Hot Eats and Cool Reads: March 2013

Mar 27, 2013

Peachy Tropical Fruit Salad Recipe

This super easy tropical fruit salad is great for breakfast, snack or dessert! We love serving it at parties, picnics, holidays and BBQ's!


Peachy Fruit Salad



This super easy tropical fruit salad is great for breakfast, snack or dessert! Peaches, pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, banana and apples give this salad a wonderful flavor. We love serving it at parties, picnics, holidays and BBQ's!



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Mar 25, 2013

Cappuccino Cream Pudding Recipe






My daughter and I were browsing through some cookbooks this past weekend hoping to find some fun recipes to make together. We came across this recipe in a Philadelphia Cheesecakes, Appetizers & More cookbook! What a fantastic book of recipes. I am a huge cream cheese lover, and this book gives you so many great ideas using cream cheese. I cannot wait to try some others! You can find the link to purchase this cookbook at the bottom of the post!

Back to the recipe. We just loved how this turned out! The coffee gives it an amazing flavor, and it's so smooth and creamy. The cream cheese also adds another depth of flavor that is just amazing! This would be a perfect addition to Easter brunch or dinner as a quick and easy dessert! Enjoy!

Cappuccino Cream Pudding (print recipe)

What you need:
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1- 4 serving sized package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1- 8 ounce tub cool whip, thawed and divided
shaved chocolate for garnish

Directions:
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add coffee and milk, beating until mixed. Add pudding mix and cinnamon. Beat on low for about 2 minutes. Then let stand for about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping. 

Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with remaining whipped topping and chocolate shavings.

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

On the blog... one year ago:
Swiss, Chicken and Spinach Muffins

 
This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

Mar 24, 2013

Book Review: Miss Nobody (Shaw Family Saga #1) by Nicole Dunlap




Summary from Goodreads:
How far will you go for fame? Fifteen-year-old Charlene Shaw runs away from her small hometown in North Carolina to become an actress. She meets a truck driver, the gold cross around his neck is a good sign that he will get her closer to her dreams; right? On the self destructive road to stardom, Charlene’s using everything in her path to erase the past and the baby she abandoned—her daughter, Raven. Just thinking about Raven sends chills of fear down Charlene’s spine.
Raven Shaw grows up in her mother’s tight-knit town and has been dubbed “Miss Goodie Two Shoes.” Though she is head of the children’s choir, nothing can pacify her rage when someone gossips about her mom—she takes up for a woman she doesn’t even know. The gossip just can’t be true, so Raven decides to learn about her mom. Learning about mom brings her closer to love. Now Raven knows she can’t be entirely devoted to the man that has her heart until she learns why Charlene neglected her.
Mother’s and daughter’s path collide, Raven asks her mother two requests—two family secrets that can ruin both of their lives. Leading Charlene and Raven down the shadowy road of feeling like a “Miss Nobody.”


My thoughts:
The author, Nicole Dunlap recently contacted me to read and review the second book in this series. I never read series out of order if possible, so I knew I had to read this one first!

I really loved this story. It was very well written and I couldn't wait to read the next twists and turns in Charlene and Raven's stories. Charlene abandoned Raven, she then was raised by Charlene's parents. Raven gets to the point in her life where she wants to know more about her mother, and starts digging for answers. At the same time, it seems like Charlene could give a crap less about her daughter, and is only on a selfish mission to stardom in Hollywood. 

Truths come out, lies are kept hidden and there is some drama along the way. Raven falls in love, Charlene also falls in love, but both of their relationships are complicated in completely different ways. Through this book we read each of their stories, from their point of view and it keeps the pages turning. This book did not disappoint and I am excited to read the second part in the series. I am so glad the author contacted me, otherwise I may never have found this great story. I recommend this book for anyone who loves a great story.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Mar 22, 2013

Restaurant Review: Old Capital Tavern in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

I cannot begin to explain how excited I was when Old Capital Tavern opened in June of 2012. See, I live in St Cloud, Minnesota, the land of chain and fast food restaurants. There are a couple handfuls of restaurants that don't fit that category. Seriously, this city sucks for foodies like me. Just sayin. 

Anyway, back to Old Capital Tavern. Awesome food, awesome beer & wine and awesome atmosphere. The staff is friendly and attentive. Everything you could ask for when it comes to restaurants! 

This review is based upon my 3rd visit. Both of my previous visits were awesome and this time was no exception. My neighbor, Jade and I started off our meal with a glass of wine and a glass of hard cider.

We both ordered our entrees and decided to order the side salad instead of fries, for an extra couple bucks. What a great choice. This was one of the best side salads I've ever had. Nice, crispy, mixture of lettuce and tons of toppings. I was also excited to try the white balsamic vinaigrette, which was fantastic. I'm going to have to try and make some at home. (maybe a future blog post!) 


Jade ordered the fish tacos, which I can say were amazing. I had them on one of my previous visits and Jade loved them as well. Breaded fried fish on a corn tortilla, topped with cheese, sauce, slaw and a black bean and corn pico mixture. Yumminess! 


I once again had to order the Catfish Po'boy. This sandwich is huge and so full of flavor. Fried catfish, creole sauce and slaw. Definitely worth ordering, twice! What more can I say?


(Note to self... bring blogging camera next time.) These pictures are not the best. You get the point though :)

This is one restaurant in the St Cloud area you want to check out asap! The food prices are comparable with any other sit down restaurant in the area, but you won't find this level of quality at many of those places. The rest of their menu is very unique and I cannot wait to go back and try out some other food!

Old Capital Tavern
2 North Benton Drive
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
320-291-4541
Their website can be found here!

Mar 20, 2013

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Banana Quick Bread Recipe

Use your ripe bananas in this delicious quick bread recipe! Made with crunchy Reese's Pieces and peanut butter topped with a wonderful peanut butter glaze! Such a tasty snack, breakfast or dessert!


Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Banana Bread


Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Banana Bread loaf on platter



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Mar 18, 2013

Cheesy Chicken and Bacon Tater Tots Recipe

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This easy and delicious appetizer or dinner is kid approved and the adults love it too! Great for parties or any other occasion!


Cheesy Chicken and Bacon Tater Tots


Cheesy Chicken and Bacon Tater Tots Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads! This easy and delicious appetizer or dinner is kid approved and the adults love it too! Great for parties or any other occasion!


Party food and appetizers are some of my favorite foodie eats!

I love choosing a bunch of different bites to try while I'm sipping on some wine or hard cider.

Mar 14, 2013

Green Apple Martini Recipe




I'm not much of a hard liquor drinker. Wine is usually my drink of choice. I've had a bottle of apple pucker sitting in my fridge for months, so I decided to whip up this yummy martini to use some of it up. The cinnamon sugar rimmed glass makes this drink complete!! Please don't skip this step... trust me!! It is heaven! If you'd like to make this drink more festive looking for St Patrick's day, just add a drop of food coloring when mixing! Enjoy!!

Green Apple Martini (print recipe)

What you need:
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce green apple pucker
2 ounces lemonade
2 ounces lemon lime soda
cinnamon and sugar for rimming

Directions:
Wet the rim of the glass with vodka or apple pucker. Fill a saucer or bowl with cinnamon and sugar. Dab the rim in the cinnamon sugar mixture, slowly turning glass so the outer edges are covered. 

Combine vodka, pucker, lemonade and soda. Pour into rimmed martini glass. Enjoy!


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

On the blog... one year ago:
Pasta Fresca inspired by Noodles and Company

This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

Mar 13, 2013

Roasted Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions and Asparagus Recipe

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Comfort food that's so hearty and delicious! Perfect addition to any holiday meal! Roasted Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions and Asparagus Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



There is something so comforting about roasted veggies. I could eat a whole plate and then some. This recipe turned out delicious! I just love adding asparagus, it's one of my favorite things about this time of the year. Mushrooms are also a favorite around here, so we had to add them in too. Enjoy!



Roasted Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions and Asparagus

by Sheena
Ingredients
  • 6 medium sized red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 stalks of asparagus, ends removed and halved
  • shredded parmesan
Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add potatoes and boil for 8 minutes or until potatoes are slightly fork tender. Remove from heat and drain.
Combine the potatoes, onion, mushrooms, olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Bake for 20 minutes. Add the asparagus and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until asparagus are tender. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
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Comfort food that's so hearty and delicious! Perfect addition to any holiday meal! Roasted Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions and Asparagus Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

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


Comfort food that's so hearty and delicious! Perfect addition to any holiday meal! Roasted Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions and Asparagus Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Kitchen Items you may need for this recipe:


 

Other posts you may enjoy:

Mar 11, 2013

Hungarian Mushroom Soup Recipe




One of my favorite local restaurants serves Hungarian Mushroom Soup. I fell in love with it the first time I tried it there, so I decided to make it at home. This recipe is not as good as theirs, but still very, very tasty! This doesn't make a very big batch, so if you are cooking for quite a few people, I suggest doubling the recipe. This recipe would also be great with some chicken added in! Enjoy!!

Hungarian Mushroom Soup (print recipe)

What you need:
olive oil
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 cups onions, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups veggie or chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper, as desired

Directions:
Saute the mushrooms and onions in drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan for about 10 minutes. Add the dill, paprika, soy sauce, stock salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, and cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently. Add the milk, and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add to the mushroom and stock mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and sour cream. Serve sprinkled with fresh dill. 

Recipe source: food.com (slightly adapted)

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

On the blog... one year ago:
Sparkling Leprechaun Kiss

 
This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

Mar 7, 2013

Book Review: The Man in 3B by Carl Weber




Summary from Goodreads:
Meet Darryl Graham, or as his new neighbors call him, The Man in 3B. Darryl's new to the Jamaica, Queens building, but from day one he's made quite an impression on his neighbors. He has made it very clear he greatly values his privacy, but he is the man every woman wants and every man wants to be, so inquiring minds want to know. Unfortunately, in Darryl's world, what you know can hurt you, and when he winds up dead, those inquiring minds become the prime suspects.
Meet Darryl Graham, or as his neighbors call him . . .

THE MAN IN 3B

Darryl has just moved into a Jamaica, Queens, apartment building and his neighbors, both male and female alike, can't stop talking about him. From his down-to-earth personality to his extreme attractiveness to his undeniable swag, Darryl is the man every woman wants and every man wants to be. Darryl is quickly welcomed into the building and immediately becomes a part of each of the tenants' lives.

Connie, an overweight and unhappy wife, turns to Darryl for help losing weight, hoping to try and fix her crumbling marriage. But when Darryl starts making Connie feel beautiful again, she questions whether or not her marriage is worth saving. Benny, a spoiled teenager, looks up to Darryl as a role model. When an unexpected event occurs, Benny is left questioning everything he's ever known. Krystal, Darryl's first love, wants to make things work with her current boyfriend. Yet, having Darryl back in her life sends her happy home spiraling out of control. And, last but not least, Avery, Connie's husband, doesn't care about anyone or anything when a financial opportunity comes his way-that is, until he notices how much time his wife is spending with their new neighbor.

Everything seems to be going well, until someone is murdered, and everyone becomes a prime suspect.


My thoughts:
I was super excited to find out I won this book through First Reads. I have some Carl Weber books on my bookshelf, but haven't had the chance to read any yet. 

This book was very good! The drama and the characters had me turning the pages, and staying up until 1am trying to finish. Daryl is a main character everyone would love, especially the ladies. This story had a good variety of characters. The ending was somewhat predictable, but still had a few surprises and I enjoyed it alot. I will definitely be reading more books Carl Weber very soon.

The only complaint I have with this book is the misspelling of Daryl's name on the dust jacket. Throughout the whole book his name is spelled "Daryl" and the dust jacket and Goodreads description is spelled "Darryl". In my opinion, this is a mistake that should've been corrected before books were sent out for printing. He is the main character. Kind of important.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars
 

Mar 6, 2013

Linguine with Ground Turkey Meatballs and Marinara Sauce Recipe

Homemade meatballs make this delicious pasta a great dinner idea! The meatballs and sauce are a great freezer meal that you can warm in the slow cooker!

Linguine with Ground Turkey Meatballs and Marinara Sauce Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads! Homemade meatballs make this delicious pasta a great dinner idea! The meatballs and sauce are a great freezer meal that you can warm in the slow cooker!



Oh pasta, why do you have to be so good?? 

Pasta is my food addiction. I love it every way possible, and would eat it daily if I wouldn't gain hundreds of pounds as a result! 


Mar 4, 2013

Turkey, Barley and Vegetable Soup Recipe

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A tasty, hearty and healthy soup! Packed full of veggies and made with ground turkey!


A tasty, hearty and healthy soup! Packed full of veggies and made with ground turkey! Turkey, Barley and Vegetable Soup Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads




There's nothing like a good, hearty bowl of soup to warm you up, especially in these Minnesota winters. 

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