Hot Eats and Cool Reads: August 2013

Aug 31, 2013

Book Review: All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn


Book Summary:
Travis and his sister, Corey, can't resist a good trick. When they learn that their grandmother's quiet Vermont inn, where they're spending the summer, has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little "haunting" of their own. Before long, their supernatural pranks have tourists flocking to the inn, and business booms.
     

But Travis and Corey soon find out that they aren't the only ghosts at Fox Hill Inn. Their thoughtless games have awakened something dangerous, something that should have stayed asleep. Can these siblings lay to rest the ghosts they’ve stirred?

My thoughts:
Growing up, I loved reading ghost stories. Mary Downing Hahn has released some great young adult ghost story books over the years, and this one was great as well. 

The main characters are Travis and Corey. They are fun and mischievous kids, the type of characters your kids would love to read about. There is a slight spookiness throughout the story, but yet so entertaining.  This book also teaches some great lessons, and throws in a little bit of history. Perfect for any kid who loves a great story, especially with a supernatural theme.


I rated this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Aug 28, 2013

Homemade Fresh Strawberry Soda Recipe

Hello!! I hope you're having a fabulous week so far!! I spent all morning volunteering on the house today! We got the inside walls built today, and next is windows and doors! So exciting!!

Today's recipe is for Fresh Strawberry Soda! I have to admit, I am a huge soda lover. I cut myself down to enjoying one, once a week, since it's not so good for you. This version is a little bit healthier, and so refreshing! You can make it with any fruit you wish! It's super simple and you can keep the syrup refrigerated for a few days! Enjoy!!





Fresh Strawberry Soda (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
9 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
unflavored sparkling water

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, combine strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, cook for 10-15 minutes until berries start to soften and fall apart. Remove from heat and cool. Pour into a mason jar or other glass container and refrigerate for a few hours before using. 

You can strain the juice from the berry pulp, or use as is. I love the fruit chunks in mine!

Fill a glass with ice. Add 3-5 tablespoons strawberry syrup, depending on how sweet you like it. I would start with 3 and add from there. Fill the glass with sparkling water and enjoy!

Adapted from: Yummy Healthy Easy  

Follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here

On the blog.. one year ago: Classic Crispy Baked Chicken



This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

Aug 26, 2013

Rigatoni Alfredo Bake with Chicken and Summer Veggies Recipe

Hello!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Here we are, Monday again?? These weeks just seem to fly by lately!

Today's recipe is for a tasty Rigatoni Alfredo Bake with Chicken and Summer Veggies!! 

I just love going to the farmer's market and picking out veggies. It's by far my favorite thing about summer. 

I can't wait until next summer when I can have a garden of my own! 

The flavors in this pasta are amazing and if you prefer homemade sauce over the jarred stuff, definitely substitute with your own sauce! 

You can also adjust the amount of veggies, if you prefer one over the other, or use different veggies depending on what you like!! 

This recipe turns out so creamy and flavorful! Have fun and enjoy!








Rigatoni Alfredo Bake with Chicken and Summer Veggies 

What you need:
1/2 pound rigatoni pasta
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1 medium sized zucchini, halved and sliced
3 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2- 15 ounce jars alfredo sauce
1 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, as desired
olive oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions, Drain, rinse and set aside. Do not overcook.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan drizzle some olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken, and saute until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute the onion, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini and corn for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add chicken back to the saute pan and remove from heat.

Pour pasta into a 9x13 glass baking dish. Add chicken and veggies, tomatoes, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella. Stir to combine. (If you end up with more than what fits into a 9x13 pan, use an additional baking dish)

In a bowl, combine alfredo sauce, milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir into pasta mixture until evenly combined. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until cheese browns and sauce is bubbly.

Follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here

On the blog.. one year ago: Apple Blueberry Quick Bread



Other pasta recipes you may like: 

Salmon & Pasta with Lemon Dill Sauce



Creamy Baked Mac & Cheese


Thanks for stopping by!

Aug 19, 2013

Kalamata, Spinach and Tomato Pasta Recipe

It's Monday again. These weeks just continue to fly by! Before we know it, it will be fall and soups and casseroles will be on the menu! I also love making pumpkin and apple desserts during the fall. There's something so comforting about those flavors!

Back to summer...

Today's recipe is for Kalamata, Spinach and Tomato Pasta! This recipe scream summer with fresh tomatoes from the garden. I have tons of tomatoes right now, thanks to a friend who let me raid her garden, so I'm excited to make some great recipes. This pasta is full of flavor and so easy to make. You can grill up some shrimp, or chicken to add in as well. I love meatless meals, so we enjoyed it as is!





Kalamata, Spinach and Tomato Pasta (print recipe)

What you need:
3/4 pound elbow macaroni
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
4 cups fresh spinach
salt and pepper, as desired
feta or parmesan cheese for topping

Directions:
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes then add the tomatoes, olives and parsley. Saute for another 2-3 minutes then add the pasta, spinach, salt and pepper. Stir and heat through, until spinach starts to wilt, usually 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve topped with feta or parmesan cheese. 

Follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

 On the blog.. one year ago: Pasta with Tomato, Basil and Mushroom Alfredo



Other pasta recipes you may like: 

Pasta Fresca- Noodles Copycat



Cavatappi with Pesto, Tomatoes and Mozzarella



This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

Aug 14, 2013

Easy 10 Minute Beef Gyros Recipe

Hello!! I hope you're having a great week so far!!

Today's recipe is Easy 10 Minute Greek Gyros!

They are not traditional gyros, but close. They are also very fast and easy to make! We really loved how they turned out and will be making them again when we need a quick meal!





Easy 10 Minute Beef Gyros (print recipe)

What you need:
1 pound beef stir fry strips
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 soft pita breads, warmed
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup cucumbers, peeled and cut into strips
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup ranch dressing

Directions:
Toss beef with Greek seasoning. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add beef strips. Stir occasionally and cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Divide beef among the pitas. Top with tomato, cucumber, feta and ranch. Serve extra ranch on the side, if desired. 

Recipe source: Parents Magazine, October 2007

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

On the blog... one year ago: Loaded Baked Potato Salad



Other easy dinners you may like:

Korean Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps



Chicken Parmesan Rice Skillet



This recipe may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

Aug 12, 2013

30 Fresh Tomato Recipes!




Hello!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!! I spent the weekend cooking some new recipes using my new T-fal cookware set! When the giveaway goes live on August 22nd, make sure you enter! This cookware set is a wonderful prize to win! You can subscribe to receive updates by email, by entering your email address in the box in the right column on this page, and an email will be sent to you when the giveaway starts!

Today I'm bringing you 30 wonderful recipes using fresh tomatoes! With gardens in full bloom, you will be needing these recipes to use up all of the tomatoes! These recipes are from some of my wonderful food blogger friends, as well as Hot Eats and Cool Reads! The majority of these recipes were pinned to my blogger Pinterest boards and you can stop by and check those out here! There are so many other great recipes over there! Enjoy!!

*Click on the name of the recipe to view each recipe*

Tomato & Cucumber Orzo Salad from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



Tomato Bacon & Spinach Quiche from This Gal Cooks



Crispy Pesto Gnocchi w/ Tomatoes, Black Olives and Feta from Love Bakes Good Cakes



Oven Roasted Tomatoes from Citronlimette



Gazpacho by Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide



Capellini al Fresco from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



Grilled Flank Steak w/ Gorgonzola and Tomato Salsa from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen



Caprese Salad on a Stick from Who Needs a Cape



Green Bean & Tomato Salad w/ Ginger Wasabi Vinaigrette from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen



Tomato Spinach Alfredo Pizza from Love Bakes Good Cakes



Tomato, Basil & Balsamic Orzo from Juanita's Cocina



Tomato Jam from Chindeep



Tomato Feta Orzo Salad from Cozycakes Cottage




Linguine with Chicken, Tomatoes and Spinach Pesto from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



Summer Zucchini Saute from Mostly Homemade Mom



Fresh Peach, Pineapple and Tomato Salsa from Hot Eats and Cool Reads




Cucumber Caprese Salad from 4 Little Fergusons



Tomato Cheese Tart from Call Me PMc



BLT Bites from The Country Cook



Pasta with Tomato, Basil and Mushroom Alfredo from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



Mozzarella, Tomato, Black Olive and Cumber Salad from My Turn for Us




Tomato, Watermelon & Feta Cheese Salad from Sunflower Supper Club




Slow Cooker Beef Roast Dinner from Hot Eats and Cool Reads




Herbed Pasta with Tomatoes from Cooking on the Front Burner





Avocado, Cherry Tomato and Corn Salad from With a Blast



Grape Tomato Vinaigrette from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen




Baked Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Spinach & Tomato from Sumptuous Spoonfuls




Spinach, Tomato & Sausage Egg Bake from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



Greek Pasta from Love Bakes Good Cakes



BLT Dip from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



On the blog... one year ago: Apple & Strawberry Crisp

 

This post may be shared at these fabulous blogs!

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