Hot Eats and Cool Reads: January 2012

Jan 30, 2012

Rosemary Baked Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms Recipe


 This is the perfect recipe to make during winter. The smell of chicken and potatoes roasting in the oven is heavenly and the taste of them is just as good! Total comfort food right here! You can use any veggies you want to mix it up. Try carrots, rutabagas, or any root vegetable. YUM! Enjoy!

What you need:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp rosemary, finely crushed
1 tsp garlic powder
6 chicken legs or 4 chicken thighs, skin on
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, halved and cubed
1- 8 oz container white mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, finely sliced
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix olive oil, paprika, rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and potatoes. Toss to coat well. Transfer potatoes to a 9x13 pan and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add onions and mushrooms to chicken and toss again. Take the potatoes out of the oven and stir. Add onions, mushrooms and chicken to the potatoes and bake for another 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.



Jan 29, 2012

Book Review: Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah


 Description from Goodreads:
In the rugged Pacific Northwest lies the Olympic National Forest—nearly a million acres of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. From deep within this old growth forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she offers no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past.
Having retreated to her western Washington hometown after a scandal left her career in ruins, child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates is determined to free the extraordinary little girl she calls Alice from a prison of unimaginable fear and isolation. To reach her, Julia must discover the truth about Alice’s past—although doing so requires help from Julia’s estranged sister, a local police officer. The shocking facts of Alice’s life test the limits of Julia’s faith and strength, even as she struggles to make a home for Alice—and for herself. In Magic Hour, Kristin Hannah creates one of her most beloved characters, and delivers an incandescent story about the resilience of the human spirit, the triumph of hope, and the meaning of home.

My thoughts:
This is my first book by Kristin Hannah, and I have to say I now understand why so many people love her books! A little girl, who they eventually call Alice, shows up in the middle of town. She came from the wilderness and cannot speak or communicate. Julia Cates, a psychiatrist, gets called in by her sister Ellie, who is the police chief in town to work with the little girl until her parents are found. It's not easy, but Julia and Alice have a special bond, and they start to make progress getting Alice used to life in the real world.

I felt this book was well researched and had a great storyline. It combined a little bit of mystery along with a love story and it hooks you from the very beginning! I would recommend it to anyone who likes Jodi Picoult or Diane Chamberlain!

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!











Jan 27, 2012

Lime Cranberry Muffins Recipe


 I've had a bag of cranberries hanging out in my freezer just waiting for the right recipe to come along! Today on Pinterest (of course!), I found it! I had to make a couple slight adaptations but they still turned out fabulous!! I really love how the batter turned out, so be on the lookout for other variations of these in some future posts! Muffins are a favorite week day breakfast of mine and I definitely need to make them more often!


What you need:
1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
pinch salt
1 1/2 tbsp. lime zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
extra sugar for topping (I used raw sugar)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sour cream, sugar, eggs and salt together in a large bowl. Add lime zest and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine until moistened. Add oil. Stir until batter is smooth and combined. Fold in cranberries. 

Put batter in lined muffin cups. Sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Note: You have enough batter for a 12 muffin tin and a small loaf pan. I baked the load for about 10 minutes longer than the muffins. Enjoy!!

Muffin:


Loaf!




Jan 26, 2012

Turkey and Swiss Sandwich with Cranberry Mayo Recipe

Use your leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, or deli turkey in this delicious sandwich! Make it for lunch or serve at your next game day party.

Turkey and Swiss Sandwich with Cranberry Mayo


Use your leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, or deli turkey in this delicious sandwich! It's simple to make and tastes great with the cranberry mayo, spinach, turkey and swiss cheese! Make it for lunch or serve at your next game day party.


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Jan 25, 2012

Cranberry Mayo Recipe

 
 I've been seeing so many recipes for turkey and cranberry sandwiches lately. This mayo is the perfect addition to a turkey sandwich! I loved the slight sweetness along with the savory sandwich! It is a great addition! You will love it!! I used this mayo on a Turkey and Veggie Sandwich!

What you need:
1/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. cranberry sauce
black pepper

Directions:
Combine mayo, cranberry sauce and pepper until mixed. Spread on any sandwich!! Enjoy!!

This recipe was shared at:
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Bacon, Turkey, and Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

This recipe is perfect for any grilled cheese lover! Full of bacony, cheesy goodness!

This recipe is perfect for any grilled cheese lover! Full of bacony, cheesy goodness! Turkey, Broccoli and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!


Who loves grilled cheese sandwiches?? I do! Especially non traditional ones, like this recipe! You really can't go wrong with this sandwich! It's perfect for a quick lunch when served with some soup or chips, or great for a weeknight dinner! You really can't go wrong with all these flavors! They are amazing together!! Enjoy!


Turkey, Broccoli and Cheddar Grilled Cheese
2 sandwiches

What you need:
4 slices bread
2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for buttering bread
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup small fresh broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices deli turkey breast, chopped
2-3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, if desired

Directions:
In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, broccoli, and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes, then add the turkey and bacon. Heat through and remove from heat.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Butter the outside pieces of the bread, layer the cheese, broccoli mixture and then more cheese on top. Cook in a skillet over medium high heat until both sides of the sandwich are browned and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

This recipe is perfect for any grilled cheese lover! Full of bacony, cheesy goodness! Turkey, Broccoli and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

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


This recipe is shared at: The Better Baker,


 

Jan 21, 2012

Incredible Taco Salad Recipe


 This taco salad is my absolute favorite way to use my Homemade Ground Beef Taco Meat and Homemade Spanish Rice. I crave it all the time! It's also really good mixing all the same ingredients together and eating it with tortilla chips as a taco meat and rice dip. Either way, it's so tasty and filling!

What you need:
tortilla chips, crushed
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
tomatoes
Lettuce
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Salsa

Directions:
Layer each ingredient starting with the chips, taco meat, rice, and shredded cheddar. Top with the remaining ingredients. Enjoy!!

This recipe was shared at:
Newlywed Recipe Linky

Jan 19, 2012

Mini Garlic Monkey Breads Recipe



Oh wow, these are AMAZING!! I served these with the Turkey Burger Hobo Packets and it was a great pair! I am excited to make them with some spaghetti, stuffed shells or lasagna

This recipe is so simple to make! I love garlic and I might even add more next time. I believe you can never have too much garlic!! Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!!

What you need:
2- 7.5 oz cans biscuits
6 tbsp. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. dried basil
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp (for topping) parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut biscuits into quarters and put in a bowl. Mince garlic, then add to butter and put into the microwave to melt. Then add basil and 1/4 c. parmesan to butter and garlic mixture. Pour butter mixture over biscuit pieces and gently toss to combine. Place 5-6 pieces of the biscuits into a greased or non stick 12 cup muffin tin. Top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until browned. Serve warm. Enjoy!!


Jan 18, 2012

Turkey Burger Hobo Packets Recipe

Great for camping, or at home! The burger and veggies are so delicious and perfectly cooked!

Great for camping, or at home! The burger and veggies are so delicious and perfectly cooked! Turkey Burger Hobo Packets from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!


I think I've found a new favorite tonight! I am so geeked! The recipe I originally found used ground beef. I decided to use turkey today, because I am still trying to complete the pantry challenge and I had some ground turkey in the freezer. This turned out fabulous! You can switch it up so many different ways, with so many different veggies for a whole new meal. I've made these before only using veggies, and it's incredible that way as well. 


Turkey Burger Hobo Packets

What you need:
1 pound ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 dashes worcestershire sauce
1/2 white onion, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced into coins
1 large red potato, halved and thinly sliced
1 c. sliced white mushrooms
butter (optional)
salt and pepper
dill weed
non stick spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine ground turkey, minced garlic, worcestershire, salt and pepper until mixed. Shape into 3 or 4 patties depending on how many servings you need. 

Lay out a piece of aluminum foil. Spray a little non stick spray. Place the turkey patty on the foil, then top with onions, potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. Lay a small slice of butter on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dill weed. 

Fold aluminum foil into packets around the burger and veggies and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Jan 16, 2012

Instant Mexican Rice Recipe

This quick and easy side dish recipe is great with tacos, enchiladas or burritos! Ready in less than 20 minutes and budget friendly!

Instant Mexican Rice


This quick and easy side dish recipe is great with tacos, enchiladas or burritos! Ready in less than 20 minutes and budget friendly!


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Jan 15, 2012

Sparkling Strawberry and Blueberry Vodka Lemonade Recipe

This drink reminds me of a little bit of summer during the cold Minnesota winter. Lemonade, strawberries, and blueberries are a great combo and it would be delicious with or without the vodka. This is a drink everyone will love!

What you need:
fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
fresh blueberries
simple syrup*
juice from one lime
lemon lime soda
vodka
pink lemonade

Directions:
In a bowl, combine strawberries, blueberries, lime juice and enough simple syrup to cover the fruit. Let it sit for a few hours in the fridge before using. 


Start with putting ice in a glass. Next, put a few scoops of the fruit and syrup mixture. Then add vodka, lemonade and top off with the lemon lime soda. 


Enjoy!

*Simple syrup consists of equal parts water and sugar, heated until sugar is melted, then cooled in the fridge until using.

This recipe was shared at:
Superbowl Eats and Treats Party at The Freshman Cook


Jan 14, 2012

Potato Chip Baked Chicken Recipe

Potato Chip Chicken, what a brilliant idea! I found this recipe while browsing some food blogs on Facebook the other day and knew I had to try it asap! I decided to use it with my favorite BBQ chips, Sylvia's Sweet House BBQ Potato Chips, YUM!! It turned out like fried chicken, but baked and I loved how it tasted. I will be making this again!!

What you need:
chicken thighs, legs, or wings
mayo
crushed potato chips
paprika
garlic powder
pepper

Directions:
Coat chicken with mayo using a silicone brush. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder and pepper. Roll in crushed potato chips until coated. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 


 This is recipe #8 in the Pantry Challenge hosted by Good Cheap Eats


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Jan 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Red Chicken and White Bean Chili Recipe

Warm up on a cold day with this tasty Slow Cooker Red Chicken and White Bean Chili! Simple ingredients, affordable and the crock pot does all the work for you!


chili in a white bowl next to a slow cooker.

Jan 8, 2012

Brown Sugar and Honey Garlic Glazed Carrots Recipe

This easy vegetable side dish is perfect for any meal. We love serving it during the holidays and these carrots have the most wonderful flavor from the honey, brown sugar and garlic. 


Brown Sugar and Honey Garlic Glazed Carrots


On a fork over a platter


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Copycat Chicken Rice a Roni Recipe


Skip the boxed stuff and make your own at home! Inexpensive, full of flavor and completely homemade! Copycat Chicken Rice a Roni from Hot Eats and Cool Reads


Rice a Roni is a favorite at our house. Since I've started buying less boxed and processed foods, we don't eat it very often anymore. I've seen various recipes for this online, so I had to try and make my own. It turned out delicious and so very easy to make!

Copycat Chicken Rice a Roni

by Sheena
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. instant white rice
  • 1/2 c. fine egg noodles (usually found in the Spanish foods aisle)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. onion, finely diced
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • salt and pepper, as desired
Instructions
Melt butter in a large saute pan. Add rice, noodles, garlic and onion. Saute over medium high heat until rice starts browning, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook covered until rice is cooked through about 10 minutes.
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Skip the boxed stuff and make your own at home! Inexpensive, full of flavor and completely homemade! Copycat Chicken Rice a Roni from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

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Jan 4, 2012

Crack Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

Dinner doesn't get much better than this delicious comfort food casserole! It's packed with carrots, green pepper and onion and uses easy ingredients like leftover rotisserie chicken, rice a roni and cream of chicken soup!



Dinner doesn't get much better than this delicious comfort food casserole! It's packed with carrots, green pepper and onion and uses easy ingredients like leftover rotisserie chicken, rice a


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Jan 3, 2012

Chicken, Pesto, and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe


 Here we have another pasta dish. Surprise, surprise, right?? As you may know, pasta is my favorite and I can never share too many pasta recipes! Since I had a whole bunch of basil, I decided to make Basil Pesto and create this amazing pasta dish! It turned out just the way I wanted to and it tasted amazing! Apparently, amazing, is one of the words on the 2012 banned word list, with the most votes by the way, but I love it and will keep saying it anyways ha! :)

What you need:
1- 12 oz box bow tie pasta
2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
1 large or 2 small boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes, pulsed in the food processor*
1/2 c. Basil Pesto
salt and pepper

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet and saute chicken breast, garlic, onion, salt and pepper until chicken is cooked through. Add pasta, pesto and pulsed sun dried tomatoes to the skillet with the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!!



This recipe is my first in the pantry challenge for 2012! Nothing additional needed from the grocery store! Yay!

* I made my pesto the same time as cooking this recipe so I pulsed the tomatoes in the food processor after making the pesto. You can also cut the tomatoes in strips instead of pulsing them.

This recipe was shared at:
It's a Keeper Thursday
Thriving on Thursday at Domesblissity
Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday
Newlywed Recipe Linky



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Jan 2, 2012

Basil Pesto Recipe

Basil is one of my favorite herbs. I always grow at least a couple plants every summer on my apartment patio. This is actually my first time making pesto, and I made enough extra so I could freeze some for future use. Can't wait to use it in another recipe! 

What you need:
2 c. packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c.parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Directions:
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 

If using immediately, transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese. 

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese. 



Recipe source: Food Network (slightly adapted)

What to cook with pesto:

Cream Cheese Banana Bread Recipe

I love Banana Bread. When I found this version with cream cheese added in, I knew I had to try it! I really like how it turned out and it's a nice change from the recipe I usually make! I always have ripe bananas waiting in the freezer to be used, so I really need to keep an eye out for some more banana recipes to make soon!

What you need:
3/4 c. butter, softened
1- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix butter, cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer. Mix until well blended then add the eggs. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, do not over mix. Once the dry ingredients are mixed with the wet, then add bananas and vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to one hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!


Recipe source: A Thrifty Mom website

Jan 1, 2012

New Year's Black Eyed Peas Recipe

I had to join in the southern New Years tradition of having Black Eyed Peas this year! Hopefully eating these will bring me good luck in the New Year! This is my first time making them and I loved how they turned out. What an easy recipe to simmer all day in the Slow Cooker. Serve it with cabbage and some corn bread for a great meal!

What you need:
1 pound bag dried black eyed peas
2 ham shanks
1- 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cubes chicken bouillon
4 cups water
1 tbsp vegetable oil 
salt and pepper

Directions:
Sort through your peas for any pebbles or stones. Cover the beans with water you want to make sure there is enough water so they don't dry up. They will need to soak overnight. In the morning drain off the water and discard.

Place black-eyed peas in 8 quart pot. Add the water, ham shanks, garlic, onion, chicken bouillon, oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place tomatoes in a blender or food processor, and blend until the tomatoes are liquefied. Add to black eyed pea mixture. Stir well to mix.

Cook on high for 5 hours and remove ham shanks. Remove the meat from the shanks and return meat to pot. Continue cooking on low for another 1-2 hours or until peas are tender. Enjoy!!



Source: Mommy's Kitchen (slightly adapted)

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