Hot Eats and Cool Reads: 2014

Dec 29, 2014

Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

This recipe is sure to please any pizza or mushroom lover. You can have a great appetizer in less than 30 minutes!

This recipe is sure to please any pizza or mushroom lover. You can have a great appetizer in less than 30 minutes! Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!
  

Hey everyone!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I really enjoyed my week off from blogging! My daughter and I spent tons of time with the family and did some relaxing too. It was a perfect little break! I was also lucky to spend alot of time in the kitchen, so there's lots of yummy goodness coming your way!


Dec 21, 2014

Hell's Kitchen Inspired Mahnomin Porridge Recipe & Hell's Kitchen Restaurant Review

Hey friends!  Sheena's sister Shannon here with a recipe that is too good to be true and a restaurant review that I am totally excited to share with you!!!!  So a couple months ago, my husband and I decided to take an impromptu overnight trip to downtown Minneapolis.  We are so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing city just a short car drive away - so much culture, so much to see and do... and SO many amazing restaurants!  One of the restaurants we visited was Hell's Kitchen.  I have to confess, the night before we visited we had decided weren't even going try it because we aren't really into chain restaurants or celebrity chef inspired restaurants, but when we woke up in the morning I was peeking at a city guide in our hotel room and was drawn to a picture of some amazing looking breakfast, and right then we decided we without a doubt had to go to Hell's Kitchen for breakfast!  SOOO glad we did... boy would we have totally missed out on something incredible!  First I'll share a Hell's Kitchen inspired recipe, and then I'll share my review of the restaurant.... so grab a cup of coffee, sit down and enjoy this post!

We tried several things on the menu because everything looked so amazing.  One of my favorite things was "Minnesota Icon: Mahnomin Porridge".  The server shared with us a background story about this hearty, savory and slightly sweet concoction.  Apparently Chef Mitch got the idea for this recipe when he was reviewing 19th century fur trader journals.  The fur traders described a porridge meal eaten by the Cree Indians and Chef Mitch was inspired to mimic it.  If I remember correctly, the original recipe did not have the cream component that Chef Mitch added, but I cannot imagine this without it.  It gives it such a smooth, rich flavor.  After a friend told me she makes this porridge, I knew I had to try making it.  And it's so yummy!  (Side note: I do not like blueberries, so I used all Craisins, and a friend of mine uses part wild rice and part regular rolled oats, and sometimes almonds instead of hazelnuts.)

From the Hell's Kitchen menu: "Minnesota Icon: Mahnomin Porridge - Native-harvested, hand-parched wild rice from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe simmered with heavy cream, roasted hazelnuts, dried blueberries, sweetened cranberries and pure maple syrup."


Pure Minnesota comfort food breakfast! Hell's Kitchen Inspired Mahnomin Porridge from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

Dec 17, 2014

Cheesy Mexican Vegetable Chowder Recipe

This easy, meatless soup is ready in 30 minutes! The Mexican flavors make this cheesy soup absolutely delicious!

Cheesy Mexican Vegetable Chowder


This easy, meatless soup is ready in 30 minutes! The Mexican flavors make this cheesy chowder absolutely delicious! The combo of carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper and corn make this soup so hearty! Add shredded rotisserie chicken if you're a meat lover!



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Dec 15, 2014

Oatmeal, Coconut and Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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Delicious, chewy cookies that are ready in a snap! Perfect for Christmas, lunches, snack time or bake sales!



Oatmeal, Coconut and Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads! Delicious, chewy cookies that are ready in a snap! Perfect for Christmas, lunches, snack time or bake sales!





I have a new fabulous cookie recipe for you today! 

These Oatmeal, Coconut and Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies are chewy, tasty and so easy to make! 

I'm not a huge chocolate fan, so I love that I used mini chocolate chips in this recipe. The touch of chocolate in each bite is perfect with the oatmeal and coconut. 


Dec 13, 2014

Crab, Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad Recipe

This delicious pasta salad has tons of flavor and is perfect for any occasion. It makes a great lunch too!





Less than 2 weeks before Christmas, I finally get a tree up and decorated! 

We've always had a small tree, so this year with our new house, I wanted to finally get something bigger. 

My awesome Dad went to a doorbusters sale at 7am this morning and snagged a new tree for us at 70% off! Score! I will share a photo in Monday's post!

Even though it's almost Christmas and the middle of winter, I still crave a good pasta salad. 

I usually make them more in the summertime for BBQ's, but they actually go great with any type of meal. 

This pasta salad is perfect with the crab and bacon added in. I use imitation crab, but if you have fresh crab, this salad would be even better. 

I love eating the leftovers for lunch the next day, with some extra sauce added in. 

What is your favorite type of pasta salad?

Crab, Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad

by Sheena
Ingredients
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 6 ounces bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 8 ounces imitation crab meat
  • 8 ounces frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mayo
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, as needed
Instructions
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. You may need to add additional mayo before serving, if not served right away.
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Dec 11, 2014

Roasted Tomato, Basil and Garlic Noodle Soup Recipe

This comfort food soup is perfect for any fall or winter meal! The leftovers are great for lunch and it's so flavorful and delicious!


Roasted Tomato, Basil and Garlic Noodle Soup



This comfort food soup is perfect for any fall or winter meal! The leftovers are great for lunch and it's so flavorful and delicious! Plus there's no cream, making it a dairy free option if you use oil instead of butter!


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Dec 8, 2014

8 Must Bake Holiday Cookies!

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Happy Holidays! I hope you and yours are enjoying a safe and happy holiday season. I have a special treat for you today! I have joined forces with some of my best blogging friends to bring you a collection of our Must Bake Holiday Cookies and a CASH Giveaway!!




We are hoping to make your holiday MERRIER with this collection of our Must Bake Holiday Cookies together in one place, as well as $200 in spending cash!! How's that for holiday cheer?!! AND the lucky winner gets their pick of an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash! So what are you waiting for?! Scroll down to enter and be sure to visit my friends who made this giveaway possible!


Here's wishing you a happy holiday season full of love, family, and lots of cookies, of course <smile>

Candied Cherry Cookies | by Life Tastes Good

Peppermint Kiss Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | by Flavor Mosaic

Big Crunch Sugar Cookies Recipe | by Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies | by Renee's Kitchen Adventures
Ricotta Cheese Holiday Cookies | by The Foodie Affair

Iced Lemon Sugar Cookies | by Yours And Mine Are Ours

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies with Almond | by Eazy Peazy Mealz
Butter Riches | by Recipes, Food and Cooking



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Dec 6, 2014

Philly Cheese Steak Biscuit Bites Recipe

These biscuit bites are delicious with steak or leftover beef roast! Great as an appetizer for parties, lunch or dinner! They are affordable and the whole family will love them!


Philly Cheese Steak Biscuit Bites


These biscuit bites are delicious with steak or leftover beef roast! Great as an appetizer for parties, lunch or dinner! They are affordable and the whole family will love them!



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Dec 3, 2014

Peppermint Chocolate Ganache Brownies Recipe

A delicious and decadent holiday treat! Completely from scratch, but SO easy to make! Full of delicious peppermint flavor and tons of chocolate ganache goodness! Great for any Christmas holiday gathering!


Peppermint Ganache Brownies


brownie on a plate


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Dec 1, 2014

Cream Cheese Chicken, Mushroom and Corn Mini Pot Pies plus Mini Baker Stoneware from Crafts Direct!

Thanks to Crafts Direct for sponsoring this post!

Hey everyone!! I hope y'all had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!





Today's recipe is for these amazing Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Mini Pot Pies! These potpies are total comfort food, and they're ready in a breeze using the fun Mini Bakers from Crafts Direct! They're a locally owned business here in St Cloud, Minnesota and they recently opened their website up for ordering. Remember when I posted about them a couple months ago? You can check that out that post along with the recipe for the Individual Egg, Hashbrown and Sausage Breakfast Bakes here!






These Mini Baker Stoneware make absolutely perfect Christmas gifts!! There are 9 different colors to choose from, and Crafts Direct also has platters that go with them, You can mix and match to make some fun color combos for any holiday or party! I personally love serving dips in them, or using them in the oven to bake up some great winter recipes, like this pot pie. 


Each one measures 6.25" wide x 3.5" high - 4.5" wide x 2" high inside and holds approximately 2 cups! They are 100% stoneware. These Mini Bakers are also microwave safe, so perfect for storing and re-heating leftovers. The handles even stay cool in the microwave! They are so convenient and multi-purpose!

Crafts Direct is once again is giving Hot Eats and Cool Readers a promotion code for 20% off purchases on their website from now until December 15th. Use promotion code HECR20 when checking out. This is the perfect time to get some Christmas gifts ordered for those special friends, family members, college students, or even teachers! I hope you'll stop by and check them out!

Crafts Direct can also be found on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest and their Blog! Their store can be found at: 620 Sundial Dr, Waite Park, MN 56387.

Now for the amazing Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Mini Pot Pies! 



This recipe comes together quickly, especially with using cooked chicken and refrigerated pie crust. I love easy when it comes to mealtime! The cream cheese adds an amazing flavor, and I picked mushrooms and corn as veggies, for a nice and hearty meal. One mini pot pie fills me up perfectly. This is such a great winter meal!

Make sure when your Mini Bakers get delivered, stop back and try out this recipe!

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Mini Pot Pies (click here to print)
4 mini pot pies

What you need:
1-2 tablespoons butter
4 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onions, chopped
3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 refrigerated pie crust
4 Mini Bakers

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onions, and saute for 4 minutes. Add chicken and corn, and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the cream cheese and milk. Heat until cream cheese is melted, stirring often. Mix in the fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Remove from heat and spoon the mixture evenly into four Mini Bakers.

Using a Mini Baker cover, press four circles into the refrigerated pie crust. Use a knife to cut out the circles and place one on top of each mini pot pie. Press slightly into the chicken mixture and use the knife to cut an x into each piece of pie crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and crust is browned. 

This recipe is shared at: Inside BruCrew Life, Kathe with an E, Memories by the MileA Dish of Daily LifeLove Bakes Good CakesThe Country Cook

Nov 29, 2014

Copycat Strawberry Basil Smash Gin Cocktail Recipe

If you love berries, this Strawberry Basil Smash Cocktail is for you! Fresh lime juice, gin and basil combined with strawberries for the perfect, refreshing summer drink! You'll want more than one!


Cocktail in glass with strawberry garnish

Nov 22, 2014

Mushroom Garlic Quinoa Recipe

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I am SO excited for Thanksgiving this year! My Mom's stuffing is my favorite part about the whole meal, but love the turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie too! Today's recipe is a new one to add to your Thanksgiving menu! It's hearty, earthy and super flavorful!

This Mushroom Garlic Quinoa is a new favorite at our house, My daughter picks out the mushrooms, but she empties her plate every time. This side has tons of nutrients, and is so filling. In fact, you could also use it as a meatless main dish, or even add in some chopped chicken breast for a complete meal!

Quinoa is a newer favorite of mine. I love the flavor, texture and how versatile it is! I stocked up with a few bags when I found it at Aldi a couple weeks ago. It was very reasonably priced, and it's a great food to have in your pantry for winter recipes. Keep an eye out for more recipes sometime soon!


The perfect addition to Thanksgiving dinner, or a great side for any day of the week. Add chopped chicken for a complete meal! Mushroom Garlic Quinoa from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!



Mushroom Garlic Quinoa (click here to print recipe)


What you need:
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, as needed

Directions:
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, until mushrooms start to get tender. Then add the carrots and quinoa, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until heated through. Season with parsley, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve!

On the blog... one year ago: Wet Burritos



Two years ago: Mixed Berry Pancake Syrup


Three years ago: Caramelized Baked Chicken


This recipe is shared at: Inside BruCrew Life

Nov 19, 2014

Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas Recipe

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Remember that Raspberry Cranberry Sauce I posted last week?? Well, this quesadilla uses that, and leftover Thanksgiving turkey for one fabulous quesadilla!!

I love quesadillas, especially with a quesadilla maker. They cook quickly and before you know it, dinner is ready! You can do traditional Mexican quesadillas or something different like these ones. I love them all!!

I'm a huge fan of sweet and savory together, and this recipe is exactly that. These are cheesy, meaty and flavorful. I love the red onions and basil, they add that extra punch of flavor. So if you're needing another recipe to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, add this to your menu!


If you need another recipe to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, add this to your menu! Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!




Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas


by Sheena
Ingredients
  • corn tortillas
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • red onion, diced
  • leftover turkey breast, chopped
  • leftover cranberry sauce
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • butter (optional)
Instructions
Butter one side of a tortilla. Place tortilla buttered side down in a frying pan or quesadilla maker. Layer with cheese, onion, turkey, cranberry sauce and basil, topping again with cheese.
Butter one side of another tortilla, and place on top, buttered side up.
Place in a quesadilla maker or fry each side of the quesadilla on medium high heat until browned and heated through. Cut into quarters and serve!
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Great way to use uo that leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce! Quick and easy! Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

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Nov 15, 2014

Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets Recipe

Today's recipe is a great appetizer or your protein for dinner! These Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets are SO good! I actually love catfish if it's cooked properly, but if it's not your thing, go ahead and substitute any other white fish that you prefer!

I will be serving them on game day soon, and they are a perfect finger food for the kiddos too. The panko breading is so crispy, and even though the marinade includes hot sauce, they don't turn out very spicy at all. I also love that they are baked and not fried, making them healthier, which is great! Enjoy!


These Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets are a great appetizer or a protein for dinner! Substitute any white fish your prefer if you dont like catfish! From Hot Eats and Cool Reads!



Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets (click here to print)


What you need:
1 pound catfish nuggets
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon creole seasoning

mayo
hot sauce
black pepper

Directions:
Combine catfish nuggets, buttermilk, hot sauce, mustard and black pepper in a ziploc bag. Mix to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and discard marinade. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs and seasonings. Coat each catfish nugget with bread crumb mixture and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes until fish is cooked through and coating starts to brown. 

Mix together mayo, hot sauce and black pepper to taste. Serve with baked catfish nuggets!


These Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets are a great appetizer or a protein for dinner! Substitute any white fish your prefer if you dont like catfish! From Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

This recipe is shared at: Inside BruCrew LifeKathe with an EMemories by the Mile, A Dish of Daily Life, Love Bakes Good Cakes, The Best Blog RecipesThe Better Baker

Book Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

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Book Summary:

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

My thoughts:
As soon as I saw this book on the new release list at my local library, I just knew I had to request it! After a month of waiting, I finally got my hands on it! I'm a HUGE Diane Chamberlain fan, so I couldn't wait to dig in.

My daughter and I sat down on the couch to do our nightly 20 minutes of reading, and after the 20 minutes was up, I couldn't stop. I was already addicted. This story is mysterious, exciting and also pulls at the heartstrings a little. I can't even imagine how Riley feels after these crazy chain of events in her life. This book was so good, I finished it in less than 24 hours. You know those nights of staying up until 1am because the book is that good? Yep, this is one of those.

Although I predicted exactly what was going to happen about halfway through, it was so worth it. Diane Chamberlain has a way with words and storytelling and she never disappoints! Highly recommended!

I rated this book 5 stars!

Nov 13, 2014

Raspberry Cranberry Sauce Recipe with a Tasty Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner with my Bloggy Friends!

I'm so glad you stopped by! First off I am sharing an amazing Raspberry Cranberry Sauce and then a Traditional Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Blog Hop Style.


This Raspberry Cranberry Sauce is a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu! If you think you don't like cranberry sauce, definitely give this a try!






12 Fabulous Bloggers are sponsoring this giveaway and the Thanksgiving Dinner. Be sure to visit them all for some great recipes for your holiday table.

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