Hot Eats and Cool Reads: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Linguine with Chicken, Tomatoes and Spinach Pesto Recipe




A few weeks ago, I posted the recipe for spinach pesto. This pasta recipe is one of the meals I used the pesto with. This pasta recipe turned out great and it's so easy to make if you already have the pesto prepared. It would be a great weeknight meal! Enjoy!!

Linguine with Chicken, Tomatoes and Spinach Pesto (print recipe)

What you need:
8 ounces linguine
olive oil
1 large chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 heaping tablespoons spinach pesto
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

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

Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, saute the chicken and garlic in some olive oil until chicken is cooked through. Add tomatoes, saute for another 2 minutes. Toss in the pasta and pesto and heat through. Top with parmesan and serve!

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

On the blog... one year ago:
New Years Black Eyed Peas

This recipe was shared at: 
Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thursdays Treasures at Recipes for my Boys
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch
Show & Share Wednesday at Semi Homemade Mom
Wednesday Extravaganza at Hungry Little Girl
Whimsy Wednesday at The NY Melrose Family
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My 10 Favorite Recipes from 2012

Instead of my weekly favorites post for this week, I decided to feature my 10 favorites recipes from 2012! These are some awesome recipes! I would also like to thank each and every one of you who follow my blog, pin and share recipes! I would not be here without you and 2013 will be even better here at Hot Eats and Cool Reads! Happy New Year!

Quick Peppery Cheddar Cheese Bread


Marge's Chicken Wild Rice Soup


Ground Beef, Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Shells


Shrimp with Summer Squash and Tomatoes

   
Magic Crust Custard Pie


Roasted Potato, Spinach and Parmesan Salad


Ham & Eggs in Crispy Hashbrown Cups


Rhubarb Dump Cake


Cucumber, Strawberry and Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


Short Spaghetti aka Goulash


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

On the blog... one year ago:
Moscato d'Asti with Cherries

Friday, December 28, 2012

Shrimp and Crab Dip Recipe




Happy Friday everyone!! Today's recipe is so delicious, I can't wait to share it with you. This Shrimp and Crab Dip is so easy to make and so much better than store bought! I brought this dip to Christmas at my Dad's house, and it was a huge hit! The black olives are a great addition, and add a perfect flavor to the dip. I found this recipe while browsing through a church cookbook I picked up at an antique shop or garage sale. I swear church cookbooks have the best recipes!! This recipe was no exception! 

If you still need a recipe for your New Years celebration, this is the one! You will not be disappointed! Enjoy!

Shrimp and Crab Dip (print recipe)

What you need:
8 imitation crab sticks
1 1/2 cups cooked shrimp
1/2 cup onion
1 cup celery
1/2 cup black olives
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mayo

Directions:
Put crab, shrimp, onion, celery and black olives in a food processor and chop. In a bowl, mix the shrimp and crab mixture, cheddar cheese and mayo until combined. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with crackers. 

Recipe source: 125th Anniversary Cookbook from The First Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls, MN

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

On the blog... one year ago:
Super Saucy Lasagna

This recipe was shared at:
Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch
Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thursdays Treasures at Recipes for my Boys
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch
Show & Share Wednesday at Semi Homemade Mom
Wednesday Extravaganza at Hungry Little Girl
Whimsy Wednesday at The NY Melrose Family
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

BLT Dip Recipe




Hey everyone! Sorry it's been awhile since I've posted a new recipe. This Christmas season was super busy for us, and blogging got pushed aside for a few days! My daughter and I spent alot of time with family and loved enjoying each others company. I had 4 days off work which was fantastic since time off work doesn't come often! I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas this year!

Both of our Christmas celebrations this year had an appetizer food theme, so I decided to try out this BLT Dip for Christmas at my Mom's house! I pulled it out of the oven and everyone devoured it! The flavors were fantastic and it was so cheesy. Yum! This is a great recipe for any party or gathering. We served it with tortilla and pretzel chips, but would also be fantastic with pita chips, crackers or crostinis! This is definitely a new favorite appetizer in our family! Big thanks to my sister Shannon for taking these amazing pictures for this post!


What's your favorite appetizer?

BLT Dip (print recipe)

What you need: 
1 pound bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled and divided
2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 slices of provolone cheese, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
salt and pepper, as desired
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside 1/2 cup crumbled bacon.

In a large bowl combine remaining bacon, cream cheese, mozzarella, provolone, sour cream, mayo, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, dijon, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with lettuce, tomatoes and remaining bacon. Serve immediately with crackers, pretzel, tortilla, or pita chips!!

Recipe source: Someone Left the Cake out in the Rain (slightly adapted)

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

On the blog... one year ago:
Warm Bacon & Cheese Dip


 

This recipe was shared at:
Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker
Wednesday Extravaganza at Hungry Little Girl
Whimsy Wednesday at The NY Melrose Family
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Weekly Favorites 12/15- 12/22

This is a weekly series highlighting my top 6 posts every week! They might be newer posts, or oldies. Either way, you may discover something you've missed!

Top Post of the week: Ham & Eggs on Crispy Hashbrown Cups


#2 Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies


#3 Sparkling Leprechaun Kiss

  
#4 Hashbrown & Egg Breakfast Bake


#5 Apricot Fruit Tart Dessert


#6 Sparkling Apple Cider Punch


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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sparkling Apple Cider Punch Recipe




This punch recipe is so perfect for the holidays! I just love the combo of flavors, and the longer you let it sit, the more the lemon flavor comes out. It's so refreshing and also super easy to make!! My 5 year old Ella absolutely loved it! I'm sure your family will as well! You could also swap the ginger ale for some champagne or sparkling wine to make it into a New Year's celebration cocktail! Enjoy!

Sparkling Apple Cider Punch (print recipe)

What you need:
6 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 cups grape juice
6 cups apple cider
8 cups ginger ale
3 lemons, sliced

Directions:
Heat water and sugar in a large pot until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Add grape juice, apple cider, and lemons. Refrigerate until cold and add ginger ale when serving.

Recipe source: Or So She Says (slightly adapted)

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

On the blog... on year ago:
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

This recipe was shared at:
Beverage Blog Hop at Katherine Martinelli
Weekend Potluck at 4 Little Fergusons
Tasty Thursday at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
Work it Wednesday at High Heels and Grills
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Restaurant Review: Cafe Blue Heron in Cadillac, Michigan




My sister, Step Mom and I took a trip to Traverse City, Michigan last summer from Grand Rapids and needed somewhere along the way to eat breakfast. After Shannon found Cafe Blue Heron and Bakery while browsing online, we decided it had to be the place to stop. The menu looked delicious and I really loved that they use local farm fresh eggs in their breakfast. This restaurant is located in a cute area in Cadillac and the inside is so cozy. The fresh flowers between the booths added a special touch and I loved the ceiling.


Cafe Blue Heron is also a bakery and everything in their display cases looked fabulous. I would've bought something, but it was almost 100 degrees the day we went, so it never would've survived hanging out in the car all day.


I decided to order the Tuscan Omelet. It was the best breakfast at a restaurant I've ever had. The combo of ham, caramelized onions, fresh basil and white cheddar in the omelet was perfect and it had so much flavor. It was incredible. Breakfast also came with some outstanding fried potatoes, homemade grilled sourdough toast, freezer jam and fresh fruit. The potatoes were so flavorful and the waitress explained they are soaked in oil and seasonings for awhile before they are fried. However they were made, it was on point. I also loved the grilled sourdough toast and freezer jam. You can tell everything was so fresh and they use great quality ingredients. I was more that satisfied with everything.


My sister decided to order the Pesto Scrambler which is scrambled eggs with pesto and melted asiago cheese. The meal included potatoes, toast, jam, fruit and a side of you choice of meat. These eggs were also amazing and pesto is a great addition. The meal was perfect.


My Step Mom ordered the breakfast special of the week which was the Applewood Smoked Bacon and Spinach Omelet. It came with the same sides my omelet did. She thought the flavors were great, but needed something more like cheese. It was a little on the bland side. She was happy with her meal overall.

I highly recommend this restaurant. I was super impressed and the food was top notch. I really wish I had a restaurant like this in my area. I could see myself owning a restaurant just like this. Make sure if you are ever in the Cadillac area, you stop here! You will love it!!

You can find Cafe Blue Heron at:
304 N Mitchell
Cadillac, MI 49601
231-775-5461

Their website is here and Facebook page is here!

Guest Post at The Mandatory Mooch! Sausage and White Bean Soup Recipe!


Good morning everyone!! I am guest posting today over at The Mandatory Mooch! Stop by and check out my recipe for Sausage and White Bean Soup! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!

You can find the recipe here! Enjoy and have a blessed day! :)


Monday, December 17, 2012

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe




I've never been much of a cookie baker, but with Christmas right around the corner, my daughter and I have been trying alot of new cookie recipes. I found this recipe browsing online recently and I knew it would be so perfect for the holidays. I just love the flavor and texture of these cookies. The white chocolate chips add a perfect touch. I suggest splitting this batch in half, or making a second batch using green food coloring instead of red for "green velvet" cookies. Then you can have a mixture of both colors. They are so perfect for the holidays! Enjoy!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies (print recipe)

What you need:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon corn starch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips plus extra for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Mix butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar, mix until combined. Add egg, mix until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and red food coloring, mix until combined.

To the butter mixture, add flour, cocoa, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips. 

Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into ping pong sized balls and place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes. When you take the cookies out of the oven, gently press a few white chocolate chips tip side down, into the top of the cookies for garnish.

This recipe was slightly adapted from: Gonna Want Seconds

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

On the blog... one year ago:
Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe was shared at: 
Christmas Blog Hop at Katherine Martinelli
Weekend Potluck at 4 Little Fergusons
Tasty Thursday at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
Work it Wednesday at High Heels and Grills
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations
Holiday Cookie Party at Dash Recipes
Whimsy Wednesday at Smart School House
Cast Party Wednesday at Lady behind the Curtain
Trick or Treat Tuesday at Inside BruCrew Life
All My Bloggy friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekly Favorites 12/8- 12/15

This is a weekly series highlighting my top 6 posts every week! They might be newer posts, or oldies. Either way, you may discover something you've missed!

Top post of the week: Sparkling Leprechaun Kiss


#2 Chicken and Rice Casserole from Scratch


#3 Big Crunchy Sugar Cookies


#4 Garlic Butter Baked Pollock Fillets


#5 Creamy Cranberry Salad


#6 Ham & Eggs Baked in Crispy Hashbrown Cups


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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Spinach and Walnut Pesto Recipe




I love looking through vintage cookbooks. My Aunt Linnea gave me a whole stack of Southern Living Annual Recipe Cookbooks and while I was browsing through the one for 1983, I found a recipe for Spinach Pasta. I decided to use part of the recipe and try making some Spinach and Walnut Pesto. It turned out really good. It's alot different from basil pesto. More earthy tasting and it goes great with pasta. I will be posting the pasta recipe I tried it with later this week or early next week.  

Spinach and Walnut Pesto (print recipe)  
What you need:
1/3 cup walnuts
4 cloves garlic
6 ounces fresh spinach
1 cup parsley sprigs
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper as needed

Directions:
Place the walnuts and garlic in a food processor. Process for about 15 seconds. Add spinach, parsley and parmesan cheese and process drizzling olive oil in until well combined. Add salt and pepper if needed. Store in the refrigerator or freeze with plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

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

On the blog... one year ago:
Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

This recipe was shared at:
Whimsy Wednesday at Smart School House
Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtain
Trick or Treat Tuesday at Inside BruCrew Life
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box
Meatless Monday at Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby
Marvelous Monday at This Gal Cooks
Mix it Up Monday at Flour Me with Love
Mealtime Monday at Couponing and Cooking
Foodie Friends Friday
Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker
Foodie Friday at Simple Living
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations

Monday, December 10, 2012

Collard or Turnip Greens with Smoked Turkey Recipe




There's nothing better than a huge, heaping plate full of soul food! These greens with smoked turkey are the perfect addition to that plate! I love some fried catfish and chicken, baked mac & cheese and cornbread along with some of these greens. That's one great meal! When you cook these, make sure to give your self a few hours for them to simmer while you are preparing the rest of the food. They are so full of flavor and pretty healthy too. Enjoy!

Collard or Turnip Greens with Smoked Turkey (print recipe)

What you need:
1 pound collard or turnip greens, or a mixture of both rinsed, and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1- 1 pound smoked turkey leg
water
hot sauce

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except the turkey leg in a large stock pot. Add enough water to cover 3/4 of the greens. Add turkey leg. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Remove the turkey leg during cooking, remove meat, cut into bite sized pieces, and add back to the greens. Serve with a few dashes of hot sauce.

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

On the blog... one year ago:
Fried Egg Sandwich with Avocado

This recipe was shared at:
Marvelous Monday at This Gal Cooks
Mix it Up Monday at Flour Me with Love
Mealtime Monday at Couponing and Cooking
Foodie Friends Friday
Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker
Foodie Friday at Simple Living
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Tasty Thursdays at Mandatory Mooch
Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations
Whatcha Whipped Up at DJ's Sugar Shack
Wonderful Food Wednesday at At Home Take 2
Wednesday Extravaganza at Hungry Little Girl
Whimsy Wednesday at Smart School House
All My Bloggy Friends at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training