Hot Eats and Cool Reads: September 2011

Sep 22, 2011

Book Review: Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim

Description from Goodreads:
For seven years, Alison Arngrim played a wretched, scheming, selfish, lying, manipulative brat on one of TV history's most beloved series. Though millions of Little House on the Prairie viewers hated Nellie Oleson and her evil antics, Arngrim grew to love her character—and the freedom and confidence Nellie inspired in her.
In Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Arngrim describes growing up in Hollywood with her eccentric parents: Thor Arngrim, a talent manager to Liberace and others, whose appetite for publicity was insatiable, and legendary voice actress Norma MacMillan, who played both Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost. She recalls her most cherished and often wickedly funny moments behind the scenes of Little House: Michael Landon's "unsaintly" habit of not wearing underwear; how she and Melissa Gilbert (who played her TV nemesis, Laura Ingalls) became best friends and accidentally got drunk on rum cakes at 7-Eleven; and the only time she and Katherine MacGregor (who played Nellie's mom) appeared in public in costume, provoking a posse of elementary schoolgirls to attack them.
Arngrim relays all this and more with biting wit, but she also bravely recounts her life's challenges: her struggle to survive a history of traumatic abuse, depression, and paralyzing shyness; the "secret" her father kept from her for twenty years; and the devastating loss of her "Little House husband" and best friend, Steve Tracy, to AIDS, which inspired her second career in social and political activism. Arngrim describes how Nellie Oleson taught her to be bold, daring, and determined, and how she is eternally grateful to have had the biggest little bitch on the prairie to show her the way.  

My thoughts:

The cover of this book is totally eye-catching. If you loved Little House on the Prairie, why wouldn't you want to read a memoir from the girl who played evil little Nellie Oleson?

This book is totally hilarious. I don't think I've ever laughed this hard before reading a memoir. I really loved all of her stories about working on The Little House Set especially the one where her and Melissa Gilbert were in the wet suits in the river.... too freakin funny!!

It also has a serious aspect, her story of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her brother growing up and her parents not really being parents. How do some parents have no idea what is going on under their own roof, is beyond me. 

This book is going on my favorites list for so many different reasons. You have to read it and find out for yourself! You will not be disappointed!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!


Sep 14, 2011

Ham and Mushroom Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Great way to use leftover ham! Pure comfort food!

Ham and Mushroom Scalloped Potatoes
by Sheena

Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 4 medium potatoes, finely sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 c. ham, chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1- 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 10.5 ounce can milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8x11 glass baking dish. Layer potatoes, then onion, ham, mushrooms and cheese in the baking dish.
In a bowl, whisk together the cream of mushroom soup, milk, parsley and pepper until combined. Pour over top and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
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This recipe is shared at: The Better Baker,

Sep 11, 2011

Chicken and Barley Bake Recipe

 I found this recipe while browsing online one day. The prep is quick and it makes your kitchen smell like Thanksgiving dinner while it's baking. (One of the best smells ever IMO, makes me excited for the holidays) Anyways, this recipe is absolutely wonderful and full of flavor!! I love barley, and am excited to have another way to use other than soup. Enjoy!

What you need:
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 chicken thighs or 6 legs 
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper

  1. In a medium saucepan combine onion, carrots, broth, barley, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic. Heat mixture to boiling.
  2. Pour hot mixture into a 1-1/2-quart casserole. Arrange chicken legs or thighs on top of mixture.
  3. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F. oven for 1 hour or until barley and chicken are tender. Makes 4 servings.


Sep 7, 2011

Easy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas Recipe

I stumbled on this recipe while looking through the Sept issue of Better Home's and Garden's at the chiropractor's office, and I am so glad I was able to try it! This is one of the quickest enchilada recipes I have ever made and it has great flavor! It can be found here, at The Campbell's Kitchen website.

Of course, I cannot just leave a recipe the way it is, so I decided to add another 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of salsa to the mixture. I also added 1/2 cup cooked rice to the chicken and cheese filling. Finally I sprinkled some cheese on the top!

  I would rate this recipe 4 out of 5 stars!

Sep 3, 2011

Cajun Shrimp, Chicken and Rice Recipe

1 small onion, chopped
1/4 c chopped red, green, or orange pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp butter
1 c chicken broth
1/2 c tomato sauce
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 c instant white rice
1/4 lb shrimp
salt & pepper
1 tsp cajun seasoning

Saute onion, pepper, garlic and chicken in butter and season with salt, pepper and cajun seasoning until chicken is cooked through.
Add chicken broth, tomato sauce and vinegar, bring to boil.

Add rice and cook covered for 3 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook 5 more minutes or until shrimp turns pink!

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