Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cheesy Mexican Vegetable Chowder Recipe

This meatless soup is full of Mexican flavors and cheesy goodness! Perfect 30 minute meal for any day of the week!

This meatless soup is full of Mexican flavors and cheesy goodness! Perfect 30 minute meal for any day of the week! Cheesy Mexican Vegetable Chowder from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have today's post, and one on Saturday from my sister, Shannon, then I'll be taking a week off from blogging for Christmas! I'm looking forward to getting in the kitchen, spending time with my family and relaxing! I'm taking 5 days off from my regular job too, which both are much needed! I hope you have a fabulous holiday!

I am absolutely in love with today's recipe! I whipped it up from ingredients in my fridge and pantry when I was too lazy to leave the house and go grocery shopping! I am such a homebody on the weekends, so it was nice to not venture out in this chilly MN weather! I ended up bringing leftovers to work the next day, and both my brother and sister loved this recipe too!

We love Mexican flavors, and this soup has all that and more! It's full of veggies and cheese. So fresh, but yet so comforting. Perfect for a cold day with some crusty bread or crackers! 


Cheesy Mexican Vegetable Chowder (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup bell pepper, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
3 cups taco or Mexican style shredded cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion and bell pepper, saute for about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the corn, cumin, chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Whisk together the milk and flour and pour into the soup. Then add cheese and cilantro. Simmer until the soup has thicken and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve!

This meatless soup is full of Mexican flavors and cheesy goodness! Perfect 30 minute meal for any day of the week! Cheesy Mexican Vegetable Chowder from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

On the blog... one year ago: Candy Cane Kiss Muddy Buddies

Two years ago: Restaurant Review Cafe Blue Heron, Cadillac, MI

Three years ago: Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

This recipe is shared at: 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oatmeal, Coconut and Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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

Delicious, chewy cookies that are ready in a snap! Perfect for lunches, snack time or bake sales!

I have a new fabulous cookie recipe for you today! These Oatmeal, Coconut and Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies are chewy, tasty and so easy to make! I'm not a huge chocolate fan, so I love that I used mini chocolate chips in this recipe. The touch of chocolate in each bite is perfect with the oatmeal and coconut. 

These cookies would be a great addition to your Christmas cookie rotation, or whenever you feel like eating something sweet. My daughter and I both love a homemade chai tea latte and some cookies, especially when it's cold outside. 

Which is often, too often here in Minnesota. That's when it's time to turn on the oven, warm up the house and get some cookies baking. Then relax and eat them with our mug of tea. We love those moments when we're hibernating from the cold, enjoying the time together. She's only 7 right now, but I can only imagine that we'll be doing this when she's 17 too!

I promised a picture of our Christmas tree, so here it is! We're especially excited since this our first full size tree. We've always lived in apartments, but last December we purchased our house from Habitat for Humanity, so this our first real Christmas in our home! So much to be thankful for! :)

On to the recipe! Enjoy!

Oatmeal, Coconut and Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies (click here to print)
3 dozen cookies

What you need:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars with a mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, beat for another 1-2 minutes.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Then add to batter half at a time, mixing until just combined. Stir in the oats, coconut and chocolate chips until combined. Using a cookie scooper, place dough 1 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. 

Bake for 11-12 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

On the blog... one year ago: Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Two years ago: Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Three years ago: Salt and Vinegar Broiled Fingerling Potatoes

This recipe is shared at: Memories by the MileInside BruCrew Life

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Crab, Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad Recipe

This delicious pasta salad has tons of flavor and is perfect for any occasion. It makes a great lunch too!

Less than 2 weeks before Christmas, I finally get a tree up and decorated! We've always had a small tree, so this year with our new house, I wanted to finally get something bigger. My awesome Dad went to a doorbusters sale at 7am this morning and snagged a new tree for us at 70% off! Score! I will share a photo in Monday's post!

Even though it's almost Christmas and the middle of winter, I still crave a good pasta salad. I usually make them more in the summertime for BBQ's, but they actually go great with any type of meal. This pasta salad is perfect with the crab and bacon added in. I use imitation crab, but if you have fresh crab, this salad would be even better. I love eating the leftovers for lunch the next day, with some extra sauce added in. What is your favorite type of pasta salad?

Crab, Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad (click to print)

What you need:
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
6 ounces bacon, fried and crumbled
8 ounces imitation crab meat
8 ounces frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups mayo
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper, as needed

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. You may need to add additional mayo before serving, if not served right away.

On the blog... one year ago: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Two years ago: Spinach and Walnut Pesto

Three years ago: Zuppa Toscana

This recipe is shared at: Memories by the Mile, Inside BruCrew Life

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tomato, Basil and Garlic Noodle Soup Recipe

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

Hello Friends... Sheena's sister Shannon here again! (Do I need to keep telling you I'm her sister since I post so often??)  Today I was craving something with tomatoes and basil, and I love to make something on the weekends that I can bring to work for lunch all week!  One of my very favorite recipes is Sheena's Capellini al Fresco.... but since I've been in the soup mood lately, I wanted to try a soup with these amazing flavors!  Here is the recipe I concocted after doing some research.... I hope you enjoy it!

This meatless soup is full of flavor! Perfect for lunch or dinner! Tomato, Basil and Garlic Noodle Soup from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

Tomato, Basil and Garlic Noodle Soup (click here to print)

What you need:
  • 3 pounds of ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablepoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 - 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
  • 4 packages of fresh basil (approx. 30 ounces)
  • 1 quart unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 pound of noodles (I used Barilla Pipette)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut plum tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, sauté the onions, garlic and butter until tender. Add canned tomatoes (including the juice), basil and chicken stock.  Add the oven-roasted tomatoes (including the juice).  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes.  Use a submersion blender and blend soup mixture until desired consistency (I like mine a bit chunky, but you could blend until it's pureed if you like that consistency).
  3. Cook noodles per package directions and add to soup. Enjoy!!
*Note: When I cook, I use less pepper and salt than most people like.  This is because I like salt not pepper, and my husband likes pepper not salt so we tend to add these ingredients when serving.  When both of us tasted this recipe, I thought it needed more salt, my husband thought it needed more pepper.  So keep these things in mind when cooking it!  

On the blog... one year ago: Candy Cane Poke Cake

Two years ago: Greens with Smoked Turkey

Three years ago: Tomato Tortellini Soup

This recipe is shared at: The Better Baker

Monday, December 8, 2014

$200 Holiday Cash Giveaway plus 8 Must Bake Holiday Cookies! #Giveaway

Happy Holidays! I hope you and yours are enjoying a safe and happy holiday season. I have a special treat for you today! I have joined forces with some of my best blogging friends to bring you a collection of our Must Bake Holiday Cookies and a CASH Giveaway!!

We are hoping to make your holiday MERRIER with this collection of our Must Bake Holiday Cookies together in one place, as well as $200 in spending cash!! How's that for holiday cheer?!! AND the lucky winner gets their pick of an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash! So what are you waiting for?! Scroll down to enter and be sure to visit my friends who made this giveaway possible!

Here's wishing you a happy holiday season full of love, family, and lots of cookies, of course <smile>

Candied Cherry Cookies | by Life Tastes Good

Peppermint Kiss Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | by Flavor Mosaic

Big Crunch Sugar Cookies Recipe | by Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies | by Renee's Kitchen Adventures
Ricotta Cheese Holiday Cookies | by The Foodie Affair

Iced Lemon Sugar Cookies | by Yours And Mine Are Ours

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies with Almond | by Eazy Peazy Mealz
Butter Riches | by Recipes, Food and Cooking

a Rafflecopter giveaway