. Now, scoop out all the seeds and it’s ready to bake! Drizzle your squash with your favorite EVOO and toss it in your oven [I use my toaster oven] at 350 for about 8 minutes. Then it’s time to fill that bad boy up!

The good thing about delicata is that you can eat the skin! It bakes really well and becomes very tender. My favorite way to cook delicata squash is with an Italian spin. Here’s what I used on mine!

 

Ingredients

While your squash is cooking, cook your meat! Then scoop it into the squash with the mozzarella and top it with the marinara! Now, time to bake for about 10 minutes. I took mine out after 10 minutes and added a little more sauce and cheese on top and then broiled it until the cheese got melty and brown (a couple of minutes give or take.)

 

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Wahh-laaa! Easy peasy! And its’s great as a meal prep because it heats up well and doesn’t get all soggy!

Enjoy! And tag me if ya make it! #katiescardiokitchen @kburg21