Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Foodie Penpals Reveal!


 When I first discovered the Foodie Penpal program, I just knew I had to try it! How fun to send $15 worth of fun foods to someone, and have someone send some to you!

This is my second month participating and I was super excited to get my package. My foodie penpal Angie, said she'd like to send me some local food items, which is right up my alley. I LOVE trying new and local products!


As soon as I opened the box, I could smell one thing, CARAMEL!! Oh yum! I was so happy to discover Nifty Nut House Chocolate Caramel Popcorn. Man is this stuff addicting. It has the perfect amount of white and dark chocolate drizzled all over the caramel popcorn. Did I already say yum??


 I also got a bag of Little Bits Gourmet Cookie Bites which kinda tastes like a ginger snap but with more spice flavor. They are quite the tasty little mystery cookie!



Homemade Old Fashioned Lemon Drops were also in the box and they are SO good! I've been eating just a couple at a time so they last awhile!


Last but not least, Very Berry Nut Mix! I really loved this mixture of chocolate chips, dried berries and various assorted nuts! It is such a great snack!!

Foodie Penpals is so fun to participate in! I cannot wait to get my next package!! You can participate too! Click here for more info!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dilly Chicken and Veggie Cups Recipe


           
Eekkk! I'm so excited! I finally got a new camera today, which makes a whole world of difference when food blogging! I already love how the pictures for this post turned out, and I have NO idea what I'm doing with this thing yet, lol! 

I wanted to whip up something quick so I could get to picture taking, and I knew the perfect thing to make. We served these Dilly Chicken and Veggie Cups, a couple years ago, as an appetizer for my daughters birthday party, and they were a huge hit. These cups would also make a great after school snack. You could also switch up the ingredients depending on what you have on hand for something different everytime. The scoops chips are a perfect little cup to hold all of the ingredients. 

We found this recipe in the "Disney Magic Kitchen Cookbook" and all of the recipes in this cookbook are kid friendly, so it's fun to get the little ones involved. They have a huge variety of recipes in different categories. My daughter is super excited when she can flip through the Disney character inspired pages and pick out something fun to eat. Enjoy!!


Dilly Chicken and Veggie Cups (print recipe)

What you need:
1 cup cooked chicken, diced into small pieces
3/4 cup broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup light mayo or miracle whip
1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed or lemon pepper seasoning
 28-32 scoop shaped tortilla chips

Directions:
Put chicken, broccoli, carrots, mayo and dillweed in a bowl. Mix gently until evenly combined. Refrigerate until serving.

When you are ready to serve, scoop chicken mixture into each chip and serve!

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

On the blog...



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Roast Dinner Recipe



Slow cookers and roasts are made for each other. I love the variety of flavors you can use to change the roasts up, and how easy they are to prep. Using slow cookers during the week cuts down on cooking time in the evening, when you'd rather to be relaxing after a long day at work.

The recipe I adapted this from was found in a vintage cookbook I have called "Favorite Recipes of America: Meats". It's book 2 of a 5 part set, and they were released in the late 1960's. I love looking through them and discovering interesting vintage recipes!  

I've made alot of beef roasts in the slow cooker before, but this one has to be my absolute favorite. The tomatoes bring such an amazing flavor to the gravy, and the beef is fall apart tender. Serve with some bread or biscuits and you have a complete meal! Enjoy!!

Slow Cooker Beef Roast Dinner (print recipe)

What you need:
olive oil
2-3 pound beef roast
sugar
paprika
garlic salt
black pepper
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes, diced or one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup beef broth
salt and pepper, if desired

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Rub the roast with a light coating of sugar, paprika, garlic salt, and pepper. Sear each side of the roast in the skillet, then transfer roast to the slow cooker. Place the remaining ingredients in the crock pot on top of the roast, sprinkle with basil and pour the beef broth over the top. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 7-8 hours.

If you'd like to make gravy with the liquid, combine cornstarch and water. Add within the last 30 minutes of cooking, or make a stove top gravy by bringing to a boil to thicken.

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads Board on Pinterest here!

On the blog...



*In accordance with the FCC guidelines, if you make a purchase from the Amazon link above, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you for the referral.*

This recipe was shared at:
Beef Blog Hop at Katherine Martinelli
It's Fall Y'all at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Show & Share Wednesday at Semi Homemade Mom
Recipe Linky at Newlyweds
Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch
Work it Wednesday at High Heels and Grills
Wonderful Food Wednesday at @ Home Take 2
Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
The Bulletin Board at Mrs Happy Homemaker
Mix it Up Monday at Flour Me With Love
Mealtime Monday at Couponing and Cooking
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff
Weekend Potluck at 4 Little Fergusons
Foodie Friends Friday at A Lil Country Sugar
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations
Tasty Thursday at Mandatory Mooch
Full Plate Thursday at Miz helen's Country Cottage

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shrimp and Sausage Corn Chowder Recipe from The Busy Mom's Cookbook by Antonia Lofaso



I was super excited when I saw Antonia Lofaso's new cookbook, The Busy Mom's Cookbook, on the new release non-fiction section of my local library's website. I had to request it right away, and was so excited to check out all of the recipes once I brought it home. She was one of my absolute favorites on Top Chef! This cookbook has tons of good recipes and they all seem really easy to make. I wish there were more pictures along with the recipes, but it's still great!


This recipe for Shrimp and Sausage Corn Chowder immediately caught me eye. The flavors sounded great, and I've been wanting to try some new and different soup recipes. Even better, I had all of the ingredients at home, so it was a no-brainer! This turned out amazing and I am so glad I decided to try it. I really liked how quick and easy it was to make too. This will be added into our menu on a regular basis! Enjoy!!


Shrimp and Sausage Corn Chowder (print recipe)

What you need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound ground Italian sausage, without the casing
1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh, canned or thawed frozen corn
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped in thirds
salt and pepper, if desired

Directions:
In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil on medium high.  Add the sausage, red and green peppers, onions, salt and pepper. Saute, breaking up sausage into bite sized pieces, until sausage is cooked through. Reduce heat to medium.

Add butter to the pan. After the butter is melted, stir in the flour. There should be enough liquid in the pan for the flour to be completely incorporated. Continue stirring for another minute.

Pour in the milk and chicken stock, stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, and allow chowder to thicken for about 4-5 minutes. Stir in corn and let chowder simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer for about 3-4 minutes or until shrimp is pink and curls into itself. Remove from heat and serve!

You can find this great recipe and more in The Busy Mom's Cookbook!


 
*In accordance with the FCC guidelines, if you make a purchase from the Amazon link above, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you for the referral.*

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads Board on Pinterest here!

On the blog...

This recipe was shared at:
Manic Monday at Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
The Ultimate Soup Recipe List at Love Bakes Good Cakes
The Bulletin Board at Mrs Happy Homemaker
Mix it Up Monday at Flour Me with Love
Mealtime Monday at Couponing and Cooking
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff
Weekend Potluck at 4 Little Fergusons
Foodie Friends Friday at A Lil Country Sugar
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations
Tasty Thursday at Mandatory Mooch
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Wonderful Food Wednesday at @ Home Take 2
Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday at DJ's Sugar Shack
Recipe Linky at Newlyweds
Work it Wednesday at High Heels and Grills
Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch
Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lemon Garlic Swai or Tilapia Recipe



I am a huge fish and seafood lover and I love to find and create new recipes that doesn't include breading and frying. This recipe is perfect for any whitefish and the flavors are so delicious!

The prep is fast, and it's so easy to throw it in the oven and prepare the rest of your meal while it cooks. I also love that fish is so quick to defrost, so you can easily make it for a last minute meal. We loved this one, and hope you do too! Enjoy!!


 Lemon Garlic Swai or Tilapia (print recipe)

What you need:
4 Swai, Tilapia or other white fish fillets
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
lemon slices
salt and pepper, if desired

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly grease a large baking dish. Place fish fillets in baking dish. Pour lemon juice and butter over the fillets, then sprinkle garlic, parsley, salt and pepper over the top. Lay one lemon slice over each fillet. 

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads Board on Pinterest here!

On the blog...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: Goodness and Mercy by Vanessa Davis Griggs



Description from Goodreads:
As Pastor George Landris welcomes a new member to the Followers of Jesus Faith Worship Center, jealousy begins to shake up the congregation...

Gabrielle Mercedes has dreamed of being a dancer since she was a little girl. But when her life takes a very different turn, it's nt the future she'd envisioned for herself. Feelig a void she can't fill, she fid the salvation she's been seeking in chuch and decides to start anew. Learning that her church has a dance ministry, she's thrilled to have her first love back in her life. Then she meets the handsome and professionally accomplished Zachary Wayne Morgan, and finally everything seems to be falling into place - until a past secret threatens to tear it all apart, and her newfound faith is put to the ultimate test....

My thoughts:
This is the second book I've read by Vanessa Davis Griggs in the last month, and I must say I am really digging her writing! This book is the fifth in an eight book series, with the newest one being released in December

Gabrielle Mercedes has had a rough life and it seems that all odds are against her. After almost losing her life from an attack late at night, after work as an exotic dancer, she decides to check out a local church. After attending and making a few friends, she decides to join and give her life to God. 

There are issues with the church congregation learning of her past and not liking it, as well as people embracing her with open arms. Gabrielle goes through alot of struggles, but keeps her head up and stays away from the devils grasp. 

This book is great overall and keeps you interested from start to finish. I'm not much of a Christian fiction reader, but this book definitely has an awesome story to tell. 

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cavatappi Pasta with Tomatoes, Pesto and Mozzarella Recipe



Lately I find myself wanting more meatless recipes in my meal routine. This pasta is the perfect meatless meal and is so quick and easy to prepare!

I love the flavor combo of the fresh tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella. It's one of my favorites. This recipe is perfect served with your favorite garlic bread and a simple salad.  Enjoy!


 Cavatappi Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella (print recipe)

What you need:
3/4 pound cavatappi pasta, cooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cherry, grape or pear tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons basil pesto
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse and set aside.

In a large saute pan, saute garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes, Add tomatoes, pesto, salt and pepper and cook for another few minutes. Add pasta, fresh basil and mozzarella, stir to combine and remove from heat. Top with parmesan and serve!

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!


Recipe source:
Alexandra Cooks (slightly adapted)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef and Tomato Vegetable Soup Recipe



One of my favorite things about fall and winter is making some hot, comforting soups or stews. I have been craving soup for the last few weeks and I finally broke down and made some slow cooker soup. The prep for this recipe is pretty quick and I really like how it turned out. I love the strong tomato flavor in the broth, and the big chunks of veggies are delicious. It was so warm and yummy! Enjoy ;)

Slow Cooker Beef and Tomato Vegetable Soup (print recipe)

What you need:
1 cup onions, diced
4 large carrots, peeled, halved and sliced into 1 inch pieces
3 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1- 8 ounce container white mushrooms, sliced
1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1 pound beef stew meat (raw or cooked, I used leftover steak)
3 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced 
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
salt and pepper, if desired

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours until all veggies are tender.

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

On the blog...
One year ago: Book Review Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

This recipe was shared at:
The Ultimate Soup Recipe List at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Mealtime Monday at Couponing and Cooking
Mix it Up Monday at Flour me With Love
The Bulletin Board at Mrs Happy Homemaker
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff
Foodie Friday at Simple Living
Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtain
Work it Wednesday at High Heels and Grills
Wonderful Food Wednesday at @ Home Take 2
Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box
Whatcha Whipped Up at DJ's Sugar Shack
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Honey, Garlic and Lime Shrimp Recipe



This is a great recipe for shrimp! I really love the mixture of honey, garlic and lime. The marinade is easy to make, and it takes no time at all to cook the shrimp. My daughter and I both are huge shrimp fans and I just love trying new shrimp recipes. This is a recipe I will be making it often for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.


Honey, Garlic and Lime Shrimp (print recipe)

What you need:
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
zest from one small lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt, pepper
olive oil

In a bowl combine all ingredients except shrimp. Mix well. Add shrimp. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.

In a large skillet, lightly drizzle olive oil and heat over medium high.When the skillet is hot, add shrimp, the garlic and half of the marinade and cook until shrimp are pink, flipping once. Remove from pan, drizzle with some of the garlic and sauce, and serve immediately.

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads Board on Pinterest here!

On the blog...

Recipe Source: The Dough Will Rise Again (slightly adapted)

This recipe was shared at:
Honey Blog Hop at Katherine Martinelli
Gluten Free Fridays at Vegetarian Mamma
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff
Foodie Friday at Simple Living
Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Cast Party Wednesday at Lady behind the Curtain
Work it Wednesday at High Heels and Grills
Wonderful Food Wednesday at @ Home Take 2
Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box
Whatcha Whipped Up at DJ's Sugar Shack
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
Mix it up Monday at Flour Me With Love
Mealtime Monday at Couponing and Cooking
The Bulletin Board at Mrs Happy Homemaker
Scrumptious Sunday at Addicted to Recipes
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals

Friday, September 14, 2012

Restaurant Review: Duluth Grill, Duluth, MN



The instant I saw Duluth Grill on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, I just knew I had to eat there! Lucky for me, Duluth is only a few hours north of where I live, so when my sister was here visiting last week, we decided to go eat breakfast before our tour of Glensheen Mansion!

The menu is AMAZING! It took forever to decide what to eat and I could've ordered one of everything. The next time I make it up that way, I would love to try their lunch or dinner menu. It's great that they have the foods Guy tried on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives marked, so it makes for easy ordering if you'd like to try something featured on the show.

This restaurant is at the top of my foodie restaurant list! I just love that they use local and organic ingredients and I got a kick out of the rhubarb plants growing near their parking lot! The prices are really reasonable too, which makes it a "must stop" place when you are in the area! I cannot rave enough!

Now for the food!

See these GIANT cinnamon and caramel rolls?? Yep, I thought so. They are kinda hard to miss! You can add them to your Omelet meal for just $1.00 extra!! What a bargain! They were both excellent tasting and so soft and ooey gooey! YUM! Make sure you get one of these!




I ordered the Smoked Salmon Omelet which also had havarti cheese and dill. I am a huge salmon and breakfast fan, so this omelet was the perfect combo for me! It came with your choice of a few sides and I decided to have the Red Flannel Hash. This hash is a combo of sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, onions and bell pepper and is oven roasted. I really loved all of these flavors together and it was so earthy and yummy tasting! This was overall a GREAT breakfast!


My sister Shannon ordered the Mexican Omelet and hash browns! What a great plate of food! This omelet is quite unique. In addition to chorizo, peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, they also add broccoli! Yum! 


My Auntie Linnea ordered the Huevos Rancheros Skillet. It looked amazing and she loved it! It included hash browns, a crispy fried tortilla, spicy beans, a roasted corn medley and eggs, topped off with sour cream and pico de gallo and cheese! For an additional $1, you can add chorizo or fiesta chicken!


 We had to take a pic with the Guy sign!

You will not be disappointed in the food at Duluth Grill! 

You can find Duluth Grill at:
I-35 and 27th Ave West Duluth, MN
218-726-1150
Their website can be found here and Facebook page is here!

On the blog...
One year ago: Scalloped Potatoes

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pesto and Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes Recipe



I have tomatoes coming out of my ears right now! It is pretty much the end of tomato season in Minnesota and all of my plants are ripening at the same time. This recipe is a great one to use up some of those tomatoes. I am a huge pesto and tomato lover, so what better than to combine them for a quick and easy side dish! You will love these! Enjoy!!

Pesto and Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes (print recipe)

What you need:
3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced in 1/4-1/2 inch slices
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1/4 cup basil pesto
parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt pepper and Italian seasoning. Bake for about 10 minutes and then top with pesto and parmesan cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!


This recipe was shared at:
Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtain
Work it Wednesday at High Heels and Grills
Wonderful Food Wednesday at @ Home Take 2
Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box
Whatcha Whipped Up at DJ's Sugar Shack
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
Mix it up Monday at Flour Me with Love
Meatless Monday at Healthy Mommy Healthy Baby
Mealtime Monday at Couponing and Cooking
The Bulletin Board at Mrs Happy Homemaker
Scrumptious Sunday at Addicted to Recipes
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker
Gluten Free Friday at Vegetarian Mamma
Foodie Friends Friday at A Lil Country Sugar
Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs
Thursdays Treasures at Recipes for my Boys
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch