Hot Eats and Cool Reads: January 2014

Jan 29, 2014

Lemon Angel Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Today's a good day! It felt like a heatwave... we made it to 20-ish degrees! I did some shoveling after I got home while my daughter played outside. It was so nice to get some fresh air! I hope all of you are safe and sound with the icky weather in the south, and the extreme cold here in the north. 

Whenever it's super cold outside, I love nothing more than turning on the oven and baking something! Most of the time it's dinner, but every once and a while I do actually bake something sweet! It's happening more now, that we have a new oven. It sure is nice having an oven that doesn't burn everything on top! I'm enjoying it! :)

This recipe is too easy! The cake itself is just 3 ingredients and the frosting is an amazing cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is my absolute favorite and it goes so well with the lemon flavor in this cake. This cake serves alot of people, so it would be great for any party or gathering. Enjoy!




 

Lemon Angel Snack Cake

What you need:
1- 16 ounce box angel food cake mix
1- 15 3/4 ounce can lemon pie filling
2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

frosting:
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
yellow sprinkles

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, filling and coconut until combined. Pour into a greased 9x13 glass baking dish and spread evenly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add one cup of powdered sugar, beat until mixed, then add the other cup and repeat. Spread over the cooled cake, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.



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On the blog... one year ago: Book Review: This World we Live in by Susan Beth Pfeffer



Two years ago: Book Review: Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Freedom Friday at Love Bakes Good Cakes, Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook

Jan 27, 2014

Black Bean Tostadas with Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce Recipe

It's Monday again... how do these weeks just keep on flying by??

School was cancelled today and will also be cancelled tomorrow because of this brutal cold we're having this winter! Today's temp was around 40 degrees below zero windchill. Time to get out of Minnesota and take a warm, tropical vacation! A girl can wish right??

Today I'm sharing a meatless recipe with you for Black Bean Tostadas! We love having meatless meals around here and when we do go meatless, I love using black beans in our meals! These tostadas are cheap to make, easy to prep and cook and before you know it, dinner is served! I loved the Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce, and could serve it with any Mexican themed meal. I hope you enjoy!! :)




 
Black Bean Tostadas with Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt, to taste

sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cilantro
1-2 cloves garlic
juice of one lime
salt and pepper, to taste

4 corn tortillas
shredded cheddar cheese
tomato, lettuce, onion, avocado

Directions:
Add beans, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, olive oil and salt to a bowl. Mash with potato masher until you reach your desired consistency. Add additional olive oil if needed.

In a small food processor, blend all of the sauce ingredients. 

Preheat the broiler. Place tortillas on a cookie sheet and spread the beans evenly on each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and browned.

Top with tomato, lettuce, onion, avocado and sauce!

Did you enjoy this post? Sign up here to receive new posts by email or follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

On the blog... one year ago: Sausage and White Bean Soup



Two years ago: Lime Cranberry Muffins


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Totally Tasty Tuesday at Mandy's Recipe BoxShare your Stuff at Table for SevenTime to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew LifeYou're Gonna Love It at Kathe with an EIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding BigFreedom Friday at Love Bakes Good CakesWeekend Potluck at The Country Cook

This recipe is featured at: Morsels of Life

Jan 24, 2014

Easy Homemade From Scratch Pancakes Recipe

Skip store bought and make your pancakes at home, from scratch! This breakfast recipe is SO easy, delicious and family approved! Try adding chocolate chips, bananas or blueberries! 


Easy Homemade From Scratch Pancakes





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Jan 23, 2014

Book Review: Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes


Book Summary:
Human Remains is a chilling, masterful thriller by New York Timesbestselling author Elizabeth Haynes that explores our darkest fears, showing how vulnerable we are—and how easily ordinary lives can fall apart when no one is watching.

Annabel, a police analyst, is shocked when she discovers her neighbor’s decomposing body in the house next door. And she’s appalled to think that no one noticed her absence.

Back at work, she sets out on her own to investigate, and finds that such cases are frighteningly common in her hometown.

A hymn to all the lonely and compelling characters that haunt our lives, Human Remains is a deeply disturbing and powerful novel of suspense 

My thoughts:
It's been awhile since I've read a good thriller, so when I discovered I won this book through First Reads on Goodreads, I was super excited!!

Elizabeth Haynes tells a great story, that's disturbing at the same time. The book itself is slow moving, but there's enough to keep you interested, and eventually it hooks you.

I love that the book alternates between the main characters Annabel and Colin. It also tells the stories of the victims, and it turns out there are many of them. Annabel is a police analyst and Colin is a loner who is creepy as all get out. People are dying left and right from what looks like natural causes, but there is much more than meets the eye. Annabel and Colin eventually meet, the story takes more twists and turns, and eventually everything falls into place.

The ending is edge of your seat, and the book is very good overall. If you like a good thriller, then this book is for you!

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Jan 22, 2014

Cheesy BBQ Pita Melts Recipe

Hey!!

How are you today?? Once again, It's VERY cold in Minnesota!! This weather makes me never want to leave the house! I don't remember ever disliking a winter as much as this winter! I need a tropical vacation, like yesterday!

The rest of the week is pretty busy. We have a girl scouts meeting tomorrow night and some friends coming to stay for the weekend. I love having a house and having a spare bedroom for company when they come to stay. Nothing better than a house full of people. I so enjoy those moments with my family and friends!

Tonight's recipe is another easy one! You can make it for a quick dinner, or even appetizers for game day! I used ham, but deli turkey or chicken would be super tasty too! I found these heart healthy, whole wheat pitas at Walmart that are only 60 calories each and with the BBQ sauce, deli ham and cheese, they are really decent calorie wise! Score! You could always add as much or as little cheese as you wish, or even top with some lettuce and tomatoes after baking. The options are endless and they are delicious!!

What is your favorite way to use pitas?? Let me know!! :)


 
Cheesy BBQ Pita Melts (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1 whole wheat pita
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
2-3 slices deli ham, turkey or chicken (the slices from my deli were pretty big)
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Directions:
Spread the BBQ sauce on the pita. Top with ham and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and edges are browned. Cut in quarters and serve!

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On the blog... one year ago: Blueberry Pie Bars



Two years ago: Incredible Taco Salad



This recipe is shared at these blogs: Freedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good CakesThe Weekend re-Treat at The Best Blog Recipes, Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker, Totally Tasty Tuesday at Mandy's Recipe Box, Share your Stuff at Table for Seven, Time to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew Life, You're Gonna Love It at Kathe with an E, In and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding BigGooseberry Patch,

Jan 20, 2014

Garlic Shrimp and Rice Recipe

Hey everyone!

I'm so excited to finally have a new seafood recipe to share with you! It's been awhile since I've bought shrimp. In the last month or two before the move, we pretty much ate out of the freezer and pantry buying minimal groceries. We got tons of stuff used up, which was less to move! After we got settled, I was so ready to go out and buy a bag of shrimp and test out this recipe!

Both my daughter and I thought this recipe was a winner!! Like most of the recipes I post, this is a quick and easy meal. It was on the cheaper side to make, even with using seafood. Get your shrimp on sale, and both rice and spinach are cheap. The rest is basic pantry ingredients!



I'm so glad you stopped by today, and I hope you love this recipe! Until next time... :)

Jan 18, 2014

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole Recipe

What happened to Friday's recipe, you may be wondering?

Life. We were SO busy yesterday and got home late! My daughter woke up in the middle of the night with a temp and stomach ache and we found out today at the doctor, she has the flu! She is resting now and the temp's gone down, so time for Mama to get this post up!

This is total comfort food to me! Pizza ingredients and pasta baked in a casserole with cheese? Yes, please! I really love that this is another easy recipe to prepare and can be done within 45 minutes. Great for weekends, and still fast enough for weeknights. My kinda meal!




 

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1 pound thin spaghetti
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1- 1.75 ounce package pepperoni (one pouch in the pasta, cut in quarters, one for topping, leave whole)
1- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded mozzarella and provolone blend cheese
salt and pepper, as needed

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta to al dente, drain and rinse. (I usually cook for a couple minutes less than stated on the package. It will finish cooking in the oven.)

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and bell pepper until the beef is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and add cut pepperoni. Cook for one minute then add crushed tomatoes, tomato juice and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 3-5 minutes then mix in the cooked noodles until combined.

Pour the noodle and sauce mixture into a 9x13 glass baking dish. Top with shredded cheese and pepperoni slices. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted.

Did you enjoy this post? Sign up here to receive new posts by email or follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

On the blog... one year ago: Easy Deviled Eggs



Two years ago: Spanish Rice


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Share your Stuff at Table for SevenIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding BigTime to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew Life, Freedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good Cakes, The Weekend re-Treat at The Best Blog RecipesWeekend Potluck at The Better Baker,

Jan 15, 2014

Cornbread Chili Bake Recipe

Have you ever used leftover chili and transformed it into something else?

This was my first time and I loved how it turned out! Chili and cornbread go so well with each other, so I thought, might as well bake them together for an entirely new dish! It was such an easy and hearty meal! 

I love creating new meals with leftovers. The fridge has been getting emptied out between shopping trips and that means less waste! I'm all for it and my wallet is too!

Enjoy and make sure you stop back Friday for another new recipe!



 
Cornbread Chili Bake (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1- 8.5 ounce package corn muffin mix (plus ingredients to make it as listed on box)
3 cups leftover chili (I used this chili)
1- 11 ounce can corn, drained
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
cooking spray
cilantro, chopped (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare muffin mix batter as listed on the box.

Mix together the chili, corn and the cheese. Pour into a 8x8 glass baking dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Spread spoonfuls of the corn muffin batter on top of the chili. Bake for 30 minutes until browned and chili is bubbling. 

Did you enjoy this post? Sign up here to receive new posts by email or follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

On the blog... one year ago: Easy Deviled Eggs 



Two years ago: Sparkling Strawberry and Blueberry Vodka Lemonade



This recipe is shared at these blogs: Freedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good Cakes, Weekend Potluck at The Better BakerShare your Stuff at Table for SevenIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding BigTime to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew Life

Jan 13, 2014

Spinach, Tomato and Artichoke Dip Recipe

Hello! I hope all of you had a fantastic weekend!!

Today I'm sharing a recipe for the BEST dip ever! Seriously... it's that good! Spinach, Tomato and Artichoke Dip!! I brought this to my Mom's Christmas celebration and it disappeared before my eyes! Everyone loved it! It's also super easy to throw together, which makes it even better. I love when something this tasty takes almost no effort at all to make. It's perfect for game day or any party!

Are any of you fans of the TV series Switched at Birth?? I am anxiously awaiting for the new season to start tonight! My daughter and I just finished watching all of the previous episodes on Netflix and we totally fell in love with the show! Can't wait to see what this season brings!



 
Spinach, Tomato and Artichoke Dip (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
2- 12 ounce jars artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
4 tomatoes, diced
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (you want 1 cup after thawing and drying)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup mayo
salt and pepper, as desired

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a 2 quart glass baking dish and spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly. Serve with crackers or chunks of bread.

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On the blog... one year ago: Slow Cooker Cafe Rio Chicken



Two years ago: Potato Chip Baked Chicken


This recipe is shared at these blogs: You're Gonna Love it at Kathe with an ETime to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew LifeIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding BigTotally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe BoxShare Your Stuff at Table for SevenFreedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good CakesWeekend Potluck at The Better Baker

Jan 12, 2014

Fun Outside... Make Your Own Snow Monster Buddy!




Hi everyone!!

I have a fun outside activity for the kids today. Not a recipe post, but it does use food ingredients!

My daughter and I made a Snow Monster Buddy today. The weather here in Minnesota is beautiful after a long stretch of brutal cold. We had to get outside and do something. My brother and I use to color the snow all the time when we were little, and it was a much fun for my daughter as it was for us! Use your imagination and make different shaped monsters, dinosaurs and add other accents instead of rocks and sticks. The possibilities are endless!!

What you need:
food coloring
water
spray bottles

Mix the food coloring and water in a water bottle. Be very generous with the food coloring, you want the water mixture to be pretty dark in order for it to show up on the snow!

Have fun! :)

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This post is shared at: You're Gonna Love it at Kathe with an E, Time to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew Life, In and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding Big

Jan 10, 2014

Banana Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. Hot Eats and Cool Reads may make a small commission from purchases through these links at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!


These tasty muffins with little bites of chocolate chips are perfect for breakfast, the lunchbox, picnics or snack! 


Banana Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins



Banana Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads! These tasty muffins with little bites of chocolate chips are perfect for breakfast, the lunchbox, picnics or snack!



They always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, I always choose to skip breakfast and just drink my coffee instead.

My resolution for the new year is to eat out less, and make more breakfasts, lunches and dinners at home.


Jan 8, 2014

Penne Pasta with Vodka Basil Sauce Recipe

Hello!  It's Shannon again.... I hope you enjoyed Monday's Noodles and Company Inspired Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe!  We served that over a delicious Penne Pasta with Vodka Basil Sauce.  I love basil with just about everything so the addition of this to a traditional vodka sauce made this meal completely mouth-watering!!!  It's taken me a long time to tweak it to perfection so I hope you truly enjoy it as much as we do!!!  I also used heavy whipping cream along with half and half instead of all heavy whipping cream so that it's not quite as naughty. :)



 
Penne Pasta with Vodka Basil Sauce (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
olive oil
1/2 cup vodka
1- 28 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes
2 small cans of tomato paste
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 pint half and half
1 container of fresh basil (about 1 ounce)
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
penne pasta, cooked according to package directions

Directions:
In a skillet, cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.  Push the onions and garlic to the sides of the skillet and pour the vodka in and allow it to cook off which takes a couple minutes.  Drain and rinse the canned plum tomatoes making sure all the seeds are rinsed out.  Dice them into smaller pieces and add to the skillet.  Add the cream, half and half, tomato paste, salt and pepper, and stir all ingredients until combined and hot.  Rinse and chop the basil and add to sauce.  Add the parmesan cheese and butter and stir until butter is melted.  Simmer over low heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.  Serve over penne pasta and top with my Noodles and Company Inspired Parmesan Crusted Chicken!  Enjoy!

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On the blog... one year ago: Chicken Parmesan Rice Skillet



Two years ago: Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots


This recipe is shared at these blogs: The Weekend Re-Treat at The Best Blog RecipesFreedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good Cakes, Eat Create Party at Living Better Together, Weekend Potluck at The Better BakerMarvelous Monday at This Gal CooksRecipe Sharing Monday at Jam HandsMix it Up Monday at Flour Me with LoveYou're Gonna Love it at Kathe with an ETime to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew LifeIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding Big, Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box, Share Your Stuff at Table for Seven

Jan 6, 2014

Noodles & Company Inspired Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe

Greeting from frigid Minnesota! Sheena's sister Shannon here doing a couple posts on a fabulous meal we cooked this weekend!  First I have Noodles & Company inspired Parmesan Crusted Chicken.  I've been craving this delicious chicken something terrible so I decided to try to copy it!  It turned out pretty amazing.... and I didn't even have to leave my home in this frigid Minnesota weather!



 
Noodles & Company Inspired Parmesan Crusted Chicken 

What you need:
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Olive oil

Directions:
Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten with a meat tenderizer until about 1/2 inch thick.  

Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic powder.  

Coat chicken with breading mixture.  

Drizzle the bottom of a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil.  

Heat the pan on medium-high and then add the chicken.  Brown both sides and then turn down to medium until cooked through.

Serve it on top of your favorite pasta dish, such as Pasta Fresca!  And be sure to stop back on Wednesday... I will be posting a scrumptious Penne Vodka with Basil pasta recipe!

Did you enjoy this post? Sign up here to receive new posts by email or follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

On the blog... one year ago: The Best Frosted Sugar Cookies



Two years ago... Copycat Chicken Rice a Roni


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box, In and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding Big, Share your Stuff at Table for Seven, Time to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew Life, Whimsy Wednesday at The NY Melrose FamilyCast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the CurtainThe Weekend Re-Treat at The Best Blog RecipesFreedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good CakesEat Create Party at Living Better TogetherWeekend Potluck at The Better Baker, Marvelous Monday at This Gal Cooks, Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands, Mix it Up Monday at Flour Me with Love, Recipe Round Up at Gooseberry Patch,

Jan 4, 2014

Raspberry Lemonade Moscato Punch Recipe

It's Saturday night... I think it's time for a new drink recipe! It's been forever since I've posted a new adult beverage but this one definitely makes up for lost time!

If you love moscato as much as me, then this punch is the drink for you! We served it at Christmas and it was a hit with everyone! I'm a huge fan of fruit chunks in my drinks and also love lemonade. I could drink this everyday!

Enjoy and have a wonderful rest of the weekend!



 
Raspberry Lemonade Moscato Punch (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1- 1.5 liter bottle Moscato
1- 12 ounce frozen lemonade
1- 12 ounce bag frozen raspberries
1- 20 ounce bottle Sprite

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a punch bowl until mixed and serve!

Did you enjoy this post? Sign up here to receive new posts by email or follow the Hot Eats and Cool Reads board on Pinterest here!

This recipe is shared at these blogs: Marvelous Mondays at This Gal CooksTotally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe BoxIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding BigShare your Stuff at Table for SevenTime to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew LifeWhimsy Wednesday at The NY Melrose FamilyCast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the CurtainThe Weekend Re-Treat at The Best Blog Recipes, Freedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good CakesEat Create Party at Living Better TogetherWeekend Potluck at The Better Baker

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