Tag Archives: sides

Caramelized Onion, Swiss & Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

Yes, really. All those ingredients.


You’re welcome.

Actually, we first have Emily from the Daily Garnish to thank for this one — she came up with the idea, and then I adapted it, making it totally not vegan. I made it her way last Thanksgiving, changed it a little bit at Christmas, and then made it my own this year.

I used A LOT of potatoes and onions for this recipe. After all, I was cooking for 25 people.

Don’t believe me? Check it out.

That’s nine pounds of potatoes and eight onions. Yup.

That’s two big pots full of potatoes…

And a huge bowl full of diced onions.

… which resulted in two — yes, two — 9 x 13 pans-full of mashed potatoes.

Don’t worry. I’m scaling the recipe down for you here.

Caramelized Onion, Swiss & Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

makes about 10 servings


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3-4 sweet onions
  • ~4-6 pounds (about 7-9 medium) potatoes
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss & gruyere
  • salt & pepper to taste


Dice onions.

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. Pour olive oil in and add onions and a pinch of salt. Cover. Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring often! You want to let your onions get a lovely even light brown color without actually burning or browning them. The key is to keep the heat low.

While your onions are caramelizing, quarter the potatoes. Put them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then cook the potatoes at a simmer for about twenty minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Drain potatoes and put into a bowl. Add cream, butter, salt and pepper.


Blend with an electric mixer.

Set electric mixer aside and add caramelized onions (once they’re done). Use a spoon to mix the onions in. Add cheese and mix completely.


I promise you — you will love this dish.

You can quote me on that.


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Thanksgiving Recipe: Maple Acorn Squash

So, for Friendsgiving, AKA Thanksgiving #1 of 2011, I made two things. One of them was a batch of Praline Spice Cookies, which I will post tomorrow.

The other was Maple Acorn Squash, which is a recipe that comes from my mom and my childhood.

As I’m sure you know, anything that tastes like your childhood tastes like comfort and memories — unless your mom was a bad cook, in which case, I’m sorry… but I can’t relate. My mom is an amazing cook.

I like to think I get that from her.

Anyway, this recipe, in theory, is incredible easy. In fact, it has very few ingredients and very few steps. The only thing I will say as a point against it is that some of the steps are fairly labor-intensive.

Those labor intensive steps are the ones in which you A) wear your arm out while trying to saw the damn squash in half and B) wear your arm out while scooping the hot squash out.

I want you to know how terribly difficult it was to not make a TWSS joke there. I’m still trying.


Let’s get to the recipe, shall we?

Maple Acorn Squash

makes enough for side dish servings for 10-15 people


  • 4 acorn squash
  • nonstick spray such as Olive Oil spray or Coconut Oil Spray
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup Pecan Pralines


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut each of the squash in half, Or, if you’re like me, have your roommate (or boyfriend, or man-friend, or, you know, brother) do it.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Scoop the seeds out of each acorn squash half.

Place acorn squash halves flesh side-down on baking sheets. Spray halves (skin-side) with nonstick spray.

Bake squash halves for one hour.

Take squash out of oven and scoop flesh out into a large bowl.

Add maple syrup and butter, then add salt to taste (start with a sprinkle and add until you feel satisfied).

Using an electric mixer, mix until thoroughly combined.

Sprinkle pecan pralines on top, arrange in a circle, mix in, or cover the top. (I kind of did all of the above. No big deal.)

That’s it! Enjoy. This is actually a really lovely and inexpensive dish to make for Thanksgiving!


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Dinner @ 6

Today brings, perhaps, one of the coolest and most important things I’ve ever done on Kaitlin With Honey.

I know — big statement, right? And what does that have to do with that dish above?

I’ll get to that in a second. 🙂 First, I want to give you a head’s up that you have a chance to win $100 through this post. You know, no big deal or anything. But you have to read this post first (it’s totally worth it)!

As a member of Foodbuzz, I get invited to do and try a bunch of really exciting things. This, however, takes the cake (Though… no, I did not make cake. What a tease.). I was selected as one of twenty bloggers to participate in Dinner @ 6, a competition held by Foodbuzz and American Express which involves creating a dinner out of six ingredients and six ingredients only (other than salt, pepper, oil and water). Feel free to visit the complete set of official rules if you want more information.

We’re judged on the following:

  • Creativity/Originality of Submission (33%);
  • Tastiness and Appearance of Submission (33%); and
  • Submission created with only six (6) ingredients (34%)

Now, for my submission!

I thought for a long time about what dinner I wanted to create and what ingredients I wanted to use. Believe me when I say that I changed my list of ingredients at least ten times, changing one ingredient at a time and sometimes overhauling my entire idea only to come full circle later. One or two of these recipe-changing incidents may or may not have occurred at 2:00 in the morning, after having woken up with some inspiration.

I know. I’m crazy. It’s cool. We can call it dedication.

My own criteria for my submission:

  • It had to be interesting;
  • It had to pack a lot of flavor;
  • It had to be colorful;
  • I wanted three different components;
  • It had to be accessible to anyone who wanted to make it;
  • It had to be healthy; and
  •  …It had to be something you’d find on Kaitlin With Honey even without the competition at hand.

So, again, we got to use some ingredients without counting them amongst our six.

I used salt, pepper, water and two different kinds of oils — olive and coconut.

And then — drum roll, please! — I chose my six lucky ingredients.

Because there are so few ingredients involved, the recipes are actually pretty simple.


Maple-Chili Pepper Glazed Salmon

makes four (4) servings


  • 12 oz fresh skinless, boneless and prepared (BBQ cut) salmon
  • 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 4-6 tsp chili pepper sauce (depending on your preference — I like a kick, so I went with 5 tsp)
  • 2 dashes salt


Whisk maple syrup and chili pepper sauce together. Halve and separate into two small bowls.

Sprinkle salt over raw salmon.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Place salmon in pan and brush maple-chili glaze (using only the glaze from one of the dishes) over tops of salmon. Once bottoms are cooked (about 3-4 minutes), flip salmon and brush cooked sides with glaze, cooking the other sides for about 3-4 minutes as well. Continue to flip and glaze liberally until the salmon is cooked through.

Drizzle remaining, separated glaze over tops of cooked salmon. Serve.


Caramelized Onion Mashed Sweet Potatoes

makes four (4) servings


  • 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large sweet onion
  • salt to taste (for onions)
  • 4-5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste (for potatoes)


Dice onions.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Lower pan to low heat.

Put diced onions into pan with heated olive oil. Add salt. Stir and cover pan. Lower heat to a simmer. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the onions if you feel they need more moisture. Stir every few minutes until onions are caramelized (about 20-25 minutes).

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water.

Peel sweet potatoes. Cut into even pieces (about 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick). Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes or until soft to the touch with a fork. Once cooked through, drain potatoes.

Using a food processor, mix potatoes with coconut oil, salt and pepper. Remove mashed potatoes from food processor and put into a bowl.

Stir caramelized onions into mashed potatoes.


(and finally…)


Blackened Brussels Sprouts

makes four (4) servings


  • about 20-30 whole Brussels sprouts
  • 3/4 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper to taste


Trim all Brussels sprouts and halve, lengthwise.

Heat 1/2 tbs olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Place all Brussels sprouts halves face-down in pan. You should hear them sizzle (that’s a good thing!). Drizzle remaining olive oil over the tops. Cover pan.

Cook for 6-8 minutes without touching them — that’s important! You have to let them blacken.

Remove cover and toss Brussels sprouts. Cook for about 2 more minutes.



If you time it right, you can do all of this at the same time. I actually started the potatoes and onions at the same time, then processed the potatoes while I cooked the Brussels sprouts. I then kept the mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts warm in the oven (at 200 degrees) while I focused on the salmon, then served everything together. Not hard at all!

Now — here is where you come in. This is REALLY IMPORTANT for both me and you!

I need you to comment! And you need you to comment, too. Why? As part of the Dinner@6 contest sponsored by Blue Cash PreferredSM, American Express provided me with a $100 gift card to give out to one lucky commenter. Sound off in the comments for a chance to win! What is your favorite six-ingredient recipe?”

You have THREE ways to enter:

1. Comment here with your favorite six-ingredient recipe.

2. Tweet about this giveaway, mentioning that you entered to win $100 from Kaitlin With Honey, linking to this post and CCing me (@HoneyKaitlin) and Foodbuzz (@Foodbuzz) but not starting the tweet with either of our @handles (because then people who don’t follow us won’t be able to see the tweet). Then, link to your tweet in a comment here.

3. Blog about this giveaway, linking to this post. Then, link to your blog post in a comment here.

You have until noon PST on September 30, 2011. I will randomly a choose a comment that day.

This is a really big opportunity for me and I would be so grateful for as many comments as possible. Tell your friends and family, too! I would love to be able to provide more opportunities like this for you guys in the future!

(P.S. — Big THANK YOU to my friend Robyn for being my official taste tester and working her magic to make my pictures prettier!)


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Sweet Potato Muffins

So, I already shared one of my mom’s famous Thanksgiving recipes with you.

Now I’m going to share another, because I can’t get enough of my family’s cooking. This recipe has been passed at least between my mom and my grandma, and I’m assuming others in my family have used it as well. My sister, currently in New Zealand, even just made them for her own Thanksgiving across the world.

The way my family makes these muffins has always been delicious, but they have also always been very buttery. In fact, my mom told me that she has long suspected that the recipe has twice as much butter as is necessary.

So, naturally, I then cut the amount of butter in half. Everything else remains untouched from the recipe my mom sent me. They were still delicious, post butter-cutting. In fact, I’d argue that they’re better… because… well, this way you can eat them without getting a stomach ache. 😉

Also, we didn’t have any canned sweet potatoes and were running out of time, so this year they were made with pumpkin at the KWH house. For the record, that works as well. However, I think they’re better with sweet potato.

Sweet Potato Muffins

makes about 2-3 dozen mini-muffins


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups canned mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk (we used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins


Grease (a) mini-muffin pan(s).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well.

Add sweet potatoes (or, in our case, pumpkin) and blend well.

Sift in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add alternatively with milk. Do not overmix.

Fold in raisins and nuts.

Fill muffin tin(s) 2/3 full and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Good news: they freeze well, too.

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BBQ Turkey Tacos

These are super simple.

Last night, as it usually goes on Tuesday nights, I spent the evening making and eating dinner with some of my favorite friends while watching The Biggest Loser.

I usually have to show up long after the party has started, as I get out of work after everyone else, but yesterday had almost everyone running late and I seized the opportunity to be the one providing dinner for the evening.

Knowing I’d want something quick, healthy (I mean, we were watching The Biggest Loser) and colorful, I quickly created the following recipe.

Note: I didn’t actually end up getting to use the paprika or cumin (somebody lied to me about what ingredients they had in the house…Chris.), but I feel really good about the idea of them in the recipe and I’m leaving them there.

And that’s that.

If you don’t trust me, make them without. They were still great!

BBQ Turkey Tacos

makes ~8 servings (or more?)


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 package baby portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 package extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (preferably organic and sweetened with honey rather than sugar… but last night I used some random Kraft one because it was on sale)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste

Everything else:

  • whole wheat tortillas
  • shredded 2% cheddar cheese (or shredded cheese of your choice)
  • light sour cream or nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • avocado, sliced
  • tomato, diced


Heat a skillet to medium high. Add olive oil and distribute across the pan.

Add onions and saute until they start to brown. Add mushrooms and saute until they begin to soften.

Add ground turkey and break with a wooden spoon.

Continue to stir and break, allowing the turkey to crumble while cooking.

Once the turkey has cooked through, add BBQ sauce, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.

Stir and set to simmer. Leave for about five minutes or however long you need for everything to heat through and the flavors to settle.

Enlist your friends to chop the veggie toppings and help you prepare the side dishes.

Oh, and those side dishes? Even easier.

Buttered Corn

I wasn’t kidding about it being easy. I literally drained and rinsed a can of corn, set it in a pot, and topped it with about 3/4 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Okra Fries

Those are frozen, not fuzzy or moldy. Just wanted to set that straight.

These were just as easy. I took two bags of frozen okra and tossed them with a tablespoon of olive oil and generous amounts salt and pepper, then spread them out on a baking sheet and roasted them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. They could have been roasted longer, if you like your okra fries a little crispy and browned, like I do.

The spread was fun and colorful.

My taco, before I wrapped it all up:

It all came together so easily!

Oh, and it was served with some pumpkin beer, courtesy of Chris.

Pumpkin beer will never fail to make me happy, but the best part of the evening, of course, was the company.

Chris and Claire (twice in just a few days!)…

Me and Amy…

Lots of laughing ensued while attempting to get the above picture. Amy and I are sort of prone to giggle fits. The pumpkin beer didn’t help matters. 😉

A sampling:

Those pictures make me smile.

Good friends and good company… a pretty perfect Tuesday night, if you ask me. 🙂


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