Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pesto White Bean Spread Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, click here!

It's been awhile since I've posted an appetizer recipe! I have a great one for you today... Pesto White Bean Spread! Perfect on crackers, sliced bread or some crostini. It would also be great with a veggie tray. It's actually pretty good for you too, which is a plus! I love the pesto flavor, fresh parsley adds some color, and the beans are a nice texture when they're blended. 

I love how simple this recipe is and also how inexpensive it is to make. You can whip it up in a pinch for last minute company or have it on the menu for the holidays. If you're not a fan of garlic, you can leave that out, and to make it vegan, skip the parmesan cheese. So adaptable! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jumpstart Your Holiday Shopping.... $300 Paypal or Amazon Giveaway! Plus My Top 10 Favorite Foodie Gifts!

So excited to bring you this great giveaway today! One winner will receive the prize of their choice... either $300 Paypal cash or Amazon Bucks! I know we could all use a little extra cash to do some early holiday shopping!! I also love shopping online! No long lines at the store and no going out in the cold, especially here in MN! December can be a little chilly!

Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is brought to you by these lovely blogs:

The Weary Chef - Hot Eats and Cool Reads - Krafted Koch Five Heart Home - Flavor the moments - Food Faith Fitness Pint Sized Baker - Dieter's Downfall - Delightful E Made Belle of the Kitchen - Petite Allergy Treats - Clarks Condensed Yesterfood - I Dig Pinterest - Memories by the Mile My Turn for Us - House of Yumm - Yummy Healthy Easy Julie's Eats & Treats - Love Bakes Good Cakes - Diary of a Recipe Collector Melanie Makes - The Bitter Side of Sweet - Life Made Sweeter Maebells - From Everyday To Gourmet - My Gluten-Free Kitchen Or Whatever You Do - Wishes and Dishes - Lemon Tree Dwelling - Chelsea's Messy Apron

Here are my top 10 favorite foodie gifts:

1. Electric Wine Bottle Opener
2. Hamilton Beach Set and Forget Programmable Slow Cooker
3. Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
4. Mix and Chop Utensil
5. Mason Jar Measuring Cups
6. Betty Crocker Cookbook
7. Spiral Stemless Wine Glasses
8. Budweiser Genuine Sauces Gift Set
9. Ginsu Knife Set
10. Pyrex Storage Set

Support Hot Eats and Cool Reads while shopping in your own home! Any purchases will provide Hot Eats and Cool reads with a small referral fee at no cost to you! For more, read our disclosure here!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Slow Cooker Four Bean Chili Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, click here!

Hi everyone! Sheena's sister Shannon here from In Blurred Focus with my husband's four bean chili recipe!!!  It's fall here in Minnesota, so it was a great day to make a slow cooker full of this amazing chili!  I have to admit, I never liked chili before I tried my husband's recipe.  There is just something about the flavor of this recipe, maybe the spicy V-8 juice as the base? I'm not sure, but it's pretty darn amazing and I can't wait for you all to try it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe!

Many of us parents face the same dilemma.... How to get kids to eat veggies? Today, 9 out of 10 people in the United States do not get the proper amount of vegetables, according to The State Of The Plate report. I am pretty fortunate these days since my daughter is now a veggie lover.

How did we get to this point? Try everything, then try them again if they don't like something! My rule has always been she has to try something new, and always at least two bites of each new food. It's worked great for us and she loves almost every veggie we eat, cooked or raw! I also let her choose recipes she'd like to try, then we pick out the types of vegetables she wants to add, using one new one we haven't tried before. It's so worth getting them involved in the whole cooking process!

This year, Birds Eye has partnered with Melissa d’Arabian, celebrity chef, mom of four, and host of’s web series The Picky Eaters Project, to make a difference and help moms with the dinnertime dilemma. I especially love her idea of introducing new veggies with already familiar meals! 

Everyone knows it can be tough to get a balanced meal on the table every day and we’re here to help. Birds Eye frozen vegetables helps mom by providing nutritious, tasty veggies that kids will love. Together, Birds Eye and Melissa are combining their expertise in getting children to eat more veggies, one bite at a time. I'm sure we all can use some extra tips in this area!

You can see some of her ideas and a new recipe in the video below! 

Birds Eye continues to make eating more vegetables a reality by showing families how to fill half the plate with veggies in fun and simple ways moms and kids will both like. By providing moms with more than 40 unique vegetable blends year round at affordable prices, Birds Eye continues to be her ally in the dinnertime dilemma.

The best recipes to get kids to eat veggies in my opinion... are soups! Birds Eye Frozen Vegetables turns soup making into an easy and quick task! All the veggies are cut into bite sized pieces, so no prep required and they hold up SO well in soup! We really enjoyed this recipe for Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup! The kids love it, and it's great served with a chunk of crusty bread for dipping! The package of mixed veggies adds a nice variety and it's done in 30 minutes! Perfect for weeknights! 

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup (click here to print)

What you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1- 19 ounce package Birds Eye Frozen Mixed Vegetables (carrots, corn, peas and green beans), thawed
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup flour
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Then add the broth, thawed mixed veggies and green onions. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk together the half and half and flour until combined. Once soup has come to a boil, stir in the half and half and flour mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook until broth thickens. Before serving, stir in the chopped spinach, dijon mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

This recipe was shared at: Inside BruCrew LifeKathe with an EMemories by the MileFeeding BigThe NY Melrose FamilyA Dish of Daily LifeLove Bakes Good CakesThe Best Blog RecipesThe Better Baker

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shrimp, Veggie and Rice Noodle Stir Fry Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, click here!

My daughter's been super picky lately when it comes to eating different foods. She wants to stick to the same things, and let's be honest, that's a pain! I love to make new and different meals all the time, so we compromised. Now she gets to pick out recipes she likes, and we adapt them together, to make something we both love!

That's how this stir fry came to life! We have no problems with her eating veggies and shrimp, in fact she loves most veggies. But hates pizza. Not a typical 7 year old at all! She also loves pasta, so we decided to add in the rice noodles. I had no idea how easy these were to prepare, so they fit in nicely.

Overall, this dish turned out great. As usual, it's a quick meal and fairly healthy too. You can use beef or chicken instead of shrimp if you prefer and use a different blend of veggies. The sauce is flavorful and it's good reheated stir fry style in a skillet or wok the next day.

Shrimp, Veggie and Rice Noodle Stir Fry (click here to print)

What you need:
4-5 ounces rice stick noodles

3/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 pound bok choy, cut into bite sized pieces
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1- 14 ounce can bean sprouts, drained
1 pound raw shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
salt and pepper, as needed

Soak rice noodles in hot water for 10 minutes, Drain and set aside. Cut if desired.

In a bowl, whisk together the broth, teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and sugar until combined. Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the canola and sesame oils over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and bok choy and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Then add garlic, bean sprouts and shrimp, saute for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook for another 2 minutes until thickened. Toss in the rice noodles a little at a time until combined evenly. Serve immediately.

On the blog... one year ago: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork Roast

Two years ago: Cheesy Ground Beef, Broccoli and Rice Skillet

Three years ago: Homemade Taco Meat

This recipe is shared at these blogs: Love Bakes Good Cakes, A Dish of Daily Life, The Better BakerInside BruCrew LifeKathe with an EMemories by the MileFeeding BigThe NY Melrose Family