Hot Eats and Cool Reads: June 2013

Jun 29, 2013

Berries with Sweet Mascarpone Cream Recipe

The perfect and easy no bake patriotic dessert for Memorial Day or July 4th! Also great for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day or just because! The berries are so delicious with the sweetened cream!


Berries with Mascarpone Cream



The perfect no bake patriotic dessert or breakfast for Memorial Day or July 4th! Also great for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day, or just because! The mascarpone cheese adds so much to the sweetened cream and we love using blueberries, strawberries, cherries, blackberries or raspberries in this easy and delicious treat!


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Jun 26, 2013

Strawberry, Mozzarella and Spinach Salad Recipe

Hey everyone! I hope you've been having a great week so far! It's been pretty quiet around here, which is great! My daughter finished kindergarten last Friday, so the last couple weeks have been hectic before the end of school! We're getting ready for a Girl Scouts camping trip next weekend. Can't wait for my daughter to experience that! Lots of good stuff coming up around here! I'm also so excited for the Big Brother premier tonight... Can't wait for another great season of craziness! 

Remember on Monday's post I said I would have something to go with that amazing Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette?? This salad is the perfect match for the vinaigrette. Both the strawberries and spinach came from the farmer's market down the street and I was so excited to use them in a recipe together. I've had this salad 3 days in a row to finish up both the spinach and vinaigrette. I am addicted. It's that good!! You can use the ingredients I have listed below, or change it up if you prefer to add something else! Enjoy!





Strawberry, Mozzarella and Spinach Salad

What you need:
chopped ham, bacon or chicken
regular or baby spinach
shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced strawberries
toasted almonds
sunflower kernels
Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Directions:
Toss all ingredients and top with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. Serve immediately. 

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

On the blog... one year ago: Creamy Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas



This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

Jun 24, 2013

Homemade Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

I was too excited to find fresh homegrown strawberries at my farmer's market this past weekend! 







We had such a cold spring, the fruits and veggies are running a little behind this year! I also found some fresh spinach, which was delicious! 

Jun 20, 2013

Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Chip Cookies Recipe... Surprise Recipe Swap!




Hello everyone! 

It's the 20th! One of my favorite days of the month... time for the Surprise Recipe Swap reveal! 

In case you aren't familiar, every month a group of us bloggers get assigned a blog to pick a recipe from, and then we cook that recipe! 

We all post what we made on the 20th of the month. It's always exciting to see what recipe was picked from your blog.

This month I was assigned to The Velvet Moon Baker blog!! Tash has some wonderful recipes and it was so hard to choose what I wanted to make! 

I'm always wanting to add more desserts and cookies to the blog, so this was the perfect blog to be assigned to since most of her recipes are sweets! I finally decided on these wonderful Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Chip Cookies

We loved the cinnamon flavor with the peanut butter. I also loved this batch makes only 12 cookies which is perfect for my daughter and I. It didn't take long for them to disappear. 

Plus they're only 4 ingredients and would be great with pretty much any flavor chip!

Can't wait to make them again. Thanks for the great recipe, Tash!









Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Yield: 12 cookies
Author: Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 8 MinTotal time: 13 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cinnamon chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat together peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until well combined. Add the egg, and beat until combined. Fold in the cinnamon chips.
  3. Form 12 balls with the dough and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Press the top of the balls down with a fork, making a criss cross pattern.
  4. Bake for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned. Do not over bake.
  5. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire baking rack. Store in an airtight container.
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Jun 19, 2013

Mushroom and Wild Rice Scrambled Eggs Recipe





Oh how I love wild rice! In the past, I've only used it in casserole type dishes, or sides, but it also works great in breakfast meals too! A few months ago, I posted these wild rice pancakes, which turned out so good! I just love the wild rice texture in the pancakes. 

I had some wild rice leftover after making the pancakes, so I decided to throw some in scrambled eggs and see how it turned out. I loved these eggs even more than the pancakes! I can't wait to try them again with some other veggies, or even in an omelet! It's a perfect and quick breakfast! Enjoy!

Mushroom and Wild Rice Scrambled Eggs (print recipe)

What you need:
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup onions, finely diced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup cooked wild rice (I used leftover)
salt and pepper, as desired

Directions:
Whisk together eggs, milk, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. 

Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onions and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add wild rice, saute for another 1-2 minutes to warm. 

Pour in the milk and egg mixture. Cook, stirring often to scramble until, eggs are fluffy and cooked through. Serve with toast or hashbrowns



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

On the blog... one year ago: Apricot Fruit Tart Dessert


This recipe is shared at these fabulous blogs!

Jun 17, 2013

Ground Beef and Brown Rice Mexican Skillet Recipe

Hello everyone! I hope y'all had a great weekend!! We had a wonderful weekend! On Saturday we walked in a parade collecting donations for the food shelf for Girl Scouts. Sunday was mostly spent at home cleaning, but we did go to the slash pad down the street for a couple hours! I love spending these summer days with my daughter!

Today's recipe is great for a week night dinner! I'm a huge Mexican food lover and am always trying to come up with some new recipes other than tacos and rice. I love the flavors and ingredients in this recipe and also love that it's a one dish meal, no piles of dirty dishes waiting to be washed! I hope you enjoy as much as we did!




Ground Beef and Brown Rice Mexican Skillet (print recipe)

What you need:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1- 15.25 ounce can black beans, rinsed
1- 14.5 ounce can beef broth
1- 14.5 ounce can chili ready tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin
1 3/4 cup instant brown rice
salt and pepper, as desired
3/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

Directions:
In a large saucepan, cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, bell pepper, salt and pepper until ground beef is cooked through. Add the black beans, broth, tomatoes and cumin, bring to a boil. Add the rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is done and liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese, cover and remove from heat, letting cheese melt.

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

On the blog... one year ago: Easy Garlic Cheese Bread


This recipe is shared at: Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry PatchGooseberry Patch

Jun 12, 2013

Rhubarb and Peach Lemonade Recipe




Here's another recipe for all you rhubarb lovers! Rhubarb and Peach Lemonade. Doesn't that sound amazing?? It is so delicious and refreshing! I've been making tons of rhubarb desserts lately, so I wanted to try out something different. This lemonade sure hits the spot! I love my lemonade tart, so the tart rhubarb is a perfect pair with the lemons. The peaches add a touch of flavor to balance everything out! Enjoy!!



Rhubarb and Peach Lemonade
by Sheena

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound frozen peaches, thawed
  • 2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup sugar
Instructions
In a small saucepan, bring the peaches, rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, breaking up peaches and rhubarb while stirring. Remove from heat when the mixture breaks down and becomes saucy. Set aside to cool.
When the mixture is cooled, strain and pour juice into a pitcher. I also added some of the peach and rhubarb pulp to my juice since I love pulp! Dispose of the pulp if you prefer not to add it.
Add the lemon juice, water and sugar to the pitcher, with the peach and rhubarb juice. Add sugar 1/4 cup at a time until you reach your desired sweetness. Stir until sugar is dissolved and refrigerate before serving.
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If you liked this recipe, follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board here!

Jun 10, 2013

Balsamic Pea and Bacon Salad Recipe





Hello everyone!! Today's recipe is for Balsamic Pea and Bacon Salad! I always loved the pea salad we ate growing up, but this one is ten times better with the balsamic added in! I've been on a HUGE balsamic kick lately, so this fit right in with my balsamic cravings. This is quick to make, especially if you use pre-cooked bacon. Enjoy!!

Balsamic Pea and Bacon Salad (print recipe)

What you need:
1- 16 ounce package frozen green peas
6 strips of bacon, crumbled
1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
1 cup mozzarella, cubed
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
black pepper
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine mayo, balsamic and black pepper.

In a larger bowl, combine all ingredients except sunflower seeds. Mix well. Refrigerate until serving.

Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top before serving!

Recipe source: Dishing with Leslie (slightly adapted)

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

On the blog... one year ago: Roasted Potato, Spinach & Parmesan Salad


This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

This recipe was featured at: Hungry Little Girl

Jun 6, 2013

Book Review: Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene




Summary:
Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it. But everything changes when Alva is caught giving her long-time crush an innocent first kiss. Beaten, scorned, and now facing a forced marriage to a violent, fifty-year old man, Alva suddenly realizes how much she has to lose--and how impossible it will be to escape.

My thoughts:

I've read quite a few books on this subject before. For this being a fictional story, it was right on point in accuracy with the non fiction books I've read before. Alva falls in love with a boy her age, their love is forbidden and she is soon forced to marry a much older man. She tries to escape at one point, but ends up getting caught and forced back to the compound. It is sad and devastating that nothing can be done to help her, or others like her. This is a great YA read, and would be great for anyone interested in the subject. It is well written and makes me want to check out more books by this author. 

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars!

Jun 5, 2013

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Blondies Recipe





It's that time of year again... rhubarb season!! I have the most awesome memories eating rhubarb as a kid. We grew up in the country, and there were always tons of rhubarb plants, which meant tons of rhubarb desserts! Yum!! We also ate it raw, with some salt sprinkled on it. The thought of it makes my mouth water!

I was browsing my pinned recipes on Pinterest and found this recipe, but using strawberries. I decided to just use rhubarb instead and it worked out fantastic! I brought these to work with me, and they were quickly gobbled up by my Dad, brother and myself. We really liked them and it's a nice change from typical cakes and pies.

I would like to thank my sister, Shannon from Speaking in Plain Shamish! She re-did my blog for me earlier this week, and I just love how it turned out. I am most excited that we now have a recipe index, which lists all of the recipes here on the blog. I hope you take a minute, browse through them, and find a new recipe, or two!

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Blondies (print recipe)

What you need:
1 cup fresh rhubarb, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces cream cheese, softened

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until rhubarb is softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder.

In a larger bowl, combine butter with brown sugar, mix well. Add 1 egg, cinnamon and vanilla, mix well again. Add flour mixture little by little and mix together. Spread in a greased 8x8 glass baking dish.

In that same bowl combine softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 egg.

Alternate spooning rhubarb and cream cheese mixture onto the blondie layer. Using a knife, swirl to marble.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until center is set. Cool and cut into squares.


Recipe source: Jazzy Gourmet (slightly adapted)

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

On the blog... one year ago: Hot Italian Chicken Sausage and Bean Ragout


This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

This recipe was featured at:
Foodie Friends Friday

Jun 4, 2013

Restaurant Review: Smashburger in Roseville, MN


Smashburger is the type of restaurant I like to eat at. It's made to order, fast, and they use quality ingredients. I was recently contacted by Smashburger to come and try out the food at one of their Minnesota locations. Both my sister and step-mom love Smashburger, so I couldn't wait to try it out! We went to the Roseville location on a Tuesday evening. It was pretty busy, but we ordered and received our food quickly.

Since this was my first time at Smashburger, the cashier explained the menu, which was great. The menu has many unique options, and I love that you can "Create Your Own Burger". Each area has their own burger as well, and this location had the "Twin Cities" burger. I really like the variety of fresh ingredients used. They also make their burgers from fresh, never frozen ground beef, and "smash" the burger when making the patties. It gives Smashburger an unique edge over similar restaurants. You can find the menu for the Roseville, Minnesota location here!

Smashburger is a fairly new "fast casual" restaurant chain. With 186 restaurants, they are America's fastest growing, fast casual restaurant. In Minnesota, they now have a pairing menu with local brewer, Summit Brewing Company. A list of burgers and beer? Sounds fantastic to me!

I really hope they open one where I live in St Cloud, Minnesota. We don't have anything like this, and I think it would be a great option to go out to eat with the family. I can't wait to try it again, the next time I visit the Twin Cities area.

What we ate at our visit to Smashburger:

Twin Cities Burger with Smashfries. The Twin Cities burger has melted cheddar and swiss. Garlic grilled onions with lettuce, tomato and mayo on an onion bun.


Smashfries are fries tossed with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. These fries are so incredible! I love rosemary and never thought of adding them to fries!


Spicy Baja Black Bean Burger with a side of Veggie Frites. The black bean burger comes with guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, spicy chipotle mayo, and fresh jalapenos on a spicy chipotle bun.


The Veggie Frites are SO good!! They are flash fried green beans and carrots with a side of ranch.


Chicken Avocado Club came with a thin chicken breast, fresh avocado, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch and mayo on a multi grain bun. I just loved the thin chicken breast. So much easier to bite into versus a thicker chicken breast.


Fried Pickles with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. These were too good! Can't wait to order them again!


Butterfinger Haagen Dazs Milkshake! Incredible. Loved the big Butterfinger chunks in the shake!



I was super impressed with the food at Smashburger. It's nice to have a restaurant to eat at, that's faster than a traditional sit down restaurant, but better than typical fast food. I would definitely recommend it. Have you ate at a Smashburger in your area before?

* I was offered a chance to try Smashburger at no cost to me. This does not affect my opinion in any way. All opinions are my own.*

Jun 3, 2013

Peanut Sauced Shrimp and Veggie Pitas Recipe





I'm always looking for quick and easy weeknight recipes to try out. Even better, if they don't require alot of cooking, especially on hot summer days. I picked up the Cooking Light: Crave! Cookbook from my local library a couple weeks ago and found this recipe. The only thing I changed was using cooked shrimp instead of cooked chicken, only because I had the shrimp on hand. This cookbook was full of fun and easy recipes. There are tons of burger, pizza and sandwich recipes that are on the healthier side. I would definitely recommend this cookbook for some new recipe ideas!

This recipe is so easy, fresh and delicious! Perfect for a summer lunch or dinner! I had my sister and her boyfriend over for dinner and we all loved this recipe. I can't wait to try it with chicken next time! Enjoy!!

Peanut Sauced Shrimp and Veggie Pitas (print recipe)
2 servings

What you need:
1 cup cooked shrimp, tails removed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
1/2 cup fresh mung bean sprouts, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons peanut satay sauce
regular pitas, or flatbread pitas
salt and pepper, as desired

Combine shrimp, onions, bell pepper, sprouts, carrots. Gently stir in the cilantro, sauce, salt and pepper. Fill pitas and serve immediately.

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

On the blog... one year ago: Slow Cooker BBQ Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon



This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!




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