Hot Eats and Cool Reads: December 2013

Dec 30, 2013

Slow Cooker Barbecue Cranberry Meatballs Appetizer Recipe

These Slow Cooker Barbecue Cranberry Meatballs are the perfect holiday or game day appetizer! The meatballs are homemade, but you could use frozen and the sauce is just 4 simple ingredients! This crock pot recipe is also great for dinner served over rice!



Dec 29, 2013

Book Review: Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

It's been so long since I've posted a book review! I will be posting them more frequently again so stay tuned for more! :)



Book Summary from Goodreads:
Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time - and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya's life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother's life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

My thoughts:
Why did I wait so long to read this book??

I'm not gonna lie... it took me quite a while to get into this book. It started off with alot of background info, but then eventually I was hooked. Anya has a powerful and heart wrenching story to tell and I love how much her story made a difference in her daughter's and her life after telling it. The ending was a complete surprise for me and I ended up shedding many, many tears. I'm such a sap lately when it comes to stories like these. This book does go back and forth from past to present day and I love that it was written that way.

I love any and all stories and accounts of WWII and this book provided some info on a different aspect of the war than what I've read before. Kristin Hannah always does a great job with her books and this one is no exception. This is a highly recommended read to anyone who likes WWII or historical fiction.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

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On the blog... one year ago: Shrimp and Crab Dip


Two years ago: Super Saucy Lasagna


Dec 26, 2013

Cheesy Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

Hey everyone!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! We spent Christmas eve and day with family as well as unpacking the house! I can't wait to get my kitchen in order! I bought some new super cute bar stools today and after a few more boxes, everything will be ready in the kitchen! So excited to test out some new recipes to share with you guys!

Here is a quick pic of the new bar stools! I love the splash of color they add to the kitchen! :)



Today's recipe would be a great New Years appetizer! It's no secret I LOVE mushrooms and cook with them often. These little bites of goodness are easy to prep and after a short time in the oven, they are ready to serve! So perfect for any get together, or a great addition to dinner!



Dec 23, 2013

Creamy Dill, Turkey and Vegetable Soup Recipe

If you have leftover turkey after the holidays, give this delicious cream soup a try! The dill and cream cheese give this soup a unique flavor and the potatoes and carrots make it SO hearty!


Creamy Dill, Turkey and Vegetable Soup



If you have leftover turkey after the holidays, give this delicious cream soup a try! The dill and cream cheese give this soup a unique flavor and the potatoes and carrots make it SO hearty! Also great with leftover rotisserie chicken!



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Dec 19, 2013

Candy Cane Kiss Muddy Buddies Recipe

Tomorrow is the BIG moving day! 

We close on the house late afternoon and will start moving stuff after that. It's a great feeling to be spending our last night in the apartment! 

We are so blessed to have this opportunity to purchase a home through Habitat for Humanity!

Last Saturday was our dedication ceremony. 

Habitat has this celebration to invite friends, family and members of the community to come see the house and meet the family. 

It was alot of fun! Here are some pics of our day!

Dec 11, 2013

Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells Recipe

Are any of you ready for Christmas?? I have most of my Christmas presents purchased, but we won't be setting up the tree until we move. 9 days until closing! We are super excited!

I had a walk through at the house this morning with Habitat. They go through and teach you how to use everything, which is SO useful! Especially being a first time homeowner! We also have a dedication ceremony on Saturday where they invite volunteers and other people from the community to celebrate out house being finished. 

There's so much going on these next couple weeks and we are looking forward to every minute of it! Luckily I had all of these recipes cooked and typed up ahead of time so I can still share with you throughout this madness! :)



Dec 9, 2013

Homemade Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

This delicious pot pie is a tried and true, comfort food family favorite! Perfect for a fall or winter Sunday dinner! Great with chicken, or use turkey breast leftover from your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal!


Homemade Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie Recipe



This delicious pot pie is a tried and true, comfort food family favorite! Perfect for a fall or winter Sunday dinner! Great with chicken, or use turkey breast leftover from your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal!


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Dec 8, 2013

Candy Cane Poke Cake Recipe

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A fun and delicious holiday treat! Full of peppermint goodness, it's great for any holiday celebration!


A fun and delicious holiday treat! Full of peppermint goodness, it's great for any holiday celebration! Candy Cane Poke Cake Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads


I can't believe we are only a couple weeks away from Christmas. Time sure does fly. I have the perfect holiday dessert for you today thanks to my friends over at Eggland's Best Eggs! This Candy Cane Poke Cake is pretty amazing and your family and friends will love it! I really like the slight mint flavor from the pudding and the cream cheese frosting on the top is to die for! I have a feeling this will be on our menu at Christmas time from now on! My daughter is a huge mint lover, so this cake was her favorite out of any dessert recipe we make!


Candy Cane Poke Cake Recipe


by Sheena
Ingredients (9x13 cake)
  • cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cooking spray
  • pudding:
  • 3.4 ounce box vanilla pudding (plus milk to make according to package directions)
  • peppermint extract
  • green food coloring
  • cream cheese frosting:
  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • green food coloring
  • candy canes, crushed
Instructions
Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs together until combined, about 1 minute.
Add flour, milk, oil, baking powder and vanilla, and beat for another minute until the batter is smooth and creamy.
Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until top is golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool for 10-15 minutes. Using the end of a kitchen wooden or plastic spoon, poke holes in the cake, all the way down to the bottom.

Pudding:
make pudding according to package directions. Stir in peppermint extract. (small amounts at a time to taste. I had ultra concentrated stuff, so my measurement won't be accurate for most of you.) Then stir in food coloring a drop at a time until you reach your desired color. Immediately pour the pudding over the cake poked with holes, and spread around with a spatula until the holes are filled with pudding and pudding is evenly spread over the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours, until pudding is set.

Frosting:
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer.
With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until creamy.
Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the food coloring one drop at a time until you reach your desired color. Spread the frosting on the top of the poke cake and refrigerate until serving.
When serving, sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top of the cake. Refrigerate any leftovers.
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A fun and delicious holiday treat! Full of peppermint goodness, it's great for any holiday celebration! Candy Cane Poke Cake Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

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A fun and delicious holiday treat! Full of peppermint goodness, it's great for any holiday celebration! Candy Cane Poke Cake Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Kitchen items you may need:





Other posts you may like:

Dec 4, 2013

Banana English Toffee Cream Dessert Recipe

A delicious and easy dessert for the holidays or any occasion! Ready in minutes and such a crowd pleaser!


A delicious and easy dessert for the holidays or any occasion! Ready in minutes and such a crowd pleaser! Banana English Toffee Cream Dessert Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



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

Today's recipe is such an easy and delicious dessert! Do you love Heath Toffee Bits as much as I do?? If so, this is the recipe for you! It takes a few minutes to whip up the cream, slice the bananas and mix it all together! 

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