Hot Eats and Cool Reads: March 2012

Mar 31, 2012

Product Review and Recipe! Pan Fried Swai with the House Fish Seasoning From The Mystic Blue Spice Company



I am so glad I decided a few months back to make a Facebook page for my blog. I have discovered so many new people, companies and blogs to interact and network with. It has been awesome! When I saw that The Mystic Blue Spice Company was running a special on their House Fish Seasoning, I knew I had to buy some and give it a try!


This recipe is my second time using it, and I really love the flavors. It's so unique and fresh tasting. The main spices used in this seasoning are lemon pepper, dill, tarragon and onion. There are some other various spices as well. I really like this product and will be ordering some other spices and sea salts in the future! They would make great gifts too! I also love supporting and buying from smaller companies. You can purchase through their website here and visit their Facebook page here!

Pan Fried Swai

What you need:
3-4 frozen Swai Fillets, thawed
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
The Mystic Blue House Fish Seasoning
salt and pepper

Directions:
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Season fish with fish seasoning, salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot, add the fish and fry for about 4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness of the fillet) or until fish is cooked through.


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Enjoy!!  


Mar 30, 2012

Fresh Peach and Pineapple Salsa Recipe



One thing I love about summer is fresh, garden tomatoes! This post is an "I wish it were summer" kind of post. I am craving some great, garden fresh salsa, but since it is March in Minnesota, I have to settle with store bought tomatoes for now. I really love how versatile salsa is. You can pretty much add any ingredients you have, and it works. I just love the sweetness the peaches and pineapple adds to this, but you can leave them out if the taste isn't for you. If you like more heat, add jalapeno!

What you need:
tomatoes, diced
garlic, minced
pineapple, diced
red onion, finely diced
peaches, diced
anaheim pepper, diced
canned black beans, rinsed and drained
red or green pepper, diced
cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

Mar 28, 2012

Homemade Pan Pizza Crust Recipe

Enjoy pizza night at home with this no fail pan crust recipe! Just like the restaurant, but homemade! 


Enjoy pizza night at home with this no fail pan crust recipe! Just like the restaurant, but homemade! Homemade Pan Pizza Crust Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads


This is my first ever attempt at making a homemade pizza crust! Pan pizza from Pizza Hut is my favorite, so I thought I'd give this recipe a try! 

Mar 27, 2012

Book Review: That White Girl: A Novel by J. Love



Description from Goodreads:
What happens when a white girl flirts with the color lines and crosses the border into gang territory, where the bullets are in part real and the rules cannot be broken? JLove tells this incredible story inspired by her own remarkable life.
Amber, a fearless white girl, has a passion for rap lyrics and an addiction to graffiti, but her journey begins when she becomes immersed in the power and grind of gang life after holding a gun to an innocent man's head during a robbery.
That White Girl is a sharp and candid coming-of-age story, with hip-hop as its backdrop, that explores a young woman's struggles and triumphs as she crosses boundaries, discovers her own limits, and finds a new way to express herself in a world divided into black and white.

My Thoughts:
This book started off slow, but after getting through 1/3 of the book, it finally started to pick up. This isn't your typical "urban fiction" as the main character is white. Amber is naive and decides she wants to runs the streets and joins the crips gang. The book follows her through high school, college and then a few years after college. She gets involved in drinking, drugs, graffiti, robbery and a few other crimes through high school. She finally starts to straighten up her life in college, but encounters many other obstacles that affect her life. She eventually finds herself and things fall into place. There were parts of this book that were very interesting, and some parts fell short but overall it was a good read. 

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Mar 26, 2012

Mom's Tuna and Pea Pasta Salad Recipe

This tried and true family favorite is simple, affordable and delicious! Perfect for picnics, BBQ's, game day or any potluck!

Mom's Tuna and Pea Pasta Salad


This tried and true family favorite is simple, affordable and delicious! Perfect for picnics, BBQ's, game day or any potluck! Macaroni noodles, canned tuna and canned peas make this salad super easy to make!


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Mar 25, 2012

Swiss, Chicken and Spinach Muffins Recipe



I had quite a bit of Spinach leftover from the Pasta Fresca recipe I posted last week, so I decided to whip up these tasty muffins for dinner earlier this week. Wow, they turned out so good! The combination of ingredients were amazing and you could serve this as dinner or also as an appetizer! It would be so easy to change up the ingredients as well according to what you have on hand. I just love using a tube of biscuits for everything lately! Check out my Mini Garlic Monkey Bread or Farmhouse BBQ muffins for some other great biscuit ideas! Enjoy!!

What you need:
2 c. cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
3 c. raw baby spinach
1 1/2 c. fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese, plus more for topping
1- 7.5 oz. tube of biscuits
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate biscuits and flatten each one into a 5 inch circle. Place one biscuit in each muffin cup in the muffin pan. (you will have 10 total, not 12)

In a medium skillet, saute spinach, mushrooms, seasoned with salt and pepper, in some olive oil until spinach starts to wilt. Add chicken and saute for a couple more minutes. remove from heat and mix in the swiss cheese. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the chicken and spinach mixture into each biscuit and top with a sprinkle more of the swiss. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

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This recipe was shared at:
Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch
Recipe of the week at Family Fresh Meals
Fabulous Friday at My Crowded Kitchen
Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Show me What you Got at Our Delightful Home
Recipe Linky at Newlyweds
Look What I Made at A Thrifty Mom
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
Scrumptious Sunday Link Party at Addicted to Recipes
Favorite Things Friday at Gabriel's Good Tidings
Makin You Crave Monday at Mrs Happy Homemaker
Mix it up Monday at Flour Me With Love
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
 


Mar 22, 2012

Stovetop Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This recipe may be quick and easy, but it's pure comfort food! Ready in less than 20 minutes! 

Stovetop Velveeta Mac and Cheese



This recipe may be quick and easy, but it's pure comfort food! Ready in less than 20 minutes and perfect side to any meal, especially on those busy weeknights. Try our childhood favorite, Cheese Spaghetti aka Stovetop Velveeta Mac and Cheese!


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Mar 21, 2012

Book Review: Darling Nikki by E.V. Adams



Description from Goodreads:
A vengeful seductress lures her ex to his murder during a staged romantic encounter, but does not realize that her jealous husband is on their trail. Nikki Johnson should be content with her marriage to millionaire real estate tycoon Duncan Johnson. But Duncan has always found it hard to trust his sexy wife, Nikki, since she abandoned her first husband to be with him. And he is right to be suspicious, uncovering an affair going on between Nikki and her ex-husband, Chance Brown.
When her son Rayshad’s girlfriend becomes pregnant and her mother reappears after a twenty-year absence, Nikki’s life is turned upside down. Things get even worse when Rayshad reveals that Chance molested him for years — right under Nikki’s nose.
Chance, a successful attorney, is just as skeptical when his once spiteful ex-wife comes back into the picture remarried claiming she’s still in love with him. He is right to be wary when Nikki pulls a gun on him. But can she get away with the perfect murder with Duncan hot on her trail?
With a mother out for revenge and a dangerous love triangle, Darling Nikki is a cunningly crafted thriller sure to keep readers guessing until the very end.

My thoughts:
Darling Nikki was an interesting and fast read. I finished it within a few hours which is rare for me these days. The story was well written and the ending was a good one. The chain of events towards the end was crazy and I had to keep reading to see what happened next! Rayshad was bogus for not revealing the real truth and his character irritated me somewhat. He seemed sneaky and sheisty right from the start. This book is a definite page turner and you will not be disappointed. I received this book from the publisher, Strebor Books, to read and review. It did not influence my opinion in any way. 

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars


 

Mar 18, 2012

Rice and Vegetable Salad Recipe



We have been having the most unusual weather here in Minnesota. It's been in the 80's for the last couple days and usually this time of the year it's in the 30's! This is the perfect weather for having a barbeque!! We got invited over to a friends house for one, so I needed to find a recipe for a salad with the ingredients I had on hand. This Rice and Vegetable salad was super easy and so flavorful! I just loved scooping it up with tortilla chips and some guacamole! It has some great flavors! Even better, it has a lime juice and olive oil sauce, so it won't spoil fast in the heat like mayo based salads do! Hope you enjoy!!


Rice and Vegetable Salad

What you need:
1/2 c. basmati rice, cooked and cooled
1- 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
3/4 c. frozen, fresh (thawed) or canned corn (rinsed)
3/4 c. tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped 
1/4 c. lime juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine beans, carrots, corn, tomatoes, parsley, onion and cooled rice. 

In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Drizzle over rice and veggie mixture and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving. 

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Mar 17, 2012

Book Review: African Americans in Minnesota by David Vassar Taylor



Description from Goodreads:
African Americans have had a profound influence on the history and culture of Minnesota from its earliest days to the present. Author David V. Taylor chronicles this rich story, using first-person accounts, newspaper articles, and a careful analysis of census records. During the territorial and early statehood periods, blacks developed communities in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Duluth, as well as rural areas, and established churches, businesses, and social organizations. Taylor recounts the triumphs and struggles of African Americans over the last two hundred years in a clear and concise narrative.

My thoughts:
This book was average in my opinion. I thought it would have more personal stories, but it was mostly alot of facts, pictures and newspaper articles. I really liked learning some of the history of African Americans in the northern part of the Unites States, because I've already read so much about the south. Overall, it was interesting and informative, and at 100 pages, not too long. I was able to get it from my local library, so I might check out some of the other books in the collection. 

I rate this 3 out of 5 stars


 

Farmhouse BBQ Muffins Recipe

Classic comfort food and easy enough for weeknights! Serve with a veggie for a complete meal!

Classic comfort food and easy enough for weeknight meals! Serve with a veggie for a complete meal! Farmhouse BBQ Muffins from Hot Eats and Cool Reads
  



This recipe is pretty much cheesy sloppy joe's baked in a cup! What's not to love about that?


Buttery Garlic Bread Recipe

A recipe perfect for any garlic lover! Easy to make and goes with any meal!


A recipe perfect for any garlic lover! Easy to make and goes with any meal! Buttery Garlic Bread Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!



Who doesn't love garlic bread?? 

It is one of my favorite things and we make different variations of it quite often! I was cooking Pasta Fresca the other night so I had my friend, Dena, make the garlic bread. 

The way she prepared it was just too good. It is very buttery and the chunks of garlic and parsley were just perfect. 

It went so well with the pasta! Enjoy!!

A recipe perfect for any garlic lover! Easy to make and goes with any meal! Buttery Garlic Bread Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

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

A recipe perfect for any garlic lover! Easy to make and goes with any meal! Buttery Garlic Bread Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

Other posts you may enjoy:  
Buttery Garlic Bread

Buttery Garlic Bread

Yield: 6 slices
Author: Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 15 Min

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of french bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Arrange 6 slices of bread on a baking sheet. 
  3. Mix the garlic and parsley with the softened butter and spread evenly on each slice of bread. 
  4. Bake for about 7 minutes, or until the bottom of the bread is browned.
  5. Broil for an additional 1-2 minutes to slightly brown top.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

299.44

Fat (grams)

7.96

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.13

Carbs (grams)

47.46

Fiber (grams)

2.04

Net carbs

45.42

Sugar (grams)

4.21

Protein (grams)

9.90

Sodium (milligrams)

592.47

Cholesterol (grams)

15.26

Hot Eats and Cool Reads is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this blog/website. You may not always have the same results I do due to variations in ingredients, humidity, altitude, cooking temperatures, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. 


You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful. I am not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual's dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual.



Mar 16, 2012

Copycat Noodles and Company Pasta Fresca Recipe

This copycat Pasta Fresca recipe from Noodles and Company is such an easy meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes! Add your favorite protein like chicken, shrimp or beef or keep it as a meatless vegetarian meal! Save money and make this restaurant favorite at home!


Copycat Noodles and Company Pasta Fresca



This copycat Pasta Fresca recipe from Noodles and Company is such an easy meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes! Add your favorite protein like chicken, shrimp or beef or keep it as a meatless vegetarian meal! Save money and make this restaurant favorite at home!


This post contains affiliate links. Hot Eats and Cool Reads may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no cost to you! Thanks for the support!


Looking for more recipes, books, food and travel fun? Follow me!


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Mar 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Liquid Assets Sartell, Minnesota


Liquid Assets is one of those gems in the St Cloud area! I have been there before, about a year ago, for breakfast, but I've been wanting to go back ever since to try something else!


They have a nice variety of sandwiches, paninis, soups and of course coffee! When I first walked in, I immediately noticed the awesome decor. It makes it so comforting! They have a good selection of tables, couches and a separate room you can reserve for small groups. 

On this visit I decided to order the Reuben Panini which comes with chips and a pickle. It was delicious! I am on a huge Reuben kick lately, so it definitely cured my craving! There is just the right amount of corned beef, swiss, and sauerkraut. It was juicy and crispy, just like I expected it to be. The bread was delicious!


For my daughter, we got the mini corn dog kids meal which came with chips, pickle and fruit snacks. This was an exceptional value for $2.50. She was more than satisfied with the amount of food she got and where do you find a regular priced meal that cheap for kids?? 


 After the meal we also decided to get some ice cream which was also a great value.
Their coffee is tasty as well! I know we will be coming back soon and often. The service was fast, the staff was very friendly and we had an overall great experience!

You can find Liquid Assets website here and their Facebook Page here! If you live in the area, please check them out!

Liquid Assets
1019 2nd St S
Sartell, MN 56377
320-230-5201

Mar 13, 2012

Hashbrown and Egg Breakfast Bake Recipe

Breakfast is amazing! I love to sleep in, so I rarely make breakfast unless we have it for dinner!Well, today I have a fantastic breakfast recipe for you!




This egg bake is oh, so, good! The eggs turn out nice and fluffy and I really like the combo of veggies. It's so simple but has such awesome flavor. It also feeds alot of people, so if there's just a few of you, try cutting the recipe in half. 


Mar 12, 2012

Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle : A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver



Description from Goodreads:
Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they'd only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

My Thoughts:
This book is very interesting. I learned so much about food, how to raise it and living a mostly self sustaining lifestyle. This is a great life that alot of us would love to live, and it's cool to read the process written out in great detail. I could just taste and smell the wonderful, fresh food as I was reading about it. I am a sucker for any fruits or veggies especially if they are garden fresh or canned homemade. Kingsolver writes in detail that makes you feel as if you were there right along side of her wishing you had access to these awesome foods. I will be keeping this book because there are some great recipes in it that I can't wait to try this summer!!

I rated this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. The reason it didn't get a full 5 stars? Some chapters had entirely too much rambling info. I did skim over quite a few parts here and there just to get back to the story. This book also took me 3 weeks to read, which means, it didn't hold my attention quite enough to want to finish fast. It was overall a great read though and packed full of lots of great info!


 


Creamy Chicken, Cheese and Black Bean Taquitos Recipe



 Mexican food is a definite favorite at our house! I always have requests from friends and family members for my Mexican themed meals and I enjoy making them! This taquito recipe turned out fabulous! Even better, it is so easy and fast to make! It has the perfect blend of spices and just the right amount of creaminess. This is something I will make again and often!

What you need:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. salsa
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 c. cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
1- 15oz can black beans, rinsed
1 c. shredded cheddar
10-15 6 inch tortillas
cooking spray
sea salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, cilantro and green onions until well combined. Gently stir in chicken, black beans and cheddar. Spoon approx 3 tablespoons of the filling down the center of the tortilla. Roll tortilla tightly around the filling and place on a cookie sheet seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the filling is gone. Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle sea salt over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are browned and crispy. Serve with sour cream, salsa or guacamole.

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This recipe was shared at:
Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch
Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Recipe Linky at Newlyweds
Look What I Made at A Thrifty Mom


Mar 11, 2012

Sparkling Leprechaun Kiss Drink Recipe or Sparkling Grinch Cocktail Recipe

This tart and sweet cocktail is so perfect for the holiday season! You can serve it for Christmas or St Patrick's Day! It combines the flavors of apple, lemon and is topped off with soda for a bubbly touch!


Sparkling Leprechaun Kiss Drink or Sparkling Grinch Cocktail Recipe (updated 11/2020)


green cocktail with red sprinkles and green straw


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Mar 10, 2012

Strawberry and Blackberry Sparkling Vodka Cocktail Recipe



This is another easy and great tasting vodka cocktail! I absolutely love the combo of strawberries and blackberries. It's very refreshing!

What you need:
fresh strawberries
fresh blackberries
simple syrup  (equal parts sugar and water heated until combined)
lime juice
vodka
lemon lime soda

Directions:
Prepare simple syrup and cool in the fridge. When syrup is cooled, add berries and lime juice and chill again for another hour before using.

Start with some ice. Spoon the berry and syrup mixture on top of the ice. Top with some vodka and lemon lime soda and stir. Enjoy!!

This recipe was shared at:
Good Recipes Online

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Mar 8, 2012

Simple Lemony Asparagus Recipe

An easy, simple and delicious springtime side dish! Goes great with chicken, fish or steak! Simple Lemony Asparagus Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies! I love to eat it raw, (it tastes like fresh peas to me!) roasted or steamed. I found this recipe while browsing online a couple weeks ago, and I new it would be the perfect thing to try now that asparagus is in season and more reasonable priced. I really loved how this turned out. The lemon is great paired with the asparagus and it tastes so fresh! I hope you enjoy!!

Simple Lemony Asparagus

by Sheena
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 6 slices lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss asparagus in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place asparagus in a glass baking dish and cover with lemon slices. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender.
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An easy, simple and delicious springtime side dish! Goes great with chicken, fish or steak! Simple Lemony Asparagus Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads


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