Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crescent Roll Calzones Recipe

It's recipes like this, that make me really excited. How can something so easy to make, and taste so darn good?? I really wish I had this recipe years ago! Another great thing, besides it being so easy, is how versatile it is. Use pork, beef, chicken or just veggies and it's gonna turn out tasting great every time. Change up the sauce to alfredo and mix up the flavors that way. Endless possibilities!! This is the variation I made:

What you need:
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
chopped ham
thinly sliced onions
shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. jarred pizza sauce, plus more for dipping
garlic powder
pizza seasoning or italian seasoning


Directions:
Heat oven to 375°F. Grease or spray cookie sheet.

On cookie sheet, unroll dough and separate into 4 rectangles; press each into 7×4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Spread 2 tablespoons of sauce on two of the rectangles. Place onions on top of sauce and ham on top of that. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over sauce, ham and onions.


 Place the remaining two rectangles on top of each and press edges with fork to seal. Sprinkle the top of each calzone with garlic powder and pizza seasoning.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 2 large calzones. Enjoy!



Beef Roast Hash Recipe

Hash is another one of those great comfort foods. It's such an awesome way to use up some leftover beef roast and tastes amazing! Serve it at breakfast or make a dinner out of it like we do! Mornings are not my favorite time of the day, so I usually end up making breakfast for dinner on a weeknight since it is so fast and easy. This recipe uses the leftover beef from the Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich post. YUM!

What you need:
2 c. cooked potatoes
1 1/2 c. leftover beef roast
1/2 c. cooked carrots
1 c. fresh white mushrooms
3-4 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper

6 eggs 

Directions:
Finely chop the potatoes, roast, carrots and mushrooms.



In a skillet, on medium high, melt butter, and add all of the chopped up ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until everything starts to brown. In the last few minutes, in another skillet, cook eggs however you like them. I love over easy, the yolks taste so good broken on top of the hash!! Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: The Apocalypse Gene by Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark



Description From Goodreads:
With Pandemic ravaging the globe, Olivya's psychic Sight compels her to see auras riddled with the colors of despair, and now her mother is infected.
Olivya’s only hope is the mysterious Mikah, a powerful Empath who claims the Pandemic is linked to his clan, the Kindred, and their brooding, monstrous, Immortal Lord. But can she trust this boy who can manipulate her very emotions?

With Mikah's aid, Olivya races to unearth Kindred secrets, desperate to find a cure, only to discover the Pandemic is far, far more than a mere disease . . .


Book Trailer:


My Thoughts:
Dystopian and apocalyptic books have been some of my favorite reads lately. This book happens to be quite different from those I've read before, it has more of a mythical aspect, which is something I haven't really been interested in. It worked though and I really liked it. This book scored big points for me. The teenage main character Olivya, is African American and Japanese, and that's not something I've seen much of in this genre, so big props for that. 

It took me awhile to actually get into the book, and try to keep everyone and everything straight. When the action started though, I couldn't get enough, and wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. Olivya and Mikah are awesome main characters and I loved them together. I also loved the virtual world of Cy-Chi and thought it was genius when their Holo-Sims came alive into the real world. The setting is grim, just as you would expect the world to be, at a time like this, when cancer takes over almost everyone and the world become crazy! It really makes you think... what if??? This book is unique and so totally different than alot of books in this genre. 

I received a copy of this Ebook from the author Suki Michelle for review. This has no way influenced my opinion. 

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars! Go out and grab a copy!

The website can be found here

Monday, November 28, 2011

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich Recipe

I love my slow cooker and really need to start using it more! There are way too many good crock pot recipes out there, for me not to be trying one, at least once every week or two. We had these Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches over the weekend, and I have to say this is the BEST EVER roast recipe, even on it's own. Throw in some carrots and potatoes and make some gravy with the juice. And the leftovers (if you have any), make some pretty amazing meals too! Try it either way, you won't be disappointed!

What you need:
Appx 3- 3 1/2  pound beef roast
3 c. beef broth or 3 c. water and bouillon cubes
3/4 c. red wine, or one small individual sized bottle
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium sized onion, diced
2 tsp rosemary
nature's seasoning and pepper

4-6 french rolls
sliced provolone cheese, optional




Directions: 
Trim excess fat off of beef roast and season meat all over with nature's seasoning, pepper and rosemary. 

Pour broth or water and bouillon, and red wine into the slow cooker. Place beef roast, onions and garlic in the liquid. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

Take beef out and rest it, covered with aluminum foil, for about 15 minutes. Slice beef and return to slow cooker on low or very low for 30 minutes.

Lightly toast the bread and evenly distribute cheese between rolls, if using. Divide beef onto rolls (make sure to get those onions and garlic chunks on the sandwich too) and spoon the beef juice* into ramekins or other small bowls and eat everything while it is hot. Serve each sandwich with its own dip.

Serves 4-6.

*Note: If there is excess fat in your au jus, simply pour it from the slow cooker into a large measuring cup and let it stand for about 5 minutes so the fat separates. Skim it off, then pour the juice into serving cups.



Recipe Source: Baking Bites (slightly adapted)

This recipe was shared at:
Gooseberry Patch Recipe Round Up

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

Who loves banana cream pie?? If you do, then you'll LOVE this recipe!

I have nothing but great things to say. We've made it a few times now, and everyone just loves it. It's great for a large gathering and makes a wonderful breakfast the next morning if you have some left over! The cream is so heavenly and tastes wonderful with the bananas! You'll love it!


 

Banana Pudding (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
5 bananas, sliced
3 cups milk
1 box Nilla Wafers
1 small box instant french vanilla pudding
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1-12 oz. container Cool Whip

 Directions:
Combine the milk and pudding mix and blend using a handheld mixer.
In a separate bowl, blend together cream cheese & condensed milk until smooth.  Gradually fold in whipped cream.
Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mix & stir until well blended. Set aside.
Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with Nilla Wafers.

Slice your bananas and layer evenly on top of the wafers. 

Now, pour the mix evenly over the bananas and top off with the remaining Nilla Wafers! Enjoy!



Source: Slightly adapted from pearls-handcuffs-happyhour

Recipe photos taken by: Shannon from In Blurred Focus

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This post was updated 5/3/2014



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cabbage and Noodles Recipe

My brother was searching for a traditional kluski recipe and I stumbled across this one. We love cabbage at my house, so I knew we would have to try this. Glad we did, it is a very good recipe, and something completely different to make with cabbage. I am so blessed my daughter is not a picky eater, she loved this recipe as well! It's so cute because she is now asking with everything I make, "Mom, what ingredients did you put in this?" Too cute!

What you need:
1- 16 oz package Reames Egg Noodles (can be found in the freezer section)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 small head of cabbage, sliced into strips
1/2 c. butter
3 tsp paprika
salt and pepper



Directions:
Cook noodles according to package directions in salted water. Meanwhile, brown ground beef (I always brown my hamburger in a little bit of bacon grease for more flavor), onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a large saute pan until ground beef is cooked through.



Add butter, cabbage and paprika and continue cooking, covered, until cabbage is tender. 




Add egg noodles and heat through. Add more salt, pepper and paprika as needed depending on your taste. I really had to add quite a bit of seasoning to get the right taste. Enjoy!



Source: Slightly adapted from My Culinary Canvas

This recipe was shared at:
Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch


Strawberry Vodka Cocktail Drink Recipe

I'm always adding fruit to my drinks. It's such a yummy treat at the bottom of the glass! You could use any fresh or frozen fruit in this drink to mix it up a little. This is a great drink, and I will be making it again. Loved it!

What you need:
1 pound bag frozen strawberries, sliced and thawed
sugar
1 lime
ginger ale
vodka

Directions:
In a bowl, sprinkle sugar over sliced strawberries, enough to coat them well. (You want them to be very sweet!) Squeeze juice from one lime over the strawberry and sugar mixture. Let these set in the fridge for a couple hours before using. 

When the strawberries are ready, put a couple large spoonfuls of strawberries and syrup into a glass with ice. Add vodka and ginger ale and stir! Enjoy!



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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mushroom and Brown Rice Casserole Recipe

As soon as I stumbled on this recipe, I just knew it would be the perfect addition to Thanksgiving dinner! We had our 1st of two Thanksgiving meals today, which was at my Mom's, and this dish turned out to be a big hit! I'm not a cottage cheese person whatsoever, so I was kinda skeptical, but after it's baked, you don't even know it's there! It's also a great, healthy addition to any meal. If you are a mushroom lover like myself, you definitely need to try this one out!

What you need:
2 tsp olive oil
8 oz package white mushrooms, sliced
8 oz package baby bellas, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 c. cooked brown rice, at room temp
2 eggs
1 c. small curd cottage cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1/3 c. parmesan cheese, divided
salt and pepper



Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish.  In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper in the olive oil, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.  



Add the rice to the skillet and stir to combine. (at this time I put the rice mixture into the baking dish, let it cool and refrigerated overnight to quicken prep time the next day, but you can just continue to the next steps if you'd like to make the whole recipe at once)

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper until smooth.  Add to the rice mixture and stir gently until well blended.  Sprinkle most of the Parmesan over the top, reserving a bit for finishing.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for 20-30 minutes more, until the top is lightly browned.  Top with remaining Parmesan. Enjoy!



Source: Slightly adapted from Annie's Eats

This recipe was shared at:
Rice and Beans Linky at Meet Penny

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Caramelized Baked Chicken Legs or Wings Recipe

Here's another one of those GREAT recipes for all you chicken lovers! The marinade is so fast to put together. You can marinade for a couple hours or just pour over the chicken and baste periodically while baking. The marinade caramelizes all over the chicken and is just so flavorful and good. I would definitely try this recipe with wings for a great appetizer! 

What you need:
2 pounds chicken legs, thighs or wings
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (prevents sticking)
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
3/4 c. honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper



Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish, lined with aluminum foil. Mix together the olive oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper.



3. Pour mixture over chicken and bake for about 1 hour or until sauce is caramelized, basting or turning chicken every 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!



Beer and Brown Sugar Sausage & Sauerkraut Recipe

As most of my heritage is German, I am a huge sauerkraut lover! This is different though, the beer and brown sugar makes it so sweet and takes the sour edge off. So, if you are not usually a sauerkraut lover, try this recipe and you may change your mind!

I am not a beer lover though, in fact, I had to get a can from my Mom, in order to make this recipe! (Thanks Mom!) I also cooked it in the oven to make it faster, but would also be fabulous in the slow cooker as the original recipe stated, found at Brown Eyed Baker. Enjoy!

What you need:
12 oz beer, can or bottle
1 c. brown sugar, light or dark
3 pounds beef or pork sausages, kielbasa etc
1- 32 oz jar sauerkraut
1 large onion, sliced


Directions:
Combine the beer and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts and the mixture slightly thickens, set aside.

Cut sausage into links and place in the bottom of a baking dish or crock pot. Cover with sliced onions and sauerkraut. Pour beer and sugar mixture over top.



Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour or in a slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours.


Serve it on it's own, or in a brat bun!


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Italian Spaghetti Recipe, A Favorite From My Childhood!

Mom's recipes, yum! Who doesn't love the good comfort foods from your childhood. This is another one of those recipes my Mom always made, and with a small variation (diced tomatoes), it is still a family favorite. It's not too often anymore that I use boxed food or mixes, but this will always be an exception! My daughter requests this meal more than any other! It is also very quick, so great as a week night meal!

You need:
1 pound vermicelli pasta, cooked
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2- 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1- 1.5 oz package spaghetti sauce mix
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper


Directions:
In a large saute pan cook ground beef, garlic, onions, salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning until beef is no longer pink. 
The ground beef I buy is very lean, so I usually put a small amount of leftover bacon grease in the pan when browning the beef. It adds so much flavor, it's amazing! I don't brown burger any other way!


Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, packet mix, pepper and remaining 1 tsp of Italian seasoning. At this time, I start cooking the noodles, and let the sauce simmer while the noodles are cooking. Plate noodles and sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese!


Enjoy!

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Apple & Cranberry Vodka Cocktail Drink Recipe

My friend Amanda and I wanted to test out a new drink recipe this weekend. This one was found on Pinterest (of course) and it turned out really good! We changed up the measurements of each ingredient a little from the original to get the perfect mixture. This would be so tasty to make up and serve at a holiday dinner. Enjoy!

What you need:
1 c. vodka
2 c. apple juice
2 c. cranberry juice
ginger ale

Directions:
Stir vodka, apple juice, and cranberry juice in a pitcher. Fill glasses with ice, and pour in vodka, juice mixture until glass is 3/4 full. Top off with ginger ale and stir! Enjoy! 4 servings


The original recipe was found at: What Katie Ate

This recipe was shared at:
 Foodie Friday
It's Fall Y'all at Love Bakes Good Cakes


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Easy Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

This is a great weeknight meal. It's super fast, easy and tasty! Eat it alone, or with some egg rolls. It works both ways. My daughter and I both love it!

What you need:
1 large chicken breast, cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1- 10 oz bag Birds Eye Steamfresh White Rice with Mixed Veggies (or 2 c. of any cooked rice)
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
salt and pepper
olive oil






Directions:
First start off by cutting the chicken breast into small pieces. In a bowl coat chicken with 1/2 tbsp of each teriyaki and soy sauce and salt and pepper. Meanwhile dice garlic and onions and slice mushrooms. Cook rice in microwave according to directions.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium-medium high heat. Saute chicken, onion, garlic and mushrooms until chicken is cooked through. 


 Add rice, remaining 1 tbsp of each soy and teriyaki sauce and salt and pepper. Saute for a few more minutes. Add both eggs and and continue to saute until eggs are cooked. Enjoy!


This recipe was shared at:


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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cuban Black Bean Soup Recipe

I really love getting emails from different websites that include recipes. This one was found in an email from Eat Better America and I knew it was one I had to try! We eat tons of black beans around our house, so this seemed like a perfect fit. It turned out delicious, with the few changes I made from the original. Serve it with some Cumin Garlic Bread!

What you need:
1 medium onion,diced
4 cloves garlic,diced
1 green pepper, diced
6 c. beef broth
3/4 c. apple juice
2- 15oz cans black beans, rinsed
1 ham steak, diced
3/4 c. instant brown rice
1-1/2 c. tomatoes, diced
1-1/2 tsp. oregeno
2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
olive oil
diced hard boiled egg (optional)



In a stock pot over medium, medium high heat, saute onion, garlic and green pepper in some olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add beef broth, apple juice, black beans, ham, rice, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, cook over medium heat for a half hour to 45 minutes or until veggies are tender! Top with diced hard boiled egg! Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from: Eat Better America

This recipe was shared at:
Strut your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters' Stuff

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain


Description from Goodreads:

Maya and Rebecca Ward are both accomplished physicians, but that's where the sisters' similarities end. As teenagers, they witnessed their parents' murder, but it was Rebecca who saved Maya from becoming another of the gunman's victims. The tragedy left Maya cautious and timid, settling for a sedate medical practice with her husband, Adam, while Rebecca became the risk taker.
After a devastating hurricane hits the coast of North Carolina, Rebecca and Adam urge Maya to join them in the relief effort. To please her husband, Maya finally agrees. She loses herself in the care and transport of victims, but when her helicopter crashes into raging floodwaters, there appear to be no survivors.
Forced to accept Maya is gone, Rebecca and Adam turn to one another—first for comfort, then in passion—unaware that, miles from civilization, Maya is injured and trapped with strangers she's not certain she can trust. Away from the sister who has always been there to save her, now Maya must find the courage to save herself—unaware that the life she knew has changed forever.

Book Trailer:


My Thoughts:

Diane Chamberlain is one of those special kind of authors. You know, the ones where you love every book you've ever read by them. Yep, she is. 

The Lies We Told is so interesting from the very beginning. The author alternates chapters between the two sisters, Rebecca and Maya, as she tells their story. I really liked the behind the scenes in disaster relief from Rebecca's chapters and I loved everything about Maya and Simmee's story. The two settings and back rounds were so different for each sister, it was almost like reading two books in one. It was so easy to get totally lost in the book and wanting to keep reading to find out what happens next. The ending was perfect and it was an excellent book overall! If you haven't read a book by Diane Chamberlain yet, go out and get one ASAP! I also highly recommend The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes and The Midwife's Confession!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!!




 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Capellini al Fresco Recipe

This recipe is amazing. It's been a family favorite for quite a few years. One of our local restaurants, Ciatti's, here in St Cloud MN, serves this dish. They were closed down for a couple years, so we did some experimenting, and came up with this copycat. I personally like it better than theirs, so I was excited I could make it at home for a fraction of the cost. When I have fresh basil and tomatoes in the summer, I make it at least weekly. It turns out perfect every time! It is also great topped with grilled chicken breast, or grilled shrimp.



 

Capellini al Fresco (print recipe)

What you need:
1/2 pound Capellini or vermicelli noodles, cooked
10 Campari tomatoes, quartered (can also use roma or grape)
1/2 red onion, chopped (optional)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1- .75 oz package fresh basil, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan

Directions:
Cut tomatoes into quarters and place in a bowl of heavily salted water. Let them soak for about a 1/2 hour before cooking.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil (don't be afraid to use alot as you need it to coat all of the pasta). Over medium heat saute onions, garlic, salt and pepper until tender about 7 minutes.

Drain tomatoes and add them to the frying pan. Salt and pepper again. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. (You want the tomatoes slightly cooked, but not falling apart)

Add freshly chopped basil.

Toss with pasta. Add more olive oil if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese! Enjoy!!

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