Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


Leave a comment

Saltine Cracker Toffee

I love sweet and salty. One thing I have always remembered my grandmama making was saltine cracker toffee. It’s like a faux toffee or brittle. And it’s super easy. Recently, I ate something that had the same flavor so I made a mental note to find the recipe and make it, especially after learning that my husband’s family had never had this incredible concoction before. Then, like a mind reader, my mom made some for our family Christmas get-together, except she made hers with graham crackers instead of saltines.

My memory is not always the best, but I know I remember grandmama making this with saltines. And luckily my cousin remembered the same. So I got the recipe from my mom (which did use graham crackers), found something similar online to compare that used saltines, and kind of combined and tweaked the two to make a delicious Saltine Cracker Toffee.

None of the measurements have to be exact and there are a lot of ways to modify this recipe. Apparently a lot of people add chocolate too. I love chocolate but there are SO many chocolate treats that I prefer this one without. You can also use different kinds of nuts or no nuts at all! That is the beauty of this recipe.

Try it out and let me know (a) how you like it and (b) how you modify it! Individual steps/tips and pictures are next or see the recipe below.

img_2727

The recipe requires a simple 3 ingredients. Yes, that’s right – only 3. Saltines, butter, and brown sugar. Oh and some cooking spray and aluminum if you want to count those.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet (one that has sides and is not completely flat) with aluminum foil then spray with cooking spray. Line up saltine crackers to fill the cookie sheet. If you are using nuts and need to chop them, go ahead and do that.

img_2544

In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. I cut the sticks into smaller pieces just to help it melt quicker. Once it’s about halfway melted, add the brown sugar. Once butter is completely melted, bring to boil over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until it thickens and the sugar has dissolved. Stir constantly during this part. You want the butter and sugar to be completely combined and be the color of caramel.

img_2545
img_2546

Once that is done, pour it evenly over the saltine crackers and spread with a knife or spoon or spatula. It does not have to be perfect and it will spread out more in the oven, but try to cover all cracker with sauce as best you can.

img_2547

Sprinkle nuts on top. You can use and much or as little as you like and again – perfection is not a thing. Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes. You want it to be golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool. It will cool faster if you take the foil (with the toffee) off the cookie sheet. I also let it cool about 10 minutes on the counter then put it in the refrigerator to finish cooling. After it cools, break into pieces and enjoy! These were a HUGE hit at my office holiday party and it’s super easy to make.

img_2726

Saltine Cracker Toffee

Ingredients

  • 40-50 saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 C light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 C chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line a cookie sheet (with sides) with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray
  3. Place saltine crackers in single layer covering cookie sheet
  4. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until butter is about halfway melted then add brown sugar.
  5. Once butter is melted, bring to a boil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Stir constantly. The goal is for the sugar to be dissolved and combined with butter, the mixture to be thickened, and to be a caramel color.
  6. Pour butter-sugar mixture evenly over saltines. Spread out with a utensil (knife, spoon, spatula, etc.).
  7. Sprinkle pecans on top.
  8. Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove pan from oven and take foil & toffee off of the pan. Let cool then break into pieces. Can also place in refrigerator to cool.

Notes

You can use whatever nuts you want or no nuts at all. Print the recipe here: Saltine Cracker Toffee



Leave a comment

Pasta Primavera

This was a Home Chef delivery I got recently. It was a simple recipe that seemed to be easily modified, so I gave it a shot. It’s easy to make, very little prep, and has a pretty easy shopping list. All the amounts are estimates, so you can easily add more or less of something. Or you can completely change items (pasta type, specific vegetables, type of cheese). Home Chef recipes are for 2 servings, but pasta recipes usually make more than 2 for me. And my recreation fed me 4 meals.

Full recipe below after an overview of steps and pictures. Enjoy!

<>

Pretty simple and easy to find ingredients. The original recipe called for cavatappi pasta, which my grocery store did not have. Easy to substitute your favorite pasta though! I used whole grain penne.

wp-1476053648272.jpg

 

Start water boiling for the pasta and prep your ingredients. Halve the tomatoes, cut zucchini into quarter-slices, trim asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces, and drain the artichokes. Roughly crush a handful of croutons.

 

 

Sear the vegetables. Start with asparagus and zucchini, then add tomatoes and artichokes.

 

When pasta is cooked, drain, return to pot and toss with some olive oil.

wp-1476053782903.jpg

 

To make the sauce, heat evaporated milk until slightly thickened. Add Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Remove from heat and add butter. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Add everything to pan with sauce and toss! I added some chicken to mine.

wp-1476053848636.jpg

 

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and crumbled goat cheese (I totally forgot the goat cheese before I took pictures and dug in – sorry)!

wp-1476053868220.jpg

<>

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. (half a carton) grape tomatoes
  • 5 oz. (8-10 stalks) asparagus
  • 1 zucchini
  • 6 oz. jar artichoke hearts
  • Handful of seasoned croutons
  • 8 oz. (half a box) pasta (whatever kind you want – I used penne)
  • 2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 12 oz. canned evaporated whole milk
  • ½ C grated Parmesan cheese (+ extra for serving)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 oz. (half a container) crumbled goat cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • optional addition: cooked protein (chicken, shrimp, sausage)

Directions:

Start water to boil in a medium pot for pasta. Cook according to directions on box.

Prep ingredients: halve grapes tomatoes; trim bottoms off asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces; cut zucchini into half moons; drain artichokes; put croutons in a ziploc bag and crush into coarse breadcrumbs.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add asparagus and zucchini and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add grape tomatoes and artichokes and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside.

When pasta is finished cooking, drain in colander, return to pot, and toss with 2 tsp. olive oil. Set aside.

Return same large pan to medium heat. Add evaporated milk to hot pan and bring to a simmer. Cook 4-5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring often. Stir in Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Cook 2-3 minutes or until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, Remove pan from burner and swirl in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta and vegetables (and cooked protein if you have it) to pan with the sauce. Toss to coat everything in sauce.

Serve topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and goat cheese crumbles.

[modified from Home Chef recipe]


Leave a comment

Spinach Orzotto

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law a long time ago and just rediscovered it in my recipe box. It is very easy and delicious – a great side to go with anything. You do want to make sure to prep everything before starting because it goes pretty quick once you start. And you kind of need to watch it closely, so I recommend making it when you have your main meat/dish cooking in the oven or someone around to help. This is a very basic recipe and would be easy to modify – add some different veggies, add some Parmesan, add some meat to make it a meal on it’s own – go crazy!

<>

Gather all your ingredients – pretty easy stuff, too – nothing strange. And yes, that is white wine. Make sure you have a glass ready because you only use 1/3 cup for the recipe…

ingredients

ingredients

You’ll want to go ahead and prep everything, including measuring out everything. Trust me, you will be glad you did. Chop your green onions and spinach.

Measure out your liquids – use a glass measuring cup for the chicken broth as you will heat it up a little in the microwave before adding it.

prep, prep, prep

prep, prep, prep

Time to cook! Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add green onion, garlic, and orzo. Toast, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until orzo has started to toast. Watch carefully or the orzo will burn.

toast it up

toast it up

Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. While the white wine absorbs, stick the chicken broth in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to warm it up a bit.

add white wine

add white wine

Add ½ a cup of chicken broth and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Repeat 2 more times with ½ a cup of broth at a time until all is absorbed.

add chicken broth

add chicken broth

Turn off heat and add chopped spinach until well incorporated and wilted.

add spinach

add spinach

Season with salt and pepper and serve it up!

serve it

serve it

<>

Spinach Orzotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 C white wine
  • ½ C orzo
  • 1 ½ C chicken broth
  • 2 C spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prep all ingredients (chop and measure).

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onion, garlic, and orzo and cook for about 3 minutes or until orzo is slightly toasted, stirring frequently.

Add wine and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. While wine cooks down, heat chicken broth in microwave for 1-2 minutes (want it at least warm).

Add ½ cup of chicken broth and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat 2 more times with ½ cup of chicken broth each time until all broth is absorbed.

Turn off heat and stir in chopped spinach until wilted and incorporated into the pasta.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes about 2 servings